Conquering that “One Thing”

Posted by: admin  :  Category: Personal Development

This could just be that “one thing” that’s limiting your success, that’s keeping you leashed, weighed down and trapped in a world filled with horrifying doubts. In fact it may just be your greatest self limiter! What is it?


Do remember your greatest failure? That experience which filled you with shame, self doubt, embarrassment and disappointment? That made you get so angry with yourself that you vowed to never forgive yourself? That “one thing” which has become the greatest evidence of your limitation and “uselessness” and which has grown into your greatest critic and self rejecting poltergeist?


“My imperfections and failures are as much a blessing from God as my successes and my talents and I lay them both at his feet.”

- Mahatma Gandhi


The FEAR of FAILING! It keeps you frozen, constricted in a casket of doubt and hesitation, programming you to avoid that “one thing”, that most undesirable outcome, failure! Could this be the proverbial “mill stone” that’s keeping you leashed and paralyzed? Would you like to be unleashed? What would that mean for you? Interested?


“The greatest barrier to success is the fear of failure.”

 - Sven Goran Eriksson


The first realization is that “failure” is a cultural and social construct. It does not exist out there as “reality”, as a “thing” that you can physically see, hear, feel, touch and which can harm you. It does not exist. It is an opinion of someone else, of culture, of society, of how something should and must play out.  


Failure does not exist. Failure is simply someone else’s opinion of how a certain act should have been completed. Once you believe that no act must be performed in any specific other-directed way, then failing becomes impossible.”

 - Wayne Dyer


Secondly the criteria that defines “failure” is a cultural and social construct, defined and fed to us from birth. We were “told” that not attaining the outcome we were expected to attain or initially intended was a “failure”, that we must “get it right” the first time, that the results we get must be “perfect”; it’s “all or nothing”, “be number one” all the time. We are brought up in a “culture of perfection”; anything else but the perfect score of 12 A 1’s, the perfect image, the perfect body, the perfect career, the perfect wedding, the perfect business, perfect sex, etc. meant failure.  Now, can this be realized on planet earth filled with fallible human persons?  Perfection is a myth, an illusion!       


“We must be willing to get rid of the life we’ve planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us. The old skin has to be shed before the new one can come.”
- Joseph Campbell


Thirdly the meaning that “failure” carries is socially and culturally constructed too. To “fail” means that one is hopeless, unworthy, unacceptable, inferior, incapable, “not good enough”, stupid, undesirable, unlovable, a “sinner” and “social pariah”, a “Looser” with a capital “L”, etc.  These meanings were fed to us as “true” beliefs by figures of authority and significance in our lives, the birth of the “culture of fear”!  


“In a world flagrant with the failures of civilization, what is there particularly immortal about our own?”

- G.K. Chesterton


With such a mind set, you can imagine the horror movies we could be playing in our heads whenever we are faced with new opportunities, risks and challenges. Now to make matters worse we are addicted to the tendency of seeing “failure” as PERSONAL (it has to do with me, I’m flawed), PERVASIVE (it operates in all areas of my life) and PERMANENT (it is an unchangeable trait in me).



We take one event and magnify it, and then we identify with it and finally tattoo our whole life experiences with it. We start to say crazy stuff like “I am a failure”, “My whole life is one big failure” and “I’ll never be a success, I’ll always be last, forever the bridesmaid”. Now, can you see how the 3 P’s work its black magic? It wrecks havoc in our neurology; it leads to constant self judgment and condemnation, debilitating anxiety, helplessness, self hatred and procrastination. Once this happens, it becomes a self fulfilling prophecy! Eventually it reaches its zenith, we being to fear these very self judgments that we have created and a vicious circle gets created! The birth of our poltergeist, the fear and dread of the fear of failing; self sabotaging pessimism!


“Notice the difference between what happens when a man says to himself,

“I have failed three times,”

and what happens when he says, “I am a failure.”

- S.I. Hayakawa


As NLP practitioners we know and recognize this nonsense. One of the empowering Neuro-Linguistic Programming presuppositions says; “There is NO failure, only feedback”. Whenever you do something, you get a response, a result and that response or result is what we call feedback, it informs us, it tells us if we have attained our desired outcome or not. If we have attained it, we move on to our next outcome. If we have not, then we have valuable information to change our strategy, our approach, to innovate, rethink, evolve, learn, grow and try again. It is called growth by “trial and error”, “experimentation”, learning, stretching and is part of the journey to self actualization and discovery. In fact that was the way we used to learn until we learned the concept of failure!


“Some people use failure as an excuse to give up, to become bitter, or cynical.

Other people look at failure as an opportunity to revisit past decisions

and to devise new strategies.”

- Catherine Pulsifer, from Do Not Be Discouraged


Do you remember how you and I learned to walk as babies? We first started by crawling. We then tried to stand and we fell, we tried again and we fell again. We learned from this “feedback” and tried again until we could stand. Then we got excited and tried to walk. Guess what happened? We fell. We learned from this “feedback”, embraced it, got excited, used more of our muscles and tried again and we fell again and again. Did we stop? If we did, the whole world would be filled with crawling adults! No we tried again and again and finally we walked and then we ran! Once we could run, we could learn to play games; climb mountains, cross steams, etc. All of us learned this way and today’s toddlers are still doing it!  Nature somehow has instilled in us the right and wholesome way to grow and achieve, through “trial and error” and feedback!   


“I didn’t fail the test, I just found 100 ways to do it wrong”

- Benjamin Franklin


“Results! Why, man I have gotten a lot of results.

 I know several thousand things that won’t work.”

- Thomas Edison


Emerson once said that life is a series of experiments, and the more you make them, the better. Each “failure” is a trial in an experiment and an opportunity to gather critical information for growth, self actualization and success. We all know that the many “game and life changing” discoveries, from vaccines, the airplane, the light bulb, the automobile, bifocals and the computer right to the humble Velcro and Post It, were made by individuals whose journey to success were spawned with accidents, set backs and seeming failures. Are these giants trying to tell us something? Should they not be the authority to offer us new meanings for feedback and its importance? They never made these EVENTS personal, pervasive and permanent, why should we?


“Failure is an event, never a person.”        

- William D. Brown



“Success is the ability to go from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm.”

- Sir Winston Churchill


Over and above this, we need to have the attitude of a child, which is the attitude of mastery.  The attitude of curiosity which is constantly asking, “What can I learn from this?”  That welcomes feedback and gets excited by it. The attitude of “excited resilience” that says, “A fall simply informs me of how I can change, adapt and learn. It is that giant step closer to success.” The attitude that simply won’t say no or get “beat down” in learning to walk, run, play, communicate,  experiment and grow while making it fun! We all can adopt this attitude; we have done it once before as children, perhaps now, we simply need to get our Egos out of the way and unlearn what we have learned about “failure”, after all there’s no failure, only feedback!


“I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. Twenty-six 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.”

- Michael Jordan


As Richard Bandler once said, “Feedback really is the breakfast of champions.” Nothing fails like success because we don’t learn much from it and in many cases, it keeps us from evolving.  “Failure” does not exist, if it does, it only means this: that we have chosen to stop trying, moving ahead, unleashing our potential and evolving! It means that we have made the excuse to allow that “one thing” to have the last say in our lives! Once we understand this, then the attitude of choice, of mastery, is that of a child.


It’s time to slay that poltergeist and lay it to rest! It’s time to get unleashed! What’s your choice?

Failure is impossible.”
- Susan B. Anthony



Stay committed to transcending, transforming and transferring value back to your world!

Conrad Rozario is the founder of Alchemy Resources. He has more than 14 years experience in Sales, Marketing, Business Management and Talent Development. He holds a MBA from Gordon University, Illinois, is a Certified & Licensed Trainer of Neuro Semantics and NLP (ISNS, USA), a Master Practitioner in Neuro Semantics and NLP (ISNS, USA) and a Language and Behavior Profiling for Coaching Practitioner.  You can follow Conrad on facebook!

Have you met the “puppet master”?

Posted by: admin  :  Category: NLP

Mary was a simple girl I knew back in the day when I used to be an employee. She was very attractive, intelligent and quite fun to be with…the proverbial “girl next door”. Nonetheless there was something about Mary, something that made her “stand out”. Mary was, for the most of the time, either on the attack feeling angry or feeling helpless like a victim. And the cause of this, as she kept pointing to, was either the folks around her or the circumstances she was in. These “made her” feel either irritated and angry or fearful and depressed like a victim.   


 “The unexamined life is not worth living.”

- Socrates


Now before we go on to label Mary “crazy” or give her the “fortune cookie” advice of, “Nobody can make you angry unless you allow them to”, let us take a few steps back and ask ourselves this question: “HAVE WE NOT DONE THE SAME?” Have we not said to ourselves that the problem and the cause of our anger, frustration,  “being made used of” and helplessness was always that other person, that someone else, that situation, the husband or wife or them “crazy” in laws, neighbor and even the dog across the street! 


“Knowing others is wisdom, knowing yourself is enlightenment.”

- Tao Tzu


To be honest, I too have felt this way on many occasions. On some days, I felt so sure that it was that “other person or circumstance” out there that was pulling my strings! They were setting the frame for the meanings that triggered either feels of angry or victimization in me! The end result of such thinking is a crazy sense of being out of control and being controlled by others….the “puppet masters”.


So that begs the question; “Who really are the puppet masters of our lives?” Who are the individuals who are regularly pulling our strings, who are making the “meanings” in our heads? (We do not really respond to the stimulus out there but to the meaning we have of it within) The answer each of us gives to these questions will determine the level of our sanity, happiness, joy, contentment, efficacy, etc! 


“He who finds himself, loses his misery.” 

- Matthew Arnold


For me the answer to lies in the Neuro – Linguistic Programming (NLP) presupposition thatMEANING IS CONTEXT DEPENDENTand thatcontextor framehappens in our minds! We are the “context” givers or framers of our meaning! Meaning is a mental construct, it exist in the mind of the perceiver rather in what is being perceived.   


For example imagine that you are taking a leisurely stroll in the early morning in a park with your significant other away from all the cares and worries of the day, the air is fresh and crisp, the grass looks seductively green and the water in the nearby pond calm and still, mirroring back the green surrounding. You feel alive as your sense awakens to these surroundings as the soft early morning breeze cresses the skin of your face.


What would this experience mean to you? How would you frame it?  Would you frame it as a calming experience or a refreshing and stress reducing one? Would it mean a healthy inducing activity or a romantic and intimate experience? Or would it be a combination of all of these?


Whatever you call it or whatever meaning you give it, it s this meaning that “pulls your strings” and produces in you the emotional and physiological states of freshness, calmness, intimacy or a combination of these.  


Now imagine as you continue this leisurely stroll in this park, suddenly two young boy violently bumps into you as they run swiftly by, causing your shoulder to crash into your own chin. You feel a sharp pain run through your face as your shoulder feels stiff. The young boys do not pause to apologize nor turn around to give you a glance and within seconds they disappear into a group of strollers ahead.


What would this experience mean for you? How would you frame it? Would you frame it as a rude encounter with a couple of disrespectful and ill mannered youths? Or would it just be the expected behavior of young and enthusiastic boys running in the park?     


Whatever you called it or whatever meaning you gave it, it is this meaning that “pulls your strings” and produces in you the emotional and physiological states of anger, irritation, victimization or amusement, or perhaps a combination of these.


“What the superior man seeks is in himself;  What the small man seeks is in others.” 

- Francois La Rochefoucauld


Now, have you met the “puppet master” yet? If you just have, just introduce yourself to you! Get acquainted. He holds the secret to your happiness, performance, love, joy, achievement, sanity, etc!  



What are the practical and potentially life changing implications of the presupposition that meaning is context dependent? Well, it either can send you to hell or heaven, heal or wound, create black or white magic, drive you insane or keep you sane even in the most insane of circumstances!


Now if we push this presupposition further, we can develop the attitude that “nothing inherently means anything” (The Users Manual for the Brain Volume II, L. Michael Hall, Ph.D & Bob G. Bodenhamer, D.Min). This in turn would give us the dynamic mental elasticity and awareness to avoid instant and habitual buying into any “meaning”.    


“If meaning is context-dependent, then any word, phase, statement, event, behavior or relationship can be rendered meaningless by a different frame  and be given new textures by other frames.”                                                                                                           

 – The Users Manual for the Brain Volume II,  L. Michael Hall, Ph.D & Bob G. Bodenhamer, D.Min


This empowers us to choose different frames of meaning that will enhance our mental and emotional well being and efficacy as well as reframe old disempowering thoughts, experiences and beliefs. It would enable us to quality control our thinking-feeling states and its ecology! Now imagine the healing that you could bring yourself and others, imagine the productivity and competency you would be able to generate!


Want more proof of how our framing affects our meaning and produces its results in our neurology and physiology? Just take a look at the picture below…what do you see? What would you choose to see and not to see and what difference would that make for you?



Now, would you be able to do the same for any other past experience that still troubles you? Would you be able to actively use this mental flexibility in the future to keep you sane and empowered no matter what you see and hear?  


 “Since meaning is context – dependent and we can change meaning by changing context, and since nothing means anything, we can step into higher frames of mind and know that we are the meaning maker.

– The Users Manual for the Brain Volume II, L. Michael Hall, Ph.D & Bob G. Bodenhamer, D.Min


So have you met the puppet master yet? Get acquainted really well. Know the secrets he or she holds and learn to master them and use them to generate transformation! Whenever you get lost or seduced by toxic frames and states, keep asking yourself: Does this way of thinking and feeling serve me well? Does it enhance my life? Does it empower me as a person?


We are the ones who attribute the meaning. ……Every meaning maker, consciously or unconsciously, has choice regarding which meaning to give things.”

– The Users Manual for the Brain Volume II, L. Michael Hall, Ph.D & Bob G. Bodenhamer, D.Min


Don’t let others or circumstances out there pull your strings……learn to pull them yourself and make a committed to self mastery, sanity and happiness!   


Stay committed to transcending, transforming and transferring value back to your world!

Conrad Rozario is the founder of Alchemy Resources. He has more than 14 years experience in Sales, Marketing, Business Management and Talent Development. He holds a MBA from Gordon University, Illinois, is a Certified & Licensed Trainer of Neuro Semantics and NLP (ISNS, USA), a Master Practitioner in Neuro Semantics and NLP (ISNS, USA) and a Language and Behavior Profiling for Coaching Practitioner.  You can follow Conrad on facebook!