“I used to feel inferior to a friend of mine. Everything was so easy for her
DO FEELINGS of inadequacy prevent you from taking on new challenges? Do the well-meaning comments of those you respect sometimes undermine your confidence? Does discouragement over past blunders hold you back from trying again? If so, how can you come to terms with your failures
You have everything to gain by finding the answer to that last question because sooner or later everyone fails at something. But people who can deal with failures are resilient. That means they can put their mistakes in perspective, get up, and try again. And next time, they’re more likely to succeed! So let’s see how you can cope with three challenges
POTENTIAL FAILURE → WHAT COULD HAPPEN
You expect the worst and therefore hold back from making an attempt, thinking that your chances of success are slim.
Identify the challenge. Below, put a ✔ next to the task that you would like to succeed in
Applying for a job
Speaking before an audience
Participating in a sport
Singing or playing a musical instrument
Think it through. Consider the task that you identified above, and weigh the possible outcomes by answering these questions:
‘What would I like to have happen?’
‘What do I fear will happen?’
Now write one reason why you should attempt the task, despite the risk of failure.
What you can do. “All that your hand finds to do, do with your very power.” So instead of letting fear of failure immobilize you, put your heart into the task. Why not think of an occasion on which you did better than you expected? What lesson did you learn about yourself from your success? How can that lesson help you conquer any fear of failure you may be experiencing now?
Hint: If necessary, get input from a parent or a mature friend who can help you build up your self-confidence.
WHAT YOUR PEERS SAY
“If you do only things that you’re good at
—if you never try new things for fear of failing— then you’re cheating yourself.”
“You can learn from failure and be motivated to improve, or you can focus on what went wrong and stay within your comfort zone. It depends on what kind of person you choose to be.”
“If I know I’m likely to fail at something, I make light of the situation. It’s better to laugh than to sulk. If your expectations for yourself are too high, you’ll never be happy.”
PERCEIVED FAILURE → WHAT YOU THINK HAS HAPPENED
When another person succeeds at some endeavor, you feel that you’re a failure by comparison.
Identify the challenge. To whom are you comparing yourself, and what achievement on that person’s part made you feel as if you were a failure?
Think it through. Does that person’s success really mean that you’ve failed? Below, write about a recent event, such as a test at school, where you did OK but someone else did better.
Now write about why it was worth attempting the endeavor.
What you can do. Instead of “stirring up competition”
ACTUAL FAILURE → WHAT HAS HAPPENED
You reflect on a previous failure and feel that success is not worth the effort.
Identify the challenge. Which personal failing do you find most discouraging?
Think it through. Does the failing you wrote above truly define you?For example, if you have given in to some weakness, does that really mean you’re hopeless? Or is it merely an indication that you need assistance? If you fell while engaging in a sport, you’d accept a helping hand to get back in the game. Why not take the same approach to coping with a personal failing?
What you can do. Instead of focusing only on your faults, reflect on your good points as well.Remember this: No one is perfect. Everyone fails at something, sometime. If you can learn to be resilient, you will have acquired a vital asset that will serve you well in adulthood.
WHY NOT ASK YOUR PARENTS?
When you were my age, what personal disappointments did you encounter? How did you cope with them? Do you still face such challenges from tim.
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