The “Small t”
“We are the sum total of our experiences.” - B.J. Neblett
Sadie was on the way home from vacation when a drunk driver hit her family’s car, killing her father. Is this a traumatic event? Yes. Bobby was invited to his first skating party at a roller rink. He fell on the ice, got the wind knocked out of him, and cried resulting in his entire third grade class laughing at him. Is this a trauma? Yes.
We tend to think of trauma as something extremely dreadful such as a rape, car accident, or natural disaster. A “large T,” as EFT practitioners would call it, is an occurrence that would make the average person think, “oh yes, it makes sense that a person would be traumatized because they went through this horrific event.” The person who was traumatized can also more easily accept their stress, anxiety, or unnatural behaviors later in life. It makes more sense; it’s easier to legitimize. Of course, they could be traumatized. Most people would be. It’s easy for the person to look at their current anxiety and accept a trail back to the trauma event.
Small T Still Counts
Remember the time you had a terribly embarrassing thing happen to you when you were a young child? Thinking about it now may still cause some of us to feel the embarrassment in our bodies. Our cheeks flush, we break out into a sweat, our throats become dry. An event that turns into small T impacts our behavior the rest of our lives. Steve attended a “Goal and Clarity” seminar because he was in line for a promotion. The odd thing is he didn’t want it. Who wouldn’t want a promotion? Oh, he did want the increased salary; however, he dreaded the idea of being a manager. Through Tapping, he discovered that he didn’t want the promotion because he felt “exposed” when in front of groups of people.
So, our Tapping statement (labeling content and feeling) was
“When I think of the managerial promotion if feel anxious and I have a fear of being exposed.”
Its Not Logical
But small T’s have nothing to do with logic. Steve knew he would make a great manager, but something in his body said, “don’t do it.” Why? Once we started tapping, this story arose: When Steve was six he fell off his bike and never got back on it. In high school he was an excellent trumpet player but was too anxious to compete in solo competitions. He refused to walk across the football field Senior Band Night with his parents. He refused to walk across the stage and get his high school or college diploma. As an adult, he never sought management positions in his company. Now his company was putting pressure on him to step up and take a new managerial position that they targeted him for. That’s when he attended one of my seminars on goal setting. Does it seem surprising he didn’t want to step in to that role? Now things make more sense. Steve doesn’t like standing out. But why?
3 Factors of a Small T
Let’s look at small traumas a little more closely….