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Home NLP Presuppositions 14. There is no failure, only feedback

There is no failure, only feedback

NLP Presuppositions
There is no such thing as failure, only useful results. 'Failures' are feedback that we need to correct our way towards a desired outcome. We can negatively label what we do which falls short of success as ‘failure’ or alternatively, we could view it positively as feedback or information to enable us to seek revision or improvement

When our carefully laid plans have gone awry, most of us tend to think we have failed. Before we conclude hastily that we have failed, should we not pause for a moment and ask which is more beneficial - to regard it as a ‘failure’ or to treat it as a helpful feedback. View it as failure and considerable odds are we will give up easily with consequent lack of confidence in pursuing similar plan in future. Failure is a dead end. Not so with feedback which empowers us to adopt corrective measures and redouble our efforts to strive for the outcome.

We need to know constantly whether we are on the right path towards attaining our outcome. Feedback affords us an excellent opportunity to do just that - gather more information so that we stay within the course or learn how to overcome unexpected obstacles which are bound to arise on our road to success. With feedback, we get to know how much progress we have made thus far or we are succeeding or have succeeded.

By way of illustration, let’s take two dance students, Jane and Jill. Jane performs poorly in her endeavours to produce the required grace. Instead of looking upon it as a feedback that more diligent efforts are required to obtain better results, she is beginning to feel like a failure. Such feeling perpetuates her poor performance and pretty soon, she is going to quit being a student. Jill, on the other hand, has developed a different feeling. She thinks differently. She convinces herself that to achieve top performance, she has to consistently exert herself for improvement. One can see the sharp contrast here that separates a self-fulfilling failure and a winner who eliminates failure from her thinking to achieve success.

Feedback is positive. Failure is negative. A clear difference exists between these two ways of thinking. Feedback enables us to learn from our mistakes – for instance, we have to put in more efforts, change our behaviour or adjust our priorities. Failure, on the other hand, evokes adverse feelings such as erosion of confidence, a poor self-image or lack of incentive to improve which inevitably leads to low level of achievement.

If we habitually think there is no such thing as failure, eventually we cease to fail. If we persistently accept supposedly failure as feedback that benefits us in our quest for success, success will indeed be accomplished with relative ease.