There's been a lot of interest in my recent articles This is NOT your ordinary tapping and Let life move you on how Intention Tapping differs from regular tapping approaches like EFT.

Today, I want to focus on the intentions we use in Intention Tapping.

When I discovered the first intention that we use in Intention Tapping / IEP, “I release all my emotional attachments to this problem”, I couldn’t believe how rapidly and effectively it worked.

It was astounding to have an issue that had been hooking me for so long release it’s hold instantly just from a single, simple intention!

Then, when I noticed a constriction in my chest and formed the simple intention to restore the right energy flow, the feeling of my chest expanding naturally followed by an easy deep breath, was something else! (This then became our second core intention: “I restore the right energy flow to this [body area]”).

So astonished and surprised was I by these initial results that I thought I must be talking myself into it, it couldn’t be possible that this was really changing so quickly. So, I released my emotional attachments to THAT thought! And it shifted too, just like the other issues I’d targeted.

After trying it out with my wife and a friend, both of whom had immediate and palpable shifts like I’d had, I knew I had to explore this further.

Now, over 7 years later, I am astounded when I look back at the changes I’ve been able to make personally and the changes I’ve seen in others using this deceptively simple approach.

I don’t want to imply that all problems resolve instantly, they certainly don’t! Sure, with some issues you need to work through many aspects, some are not a quick fix, and all of that.

But that’s not what I want to focus on here.

What I want to focus on is: WHY do these intentions work so quickly and effectively when I spent virtually my entire life before this trying to intend things to happen and most of that went nowhere?

Well now I think I know why.

The reason is that most of my former intentions were in the form of affirmations. And affirmations are fundamentally different to the intentions we use in Intention Tapping.

With an affirmation you are usually trying to CREATE or affirm something that doesn’t actually exist right now. And to do that you can end up working against the energy of what does exist.

Or, to put it another way, you are trying to create an emotional attachment to something when you already have an emotional attachment to its opposite. When you do that, you encounter resistance, a grinding of your gears, a feeling like you’re pushing the accelerator and the brake pedal at the same time.

For example, if you try to affirm or intend “I am rich” when you don’t have a dollar to your name and have many attachments from your past to the opposite “I am poor” belief, it is almost guaranteed to bring up a lot of inner resistance.

We don’t do that in IEP.

We are not about creating new emotional attachments or trying to install a new inner program. Instead, we are about releasing attachments, beliefs, and programming.

Releasing attachments and restoring flow.

We are not trying to create new trances to replace or counter the old trances, we are simply releasing our attachments to the trances we are already experiencing.

Instead of seeking to “reprogram the subconscious mind” we release the BS* we are currently attached to that is causing us to suffer. (* BS = Belief Systems!)

And, rather than the subconscious, we engage the unconscious mind, the part of you which is always working to keep you healthy and well. We simply ask it to do what it is there to do, to release and process anything that isn’t good for you, and restore your body-mind to optimal functioning. Freedom and flow.

When you try to create or install a new program you encounter the resistance of the old one. We simply release the old one.

Instead of trying to install a new feeling over the top of a feeling you already have, causing the feeling you have to seemingly resist (why wouldn’t it, it represents a part of you that hasn’t been heard, acknowledged, validated, or allowed to process?), we simply work with the feeling that is there and enable it to flow in the ways it wants to flow. And it does.

It’s a bit like when the Buddha was apparently asked what he had gained from meditation. He replied, “Nothing!” Then he continued, “However, let me tell you what I have lost: anger, anxiety, depression, insecurity, and fear of old age and death.”

You can spend your whole life seeking things outside that you THINK (due to your emotional attachments) will give you what you want. Or you can release your emotional attachments to everything that tells you (or which seems to make you feel) that you don’t have those things already.

That’s what we do.

As Sailor Bob Adamson says, “What’s wrong with right now, unless you think about it.”

The answer is nothing.

That’s what we do in Intention Tapping.

Instead of installing new trances we aim to release our emotional attachments to the trances we are already experiencing.

Ultimately, this takes you back to nothing. Clean slate. That place where nothing is wrong any more.

These quotes by Lao Tzu and Rumi come close to describing this:

First, Lao Tzu:

“To the mind that is still, the whole universe surrenders.”

“When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.”

“The snow goose need not bathe to make itself white. Neither need you do anything but be yourself.”

“The past has no power to stop you from being present now. Only your grievance about the past can do that. What is grievance? The baggage of old thought and emotion.”

And Rumi:

“Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field. I'll meet you there.”

When you release your emotional attachments to all the BS you have learned about the world, yourself, your life, you find that the world is a lot kinder than you think.

If you want to start – or continue – your journey to return to that kinder world, or discover it for the first time, I invite you to join us in an upcoming program.

I’ll meet you there.


Steve Wells

Want to learn more?

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4 Replies to “Why affirmations don’t work but these intentions do”


Thank you so much Steve. Yes, there more innerwork to be done for me.
My clients are helping me as much as I am helping them.

Steve Wells

Hi Sally, Yes, it’s a constant process and I am mindful of Marianne Williamson’s words, as we overcome our fears we are able to help others to do the same… Warmly, Steve

Gail Riley

Thank you for all that you have stated in this blog – and I agree 100%. I long ago attended an EFT conference run by yourself and the delightful David Lake and as great as it was, EFT seemed only to touch me personally on the ‘surface’ – I spent too much time in trying to remember the words and routine?
Intention Tapping resonates much more deeply and makes logical sense to my overly analytical I love it…and I get it…!!
Thank you for all your posts and I look forward to them.
Gail Riley

Steve Wells

Hi Gail, Yes, many people have that same challenge with EFT. Its a great technique but too many people get hung up on the words when the tapping is really the main thing. Glad you’re enjoying the Intention Tapping and finding it helpful. Warmly, Steve


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