Thursday, February 11, 2016

The Big Choice in our Response to Failure

I've been just a little obsessed with failure and rejection this week.  No matter if you are applying for your dream job or taking a big test, chances are that you will not succeed. But in that I want to remind you that no failure is fatal unless we allow it to be. 

Apply that Concept to Kids
When kids don't win the big competition, do they never try again?  When they don't get selected for the leading role or as captain of the team, do they see that as a reason to stop or drop out?  More importantly, when kids fail a test, do they see themselves as a bad math student or a poor reader?  

Well, it depends.

When we experience failure or rejection, we always have two choices.  We can see failure as a NO and let it stop us in our tracks, or we can see it as a NOT YET.  NOT YET means we have more work to do.  It means we're not quite there, but furthermore, it means that we're also not at the place we were yesterday.  If we want kids to believe in themselves as learners, we must teach them how to respond in the face of adversity.  We must teach them that they are a work in progress, and NOT YET is a powerful mental tool that can shape them into the person they were born to become.  Growth can't happen with a NO, but it always will with a NOT YET.

Failure is not fatal, but our response to it can be.  This week, let's teach all kids how to turn their NO's into NOT YETs.  Not only will you see a change in their performance as learners, you will also see a change in their confidence and self-esteem.

I whipped up this slide for you and for your students. When we experience failure, we must never forget that we failed for a reason. It wasn't because we weren't good enough. It's because we weren't ready yet. When you encounter failure or rejection, always remember that you have two choices: to accept it as a big, fat NO or to embrace it NOT YET

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