The Success of Failure: Teaching Your Daughter to Appreciate an Epic Fail

Image of Winston Churchill quote: "Success is not final, failure is not fatal; it is the courage to continue that counts."

Failure has a super-bad connotation in our society.

Sure, there are some things that are pretty fail: kicking kittens, not believing in unicorns, and throwing garbage into the ocean.

Know what isn’t?

Working your butt off at something and coming up just a little short.

Taking risks pays off in so many ways, but sometimes you don’t quite end up where you thought you would.

Why Failure is Awesome

I was at Blissdom this week and Jon Acuff touched on the road to awesome.

It’s tight, windy, and adventurous, but it’s not foreign to us. Want to know what Jon said that left nary a dry eye in the place and a complete hush over the room?

…you used to know awesome quite well. Everyone did at one point. Especially when we were kids.

Think about that for a moment. When you were a kid, anything was possible. You could be anything you wanted to be.

You could fly to the moon and be a doctor and travel the world. I wanted to be a baker.

You knew you were awesome.

Then you lost it somehow. Fear of failure set in.

But failure is one of the best indicators of an awesome person. It means they’re trying. They’re hustling.

They’re working their way toward their definition of success, and learning along the way.

How do we as parents shake off our own insecurities about failure and teach our daughters how to rebound beautifully?

Teach Your Daughter that She is a Total Winner

How do you teach your daughter that a supposed failure is indeed epic: epic awesome? Remember that:

Failing keeps you humble.  While we can all be awesome, we’re all still human. We can always learn something from someone else.

Failing means you’re trying. If you’re just coasting along on the easy road, you’re not trying, you’re existing.

Failing teaches you. If you let it, a failure can teach you so much: what to do differently, how you react under pressure, about yourself.

Celebrate. Why just celebrate her success? Celebrate her failures. It means she’s taken initiative and tried something. Reward that behavior.

Evaluate the plan. Take a look at how your daughter got to this point in the first place. Maybe her plan was totally awesome. Remember, she can’t control outside factors. Maybe her plan needs some tweaking. Tweak it and move on!

Brainstorm. Instead of dwelling on the disappointment, brainstorm ideas with your daughter. Figure out tweaks to her plan, ways to overcome obstacles, etc.

Get support. We can’t be everything to our daughters. Sorry, ain’t gonna happen. If you can’t give her quite the support she needs, consider helping her find a mentor that can.

We’re All Human

Will this magically make the whole situation easier for your daughter?

Nope; it’ll hurt. It’ll sting.

The key here is in the consistency.

Just like you won’t build strong muscles by doing an exercise once or twice, helping your daughter through this process once or twice won’t ingrain it in her brain.

Keep working at it with her and soon you’ll have an even more confident little lady on your hands.

I mentioned goals earlier; they’re part of this process. Want a super-colorful, girl-inspired way to help your daughter set goals?

If you promise to share your email address I promise to send you some awesomeness right away!