It’s fascinating how what we believe about ourselves (the kind of person we are) determines so much of our behaviour.
For example, I see myself as the kind of person who usually waits for others to go first, doesn’t like to step on others’ toes, and doesn’t want to disappoint or hurt anyone. Therefore, I will do what I can to avoid hurting anyone. And if that does somehow inadvertently occur, I have been known to ruminate, worry and regret it for weeks.
During 2021, I participated in a group coaching program with Steve Wells. We covered many aspects of having a business. The tool we used to overcome our blocks to success, was Steve’s IEP (Intention Energy Process), aka Intention Tapping.
Steve took us on a beautiful ride to investigate beliefs that hinder us in business. We opened so many treasure chests (and sometimes a scary 20-legged octopus of beliefs jumped out!).
It’s hard to have a successful, congruent business if we’re judging and rejecting aspects of it. Things like: dealing with money, our values, providing value, our own worth vs the worth of our product.
And the biggie that I want to talk about here: negotiation.
Even the word “negotiation” has been a pet hate for me, probably all my life, and I have no idea how or where it started. I just know that when my husband and I went to Phuket on our Honeymoon in December 2005, I got incredibly annoyed and embarrassed by him when he tried to bargain with a clothes seller at a local market.
I was mortified!
“How could he DO that to her? Maybe it was her last possibility for bread-money - and he was seriously trying to get her to lower her price?!”
I walked away from him, I was so angry and embarrassed.
He also regularly went into shops where a price was clearly marked on a shelf and asked for a better price. I would always promptly leave the scene of the crime! It felt rude, pushy, and just awful for me to be around that.
My husband could not believe my reactions. To him it was a perfectly reasonable thing to do. “If you don’t ask, you’ll never know”, is his philosophy.
Another side of this was that I often couldn’t afford things or training I wanted to attend and would never dream of asking for a discount. “You just can’t have the thing if you can’t pay the full price”, was my philosophy.
I’d always just accepted this negotiation-thing as a part of me, and probably (blush) judged others who were comfortable asking for a different price. “The gall of it!!”
Steve brought up the topic of negotiation in one of the classes. I felt my insides cringe and almost wanted to run away. Not this!!
As Steve explained a few things about the value of being able to negotiate, I could start seeing a teeny tiny glimmer of hope. However, the emotional discomfort about it was just still too big. I could not see myself changing this. And yet… I could understand how freeing it would be to be able to ask for what I want.
Steve recommended a great book that I promptly ordered. The book (Never Split the Difference by Chris Voss) and how the author explained the whole concept of negotiation, already made a huge difference in my perception about negotiation. It involves a lot more empathy for the other person than I’d ever understood before.
However! The strong emotional attachments I had to this topic were still really off-putting so I opted to do a session with an Intention Tapping Practitioner.
And am I glad I did!
I did loads of wonderful tapping and releasing during that session. It was so freeing!
Here are just a few examples of how we applied the Intention Tapping to my negotiation beliefs and emotional attachments:
We started the session very globally, working down to more specific issues.
“I release all my emotional attachments to this whole negotiation story.”
I tap through in silence, and listen to my body. I become aware of a sensation in my tummy and chest area.
“I restore the right energy flow to my tummy and chest.”
My next thought: Negotiation is an awful thing to do to another human being. Someone wins and someone loses.
So, on we went:
“I release all my emotional attachments to someone wins, and someone else loses.”
I’m aware of a feeling of sadness in my throat.
“I restore the right energy flow to my throat.”
I stay here for a bit and tap through a few rounds in silence. Then, a big sigh. Always a relief to feel it!
Then, I notice my thoughts that negotiating is like asking for a discount.
“I detest the thought of someone asking me for a discount. And I can’t bear asking anyone else for a discount, either. It feels disrespectful. They’ve already made their price.”
“I release all my emotional attachments to asking for a discount.”
Tapping through this for a while, and after a few minutes there are some yawns on my side.
“Hah…. You know what I just noticed? Dis-count…… it feels like when I ask for a discount, I’m dis-counting the value of that person. Like they’re somehow worth LESS. As if the price they charge, is linked to their worth as a human being. And I never want to give someone the idea that they are worth LESS in my eyes.”
Oooh, big one for me. I notice tears.
“I restore the right energy flow to this sadness and tears.”
“I release all my emotional attachments to discounting means they are worth less.”
I tapped through this and noticed a big relief at the discovery of this hidden aspect. It’s been running the show! I could not separate a person’s worth from their price. And of course, that would have an impact in my own business too when it comes to pricing!
I still notice some ickiness around ‘discounts’.
“I release all my resistances and aversions to discounts.”
More relief after a round of tapping.
Sighs and yawns indicate that I’m starting to relax around this.
All of it might not be gone yet, and of course I’m still studying the book to learn HOW to do it. Having emotional freedom from a belief is different than suddenly having the skill to do it competently.
Shortly after this session, I had the courage to ask a respected teacher for a discount on a program. He said yes, with a reasonable addition to my request, which made both of us happy. I felt calm doing it, and no horrible, shameful, guilty feelings. I know I would never have dared to ask before this experience.
Quite astounding for me to even think I could ask – and it felt natural and easy.
Whoohoo!! I am now a person who can negotiate, if it’s important enough to me. I have that option open to me, where before it was just a closed door.
“If I could get over this life-long distaste and disgust with ‘negotiation’ – what else could I let go of?”
I’m sitting with this question, as I’m thinking about so many of the holy cows I have believed about myself.
Maybe there’s a whole lot of freedom and many more options waiting for all of us, if we investigated our beliefs and released the strong attachments and aversions we have to them.
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