Why you should teach your children that failure doesn’t matter

1. What is success?

We all want our children to reach their full potential, don’t we?

We want our children to lead lives in which they’re happy and fulfilled. I’m sure you’ll agree, dear reader.

My definition of success is, “Continually doing the best I can to exploit my full potential while making sure that I enjoy every day as it comes along.”

I don’t want to live forever but I do want to live right now.

There are many things I want. Firstly, I want to enjoy the work I do. I want to be stretched, growing in character and strength all the time. And even as an increasingly mature adult, I remain keen to learn something new every day. If I keep learning, I won’t become old before my time.

My philosophy about life and success I gained from my parents and it’s something I try to pass on to the next generation.

Essentially, my philosophy is that it’s better to try and fail than it is to spend the rest of my life wondering what might have been.

If I try, either I’ll succeed or I’ll learn a valuable lesson. And if it proves to be a lesson, then it will be one I won’t forget. In other words, I can’t lose.

2. There’s no such thing as a failure:

There are two things you should always remember about what we refer to as failure:

  1. There’s no such thing as failure. There are just outcomes you didn’t want and opportunities to learn and try again.
  2. Failure is an outcome; it’s never a person. A person cannot be a failure, ever!

Unfortunately, we often label people as failures, and that label’s burden can become something hard to bear and even harder to shake off.

Parents and teachers can often be guilty of this, however unintentionally.

Teach children that it’s much more important to try and that they should never worry about failure.

If children can appreciate that failure is just an outcome other than what they wanted, they’ll be better placed to learn the lessons and do better next time.

And those lessons learned will be more valuable to children than anything an adult can tell them.

If you tell me the stove is hot, I may not remember. If I burn my hand on a hot stove, I’ll only do it once, and I’ll never forget it. That’s a valuable commodity known as experience.

If we keep trying, we’ll learn, and if we keep learning, eventually we can all be successful.

3. Teach your children well:

The best way to teach children about success is to teach them that failure is not a bad thing. It’s an essential ingredient for achieving success.

Teach children never to fear failure. As long as they learn the lessons, then failure doesn’t matter at all.

So teach your children to have a go and to make sure they enjoy the experience along the way too.

Let them know that either they’ll succeed or they’ll learn a lesson. Either way, they’ll gain, and of course, they’ll grow in character too.

Remember that we can only truly appreciate success if we’ve experienced a few failures along the way. And to fail occasionally helps keep us humble too, and that’s no bad thing, is it?

4. Force for good

If you think about it, failure is a force for good.

Failure is simply a natural part of life and learning. No one starts as a master of their craft. Every successful person starts as a complete beginner.

Everyone fails occasionally, and at any given time, we’re more likely to fail than we are to succeed.

Learning from failure makes us wiser, of course, and it makes us tougher too. It builds character.

Failure is never desirable as such, but it’s very useful. It’s also inevitable, at least sometimes.

The only way to avoid failure is to avoid risks and challenges, and then you cannot learn and you cannot grow as a person. If you never try anything, you can never be anything. And what would be the point of that?

5. Secret to success

The secret to success is to use all your unsuccessful experiences as stepping stones to achieving your goals.

Failure is never final and we should not allow an unsuccessful experience to discourage us or cause us to give up. All too often, people give up just as they’re on the verge of success.

Next time your child gets an outcome he or she didn’t want, reassure him or her that, though it might be disappointing, it’s not a problem, and they should never think otherwise.

Always reassure them that a failure is simply an opportunity to learn a lesson and try again. However, make sure they recognize the lesson to be learned.

Anyone experiencing failure should simply reflect on their actions and the outcome to discover the underlying lesson within.

Then we simply use the knowledge gained to guide future efforts.

Perseverance and persistence will get us there in the end.

Teach your children well, but never, ever allow them to believe they’re in any way a failure. Just encourage them to use the experience of undesirable outcomes to be a bit smarter next time.

Do that, and you’ll prepare them well for their life ahead.

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