Ashok's provoking experience with Frank!
(This article was written by Ashok during 2007)
I had been thinking about going for Frank Farelly since a year. I know from Sue a bit about his style and how he works and I thought having a one to one with him might be an ultimate challenge to me in my life and my fear surfaced on the thought of Frank Farelly. I had some constantly provoking comments from Sue, which has always benefited me in seeing the point, I missed in my life. I learnt to provoke people around me as per the ways I learnt from Sue and I had seen my close colleagues saying the same thing to me, that they were able to see the point only after my provocation. I knew and was convinced about the methodology, as I have tested it number of times with my people around and the fear was what is that Frank Farelly might challenge me with!! Which part of me is he going to provoke? I know I would benefit, but I did not know which direction and not knowing which direction was the reason for my deep fear. I did not know what might come out before every one!!
It was my third day on the Frank Farelly Workshop. I was so afraid to approach Frank Farelly to ask my personal feedback. I thought the way he helped me on my issue of “telling no” to others was amazing. That was on the first day, where I had my one to one with him. So I wondered if he had any more feedback to me, as he challenged and provoked me to understand the real problem I had. I was waiting for him to get free so that I can approach him for my personal feedback.
I slowly walked to him on day three. In fact I struggled to speak, as I know I can expect anything from him. I managed to find him a bit alone with a few delegates little away from us and Frank was sipping his tea alone. I went and smiled. He smiled back. I was very nervous. I asked him “Do you have any feedback for me?”. I was so sincere and humble in my asking. He looked at me. He said I don’t remember anything about you. I don’t have any feedback to you and he walked to the tea table. I was a bit surprised and a bit sad by that answer and walked along. I thought I should have approached him on the first day itself, so that he could have remembered better. He is getting old...so may be forgets things then and there...I thought. “There were more than 20 people on the programme and it may be hard for him to remember each and every one” I was speaking to myself. Frank added “No feedback. Nobody gives me feedback. Why should I give you feedback.” He was at the top of his voice. Few people were now looking at me and Frank. Frank did not stop…He enacted comically making fun of my sincerity in asking my feedback….He kind of changed his tone and his body language and enacted like a funny coward whispering “Do you have any feedback for me” and shouted… “God Damn Feedback!!” “No Feedback”. I felt ashamed. The other person there was smiling at me mysteriously gauging his reaction to what was happening. I quickly moved out of that place. I thought “oh god!! What is he doing?” All I asked is only feedback. He is insulting me for that. A moment of anger went inside me. I know he is a very intelligent man that I have ever met in my life…but I felt sorry that I could not ask in a proper way to get his valuable feedback. I went on to think about other ways I could have asked him feedback. I shrugged it off and kept away from him for the rest of the evening, except for the final good bye at the end of the programme. He called me “My dear little brother”. I told him that it was interesting to see him and thanked him for his help in my one to one and I will see him again in future. He smiled back and I felt happy and left with Sue.
I did not give much significance to that incident of insult and almost forgotten about it, not knowing why frank behaved like that. I was amazed with the experience that I had with him during my one to one with him. I am very happy with that life changing experience. My issue that I brought to him was - I had difficulty in “telling no” to people. He helped me identify what stops me from “telling no” to people and how I keep letting go my wants at the cost of other people’s wants…That was a huge learning on the one to one with him. I am very thankful to him for this, as I know that I am paying a huge price every day not being able to tell “No” when I want. Frank Farelly called me a “Greedy Pig”…a pig greedy for rapport with every one…My brothers used to explain me this but in their own words . I always use to argue for others forgetting what we will be loosing if we give what the other person wants. I missed the point then. When Frank called me that I am a pig greedy for rapport, the point which I missed all my life so far became so clear and stood just before me. A number of instances, where people took advantage of my greed for rapport and left me hurt after they got what they got came to my eyes…and it is a huge learning, which is making a lot of differences in my life after Frank Farelly!!!
When I was a boy, I moved to a City School from my native. I lived with my mom, dad and two elder brothers in my native. I was quite a naughty boy during my childhood in my native. I used to tell a lot of silly lies in school and home and stand by my lie with fake confidence, till it gets proved otherwise. Once I remember doing a lot of exercise in many chapters of my English book during my VI std. It was my first day at school and I came back home doing atleast 2-3 chapters exercises on my own. When my mum asked, I told that it was all homework. My mum knew that that was too much of homework on the first day and kept confirming with me if it was true. I stood by my word. She said she will ask my teacher next day coming to school. I stood by my word. Next she came to the school and met me. I stood by my word. She met the teacher and teacher clarified she did not give any homework and my mum (complained) discussed with the teacher about my silly lies. I got two cuts on my hand for that, which I remember even now.
I was showing confidence in my face, thinking that my mum would not discuss this to my teacher, but inside, I was having a deep sense of fear when I saw that my mum was actually discussing it with my teacher. I did not know at that age that fear was to stay with me till I had to meet this Irish Genius - Frank Farelly who is the founder of Provocative Therapy!
In my home, as I did not have a brother younger to me, I did not have the possibility of commanding some one. I was commanded by every one at home. My mother, Father, Two elder brothers…I mean it is a mark of respect to be that way in Indian Tradition. I was always the little brother who would usually do things on command from my elders. There were times, when I used to fight, but I grew up following commands from every one on default.
When I moved to my city school, I went to a new place. My mum had given loads of “away from” advices and I had a lot of fear in me, incase if I do any mischievous or get away from my studies, something very very bad might happen. It worked. I wanted to reinvent myself as a good boy. I did that successfully in my new school. I did not know proper English like the city guys. I lived in a sense of fear and wanted to show that I am not anything lesser than any one. I proved to myself and others that I can equally do everything like others - studies, sports, drama etc.. but the sense of fear was always with me and the need to prove myself to win over my fear kept me running in all directions that I sensed fear. I think in a way it was working for me to grow my personality.
I used to go up to the principal office, whom I respected very much. Since I was in the hostel, I used to go to the principle’s room for getting some letters signed after the school hours. He would be sitting in the room in his big long table and doing some work. As all the school staff would have left, I had to go and knock his door directly. I used to watch him through the glass window correcting some files, with a serious face. I used to wait for long say 30 minutes to 1 hr, just thinking when to knock the door. He might spot me sometimes through the glass door and call me. So I would wait for a long time moving around the glass window talking to myself, waiting for him to see me or planning to knock the door gently, which I myself wont hear.
The fear stayed with me in different circumstances. The circumstances were so different, that I never realized the effect that this fear had on my life, since I met this man Frank Farelly, who has been one of the models studied during the formative years of NLP.
It was one of my college function, where more than 1000 people had gathered. I had a piece of my poem with me, which I had memorized several times. I want to read it out to the huge crowd. I was afraid. I want to become a good speaker and I want to make use of this opportunity which is available for free. I believed even if they are going to throw stones at my poem, it is worth the experience to go up the stage and read out the poem and I know for all the people in the crowd me and my poem are just 5-10 minutes issue and no one is going to remember me, my poem or my failure (if they shout me down) all through their life. So I valued the experience and I wanted it.
I spent more than an hour beneath the stage, wondering whether I should go up or give up. I had that terrific fear. I had my inner dialogues. I said to myself that the experience is worth facing the fear of being a failure. I went up with my red cold wet palms and I did it and I got some good applauses for my explosive poem on “Love”. I felt relieved and started targeting every stage there after in my college. However before every performance, I had this tight fight with my fear and I did not realise that this unknown mysterious fear has become a pattern with me and started ruling me at times, that I had to wage a war with it every time, when I had to go for what I wanted.
The most important point about my fear, I knew it existed and I knew to fight it out and I was doing it every time. Frank did not have to know all these details, which I am recollecting now, after he challenged me about my fear in that moment during tea time!!
After some beautiful time with Sue and Colin in Great Oaks, I boarded my flight back to India after the Frank Farelly Course. Everything went fine in the flight. It was time for the landing. As I used to have problems with my vocal cords, I wanted to have enough water or candies to escape the problem of pressure difference during landing. I did not have any water. I asked the air hostess very softly not wanting to disturb the silence and She said she will bring in a few minutes and went away and she did not turn-up. I pressed the button again after 5 minutes. She came to me after 2 minutes and told me, I am just bringing it to you and I thought she is busy with her tasks at hand as the instruction for landing was going on. I did not speak anything. Second time I waited for more than 10 minutes. I could not see that air hostess. I was not sure if I can press the button again, as the flight was supposed to land.
There were other air hostesses walking. I could not open my mouth and ask for the water, as I thought it was too late to disturb them. I felt very low and a bit down. I had a sense of unknown fear to ask what I want, as I did not want to disturb the silence around me and get noticed by others nor wanted to call the airhostess, who were all seated for the landing. I could feel my ears getting strained with the pressure. I had no water or candies. I felt bad. I was just thinking what is that that I can learn from this. What is my feedback here? I asked twice for water.. Did I not? The Airhostess had forgotten…hasn’t she? Is her ability to remember my request going to decide how I am going to take care of my vocal cords…the talk went on inside me…Finally the NLP mind in me sounded “ You did not ask the way that she could remember you”…it went on “ you asked in such a way that the airhostess could not take you serious” …”You asked in such a way that the Airhostess took you for granted”…I was feeling angry about me and the way I asked…suddenly Frank’s comic animation of mimicking the way I asked feedback came to my mind….I asked myself…am I with the same nervousness with which I asked feedback from Frank, for asking water from the airhostess!! Oh my God!! Is that the feedback Frank wanted to give!! What a Genius He is!!
I just woke-up to his feedback and his style of feedback….and when I boarded my next flight in India and wanted water, Frank came to my mind and I had a different tone, to ask water!! And not just water…I realise that I have started asking many things in my life now in a confident tone, when I want something for myself. I don’t know where the fear went after my encounter with Frank.
Finally, as I was writing this article, I suddenly realized why he choose to say the words “No Feedback” to me. I am floored again!! He told me that he did not remember anything about me. He is a god damn liar, who has remembered everything about me and taught me to tackle my greed and fear with his beautiful provocative love and lied to me self-lessly.
I have always admired Sue for her intelligence and how skillfully she guides the delegates on her course. She has helped me explaining what Frank did, whenever I asked her. When I once asked Sue in understanding what Frank did…Sue said “Explaining Frank is impossible”…”He is simply impossible”. Now I understand what she meant…or may be beginning to understand the brilliance & intelligence of Frank’s words to me!!
If you have not got the last bit of “No Feedback”, I am sure it is going to get you think. When you get it, come back to read my article again…his words might sound different then!!
My personal recommendation to every one who reads this article is…Go & See Frank!!Make use of his Brilliance in developing yourself….He might change the way you think about you & your life in ways that you might or might not understand!!
I think this provocative love is one of the eighth wonder of this world!! I see that it amazingly works with the people around me every day.
These days, my colleagues and delegates say I am a good provoker!!!
Am I not??
Are you that dumb to experience Provocative Love from our workshops even after knowing all this???
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