Dive into the blog to learn all about different strategies to support your girls, build their confidence, and help them embrace the idea of 'community over competition' while they're young! Plus, since we know that our girls are watching our every move (!!), how can we not talk about things like self-care and personal growth? We're all in this together, mama!
Turning failure into success and building confidence in young girls is one surefire way to stop the overwhelm and anxiety of girlhood from creeping in and taking hold.
“I’ve failed. A lot! And so will you.”
Ok, maybe not the best way to start a conversation with a 9-year-old!! But it was an honest moment.
We were talking about the hard work it takes to achieve something you really want and that good things don’t always come easily. It might look like it from the outside, but behind the success there’s not only hours upon hours of dedication and hard work, there may also be a lot of failure, tears, late nights, and frustration.
This is a tough one. In today’s socially connected world full of filtered, air-brushed feeds, it can look like people have it all – and got it at the click of a button. Why don’t people talk more about failures? Or about the times they made a fool of themselves? I think it can probably be summed up with 3 little letters: E-G-O. And we are all guilty of this at one time or another. We don’t want others to know we fail! But WHY?! This is a dangerous reality to portray, setting our kids up for overwhelm and disappointment. When our daughters grow up in a world in which they think they not only need to accomplish ‘all the things,’ but to do it without failure or hard work – then we have a problem.
The reality is – failure WILL happen! It’s how we handle failure that makes or breaks us.
So, let’s dish about some failures. How about the time I tried so hard but couldn’t for the life of me straddle over the pommel horse in gymnastics? Embarrassing fail. Never did learn! Or when I had to take my maroon-colored swimming badge 3 times and still failed? Ugh. Or maybe the time in grad school when my professor told me I had made an ‘egregious’ error on my paper? I didn’t even know what he meant. I asked my friends and they didn’t know either, so we huddled over my computer and looked it up. Turns out, apparently, it was an “extraordinarily bad; flagrant; glaring” error. In the moment, it felt like complete failure but my friends and I got some great laugh-so-hard-your-stomach-hurts moments out of that one for years.
How do my failures make me a better mom? Because I’ve learned that successes are built on failures. No matter what your age. Read that again.
And what came out of these failures?
So…are these actual failures? Or did they just feel like they were? Because when you look at what failure builds, it’s far more impressive than the failure itself!
“Here’s the thing,” I told her. “I’m grateful for my failures.” She looked at me like I had two heads and flames shooting out of my ears. “No really, I’m grateful to have failed,” I reiterated. “Not because it wasn’t hard – sometimes it felt like the worst thing ever! But because I came out on the other side of it even stronger.” Strong and with renewed confidence. And THIS, my friends…this is golden! After all, this is the goal, right? To raise strong, confident girls.
How do we build success from failure? On the one hand you don’t want to be the parent who swoops in and fixes everything before they’ve had a chance to experience anything. On the other, you don’t want to stand by and let them fall flat on their face! We’ve all heard of ‘helicopter’ parents – the ones who hover over their kids and make sure everything is ‘just so.’ But have you heard of ‘bulldozer’ parents? The ones who basically clear a path, pushing any obstacles out of the way so their kids can just breeze through unscathed. Powerful visual, right??
The more practice our girls have in overcoming obstacles and reaching goals, despite the failures, the more confident they will become and the better they will be at handling future ‘snags’ and ‘re-directions’! And really, that’s what failures are – opportunities for them to grow and develop, evaluate their decision-making, build their confidence, and ask themselves ‘why is this happening FOR me?’
Let their failures be the building blocks they are meant to be. Let’s help them recognize that they can turn their failure into success. Trust me, she will be grateful for her failures one day too!!
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