Coaching, Training and Hypnosis from Not A Blue Tree
Some puffs of smoke against a clear blue sky above a city. The puffs of smoke are failed fireworks.

If there is no failure, only feedback, why does it feel so bad when it all goes wrong?

One of the presuppositions of NLP is that there is no failure, only feedback. The premise is that if we view those results which are different from what we wanted as feedback rather than failure, we can learn from what we did and then do better. It’s a great notion. It flips our understanding on its head. In a world without failure, we can learn and grow. Additionally, we can see results for what they are. They are results and nothing more. It all seems so positive. However, if there is no failure only feedback, why does it feel so bad when it all goes wrong?

A rainbow arcing over rows of trees as the sun starts to rise.We learn to see outcomes as successes or failures. We either get what we wanted or we get something else. That something else is failure. It’s all so binary. The reality is that success is rarely absolute. Conversely, failure is nuanced from just off the mark to the opposite of what we wanted. Therefore, the gap between success and failure becomes a scale, with infinite outcomes which to a greater or lesser extend satisfy us.

Two sets of stone steps with wooden handrails crossing on the side of a hill. The image represents choices and having to decide which direction to take.Faced with an outcome, we then have choices. Accept where we are and move forward. Give up and retreat to our comfort zones. Take a step back and take stock. Work out what worked and what we want to do differently. Embark on a new course of action. And repeat.

A black and white photo of six people in various celebratory poses. The sky is overcast and this is not dampening the celebrations.Importantly, in my view at least, is the missing step. We have an outcome, which we either want or which is different from what we want. We can leap into action or sink into inertia. What’s missing is that reaction to our emotional response. If we’re pleased, let’s celebrate. If we’re disappointed, let’s acknowledge the emotions and how we feel. It’s OK to not be OK.

What perhaps is less OK is wallowing in the negative emotions. Equally, riding success and expecting this to continue without action is risky. Crucially, once you’ve acknowledged and accepted how your outcome made you feel, it’s then time to move forward.

A man stands in the background of a black and white photo. He is slightly out of focus. His finger is pointing forward to an icon of a smiley face. He has picked the smiley face instead of the unhappy or neutral face. This is his feedback and his choice.So, have a plan or a goal, and then take action. Review your progress and accept how you feel. Learn what worked and what could have worked better. Establish what you want to do differently. And then take action.

If you can do it, do it now. If you’re not sure, book an initial consultation here, and then take the next step. You know that you can do it, and you know that it makes sense, don’t you?

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