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How to Escape Feedback Loops That Lead You to Make the Same Mistakes

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Everyone knows that actions have consequences, but we don’t often think about how those consequences can build on each other, leading to bigger and more frequent problems. If you find yourself making the same mistakes over and over, you might be caught in a product feedback loop —a cycle in which an action you take has a negative consequence that increases the likelihood of the same consequence happening again. One mistake builds on the next. The good news is that by recognizing you’re stuck in a vicious cycle of negative behavior, you can take steps to free yourself and build healthier habits.

How Feedback Loops Work and Why We Get Stuck in Them

When you’re caught in a negative feedback loop, it can be difficult to recognize that you’re stuck because your emotions and attention might be scattered and distracted, preventing you from seeing your situation clearly.

Someone in a continual state of stress or trauma will likely never see the opportunities right in front of them. Even if they can see the opportunities, because of the lack of self-confidence, they will be unable to take advantage of them. This makes them craft out a tiny, small life for themselves, all the while complaining, moaning, criticizing, and judging themselves and others who’ve taken the time to build inner and outer self-esteem.

For example, a shy teenager lacking in confidence is probably going to have trouble establishing an interpersonal, romantic relationship. If they try approaching someone and are rejected because they’re lacking confidence, that is only going to further reinforce their false beliefs about themselves and create a negative feedback loop, which must be interrupted or broken for this teenager to thrive in interpersonal, romantic relationships.

The shy teenager thinks about his skillset, and because he’s a good swimmer, he decides to become a lifeguard. This will also provide him with the confidence to interact with others from a position of authority and put him in contact, however peripherally, with girls. It will also provide him a source of income, which allows him to understand cause and effect at a greater level, which breeds confidence from the inside out through the process of building inner self-esteem.

He takes steps to improve his confidence, like keeping a job, ensuring the safety of others, and trusting his own skills. Before long, he’s able to approach girls and talk with the confidence that once held him back. He’s broken and interrupted the negative feedback loop. The self-esteem he established, in fact, can now bleed into all other aspects of his life.

Escaping a Feedback Loop

However, now that you know how negative feedback loops work, you can look at your own behaviors and determine if they’re compounding on each other. Has your confidence suffered recurring blows like the boy from the example? Maybe you’ve yelled at a partner in anger, which led to increased tension and more fights. Or perhaps you were stressed about a large work project, which led you to procrastinate, which exacerbated your stress further.

Regardless of which negative behavior you repeat, once you recognize the problem, you can look for chances to address it. The boy in the example above saw a chance to raise his confidence by taking a job with a high level of responsibility. You need to look for similar opportunities to counteract your negative behaviors.

If you’re afraid of flying, don’t make your anxiety worse by holding your breath as you board a flight; focus on breathing slowly. Remind yourself that flying is safer than driving instead of imagining all the ways the plane could crash. Redirect your stress pattern before it spirals downward into a panic attack.

By strengthening positive and opposite emotions, you can free yourself from your negative feedback loop and stop making the same old mistakes that reinforce the old neuro pathways that limit your beliefs and hold you back from experiencing a greater depth of your potential.

Christopher Maher is a former Navy SEAL who endured intense amounts of physical, mental, and emotional stress as a child and during and after his military career. He has taught himself how to free his energy, body, mind and emotions from pain by developing the emotional, physical, mental, and spiritual aspects of being. Christopher studied Traditional Chinese Medical Practices at the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine and at Yo San University, then continued his studies at The Universal Healing Tao System. He is currently pursuing his Master's and Doctorate degrees in Traditional Chinese Medicine.

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1.  Listen actively: Practice active listening by giving your full attention to the speaker and responding to what they are saying.

 

2. Use “I” statements: Speak from your own perspective and avoid placing blame or making accusations.

 

3. Avoid assumptions: Don’t make assumptions about what the other person is thinking or feeling.

 

4. Be clear: Express your thoughts and feelings clearly and concisely by getting to the point and avoid using jargon or overly complex language.

 

5. Show empathy: Show that you understand and care about the other person’s feelings.

 

6. Offer valuable insights: When speaking in a group, provide a valuable takeaway or actionable item that people can walk away with.

 

7. Be an active listener: Listen attentively and respond accordingly, incorporating your points into the conversation.

 

8. Choose the right time: Pick the most opportune time to speak to ensure that you have the group’s attention and can deliver your message without interruption.

 

9. Be the unifying voice: Step in and unify the group’s thoughts to calm down the discussion and insert your point effectively.

 

10. Keep responses concise: Keep responses short and to the point to show respect for others’ time.

 

11. Avoid unnecessary comments: Avoid commenting on everything and only speak when you have something important to say.

 

12. Cut the fluff: Avoid being long-winded and get straight to the point.

 

13. Prepare ahead of time: Sort out your points and practice them before speaking in a group.

 

14. Smile and be positive: Smile and nod along as others speak, to build a positive relationship and be respected when it’s your turn to speak.

 

15. Take responsibility: Take responsibility for your own actions and feelings.

 

16. Ask questions: Ask questions to clarify any confusion or misunderstandings.

 

17. Avoid interrupting: Allow the other person to finish speaking without interruption.

 

18. Practice active listening: Repeat what the other person said to ensure you have understood correctly.

 

19. Use your body language too: Use nonverbal cues such as eye contact, facial expressions, and body language to convey your message and build rapport.

 

20. Be aware of the tone of your voice: it should be calm and assertive, not aggressive or passive.

 

By keeping these tips in mind, you can improve your communication skills and become a more powerful communicator, which can help you build better relationships, achieve your goals, and lead a more fulfilling life.

I you want to learn how to become more confident in life then you can join my weekly mentorship calls and 40+ online workshops at AweBliss.com so you can master your life with more success.

 
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