Congratulations! You’re a Loser!

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My favorite video describing failure comes from the fantastic movie Meet the Robinsons. The main character struggles with confidence in his inventions, and once it failed he assumed negative reinforcement would occur, although surprisingly, the witnesses began to cheer for him. YOU FAILED! They declared.

How interesting would that be if we supported failures? What if the entire idea of taking risks and falling flat on our faces was rewarded and encouraged to get up and fall flat again? The world would be a different place if there were unashamed risk takers. Who knows what the creations our lives would have implemented into our daily routine simply because children were raised to dream big and keep picking themselves back up? I bet we would all be traveling in bubbles right now, just like in the movie.

breneBrene Brown, a scholar and professor in social work at the University of Houston Graduate School discusses the topic of teaching failure and implementing that. In the article entitled Brené Brown on Teaching Kids to Fail Well encourages parents to just let their kids feel the sting of failure. It gives them a reality check, and builds resilience for the future mistakes that will happen.

As a kid, I knew the pangs of failure, and making mistakes. I remember being on the soccer team as a little kid, and losing my first big game. Our whole team was so sad. The other team had Gatorade and snacks to commemorate their win. As for me, after our meeting to recap the game, I had to go home and help my dad mow the lawn because it was a Saturday.

Basketball Team
Junior Year Basketball Team

Do I regret those times? No. It taught me to be resilient and learn that in order to achieve success I would have to practice. This also goes into my love for basketball. I love that game. Every aspect of it is something that I see as home. I wasn’t good at it, but persistent practice led to me being an okay player in the end. If I had won every game I ever played, I would not have cared about spending hours outside in mid June, shooting hoops until it was dark, or pushing myself that last thirty seconds running suicides for Coach.

Now helping my siblings in their endeavors of basketball, ballet, drums, violin and guitar they are in the early stages where failing occurs on several occasions. This whole blog topic brought me back to my days of first learning sports. My Dad still coaches them in the same way he did me by telling them to not be afraid to take a risk and make a mistake, because once it’s corrected a whole world of opportunities can present themselves. That still resonates with me today, and I respect those life lessons of falling flat on my face in basketball, getting right back up with a busted lip and keep on trekking.

According to active.com in an article How Young Athletes Can Deal With Failure the benefit to teaching children to fail in a positive light has several long-term rewards in the future. It teaches children to take risks and love the thrill. Even pro athletes use their skills throughout their career. A basketball player didn’t know he could shoot 3’s until he started trying to make those shots. Failure brings opportunity.

If more athletes took risks, then the Super Bowl might have had different outcomes over the years… just saying.

The office wayne gretzkyWhat’s wrong with this next generation is that parents aren’t willing to teach their kids what it feels like to be a loser. This ruins everything. You’re not doing your children any favors. Give your children the chance to make up their own mind, and learn from their mistakes. You’re not always going to get a Gatorade after you lost a game. The sooner we know that, the easier getting back up will be later in life. And we all know that the older you get, the bigger the consequences arise. We should learn the lyrics to that song the Robinson’s sing so we can share that with our kids who just failed at making at winning a game. Get back out there and try it again.

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