Immersion Feedback

The phrase “feedback is the breakfast of champions” is one that sticks for me.

I’ve found for myself that the level of feedback I get does indeed relate remarkably well to the speed at which I improve.

If I don’t know what to do in a situation I go for the option that will give me the most feedback. Often that means working out how to fail faster.

Micro-feedback. Feedback on the smallest little aspects of what I do.

Fast feedback. Feedback that comes in as soon as I’ve done something so that I can judge how I am going.

Clear feedback. Knowing that there is a direct relationship between what I did and what results came up.

Universal feedback. The good, the bad, the awkward, the painful, the surprising – all of it and more.

Safe feedback. Feedback that doesn’t cripple me from trying again, either emotionally (and that’s for me to handle mostly), but also physically, financially, practically as well.

I’ve watched my 3 children learn how to have a bath as they grew up.

At first I put in all the work. Holding them up in a sitting position with their head out of the water.

Then they are sitting for themselves, and with all their wobbling and wavering they are mostly okay. They just look shakey and have me reaching my hands out every few seconds, then every few minutes.

My goal was to catch them only when they couldn’t recover for themselves.

If I thought there was no way they could find their own way out of it, then I’d help them, but otherwise…

I remember my youngest daughter as a baby falling back and ending face up at the bottom of the bath where for a brief moment her surprised face was staring at me through the water above.

I brought her up and she was fine but she didn’t like it one bit.

One time after this when she fell back she managed to grab a hand rail on the side of the bath as she did so. Her outstretched arm was saving her, but she was stuck, hanging in midair just above the water surface. She knew that this wasn’t right, but she’d never been in this position before so she just hung there.

I watched, moved close enough to catch her, and waited until she unfroze and started to wriggle.

The first time this happened she wriggled so much her hand came loose and she fell into the water again where I plucked her out. The second time she found a wriggle that got her out of it and my hands never touched her.

If you’re going to practice you need feedback.

Gravity is ideal feedback.

Water is ideal feedback too.

Almost everyone learns to walk and manage a bath safely, but in reality both these skills are immensely complicated ones.

Anyway I’m heading off to my counseling practice now.

How much of YOUR life do you think of as practicing?

-Dr Martin Russell

5 thoughts on “Immersion Feedback”

  1. You need to be thinking of how to organize these posts into a book. You are a very talented writer who can communicate an important topic with humor and stories. Very well done…


  2. Robert Phillips says:

    Most of my life is practicing. It’s one experiment after another. Most of them fail but like you say there is always feedback that leads to new ways to try things. After several iterations of failing and trying again, there is success…then it’s on to the next experiment.

  3. Absolutely Robert.

    There is no such thing as failure, only feedback. This is not actually correct, but it is a very helpful starting point in almost all situations.

    There are some limits where people are unable to make good short-term use of the feedback eg greenhouse gases (everything is okay it will remain okay), stockmarket booms (it’s going up and will keep going up), gambling addictions (next time will be different), and of course suicide doesn’t have a feedback option unless you believe in reincarnation.

    Human beings are not perfect at feedback, but much of it is a learnable skill.

  4. Feed back.

    If you could develope a concious grateful sort of obsesion with being aware of feed back from a completely neutral place of observation it’s almost like you would have attained enllightenment. To a degree or a sort anyway. What ever enlightenment is, sounds like that mighet be it.

    Not what I expected to be talking about when I made my way over to your blog to see what you were talking about in regards to changing the world.

    I was a bit suprised to find it related to sleeping pills. I’m not supprised. Sleep, don’t want to get up in the morning. Don’t want to go to bed in the evening, or can’t due to work/kids or can’t due to excitement about how great life is (how many people have that problem)or if I’m really lucky able to be exuasted and just pass out.

    I don’t however use sleeping pills but I could see where someone could end up there.

    I have a change the world idea too and it’s a doozy. I’m hesitant to share it just yet… still more behind the scenes work to do. It’s all happy good stuff.

    Back to feedback. The thing about feedback is that it is so often open to interpretation. Even if the message is clear it is still up in the air about how you will choose to feel about the message and what action you will take.

    So how you feel at the time not only creates the type of feedback you may receive but also how you will percive it and again how you will react to it. Sure pays to be feeling good. Greatful. That is when feedback can be put to the best use. So get your sleep 🙂

    well that was theraputic…

    Highly enjoyable.

  5. Pingback: Brought Home From

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *