There is No Failure, But Only Feedback

By M.Farouk Radwan, MSc.

I Failed!!

Justin was heading towards the restaurant's door in a hurry as he was a bit late. When he arrived to the door he quickly pushed it inwards but it didn’t open. He paused it for a moment then tried to pull the door back, but still, the door didn’t open.

He paused again and thought about it, then he noticed a small push button at the corner so he pushed it and then pulled the door but again the door didn’t open. He then quickly pushed the button then pushed the door inwards and this time the door opened. He then ran in quickly to see his friends.

Few moments later, Jason arrived, Jason tried to push the door but it didn’t open, he then tried to pull it but It didn’t open so he sat beside it and started crying!!
Crying!! Its just a door!!

No, it isn’t, the problem was not with the door but it was with the way Jason thought of these failed attempts.

What do you do when you Fail to Achieve Something?

You may have became amazed or even laughed when you read about what Jason did but the bad news is we all do the same as Jason did but in a different way.

What did you do the last time you failed an exam?
How was your reaction the last time you were rejected?
How do you feel each time you fail to do something?
Do you become depressed? Do you try again another time then lose hope?

Lots of people collapse completely after their first failed attempt. Some of them try again once or twice then lose hope and become desperate.

The only difference between the people who continue trying until they get what they want and between those who fail is one thing which is their perception of their failure. While the first Group thinks of this failure as a feedback the second group thinks of it as a failed attempt or as a blocked road.

When Justin failed to open the door he simply recognized that he should push it instead of pulling it and when he failed again he simply recognized that there is another way to open the door which is using the push button.

Jason’s case was different; he considered the two failed attempts as an indication that the door cannot be opened but the truth was that he just needed to try a different method.

There is No Failure, But Only Feedback

One of Neuro linguistic programming (NLP) Basic suppositions says that "There is no Failure, but only feedback".

This means that failed attempts are considered incorrect methods to reach success and not signs of a blocked road. When Thomas Edison failed 999 times to invent the lamp, he was asked why is he still trying, and his answer was, “I have discovered 999 incorrect ways to invent the lamp”. So he knew that at the end he will invent it but he just needed to find out the correct way to do it.

In the Solid Self confidence program i said that a rejection letter is no more than a feedback telling you that you should perform in a different way next time, a bankrupt business is just a message telling you that you should have a deeper understanding of the customers and the market next time and a low score in an exam is just a message telling you that you should study harder next time.

So, there is no failure but only feedback. When you fail to open a door by pushing it, then know that you should try pulling it and if you still cant open it then search for the push button. Keep trying until you find the correct way to succeed without crying or losing hope.

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