Balancing Failure and Success
The old saying goes, ‘you’ve got to get back on the bike and keep going’. ‘You can’t let it get to you’, ‘get back on the horse’ and so on. We’ve all been there and experienced failure in many ways, shapes and forms. Be it your driver’s licence test, a cooking experience, learning a musical instrument or attempting to grow something in the garden.
For those times where I’ve experienced failure, I often think back about the growth and opportunity that has come as a result of that failure. I think through the response I made to the failure and how I could handle the problem or situation differently in the future. The truth of the matter is that through failure, we can learn.
The danger and the temptation for parents is that we want to avoid situations where our children fail. We can be tempted to cotton wool our children, to make excuses, to complete tasks for them. In doing this however, we rob them of the valuable learning opportunities that failure brings. You may see it in your favourite sporting team – where a failure (loss) brings on a resurgence and the team goes onto bigger and better things. The reflection and analysis of the failure allows strategies and opportunities to be put in place, where a real difference may eventuate.
Failure isn’t a bad thing and is something that we all experience from time to time and need to experience. By all means, encourage your children to reflect on their failures, to analyse and debrief situations, but don’t stop the fall. The fall may just be the bounce they need to get back on track.