Magazine article Success

No Such Thing as Failure: Help Your Teen Understand Failure Is a Steppingstone to Success

Magazine article Success

No Such Thing as Failure: Help Your Teen Understand Failure Is a Steppingstone to Success

Article excerpt

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Anyone who ever did anything truly great failed first. Failure is part of trying. It's going to happen. What matters is how you deal with it.

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Thomas Edison failed thousands of times before he created the incandescent light bulb. Abraham Lincoln was defeated in several government elections before becoming one of the most revered U.S. presidents in history. When Michael Jordan was cut from his high-school basketball team as a sophomore, he went home, locked himself in his room and cried. He became arguably the greatest basketball player of all time.

Failure doesn't have to be the end. If you let it, failure can be an effective and powerful teacher that ultimately leads to success.

Many teens today don't understand this. Passing or failing a test, making the team or getting cut, being accepted socially or being ridiculed--teenage life can be confusing and full of pressure, and, sadly, teenagers think it's easier not to try at all than to face their fear of failure.

But if teens don't try or take chances, great opportunities for success will pass them by. And having an attitude of avoidance and a fear of risk-taking can ultimately lead teenagers to give up on themselves altogether.

A March 2010 report on the national high-school dropout rate published by Civic Enterprises shows that nearly one-third of all public-high-school students, and almost half of minority students, fail to graduate with their class. The report details the ever-increasing "downward spiral of failure, from boredom in the classroom and occasionally skipping class, to long absences from school, engaging in risky behaviors and becoming part of a subculture that thinks it is cool to drop out."

Teens who do graduate high school face important decisions that will affect the rest of their lives. It's an important time for them to know how to properly approach and handle failure. …

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