The world is constantly communicating with you through feedback. Feedback comes in many forms and it is very helpful in moving you toward your successes, if you choose to respond to it.

Think about feedback as your goals talking back to you. When your actions are not in line with your goals, you will know it by getting results that are not in line with your goals. Your goals are telling you that you have fallen off course.

If you want to have a wonderful supportive relationship but your spouse is angry with you for neglecting your share of the household responsibilities, what do you do? Get mad at your spouse for being upset? Your goal of having a supportive relationship is telling you that you’ve gone off course. To get back on course you listen and take the appropriate action, start helping out around the house!

Therefore, it’s important to note that there really is no such thing as “negative” feedback. Feedback is simply information about your progress, about your course of action, about your abilities and attitudes. It is up to you to interpret this information to help you improve yourself and your situation.

Successful people learn to use feedback to their advantage. They put their awareness on what kind of results they get with certain actions. If the response is good, they continue. If the response is not what they want, they make adjustments. Feedback is that simple, and learning to listen to feedback and respond to feedback will keep you on track to achieve your success.

When feedback is telling you that what you are doing is not working you have a choice as to how you will respond. You can either see it as an opportunity to improve yourself and correct your behavior, or you can see it as the world ganging up on you and insulting you. You can quit trying to reach your goal when feedback keeps telling you what you’re doing isn’t working. You can get mad and criticize it right back. You can simply not listen to the feedback you are getting. But those are not effective ways to respond to the information you want to have guiding you in the appropriate direction!

So how can you become successful in dealing with feedback? The answer is to ask for it and to create a safe space for people to tell you what they are seeing. Don’t be vague about what kind of information you want. Ask for it in specific terms. Ask how you are limiting yourself, how you can improve, and what it will take to get back on course. Don’t be afraid of what you will hear. Once you know the truth, you can set about taking action to improve. Everyone will be better for it.

Make it a habit to ask for feedback!

Even when things appear to be going pretty well, there is always room for improvement. Ask how you can make things even better. When you get feedback, take an honest look at it and see if it rings true with you. Obviously, someone telling you you’re a lazy piece of chopped liver could be feedback that isn’t accurate. However, if ten people tell you you’re a lazy piece of chopped liver, it is probably time to re-evaluate the path you're on.

Learn to recognize feedback for what it is. Trust your gut feeling about things, listen to what others are saying, and look at the results of your actions. Feedback is a powerful tool to keep you on the road to success.

© 2007 Jack Canfield

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Author's Bio: 

As the beloved originator of the Chicken Soup for the Soul® series, Jack Canfield fostered the emergence of inspirational anthologies as a genre - and watched it grow to a billion dollar market. As the driving force behind the development and delivery of over 100 million books sold through the Chicken Soup for the Soul® franchise, Jack Canfield is uniquely qualified to talk about success.

Behind the empire Time Magazine called the "publishing phenomenon of the decade" is America's leading expert in creating peak performance for entrepreneurs, corporate leaders, managers, sales professionals, corporate employees and educators. He is a compelling, empowering and compassionate coach who for the past 30 years has helped hundreds of thousands of individuals achieve their dreams.

Affectionately known as "America's Success Coach", Jack has studied and reported on what makes successful people different. He knows what motivates them, what drives them, and what inspires them. He brings this critical insight to countless audiences internationally --- sharing his success strategies in the media, with companies, universities and professional associations in over 20 countries around the world.

Jack is a Harvard graduate with a Master's Degree in psychological education and one of the earliest champions of peak-performance, developing the specific methodology and results-oriented activities to help people take on greater challenges and produce breakthrough results.

He's personally taught millions of individuals his unique and modernized formulas for success and has packaged them in his latest book The Success Principles™: How to Get From Where You Are to Where You Want to Be. This new self-improvement standard contains 64 powerful principles of success utilized by top achievers from all walks of life and all areas of commerce. The Success Principles - and the entire empire of "Principles" books, products, coaching programs and branded retail merchandise - is Mr. Canfield's next offering to the more than 100 million readers he currently reaches worldwide.

Mr. Canfield's other best-selling books - The Power of Focus, The Aladdin Factor, and Dare to Win, - have generated millions of bookstore and Internet sales, and have launched complementary products such as audio programs, video programs, corporate training programs and syndicated columns to enthusiastic corporate buyers. His audio program, Maximum Confidence, has sold more than 350,000 copies through Nightingale-Conant alone.

He is Founder and Chairman of the Canfield Training Group in Santa Barbara, California, which trains entrepreneurs, educators, corporate leaders and motivated individuals how to accelerate the achievement of their personal and professional goals.

Jack is also the founder of The Foundation for Self-Esteem in Culver City, California, which provides self-esteem resources and trainings to social workers, welfare recipients and human resource professionals.

Jack is the CEO of Chicken Soup for the Soul® Enterprises, a billion dollar empire that encompasses licensing, merchandising and publishing activities around the globe. Jack's nationally syndicated newspaper column is read in 150 papers worldwide, and the Chicken Soup for the Soul® radio shows are syndicated throughout North America. Jack is also syndicated columnist through King Features Syndicate and is a popular news subject featured not only in major trade publications, but in every major metro newspaper across America and in hundreds more around the globe.

Chicken Soup for the Soul® has also been a featured television program for both the PAX and ABC networks. Additionally, the company's licensing division produces dozens of top-selling items including Chicken Soup for the Soul® nutriceuticals, pet foods, greetings cards, music, collectibles and other licensed merchandise. A Chicken Soup for the Soul® magazine also launched in the summer of 2005.

Jack's background includes a BA from Harvard University and he also holds a Masters degree in Psychological Education from the University of Massachusetts and a Honorary Doctorate from the University of Santa Monica, Parker College of Chiropractic and St. Ambrose University. Over the past 30 years, he has been a psychotherapist, an educational consultant, trainer and a leading authority in the areas of self-esteem, achievement motivation and peak performance.

Jack Canfield holds the Guinness Book World Record for having seven books simultaneously on the New York Times Bestseller List - beating out Stephen King. He even holds the Guinness Book World Record for the largest book-signing ever for Chicken Soup for the Kids Soul. And he's the only author to have won both the ABBY Award and the Southern California Book Publicist Award in the same year - honoring him as both an outstanding writer and a consummate book marketer.

Jack has also been a featured guest on more than 1,000 radio and television programs in nearly every major market worldwide - many of them on a repeat basis. A sample of these shows include Oprah, 20/20, Inside Edition, The Today Show, Larry King Live, Fox and Friends, The CBS Evening News, The NBC Nightly News, Eye to Eye, CNN's Talk Back Live!, PBS, QVC and many others.