The Importance of Failure

Some of the greatest success stories of our time are actually failure stories.

Oprah Winfrey was fired from her first job as a news anchor because she “wasn’t fit for television.” Steve Jobs was unceremoniously removed from the first company he started. And Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team.

What would’ve happened if they had just given up after their initial failures? Share this video with your students to help them gain a fresh perspective on the importance of failure.

Afraid to fail, afraid to try

When students encounter new challenges or setbacks, they too often give up. They tell themselves they aren’t smart or talented enough. Instead of seeing failure as a lesson, they see it as a mistake. You don’t repeat a mistake — you stop. You don’t bother with things you’re not good at. You don’t risk embarrassing yourself. In the academic world, that translates to giving up on an assignment…a class…or even school, in general.

Failure as a path to success

In her extensive research, Stanford Psychology professor Carol Dweck has found it’s possible to teach students to respond more positively to failures. With the right coaching, we can all learn to see a wrong answer, a bad grade, or even rejection from an authority figure not as failures, but as steps on a path to success.

Becoming unafraid to try 

Understanding that it’s okay to fail can be a world-altering concept for young people, and EduGuide uses videos such as this one to reinforce this idea for the students who participate in our program. Our interactive, online activities get students thinking about how they can apply these ideas to their own lives every day. They become less afraid of trying new things and taking on new challenges, whether that’s a difficult subject in school or completing a college degree.

To learn more about EduGuide’s activities and how we can partner to benefit your students, schedule a call. 


Overcoming Adversity

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An award-winning nonprofit founded in 2000, EduGuide's programs have been used by thousands of schools and colleges to coach millions of students to success. Learn more about us.

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