Be kind to yourself — I used to believe if I wasn’t hard on myself then I wouldn’t take action on my dreams. I would criticize myself to try to motivate myself, but that only works in the short run. Imagine a child being constantly criticized. Would they thrive in that environment? Of course not and neither do you. That critical voice is often a part of us that feels scared. We need our own love, kindness and reassurance.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Jessica Ortner. Jessica is a leading expert in EFT Tapping and the co-founder of The Tapping Solution, a company on a mission to spread the word on the power of EFT Tapping. Her yearly online event, The Tapping World Summit, has attracted an audience of over a million people from all over the world. She is the author of two books, including her New York Times Bestseller, The Tapping Solution for Weight Loss and Body Confidence. She is also the co-creator of The Tapping Solution app, a powerful mobile app with over 1.2 million Tapping meditations played to date.
Thank you for joining us Jessica! Can you share your “backstory” with us?
In2009 I was introduced to a stress relief technique called EFT Tapping. I was skeptical until one day I had a bad cold and began to tap on these acupressure end points while giving a voice to how frustrated and stuck I felt in my life. In just a few minutes I felt a weight lift off my chest and I was able to breathe deeply. My sinuses cleared up and I was in shock. I began to see just how much stress impacts our physical health. That lead to teaming up with my brothers to create a documentary film called The Tapping Solution and a business of the same name which helped spread this remarkable technique. 6 books later, we launched the Tapping Solution app (available on all mobile devices!) which is filled with Tapping Meditations that have been played over 1.2 million times, helping people release stress and find balance.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career? What were the main lessons or takeaways from that story?
I used to think that I could hate myself happy or criticize myself thin. I soon realized that all the pressure I was putting on myself wasn’t pushing me forward but holding me back. Whether it was healthier eating or making strides in my business, I realized if I didn’t find a way to make change pleasurable than it wouldn’t be sustainable. So, I began to look at all the ways change felt hard. All the excuses I was making for myself and how they’d show up as anxiety in my body. By getting clear on what was really bothering me and addressing it with Tapping, I was able to get to a place where I felt relaxed in my body and empowered to take action in a way that felt exciting and not stressful.
Can you share a story about the biggest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
I didn’t realize that if I always stayed stressed, I wouldn’t have the patience to keep going. If I didn’t find some joy in the journey instead of saving happiness for when I “made it” then it would be impossible to stay consistent. I remember getting an email I had been waiting for all day. I was hoping to land a big interview for our documentary. When the email came in, the disappointment hit me like a punch in the gut. But then something else dawned on me, I love what I do and I’m passionate about it. I told myself if I never had any success than it didn’t matter because I was doing what I love. Fall in love with the experience, not the end goal. Then you’ll have the patience it takes to see it through.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
I work with my two older brothers, Nick and Alex Ortner and they are amazing at keeping me grounded while blowing wind in my sails. I used to say yes to a lot of commitments, thinking it was part of building my success. They taught me about the importance of having priorities. Sometimes you have to say no to a business opportunity because it takes too much time away from your family and you just have to have faith that something that’s a better fit is around the corner. I say no a lot because I’m not just building a career, I’m building a life that leaves me feeling fulfilled. So, every “yes” must work for my professional and personal life.
When it comes to health and wellness, how is the work you are doing helping to make a bigger impact in the world?
Stress has a massive impact on every aspect of our health. Stress is linked to heart disease, muscle tension, chronic pain, diabetes, weight gain, stomach issues and sleep problems. And when it comes to our moods, stress can result in anxiety, restlessness, lack of motivation, feelings of overwhelm, irritability and depression. Tapping has been clinically proven to reduce stress which is why it can help in so many different areas of our lives. When we release this stress, we can then be more creative and resourceful as we address life’s challenges. From a calm and centered place, we can step into our potential and better help those around us.
Can you share your top five “lifestyle tweaks” that you believe will help support people’s journey towards better wellbeing? Please give an example or story for each.
- Address the stress — We often try to push through and ignore what’s bothering us. When that happens, the body often speaks up, we have trouble sleeping or may experiences headaches or backpain. Stress is a part of our lives and finding a way to release it needs to be a daily practice, like brushing your teeth. That is why Tapping is such a big part of my life. Start Tapping to relieve everyday stress and download The Tapping Solution app — available on all mobile devices!
- Be kind to yourself — I used to believe if I wasn’t hard on myself then I wouldn’t take action on my dreams. I would criticize myself to try to motivate myself, but that only works in the short run. Imagine a child being constantly criticized. Would they thrive in that environment? Of course not and neither do you. That critical voice is often a part of us that feels scared. We need our own love, kindness and reassurance.
- Reflect on your past — The patterns we have now that we want to change are often patterns that served us as children. Maybe you spoke up in class and you were criticized so you learned it was safer to play small and be quiet. That might have help you avoid criticism as a child but now as an adult it’s stopping you from pursuing a dream. When we can Tap while we focus on those (sometimes small) past events we can experience a big shift.
- Don’t overthink the future — When we have a goal, it’s easy to get in the habit of overthinking. We think we need all the answers before we can start. We try to figure out answers to problems that don’t even exist yet. Overthinking is what we do when we are scared. Spend a few minutes Tapping to address the fear. Failure isn’t the opposite of success, it’s part of it. Have the courage to try something new!
- Have an attitude of gratitude — If you can read this, you are luckier than over one billion people who cannot read. No matter how bad our current situation is, there is always something to be grateful for. Besides the multiple health benefits of gratitude, it also makes us more resilient.
If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of wellness to the most amount of people, what would that be?
We already started it! It’s called The Tapping Solution App — available for download on all mobile devices to start Tapping today!
What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started” and why?
- It doesn’t happen overnight — With our smartphones, we are so used to instant gratification. Have a question? Use google. Hungry? You’re two clicks away from food delivered to your door. But when it comes to building a life you love, it takes time and patience. Don’t get discouraged, great things take time.
- Trust life — Some of the biggest disappointments in my life have led to my greatest blessings. Take a moment to look back. Was there something in your life that was horrible at the time but end up being a big blessing? Maybe it was a breakup that leads you to meet someone who truly values you or a job loss that leads you to take a step towards your dreams. The hard moments are often a catalyst to something even better.
- Release Perfectionism — Success is a game of trial and error which means it’s a game you can’t play if you’re constantly on the sidelines, questioning whether you can do things perfectly. All the pressure to get things perfect can lead to years of procrastination. Done is better than perfect.
- You don’t need all the answers to start — Trying to map out every step before you start only leads to fear and overwhelm. With every step forward you have a new vantage point and can make better decisions. Just focus on the step you have right in front of you.
- Say no to drama — Drama takes energy. Pursuing your dreams takes energy. You only have so much energy. Choose wisely where you spend that energy.
Sustainability, veganism, mental health, and environmental changes are big topics at the moment. Which one of these causes is dearest to you, and why?
Mental health. We are finally addressing the stigma around reaching out for help. The more we communicate about our struggles, the more we realize we aren’t alone. What excited me the most is the number of veterans who have turned to Tapping to find support with PTSD. EFT Tapping has been approved by the VA and we have a whole section in the Tapping Solution App that’s dedicated to supporting veterans. It’s always free, all of the time. It’s a small way that we say “thank you” for their service. These brave men and women are showing us all that it’s okay to reach out for support.
What is the best way our readers can follow you on social media?@JessicaOrtner on Instragram, www.facebook.com/JessicaOrtner