What is Success? What is Failure?

‘There is no failure, only feedback’.

This is one of the NLP rules that is the foundation for NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming), and, rationally, it is true.

Anytime anything doesn’t go as we wish and we see it as a ‘failure’, really it is feeding back to us that something needs to change to get the outcome we want.

However, many people struggle with the idea of failure or of being a failure or failing at something. Some people identify as being a failure and hold it as part of their identity.

What about you?

How do you feel about failure?

How do you feel if something doesn’t go exactly as you’d like?

How do to manage that? Or handle it?

For some people, it can feel annoying, frustrating, humiliating, shameful, all destroying or something else.

Someone recently asked me what I thought success was, and it made me think. I thought about it a lot and my view has drastically changed recently, from how it used to be.

So I’m throwing it out to you.

What does success mean to you?

Is it something outside of you?

Or something inside of you?

Is it an actual achievement?

Is it a feeling?

Does success relate to how others view you or how you view yourself?

How do you view your life and the achievements in it?

How do you think other people perceive you and your life and achievement? Would other people describe you as a success? or as having successes?

What does the idea of success and failure do you for? How does it sit? If success is important for you, what needs to happen for you to feel or be successful?

Are you comfortable with how you view success and failure?

There’s no right or wrong answers to this, there’s no ‘right’ way to feel or ‘wrong’ way to feel. However you feel is how you feel.

If you struggle with the idea of success or connect deeply with the idea of failure, maybe have a think about the opening sentence of ‘there is no failure, only feedback’. That may help to minimise the feeling of failure and help you to work to achieve or change whatever it is you’re getting feedback about.

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