A couple weeks ago, I caught a glimpse of J.K. Rowling’s interview with Matt Lauer on The Today Show. The renowned author opened up about the controversial topic of failure that she previously spoke about at Harvard back in 2007. In this speech, and again in the most recent interview with Lauer, Rowling emphasized the importance of failure and the vital role it played in shaping who she is today.
Failure is an important issue that should be discussed because too often than not, we see children andparents defeated by it. There is this belief that failure is the opposite of success and should be avoided like the plague. However, failure is inevitable. Whenever we’re introduced to something new and unfamiliar, whether it’s sports, education, or anything else, we often fail at first before we get better. This failure turns into frustration and anger, and instead of seeing it as a lesson, people assume it’s a mistake. Very often, we give up.
Instead of seeing failure as a mistake, it’s important to embrace failure and see it as a lesson that we can learn from. Life throws us too many curve-balls and challenges for failure to be extinct. Failure, in fact, is a great learning experience. It teaches you things about yourself you simply can’t learn anywhere else. It teaches you valuable lessons that enable you to be a better, stronger person. By accepting the possibility of failure before it even happens, we can stop focusing on perfection and utilize exploratory thinking and behavior that creates new knowledge and innovation.
The topic of failure is something that Dr. Allison Chase and Associates try to emphasize much when talking with children and parents. It’s something we can’t control, but can certainly expect and learn from. Creating a false sense of confidence can be detrimental to the way our children deal with failure in the future. Constant success and praise makes it hard for children to cope with failure and they can very well be demoralized by it once it occurs. It’s in our children’s best interest to learn how to alter their approach to something that isn’t working well. Failure is a necessary tool in the psychological growth of who we are.
*Dr. Allison Chase is a Licensed Psychologist in private practice in Austin, Texas. She works with children, adolescents, young adults and families specializing in mental health issues, eating disorders, parental training and education, and family or team-based therapy.
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