Feedback - success in hypnotherapy and in studying

What is the most important ingredient of success? Talent? Hard work, perhaps?

Certainly, success depends to some degree on talent, and hard work does play a role, but these are very unlikely to be enough for you.

Imagine a darts player. He has good, well-made darts, and he is willing to practise hard, but it isn’t enough. When he throws each dart he also has to SEE where the dart has gone, and use this information as feedback to help him improve subsequent throws.

If you think of the darts as talent, and hard work as practise, then you’ll recognise that it is not enough – if you just throw well-made darts mindlessly hour after hour without seeing where they go it will be a waste of time.

So the final key to success is using each experience as a learning one - to make it into feedback. Every dart throw can be used by the thrower to help him to improve his game. Every one of us can look at what we do and learn from it.

Let me give you an example from everyday life.


Many years ago a friend of mine started with a company, but it wasn't long before he had made a major mistake. He couldn't cover it up, so he went to his boss and confessed. The boss asked him how he thought the problem could be resolved, and then proceeded to help my friend sort the mess out. When they had finished my friend said:

'I suppose you're going to sack me now.'

'No,' said the boss, 'Why would I do that?

'You have made a mistake, and everyone does such things. So long as you spend some time thinking about how you made the mistake and you learn from it - then I am much happier to have you than replace you with someone who might do something similar.

'Providing you learn from it then it is very unlikely you'll repeat the error. On the other hand, don't learn from it and then you may be looking for another job.'

What a great boss! He realised that mistakes are the way we learn - all that matters is that we do learn from them. That doesn't guarantee that we won't repeat the error, but it does make it less likely.

So what is feedback, exactly?

If someone tells you that you did something well, then you could call that feedback. Technically, it is often defined as 'a response that tells you what you need to change to achieve the desired outcome' – for example:

“Your essay’s Conclusion needs to summarise more comprehensively what you have written.”

What sort of feedback do I need?

You need to give yourself (and ask others to give you) feedback that is positive – it focuses on how things can be improved. Although it is important to develop your strengths, you also need to find out what weaknesses there are in your work - even moderate improvement in these areas can make a world of difference.

Dealing with feedback emotionally

For many people, dealing with feedback can be hard - we all want to be seen as perfect. Accept that you are not.

REMEMBER: It doesn`t matter where you are… it is where you are going.

Encourage people to be supportive and as positive as possible when giving feedback. Do the same with yourself.

Do it today - try to use every experience in your studies as a feedback opportunity.


Other articles you might like:

Why you don't want money next year - Delay Discounting

Why you don't need to be talented to do well

Deliberate Practise - Achieve almost anything

Writing great hypnotherapy essays



Alan Davidson:

UK:  01202 423111   (Outside UK: 44 1202 423111)