I watched a video recently with one of my favorite internet entrepreneurs, Marie Forleo. Marie interviewed Dr. Catherine Collautt, and they chatted about how to deal with setbacks and failure.
If you've read my article about the growth mindset, you'll know that my older son struggles with the fear of failure (don't we all, to some extent?). He tends to avoid the stuff that he knows he's not instantly good at. I've already talked to him about this ad nauseum--I'm hopeful that one day these lessons will begin to take hold in his mind and effect real change in his thinking.
Dr. Collautt outlined a four step process to overcoming setbacks and failure:
1. You must learn to deal with and overcome setbacks and failure. Dr. Collautt states we should think of it in terms of necessity as opposed to possibility. Don't wonder, "How is it possible for me to overcome failure?" and think instead, "I have to find a way to deal with and overcome failure when it does happen". Because failure and setbacks are a certainty in life.
2. Recognize that success and failure are on the same path. She states that in order to actualize this step, you need to relax about your failures. Successful people fail more often than other people because they don't view failure as judgment of their entire being.
3. Celebrate the effort, not the result. This is a biggie, and mirrors what Carol Dweck talks about in her book Mindset. (I talk about this step in my article about how to reframe our expectations about our kids' performance at their games). Dr. Collautt says we should genuinely applaud the effort, and that it should not be tied to success or lack thereof.
4. Confine your conclusions. Don't let the specific failure define you. The specific task, project, or activity that is the subject of the failure is NOT about you as a person and your entire self-worth.
Following this four step process will help you to redefine what failure means to you. Freeing yourself from the fear of failure may be the mindset shift you need to allow you to reach outside your comfort zone. If we begin to model this behavior, we can help our kids to learn to view failure as just a step along the path toward success.
Best to you all in chasing your dreams and becoming the best version of you!