Such a failure. Really?

NLP Presuppositions, I talked a bit about them in my last blog post. NLP Presuppositions are those constructs, beliefs, “rules”, that NLP applies. This post is going to talk about another presupposition that is very important and one I think you’ll easily understand.

There is no failure, only feedback.

Let’s dive in. What is a time in your life when you realized that you were really good at something? Say, for example, playing the piano, running the mile race, painting the next Van Gogh. Or let’s go even simpler. Let’s talk about tying your shoelace.

When you learned to tie your shoe, were you able to do it first try? No? How about the second time, or the third? Chances are it took many tries, or practice attempts. Each time you learned a little bit more about how to get that lace looped, over, under through… Who knows, maybe you even learned a song about a rabbit going down a hole?

“Bunny ears, bunny ears, dropped into the hole. Popped out of the other side, beautiful and bold.”

Another almost universal example is learning to walk. If you were like me, it took many times of landing on my butt or face before I had that one down. (As I’m getting older, that walking thing takes more concentration sometimes, just so you know.) If I hadn’t had the opportunity to fall and get back up, I may never have learned to walk. If I hadn’t learned to walk on my first attempt, would I have been a failure?


Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.

Samuel Beckett

When I’m working with people, I like to use the term practice rather than failure. Like playing the piano or a sport, practice is where we get feedback. And with feedback, we get better. The only time failure comes in is when we stop practicing or getting feedback.

A client I worked with kept telling me she was a failure. As we dug into this and identified all the times she was a success, she was able to see that she had taken what might have been defined as a failure, gathered feedback, and practiced again. And again, and again.

If you lose, don’t lose the lesson.

– Dalai Lama

Parents: Think about this. Two young kids (about the same age), were taught life lessons by their parents. One is taught to chase success, that failure is bad and one must never fail. Whereas the other is taught to learn from every experience, from everything; that nothing is good or bad. Every experience has the potential to teach us something.

During the course of their lives, the child taught to avoid failure never achieved anything great, he never attempted anything for the fear of failure. On the other hand, the other child achieved a lot more through his experiences. Which child are you raising? Or perhaps you recognize yourself in one of these kids.

Sometimes you learn more from your mistakes than from your masterpieces.

– Bob Ross

Life teaches us important lessons through our mistakes. If you make a mistake, ask yourself what you could learn from it. Accept these lessons with humility and gratitude. That way you grow much more.

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