There is no failure only feedback ~ So be gentle with yourself. You gain nothing by being harsh on yourself. No it doesn’t inspire greater levels of achievement. In most cases the result of excessive expectations on your self is that you shut down, play small, avoid risk and ultimately fail to achieve much at all. If you study many of the people who you would consider to have reached high levels of achievement in their lives, they have failed many times in the process of getting there. If they had considered failing as something to avoid they would never have achieved what they have.
The phrase “there is no such thing as failure only feedback” neatly describes the healthy attitude to failure a resilient and successful person would have. Is this you?
Have you ever felt that you’d failed at something?
What if, in that moment, you asked yourself, what am I to learn here? What’s the lesson in this for me? How do I avoid being here again the future? Our so called failures actually teach us much more than our successes.
If cricketer Michael Clarke had viewed getting out for a duck as failing he would never have been able to get himself back out in the middle and scoring centuries. Many of our most successful business people have been bankrupt at some time. Many of our political leaders have lost elections at some time.
It’s very easy to be harsh on ourselves as parents. There are so many ways to get parenting wrong, so many ways to judge ourselves, and the person who pays the price for our “Failures” is one of the last people in the world we would ever want to let down.
Remember. There is no failure only feedback
So how do we turn what might look like a failure, into feedback?
- By refusing to blame yourself
- By looking instead for the lesson to be learnt.
- By refusing to blame anyone or anything outside of yourself
- By looking at the other possible outcomes or benefits
Let’s say for example, you get angry and lose your temper with your child. In anger you shout at them for something you know inside didn’t warrant that reaction. You could easily consider at that moment you had failed in your job as a good parent. What is the feedback here? You are having to cope with other things that are pushing you to the edge perhaps, like being too stressed at work for example. Perhaps it is work that needs attention. Perhaps it took this feedback to get your attention focused on what really needs to change. Perhaps by focusing your attention on your work you decide to make changes and do what you knew needed doing anyway. Look for the feedback. Learn the lesson the universe is teaching you or you’ll have to keep re-learning that lesson until you do.
Blaming yourself never helped anything. Looking for the feedback and responding to that, can change everything.