No such thing as failure…

Image of a road sign pointing to success and failure| NLP World.

Let’s have a look at the concept of failure. The next time you proceed to beat yourself up, overly judge yourself or blame… consider this often quoted Neuro-Linguistic Programming Presupposition: There is No Such Thing as Failure, Only Feedback.

What is failure anywhere?

Failure is commonly said to be the lack of success. However, this definition offers a narrow, limited and negative perspective. More practically, failure is about giving up and not trying. If you think about it, failure often comes before the success. It is very much a part of the success journey. Trials are not construed as failures by those who have succeeded. In fact, they are opportunities to get things right. They are stepping stones to success. Learn from the likes of Donald Trump, Abraham Lincoln, Robert Kiyosaki, Michael Jordan and Thomas Edison; amongst others. Real estate mogul, Donald Trump, had in the past repeatedly filed for bankruptcy. Abraham Lincoln went through multiple business and election failures before he was elected as President. Once extremely poor, Robert Kiyosaki now teaches people worldwide on how to multiply their wealth.

“I haven’t failed, I’ve found 10,000 ways that don’t work.” — Thomas Edison – scientist and businessman – when inventing the first commercially practical light bulb.

Greg Louganis, multiple swimming gold medal winner had an interesting relationship with not perfection: “Hitting the sweet spot on the diving board means I knew it would be a great dive. The times I actually felt that sweet spot with my toes made no difference to my dives; I had to correct my dives from a point of NOT perfect!”

“I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed.” — M greatest basketball player of all time and businessman.

Michael Jordan

So it isn’t about getting it right all the time; it’s about how to recover quickly and powerfully.

“Making your mark on the world is hard. If it were easy, everybody would do it. But it’s not. It takes patience, it takes commitment, and it comes with plenty of failure along the way. The real test is not whether you avoid this failure, because you won’t. It’s whether you let it harden or shame you into inaction, or whether you learn from it; whether you choose to persevere.”

Barack Obama

Have You Really Failed?

When you call yourself a failure, you are essentially judging yourself. You are saying that you are not good enough. If you can take a step back or two, you will realize that it is not true. Trials present themselves to challenge your reactions, not to hurt you. They are there simply to help you grow. An understanding allows you to realize that your perception is just a representation of the actual situation. Your internal map is not the world. And perceptions can very well be flawed, when your mind is clouded and cluttered by habitual thinking of loss and separation.

Rather than living a largely unaware existence, your intent is to create the life you want. It is about making conscious choices. You choose to put your Higher Self in charge rather than let your personality dominate. You take the lessons for what they are and move on. If you give in to the ridiculous demands of your ego, life becomes an endless game of fear and survival.

Life As A Journey of Feedback

It is your reactions to your endless trials that help you develop a deepened consciousness about life and who you are at source. Your recovery from tough moments and times makes you what you are. If a major catastrophic event presents itself, then understand that it is because your soul is ready for the next level of growth. So, you respond to the situation with grace. You meet your most difficult trial-to-date with courage. A lightened perspective to things is also helpful. You laugh at the idiosyncrasies of life. You go “aha” when you catch yourself (or more rightly your ego) acting out in melodrama yet again! You smile knowingly of how you are being nudged by your spirit guides to look into specific areas for spiritual growth that you have overlooked previously!

Conclusion

A quote from Oscar Wilde….

“Experience is simply the name we give our mistakes.”

Oscar Wilde

Each trial in life can be a lesson towards a greater development of yourself. Each crisis is an opportunity to practice more love, compassion and care. Each of the exercises is placed on your path for a chance to be your Divine Self. Our major lessons revolve around living harmoniously with every moment of life, with temperance of the ego.

“Love the moment. Flowers grow out of dark moments. Therefore, each moment is vital. It affects the whole. Life is a succession of such moments and to live each, is to succeed.”

— Corita Kent

Here’s a lifetime of what most people would call failure. You can never say that something is wrong, bad or shouldn’t have happened. You never know if you have failed until you are on your deathbed. Even then, it’s all a matter of interpretation! Look at the person’s history below. You’ve heard of him:

* 1831 – Lost his job
* 1832 – Defeated in run for Illinois State Legislature
* 1833 – Failed in business
* 1834 – Elected to Illinois State Legislature (success)
* 1835 – Sweetheart died
* 1836 – Had nervous breakdown
* 1838 – Defeated in run for Illinois House Speaker
* 1843 – Defeated in run for nomination for U.S. Congress
* 1846 – Elected to Congress (success)
* 1848 – Lost re-nomination
* 1849 – Rejected for land officer position
* 1854 – Defeated in run for U.S. Senate
* 1856 – Defeated in run for nomination for Vice President
* 1858 – Again defeated in run for U.S. Senate
* 1860 – Abraham Lincoln Elected President (success)

Also see an article by Wesley Kew, Clinical Psychologist, how he trained the gold winning South African water polo team with this presupposition.