Continuing with the NLP 101 series, we come to the next presupposition:

There is No Failure Only Feedback (I prefer to say Learning Experience)

In NLP we say there is no such thing as success, failure, happiness, depression, good taste (accounts for euro-trance). Not that people don’t feel these things, but that they’re convenient labels we tack on things. Your subjective experience of happiness is quite different from mine.

All these feeling states are subjective processes, not things, that we do. We don’t have happiness, we do happiness. Happiness is not a thing, like an apple is a thing.

The same as failure. There is no such thing as failure (like an apple) until we slap the label on it.

How Do I Use This?

Contrast 2 kids, Fantasic One and X-boy. They’re both learning how to ride their Marvellous Bicycles, and they’re both fumbling about and getting tossed and turned.

Fantastic One goes, ‘Gosh darn, I keep failing and failing at this again. Maybe I can’t do this…maybe I’m just a failure.’ Say enough of this to himself and he starts feeling like Failure One, and he’s not going to keep on going for long.

X-boy thinks different. ‘Howie gee, the last two times I fell down I was holding my handle bar one-handed. Maybe there’s something to learn here…after all there was that one time I nearly didn’t fall, so I must be able to get there…’

Fantastic One doesn’t get it, because he treats his experience as ‘failure’ and doesn’t get anything out of it. X-boy develops his bicycle riding power as he doesn’t beat himself to death with the label ‘failure’ but sees his experiences as learning.

There Is Only Failure And No Learning Experience

You realize how useful this NLP presupposition can be when you contrast it with its opposite: There Is Only Failure And No Learning Experience. Sounds kinda stupid when you put it that way, doesn’t it?

But keep an eye out, you might see lots of people out there who don’t consciously articulate this belief, but act it out in their own lives.

(Anyone named you? I hope not 😛 )

If There Is No Failure, Only Learning Experience, What Would Be Different For You?

When a missile is launched, it doesn’t go from a perfect straight line towards its target. Along the way, it bumps into problems that cause it to go off course, heavy physics stuff like opposing winds, drag, etc. But an accurate missile takes these experiences as feedback (learning experience), and course corrects along the way until it finally hits its target (those missiles that beat themselves over the head as being failures along the way don’t usually make it).

You might be facing the same situation in different areas of your life; some things are cruising along to their target smoothly, while others are in the process of course-correcting (I know I am).

If there was no failure in your life, only learning experience, how would your life be different, emotionally, mentally, socially, physically and spiritually?

NLP 101 Series:

NLP 101: What is NLP? Part 1
NLP 101: What is NLP Special for The Super NLP Hardcore
NLP 101: What is NLP? Part 2
NLP 101: So Dark The Con Of NLP
NLP 101: How NLP Changed My Life
NLP 101: The Map Is Not The Territory
NLP 101: There Is No Failure Only Learning Experience
NLP 101: Every Behaviour Has A Positive Intention
NLP 101: The Meaning of Your Communication is The Response You Get
NLP 101: You Cannot Not Communicate
NLP 101 Thoughts: You Cannot Not Change The World
NLP 101: People Are Always Making The Best Choices They Have
NLP 101: People Are Not Broken
NLP 101: You Cannot Not Communicate: The Pygmalion Effect
NLP 101: Everyone Already Has All The Resources They Need
NLP 101: There Are No Resistant Listeners, Only Inflexible Speakers