Feelings of failure can be paralysing, stopping you in your tracks before you even think about trying. Being a failure has intense negative connotations however anyone who has had an awful success can point and show you the failures that they had on their journey. What is different is not that they had a failure but the way they treat it as feedback. Failure is a signal that what you are doing is not working and you need to try something else instead.
The Failure to Feedback pattern allows you take take the feeling of failure and turn it into a learning experience, thus turning fear into action.
This pattern relates to an understanding of the NLP Logical Levels and Sensory Calibration.
1. Clarify the Belief
Ask the client to identify a belief that is holding them back from attaining a particular goal. Ideally this should be a belief directly linked to a capacity. For example John needs to do a Best Man speech but believes himself incapable of talking in front of an audience, he feels that he gets embarrassed and lacks confidence. The capacity is confidence, the goal is the best man speech and the belief is can not speak in front of an audience.
2. Identify Representation Systems
Have the client think about the problem and notice how they represent it to themselves paying special attention to the sensory information. Be clear on what they see, hear and feel when associated into the belief.
3. Move the Representations to Eye Pattern Position
Before you begin this step ensure that you have fully calibrated the clients Rep System with regards to eye positions.
Take the sensory representations of the problem as identified in step 2 and move them to their eye positions ensuring that the client physically lifts their eye along with each sensory representation. There needs to be a tangible, physical response to the movement of the internal representations to ensure that space is made in the eye pattern space for the new representation to be created.
Often the sense of failure is highly kinesthetic in nature and will pull the entire internal representation into the kinetic representation space (usually down) causing an interconnection which can confuse the senses and overwhelm the client. By restructuring the representations you will alter the impact of the feeling on the client.
4. Create Image of Desired Goal
Have the client create an image of their capability in action helping them achieve their goal. Make the image strong and compelling using positive visual imagery. Once complete move it into the clients VISUALLY-CONSTRUCTED space and ensure that they physically move their eyes to regard the new image in this space.
5. Identify Differences
Compare the two images (positive capacitive and negative failure) and clarify what is different about the internal self talk, and internal kinesthetics related to each image. Have the client vocalize the positive intent of the negative belief.
6. Normalize the Feelings of Failure
Review the memories of failure and balance them with positive memories related to the activity then re-insert them back into the timeline to reduce the emotional impact. Identify the positive results from these memories (learning experiences) and enhance this with the desired goal and how they can be used to move the client towards their exit.
7. Create Positive Reference Anchor
Find an activity that the client will have no trouble completing in the future, one that they feel positive and capable of no matter how mundane it may be. Create an anchor to this future capability ensuring that when fired it will create a feeling of accomplishment and positive ability.
8. Restructure Desired Goal
Using the anchor from step 7 take the structure of the positive reference and apply it to the sensory reference positions of the desired state. Take the submodalities and location of the representations of the positive reference event and change those of the desired state until they match. Use the anchor to enable the client to understand the differences between Actual achievable and Desired achievable states.
9. Test & Review
Check for congruence between the two states. Once complete there are likely to be a number of responses from the client including identification of further options for achieving the goal, more positive and constructive attitude to the current state and a clearer understanding of the goal with plans on how to achieve it.
Lee S. Avery