There Is No Failure, Only Feedback

You do better when you know better.

Many times we’ll have a great idea and not know exactly what to do.  Because things didn’t turn out exactly the way we wanted them to, we view the situation and/or ourselves as a failure.  I am here to tell you that you didn’t fail.  You did then what you knew how to do. When you knew better, you did better.  Look at each situation in your life as an experience and an opportunity.  If it didn’t go exactly the way you wanted it to go, that is not failure. That is an opportunity.  Along with that opportunity, we get feedback. The feedback allows us to take the scenario and improve it.  How wonderful!

Life is really about the lesson. It is about individual experiences.  Each experience (or test, as I like to call them) gives us information (feedback) for the next test.  Right now, as you’re reading this book, you’re being prepared for your next test.  This morning as you drove to school or work, you were being prepared for your next test.  Everything that happens truly happens for a reason.  Your goal should be to get the feedback from the situation and incorporate that feedback into your future actions.

Example:  Imagine you were in school and you turned in a paper.  The paper was returned to you with an “F,” and with the “F” you also received constructive feedback.  You can more than likely take that feedback and turn that “F” into a “C,” a “B,” or even an “A” paper.  Essentially that’s what we do in life.  Each obstacle, each challenge we face is like that paper.  The responses that we get from the people we come in contact with are the remarks from the paper.  You have the opportunity to take the feedback, incorporate it, and literally change your behavior everyday.

The most successful people in the world will tell you that right before their greatest success came their greatest defeat.  Just because things are not going your way today doesn’t mean you are failing. What it might mean is that you’re not listening to the feedback.   We get feedback all the time. It is up to us to pay attention and incorporate it, so we can move out of our own way and be even more successful. Can you imagine how empowering it would be for you, if today, right now, you decided you couldn’t fail?  One of the questions I ask my coaching clients, and I’m asking you today, what would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail?  Many of us are so afraid of failure that we fail to do anything.  We sit back and watch time dwindle while someone else is out there learning lessons and succeeding.

There is no failure, only feedback.  

It is inevitable that we focus on the wholeness that exists within us.  It is imperative that we recognize that just because things don’t go exactly as we wanted them to go at that time, doesn’t mean that we failed.  What it means is that you have (learned) a valuable lesson.  Sometimes we are so focused on the fact that we didn’t reach our goals, we fail to get the lesson.  Get the lesson.

Think back to a time you thought you failed at something.  What were the valuable lessons that you learned?  What is it that you know today that you would not have learned had it not been for that experience?

Apply this knowledge to a situation today.


Create a powerful day!

Cherry A. Collier, Ph.D., MCC, CNLPMC, RCC, CPCC

Chief Collaboration Officer, Master Certified Executive Coach & Inclusion Strategist

Personality Matters Incorporated provides many services including coaching, leadership, and organizational development. It is Personality Matters, Inc.’s goal to help facilitate the necessary resources and tools to help individuals and organizations grow to achieve their goals.

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Dr. Cherry

Cherry A. Collier, Ph.D. is an Organizational Psychologist, Strategist, Executive Coach, and Diversity, Inclusion, & Belonging Consultant for Personality Matters, Inc. Her science-based approach and brain-based techniques, propel people, teams, and organizations to build bridges and work from the inside out to achieve their goals. Dr. Cherry specializes in emotional intelligence, neuroscience, leadership development, and DEI Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. She received her Doctorate and Master of Science in Applied Social/Organizational Psychology from the University of Georgia and Graduated Magna Cum Laude from Spelman College. She is the author of more than twenty-five Human Behavior related books for leaders, executives, and coaches. Dr. Cherry is often called the DEI Whisperer because she has a unique ability to fiercely “hold the space” and be totally present which creates a psychologically safe environment that allows others all the space they need to fully express themselves. She listens to others with head, heart and hands approach so that they are heard, seen and understood.