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Metaphors for NLP & Teaching

76. Iceskating

Recently I decided to start iceskating and I went to the icerink with a friend. When I got on the big bulky boots, I could hardly stand and as soon as I went out on the ice, I slipped and fell on my ass. So I eventually stood up again, but this time I held on to the railing.
Meanwhile my friend, once he got on his boots, he immediately pushed himself off the wall and skated right out into the middle. Of course, he fell down, too. And getting up was a little more difficult for him. But he got help from some people and when he stood up again, he immediately skated off again. And then he fell down again. And he kept doing that all day, and it's funny but by the end of the day, he had learned to skate pretty well.
Meanwhile, I was still holding on to the wall, afraid to let go of the wall. And I never did learn to skate. Because I was too afraid to fall.
But my friend wasn't worried about making mistakes. In fact, the more mistakes you made, the more you are able to learn from your mistakes. Mistakes are little learning steps.
Main Uses: : Beliefs, If you want to change something, take action, There is no failure, only feedback
Also Useful For:
Submitted By: Brian Cullen
Source: I heard this originally from Richard Bolstad and was reminded of it recently by Ben Backwell.
Notes: This is a very useful metaphor for teachers using NLP in the classroom.

Index of Metaphors

1 thought on “Metaphors for NLP & Teaching

  1. Sarah

    Hello Dr. Cullen,

    What a great list of metaphors! Thank you for creating this great resource for people to use freely. I was wondering if there would be any way to have each metaphor page set up with a link that says "printable version", or something similar, allowing for easy printing of a particular metaphor?

    Thanks again for setting this up. It is a really useful resource not only for me, but for my students as well.

    All the best to you,

    SJ Marubay

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