Feedback, NOT Failure

My job as a Holistic Health Coach is to help my clients define and realize their innermost health and fitness goals. Most everyone sets goals of some sort. Goals reached are considered a success. Goals not reached are sometimes considered a failure.

The word “failure” describes the state or condition of not meeting a desirable or intended objective and may be viewed as the opposite of success.

Feedback is Information

What if I suggested to you that there is no such thing as failure, only experience. When you consider that experience is feedback then feedback, not a failure, becomes what we use to adjust our behavior or actions toward the direction of success.

All information that comes to us can be utilized, and experience is information. When we utilize our experiences as feedback, ie information, to modify behavior, that behavior will always get results of some kind.  If one set of experiences does not bring the desired result we then have a choice to either accept or change the criteria by using the feedback (our experience) to bring the desired result.

Thinking of our experience as information can modify the sting of what we view as “failures”. For example, if a person decides to follow a particular weight loss diet plan it is the information contained in the plan that is used to reach a weight loss goal. Strict adherence to the particular plan is recommended for optimal results.

Experience Determines Results

If a food plan has restrictions or choices that are not followed and the weight loss is not realized, the plan itself might be deemed a failure by the dieter. The food plan itself is not a failure, but the experiences of the dieter (whether or not the plan is followed exactly, for example) determine the level of the plan’s success.

When I hear clients tell me that a particular diet plan “failed” for them, I want to know the client’s experiences during that time. When that feedback is examined, the resulting information can be used to either adjust or tweak the food plan for better results, or the client can use the information to choose a diet plan better suited to their needs, preferences, and goals.

Don’t Stop Trying!

Understanding rather than judging our personal experiences give us the opportunity for gaining wisdom!   Labeling and judging our experiences will short-circuit our opportunity to learn from them and use them to adjust our behavior. We fail only when we stop trying!


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