Free your mind in 3 steps

How freely we allow ourselves to embrace the fullness of our potential largely determines the level of success and fulfilment we can attain in our lives.

Dave Beaumont explains how to release these illusionary shackles so we’re free to enjoy expanding what’s possible to ever-richer new frontiers.

What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail? Take a few moments to really consider this and you’re likely to find the horizons of what could be possible expand almost infinitely.

It’s also a question that highlights the extent of the gap that exists between the confines we’re currently imposing on the way we live and the untapped potential we may be holding back from fearlessly allowing to shine. Life’s abundance of opportunities expands or contracts based on the relationship we have with our self-created concept of ‘failure’.

How different are the realities experienced by the person who is able to just go for it, brush off the setbacks and continue moving forwards versus the person constrained by familiarity or weighed down by the pressure of ensuring they get it right? Aside from the successes to which the path of continual progress inevitably leads, there’s also an enduring sense of fulfilment to be gained from the knowledge that we’re genuinely giving life our all. The great news is that we alone are the authors of our own programming and, though we may sometimes feel helplessly at the effect of it, it is something we can retain complete power over.

1. Defusing the charge
The meaning, and hence the emotional charge, we’ve attached to getting something wrong is programmed into all of us at an early age as our developing mind frantically seeks to comprehend how to survive and thrive in this world – to distinguish what will bring about experiences that make us feel good and how we can avoid those that create what we perceive as painful.

Failure itself is not something to be feared, so we need to look deeper into the meanings that sit behind this notion, the root consequences we’re actually afraid of and where exactly we made these links. In most cases we’re still living with an outdated childhood assumption that failing puts at risk the things we value the most – the love, belonging and admiration of those we depend on to safely thrive, perhaps from our parents, teachers and other key members of our tribe. So the gut-wrenching feeling it’s possible to experience from the idea of failing is likely to stem from a very primal fear of threat to our most basic human needs for connection, significance, certainty, safety, belonging, self-esteem and even love.

Yet, just how likely is such a devastating blow to actually occur, what is the more rational implication of coming up short and is this really unbearable enough to deny ourselves so much opportunity and instead endure the pain of regret? Simply shining the light of awareness into what we’re unconsciously deciding failure or rejection actually means may uncover such an irrationally harsh set of attached consequences that it can significantly loosen the grip these beliefs have over us.

2. Rewriting the rulebook
In a bid to avoid exposing ourselves to such a perceived intensely negative experience, we’ve developed a set of unconscious rules around what constitutes failure and what meets the criteria to impose this level of resistance upon ourselves. As we’re all instinctively more driven to avoid pain than drawn toward potential pleasure, chances are there’s a distinct imbalance in our rules to play things as safe as possible in ensuring we don’t open ourselves to the imagined penalty of being found lacking. Notice your own unconscious rules around what has to happen for you to decide you’ve failed, and what criteria would have to be met for you to freely bask in the feeling that you’d succeeded. For some, the idea of success can even be the elusive delusion of perfection, with the goalposts moving ever further away no matter how much they achieve and leading to a constant feeling of inadequacy.

How easy have you made it for yourself to fail and how difficult to safely acknowledge success? How much is the self-worth you give yourself permission to feel externally reliant on this success or failure? How different would things be if you were to rig this playing field in your favour, making it easy to enjoy the elation of success, rather than stacking the odds impossibly against yourself?

3. Releasing your limitations
Always remember that you are the one who made up the beliefs, rules and unquestioned assumptions that are dictating the reality you experience, and you are in complete control of choosing to live by a new set that does a far better job of serving and supporting you. One of the guiding principles of NLP is that there is no failure, only feedback. The only way you can possibly ‘fail’ is to give up or, as Einstein defined madness, to continue to do the same thing over and over and expect a different result. There are only lessons along the route to success that bestow the gift of growth necessary to reach greater heights. Perhaps this kind of resourceful belief underpins the efforts of those who are seemingly immune to the effects of setbacks; who choose not to indulge their energy in applying any irrational emotional charge to it, brush themselves off and freely continue onwards with renewed vigour.

As Thomas Edison said amid his 10,000-plus unsuccessful attempts en route to inventing the commercial light bulb, “I am not discouraged, because every wrong attempt discarded is another step forward.” The inspirational stories of so many extraordinary achievements belong to those with the common disposition to persevere through countless obstacles and yet always keep bringing their A-game. This inner resolve, determined by the impact of our meanings, rules and beliefs, is often the only difference between submitting to mediocrity and allowing the true greatness within us to thrive.

Embracing the journey
Not only is the freedom to take imperfect action, embrace its teachings and adopt an improved approach so key to attaining the heights of your purpose, expanding your boundaries of possibility and forever enhancing the development of your true self, it’s also at the very heart of experiencing a genuinely fulfilling and invigorating life along every step of the journey. Think of your most memorable moments and it’s likely for those in which you ventured beyond your comfort zone to stand out as they’re riddled with this growth energy that is the very essence of life. The times that were filled with certainty, safe in the confines of familiarity, tend to blur into the forgotten because they don’t have this emotion and intensity for your mind to decide you’ll ever need to retrieve them. Growth is the source of what makes us feel most alive and, as the saying goes, “You’re either green and growing, or ripe and rotting.” Despite our misguided desire, we actually don’t gain anything from the assured easy wins within our current zone of familiarity. All the juice of life lies in expanding to new, exciting and unknown frontiers, which requires us moving beyond the realm of what we are comfortably already capable. NH

Dave Beaumont is an NLP practitioner and transformational coach. Visit to access Dave’s latest seven video development program free of charge.

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