To be successful, any kid should fail first. If you are not failing, you are playing it too safe or not trying hard enough. Failing is part of life, and the sooner kids realize that failure is an option, the better prepared they will be for life after school. "Failure isn't fatal, but failure to change might be." – John Wooden. So failure is a necessary part of life, but what does failure mean? In this article, I will discuss failure and how it opens up opportunities for feedback, growth, and success. Failure means falling short - falling short of our goals and not hitting the mark we were aiming for. Not meeting our expectations or other people's expectations can be a failure. It does not mean you are a failure as a person, nor does it mean that your hard work was in vain. In this day and age where everything is becoming more competitive, failure can even be seen as something to fear. Still, failure should not be seen as the end-all because it's been said that failure has been integral in shaping some of the most successful people in history. Failure doesn't always have a bad connotation, and failure is the opportunity to learn from your failure and become better at what you're doing. When you fail, the only thing that can stop you from succeeding in your failure is yourself. You can either be a failure or use that experience as a learning tool to succeed in anything else that comes your way. Failure isn't something to feel badly about because there are opportunities to grow from it when you fail. A failure is an option if done right which means we need it if there is to be growth. Kids learn from what works and what doesn't work, so when something fails, we can prove that hypothesis wrong and move on toward our goal, right? Failing helps build character, self-respect, and confidence. They are learning how to pick themselves up after a fall builds character and resilience that will benefit kids throughout their lives. The world was built by individuals who dared to take a chance, knowing that failing might be a reality. And failure's not always a bad thing. It can also be an essential learning experience, which brings us to the next point. Failure is feedback; failure gives you knowledge of what works and what doesn't work. And failure is necessary for personal growth. For example, many students are afraid to take chances because they might fail at something or that failure isn't an option, so they don't try anything new out of fear failure will happen. Studies have shown that kids who are allowed to take more risks on school projects scored higher grades than their fearful classmates, who were too worried failure was not an option for them to make any attempt at all. Failing makes you stronger; showing your weaknesses to others means you can handle criticism and be somewhat comfortable being vulnerable. Failure is a success, and all you need to do is take a chance and not be so afraid. If failure were supposed to be the worst thing that could happen, we would never have any inventions, discoveries, or anything new created at all. Every time something new was brought into this world, it came with failure and success because failure leads to success, and without failure, we would never grow as humans. People tend to think things will always work out how they plan them, but if there were no failures in life, then there wouldn't be much point because everything would fail before it impacted anyone's lives or changed anything for the better or for worse. From my experience, I think part of the reason so many individuals struggle with the reality of life and working in the real world is that they were not given a chance to fail. Or, they lived in a world with little differentiation between excellence and mediocre work. I often tell others that nothing good in my life came easy. I repeatedly questioned why I struggled and didn't seem to get "the break" that other people seemed to get. As an adult, I learned way, and I continue to understand why. Its because the failures have taught me valuable lessons and have helped build my resiliency. Some failure is necessary because failure teaches us valuable lessons. It allows us to learn and grow. Without failure, we cannot truly succeed at anything else that comes our way. Teaching children how to fail correctly will help them build resiliency and understand what failure is all about. Many parents tend to shelter their children wanting only the best for them, not allowing failure into their lives, but I believe this unknowingly causes more harm than good in the long term. As hard as it might sound as parents, caregivers, and educators, we need to allow our children to learn the art of failure and the grace required to get back up. So failure is necessary for us as adults; why shouldn't it also be required for children? If failure weren't part of childhood, kids would never know that failure was even a possibility when trying new things! We need failure to grow. Children are born with a fantastic ability to learn, but they cannot connect the dots between one failure and the subsequent failure. We need failure to know how NOT to do something, what not to say around someone, or how not to take care of something. Failure gives us options on what path we want our future selves to be placed in. Let us learn to respect and embrace failure.
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