Experiments in Personal Development: Feedback Not Failure!

All too often we don’t chase our goals through fear of failure. Sometimes we feel its easier to spare the disappointment by not trying at all. However this approach is based on a faulty assumption that when things don’t work out the first time it is failure. However more often than not it’s not failure at all. It’s feedback!

As infants learning to walk you didn’t give up the first time your butt hit the floor. Rather, you sat there thought about it a while and tried again. More importantly you tried something slightly different until you found something that worked. You learned from the mistakes and built on your successes.  Now just think of the amazing capacity for learning that we have as babies. As adults we kind of forget the ‘feedback not failure‘ approach and as a result we miss opportunities to learn.

As a coach, I use the concept of ‘personal experiments‘ which offers my clients a low-threat strategy for pursuing their goals. So, if you want to make a life change,  tackle it as a personal experiment. Try the first step as a personal experiment. Try it on for size and get some feedback. If it works out, that’s great. Move onto stage two. However if it doesn’t quite work out, then use the feedback to adjust your plan. What do you need to do slightly differently to get closer to the result you’re looking for? It’s not a ‘one-shot deal’, it’s a process. So, repeat this process, just as you used to do as a child.

As you can see, with this approach there is no intrinsic sense of failure. It’s all feedback and nothing to fear.

Links:

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6 thoughts on “Experiments in Personal Development: Feedback Not Failure!

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