The TEFCAS Success Formula

Have you failed many times in life? Do you know that failure can actually be a very good thing? Failure is actually an integral part of learning and growth. In fact, I like the saying in NLP that ‘there’s no such thing as failure, only feedback’.

no such thing as failure

Failure = Feedback

I first came across the TEFCAS Success Formula from one of Tony Buzan’s mind-mapping books. Once you understand the TEFCAS formula, you’ll realize that it’s actually our natural way of learning and getting better in whatever areas that we want to master. Many things that we’ve learned in life were mastered through failures, we weren’t born with those skills eg. riding a bike, playing sports, even walking.

The TEFCAS Success Formula Steps

T – Trial. This is every attempt that you do something. For a baby that’s learning to walk, this is every time he gets up to attempt to walk.

E – Event. This is the event of the baby walking itself, when he’s taking steps.

F – Feedback. When the event of walking happens, the baby receive feedback through both success (he manages to walk a few steps) and/or failure (when he falls down). It’s common for a baby to fall many times as this give him the feedback to try again.

C – Check. The information from feedback will lead the baby to check, and possibly try something different.

A – Adjust. The baby will instinctively make small adjustments to the way he walks, until…

S – Success. Every time the baby gets back up and make another attempt to walk, while making small adjustments, he will eventually succeed.

“How many times you give’d your baby the chance to walk?”

Anthony Robbins used to ask this often in his seminars “How many times would you give you baby the chance to walk? The answer is: Until he succeeds!” Yeah, that’s a crazy question, it’s obvious that you’d give your baby the chance to walk and fall, unlimited times, until he walks! There’s no such thing as quitting. In the same way, if you really want to master something in life, you must give yourself the permission to attempt, over and over again, despite many failures, all the time learning and getting better, until you eventually succeed. When you’re not afraid to fail, you’ll become unstoppable.

“If at first you don’t succeed, try, try, try again.”

Don't be afraid to fail

Don't be afraid to fail


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