Updated: May 16, 2022
Learning and failure, failure and learning; they always go together. The way we look at failure really matters and determines how successful we are in school, work, relationships, and virtually every area of life.
Failure isn't a bad word. In fact, there's actually nothing bad about it...unless it's when we fail ahead of time, by not even trying something or giving up after we try and don't do it right or (gasp) perfectly!
But to try something and not get it right, that's not failure.
I can hear people saying, "Yeah, yeah, I know, I know, it's not failure, it's learning."
Yes! We know it...but do we really know it?
We struggle to let failure be a learning opportunity, though. We struggle to NOT think it's failure or that we’ve failed.
Here are 5 things you can practice believing to improve your perspective on failure.
#1: Failure makes you strong and resilient. (Resiliency is critical to a successful life!)
#2: Failure helps you learn what doesn't work. (Learning what doesn't work allows you to consider trying it a new way!)
#3 Failure builds your character. (Strengthening character matters in everything!)
#4 Failure helps you learn how to solve problems. (Solving problems quickly is a great skill to have!)
#5 Every failure is a stepping stone to success. (We don't quit when we fail; we just take the next step!)
When it comes to our students, it’s important to help them understand mistakes and failures actually help their brains to grow. In fact, our brains don’t grow from simply getting the answers right, but from being challenged and practicing new things. When we learn, our brains grow and we continue to get better and better at all of the things we do!
Here are 10 helpful thoughts you can help your student practice when they are afraid to make a mistake or think they have failed at something:
I haven’t figured it out YET but I will!
I can do hard things.
I stick with things and don’t give up easily.
I strive for progress, not perfection.
I like to try new things.
Learning is my superpower!
When I don’t get it right the first time, I try again.
I ask for help when I need it.
I strive to do my best.
I can learn anything!
Believing new things is the way we grow. Having a healthy perspective on failure will help you on your way to thinking, feeling, and doing better.
Here's something crazy...try looking for new opportunities to fail on purpose. If you're not afraid to fail, you'll make your life a lot better than it is right now.
Enjoy getting better and achieving great things!