“In reality, failure is simply feedback”

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“The world makes room for passionate people”

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In the full episode, you will learn:

  • why you should fill your own cup first
  • the power of social media
  • how relationships are the key to everything
  • the importance of having a healthy self-story

In my recent sit-down with Lewis Howes, a man synonymous with the pursuit of “GREATNESS,” I was reminded of the incredible impact that embracing failure as a learning tool can have on our lives. Known for his top-streamed podcast, The School of Greatness, Lewis has not only interviewed some of the world’s foremost thinkers but has also lived a life rich in varied experiences, from appearing on The ELLEN Show to engaging in high-level athletic competitions.

Be sure to watch the video at the top of this page, where Lewis shares powerful insights and personal stories that emphasize the value of redefining failure. His journey is a testament to the idea that every setback is an opportunity for growth and that with the right mindset, anyone can transform their passions into their profession, especially utilizing the power of self-talk as evidence by the National Institute of Health!

In this blog, we’ll explore key strategies that parents can use to help their teenagers understand and apply this perspective, ensuring they view failures not as setbacks but as valuable feedback.

Understanding and Reframing Failure

Failure is often perceived negatively, especially by teens who are still developing their self-identity and resilience. However, shifting this perception can dramatically change how they approach challenges and setbacks in life.

The Impact of Failure on Teen Development

During adolescence, experiences of failure can significantly influence a teen’s developing self-esteem and worldview. Without proper guidance, these experiences can lead to discouragement and a fear of trying new things. Conversely, understanding failure as a natural part of learning and growth fosters resilience and encourages a more adventurous spirit.

Teaching Resilience Through Failure

Parents and educators can play a crucial role in helping teens learn to bounce back from failures by:

  • Encouraging Perspective: Help teens see the bigger picture. A single failure is a temporary setback and a step in the learning process, not a permanent marker of inability.
  • Promoting a Growth Mindset: Cultivate the belief that abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work. This mindset values effort and learning over simply avoiding failure.
  • Sharing Stories of Successful Failures: Discuss stories of well-known figures who have turned their failures into stepping stones for success. This can illustrate that setbacks can lead to great achievements.

Practical Steps to Handle Failure

To help teens handle failure constructively, consider these steps:

  • Normalize Failure: Make discussions about failures as regular as those about successes. This normalizes the experience and reduces the stigma attached to failing.
  • Encourage Reflection: After a setback, guide teens to reflect on what happened and what they can learn from it. Ask questions like, “What would you do differently next time?”
  • Focus on Effort and Improvement: Praise the effort rather than the outcome. Emphasize the value of trying hard and improving, regardless of whether they succeeded this time.

Strategies for Parents: Turning Failure into Feedback

Implementing strategies that help teens learn from failure can empower them to handle future challenges with resilience and confidence. Here are some practical tips for parents to facilitate this learning process:

Create a Safe Space for Open Dialogue

Creating an environment where teens feel safe to discuss their failures without judgment is crucial. Encourage open communication by:

  • Listening Actively: Show genuine interest in their experiences and feelings without rushing to solve the problem for them.
  • Withholding Judgment: Avoid criticizing or expressing disappointment in their failures. Instead, focus on understanding their perspective and supporting them in finding solutions.

Help Set Realistic Goals

Help your teen set achievable, yet challenging goals. This approach encourages them to strive for growth while managing expectations:

  • Break Goals Down: Help them break larger goals into smaller, manageable tasks to avoid overwhelming them and to provide multiple opportunities for small successes.
  • Celebrate Milestones: Acknowledge and celebrate when they reach these smaller goals, reinforcing the value of incremental progress.

Teach Problem-Solving Skills

Equip your teen with tools to analyze and learn from their failures:

  • Encourage Analytical Thinking: After a setback, ask questions that guide them to think critically about what went wrong and what could be improved, such as, “What’s one thing you could try differently next time?”
  • Develop a Plan: Help them outline a clear plan for how they can approach the situation differently in the future, fostering a proactive rather than reactive mindset.

Foster Resilience Through Encouragement

Support your teen’s efforts to overcome failures by:

  • Reinforcing Persistence: Encourage them to keep trying, even when they encounter obstacles. Remind them that persistence is key to success in any endeavor.
  • Providing Resources: Whether it’s tutoring for academic struggles, coaching for sports, or therapy for emotional challenges, providing the right support can make the difference in how they perceive and overcome failures.

Conclusion: Embracing Failure with Lewis Howes

Wrapping up our insightful conversation with Lewis Howes, it’s clear that his message is not just about striving for greatness but also about embracing the lessons that come with setbacks. Lewis’s journey, filled with both successes and failures, serves as a powerful example of how each misstep can lead to greater achievements and deeper self-understanding.

Lewis Howes’ Perspective on Failure

Lewis shared that seeing failure as feedback has been crucial in his journey towards greatness. His approach teaches us that setbacks are not stops but steps on the ladder of success. This mindset shift is something he passionately believes can benefit everyone, especially teens who are just starting to carve out their paths.

Encouraging Your Teen

As parents, your role is pivotal in helping your teen navigate their failures:

  • Model the Behavior: Demonstrate how you handle your own setbacks as learning opportunities. Your actions speak volumes and can provide a real-time model for resilience.
  • Stay Engaged: Continue to be involved in your teen’s activities and discussions about their progress and setbacks. Your interest and support can help bolster their courage to face challenges.
  • Provide Constant Encouragement: Remind your teen that every failure brings them one step closer to success. Encourage them to keep their goals in sight and use what they learn to improve.

Final Thoughts

We hope you enjoyed this exploration into turning failure into feedback as much as we did during our discussion with Lewis Howes. Remember, the path to greatness is often paved with lessons learned from setbacks. By fostering an environment where failure is seen as a critical part of learning, you empower your teen to face life with confidence and resilience.

Thank you for joining us on this journey, and here’s to cultivating a generation that sees failure not as a deterrent but as a motivator.


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