How to Approach Failure (and Overcome It)

Tuesday, July 25, 2017
how to approach failure and overcome it_revised

Being a parent in one of the best international schools in the Philippines is both exciting and challenging. It is exciting because of all the learning opportunities the school can offer your child, but at the same time, it could also become challenging due to the tasks your child will encounter.

As a parent, you assign yourself to help your child whenever possible. Essentially, this could lead to a few heartbreaks since sometimes failure is inevitable. But don’t let yourself get down by these setbacks. You and your child could deal with them properly. Here’s how:


Failure as part of growing up

Once your child has experienced failure, instead of saying things like “Don’t ever let this happen again” or “Failure is not acceptable,” it is best to tell your child that failure is part of growing up. One of the best ways to help your child during this time is to tell him/her that you also experienced some failures during your younger years. By doing this, you are able to empathize with your child and be able to connect with him/her.

It is also important to share that failure is just another challenge that he must overcome in order to improve himself in the process. While most people tend to shy away from challenges after a number of failures, you should motivate your child to rise up from these challenges and continuously become a better version of himself.


Tell your child that he is not alone

One of the emotions that a student feels after failing is loneliness. There is a high chance for him to experience being left out and alone, especially after seeing his fellow classmates and friends experiencing the opposite.

But the reality is that your child is not the only person that is experiencing failure in life, as there are many students, who have experienced the same thing beforehand. Show him that failure can happen to anyone – no matter how smart, skilled, or talented a person may be.


Don’t dwell on your child’s failures

One of the worst things that can happen to your child is for him to dwell on his failures. While thinking about failure isn’t a bad thing entirely (as there are many things one can learn from it), dwelling on it is an unhealthy habit that should be avoided. Lingering on your child’s failures could lead to negative emotions such as jealousy for his classmates and friends who experience success, which in turn, may lead to him being overall discouraged.

The best way to avoid this is to simply stop, take a breather, relax, and reflect on what has happened. Afterwards, you and your child could move on from it, while coping with it the right way.


Cite famous examples

Some of the most successful people in the world experienced failure during their early years. In fact, some of the most innovative ideas, business solutions, inventions, and companies were born out of failures that would not have shaped them if certain failures didn’t happen. For reference, here are some examples of famous people, who overcame failure and became successful in the process:


  • J.K. Rowling: Before becoming one of the richest and most famous authors of her generation due to the success of the Harry Potter book series, Rowling experienced numerous setbacks. These include having a failed marriage, and her manuscripts of Harry Potter being rejected by a number of publishers.
  • Michael Jordan: One of the most famous athletes in history, Michael Jordan was once an aspiring basketball player, who was rejected by his high school team. Unwavering, he pushed on to improve himself to become a 6-time NBA champion and a 2-time Olympic gold medalist.
  • Walt Disney: The founder of the famous Walt Disney Company, which brought some of the most famous fairy tales to life, was once a man who had a number of failed businesses, and was removed from his job as a newspaper writer for not being creative enough.
  • Bill Gates: Did you know that the founder of Microsoft was once a Harvard dropout? After leaving school, he led a number of unsuccessful businesses. But his skill as a computer programmer eventually led him to the founding of Microsoft, which is now one of the biggest computer companies in the world.


Key Takeaway

Failure is one of the hardest things to deal with, especially for students. Helping them cope with it and learn from it is the best way for them to improve themselves and grow into persevering, successful people. Some of the most prosperous people have their own share of failures – they just knew how to deal with them.


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