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Feedback Vs. Failure

Reframing – failure seen as feedback

Have you ever felt like you failed at something, that regardless of how many times you have tried to achieve your outcome you just keep failing.

We have all been there in the past. We try and fail so many times that we decide to give up.

But what we are actually failing to do is to realise that the results we are getting, or not getting are nothing more than feedback framed in a disempowering way.

I am constantly amazed by the number of people who give up on something just because they are getting different results from the ones they were expecting and then call that feedback ‘failure’.

The frame you place on the circumstances or events you go through directs your thoughts and ideas about them.

By choosing to call ‘unexpected results’ feedback rather than failure you are already setting yourself up for more success. It puts you one step closer to achieving your outcome.

Feedback allows you to review what you did that did not work and change your approach, whereas failure invites you to do the same thing again with more intensity, so of course failure leads to more failure. If you do the same thing overand over, you can expect similar results each time.

How’s feedback different to failure?

These two words have completely different meanings and therefore we represent them in our inner maps in different ways. So by choosing which one you use, you choose whether you have options about it or not.

According to the dictionary here are the definitions of these two powerful words:

  • Failure:, Lack of success
  • Feedback:, Information about reactions to a product, a person’s performance of a task, etc. which is used as a basis for improvement

Exceptionally effective people know this very well. As billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk says “I think it’s very important to have a feedback loop, where you’re constantly thinking about what you’ve done and how you could be doing it better.”

So choose your words carefully next time you’re not getting the results you wanted.

Failure is mostly represented as definite, feedback isn’t.

Now it’s your turn! take your next step towards Exceptional Effectiveness. Start choosing the words you use more carefully and experience the changes for yourself.

Remember this is practical advice not just another theory, so do go out and try it, and let me know how you went.

Edited by Jules Collingwood, NLP Trainer at INSPIRITIVE.

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Andres Rodriguez

Andres is a Marketing and Communications Specialist with a range of experiences that go from working at start-up companies as well as with well established corporations in countries such as Spain and Australia. He holds a Bachelor Degree in Business Administration, an Associate Degree and a Graduate Certificate in Neuro-Linguistic Programming.