NLP Consultation – fear of failure

This case study was written by one of our students whom as you can see has a good grasp of this subject and undertook a very concise case study.​

Details of treatment
Assist Client with his fear of failure and feeling stuck.. Remove negative thought patterns to align levels to a good baseline state. Attain positive well-formed outcomes.

The client has no medical issues. – Client Consultation Card completed.

My Client projected a confident state when he started his two hour session with me, although anxiety was visible and I could see he looked as though he was overwhelmed . I immediately welcomed him and reassured him that the session was confidential. On asking if their was any medical history I needed to know about, Client said that there was no history or current issues.
I mirrored his seating position and asked him ‘What brings you to this session Client?’ I actively started listening to create rapport whilst he explained his situation. His breathing was irregular and he said “I’m pretty fed up and I feel stuck. Things just don’t seem to moving for me”.
I asked “What do you hope to feel like after this session?” Client replied “Refreshed, ready to move on with things positively.”

Client is in his late teens, in very good health and is currently pursuing his dream to join the Royal Marine Commando’s. He signed up at his local AFCO two years ago. He lives with his Mum and has regular contact with his Dad. Client and Mum both work for the same decorating firm though not always together. Client is unhappy in this line of work but as he has failed two attempts so far to get into the Marines training programme ,his role as a decorator is ”filling in the gap” he explained. He confidently and proudly made statements that he has a great relationship with all members of his family, especially his mother and has a firm group of close friends. He stated he trains five times a week with British Military Fitness whilst he is waiting for his next test date. In his spare time he goes to the gym, meets friends and plays on his game console. Client stated he feels happiest and ” I feel more myself when I’m training and pushing myself to get through to the Royal Marine training”.
Client stated “I’m feeling stuck because of not passing and I’m also hearing negative comments from members of my family (like my Aunty). It’s causing me to behave irrationally sometimes ie: shouting at my Mum, who is only trying to help. I have lost interest in my home training fitness schedule and end up on my games console. Sometimes I can’t be bothered to eat. I suppose a lot of it’s frustration and anger, its all getting a bit too much for me. Fear of not passing the next test and having to listen to ‘Why don’t you just join the Army?’ from my Aunty and Granddad make me feel so annoyed, it’s like that they just don’t understand”.

I mentioned that he looked a little sad as well as angry. His breathing was now quick and full of sighs he looked to the floor. I stepped into Client’s shoes for a moment and in the silence noticed he appeared to look overwhelmed and anxious. He shuffled his feet a little as though he felt uncomfortable. I attempted to lead him into slower breathing to help him relax and to assist me in continuing good rapport.
What is it you really want right now? I asked him. Client said “I want people to just stop the negative comments and believe in me. I want them to support me in accomplishing my goal without giving their verdict on how I should train or ‘maybe look at doing something else’…I know what I’m doing, I will get there.” “I can see you are overwhelmed and a little sad Client.” I said.
I asked him if he had viewed the experience of failing as one he could learn from rather than one that was wasted . I mentioned his thoughts of past and future failure were a trigger for a low state. Client replied “I thought about the experiences as lessons and that it’s other people’s comments that are stuck in my head and make me feel negative and angry. I know it’s not me.” I mentioned that it was good he looked at the experience in this way and that he knew he could navigate the obstacles through his military fitness training and personal fitness. I mentioned he could talk to members of his family that had negative comments and explain how important it is to him they understand. Client agreed and said that he tries to shift his energy to his normal state of good feelings and he is considerate of other peoples comments.

I asked him to remember a time when he felt like he was in a great state, when he felt really good about himself. Client started to smile and I could see him visualising as he pulled his shoulders back and sat up straight. “Where was this moment Client?” I asked. He replied ” I was on holiday in Cornwall and stood on the top of a cliff overlooking the sea. I realised there and then that the world was my oyster and as long as I work hard I will get where I want to be. That was the greatest feeling. The surroundings, the noises…just everything.” I noticed the change in his posture and voice. I mirrored his position and felt myself in his shoes. Client’s good state and the good rapport brought a smile to my face. He noticed the sounds and feelings associated with that moment. I stated that theses were the greatest tools in returning to a good baseline state.

I suggested that he could make small steps and changes rather than attempt to change everything at once and become overwhelmed again. Client agreed that when he attempted to change everything at once it became chaotic. I could see him visualising again and as he smiled. I realised he was in the moment, he appeared to very much in a good state. I asked Client what how he was going to start to change his situation. Client said that he needed to get off hisgames console and forget the negative words that he had heard others say to him. He stated “I’m going to talk to them about their negative thoughts and conversation and let them see how passionate I am about passing the test and becoming a Royal Marine. I’m going to try and let them realise my dream is to wear a green beret and hold the dagger in my hand at my Pass Out parade. I’m going to say that their negativity affects me and that I would like them to encourage me rather than put fault to my experience.” I mentioned that they were definitely small and very positive steps. “Yes, they are” he said. “I need to let go and put all this behind me.”

“Focus on your goal then Client?” I said. “Definitely” he replied. “If I set my mind to some discipline and ensure I stick to my good routine I’m sure that I’ll feel better, more ‘me’ again. Time to get off my game console as well and ensure I eat well. I also need to realise that people care about what’s best for me. I will let them know I can see their point of view and I will try to make them understand.” I stated that if he felt he was falling back into a bad state he could take a step back and look in as an observer and that it was good he was considering the different perspectives involved. I mentioned it would be a good idea to remember the feelings he felt when he was on the cliff in Cornwall or think of other ways to look at an issue and discover a more motivating thought pattern. Client agreed, “Yes,” he said. That’s a great idea. There are lots of situations when I’ve felt great. I need to remember them.”

I had noticed the change in him. He had looked at his relationships with family members, giving himself the ability to look at the situation from his point of view, from the caring point of view of others and from a detached position. After congratulating Client on changing his state from one of being ‘fed up a
nd stuck’ to one of happy and positive. Client thanked me and I ended the session. He seemed to have a good idea on how to understand himself and others better and on how to implement the changes needed to effectively remain in a good baseline state.

After the session I felt I had used the tools I have learnt form the NLP course to empower my Client to make positive changes. He seemed to have a good idea of looking at different perspectives, how to look at his thought and behaviour patterns and shift his state successfully and effectively. I believe he started to feel, to think and to understand his family and himself better in this situation. I believe I could have remained working with triggers a little longer as I felt there were more than just other peoples comments and failure. It’s possible Client plays much too much on his games console and needed more help to focus more on his goal although at the age of nineteen he needs to have social time as well to create balance.

I mentioned to the Client that other sessions are available should he feel he needed them. I reminded him to focus on his goal and remind himself of shifting his state (with the help of his good memories) and thinking positively before acting on others thoughts and behaviours that make him think in negative patterns and result in negative behaviours. I suggested that he needed to implement his discipline and personal training plan and that talking to others about his feelings to others is a great help. I also stated that limiting his time on his console was essential as he does need to have social time with his friends. Client appeared to have a good sense of self and the purpose of others throughout the session.

Client Feedback
I hadn’t used NLP treatment before. I was a bit worried about what was involved. I found Kate was very welcoming and I was happy that it was all confidential. I felt at ease to open up throughout the session and she helped me to look at the situation from other’s perspectives, my own and take a birds eye view. Everyone’s feelings are important and it essential I take this into consideration. I felt Kate knew how I was feeling, she guided me into looking at how to shift my thought pattern when I felt stuck, fed up or even angry. I know this has been really beneficial, I have remembered my goal, that I am important and the ways I can continue in pursuing it with the help of NLP. I’m not looking back now or feeling stuck. After the session I felt back on top of the world.

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