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Having the courage to fail

Having the courage to fail

The theme of this week has been Courage to Fail. This theme supports our Mary Ward Characteristics of Coping with Failure, Supporting Each Other and our HPL Characteristics of Resilience and Perseverance. Our theme this week builds on work we have done about fixed and growth mindsets.

With a fixed mindset we limit our tasks to those which we have a good chance of being successful at. With a fixed mindset we think having to try hard to exert effort or not be successful means we are not smart or skilled. With a growth mindset, challenge is embraced as part of the learning process, and we push ourselves by confronting challenges and setbacks and choosing the more difficult tasks.

Michelle Obama is quoted as saying:

Failure is an important part of your growth...Don't be afraid to fail. 

Nobody likes to fail; it can feel absolutely awful. Twenty odd years on and I can remember how I felt when I failed my driving test for the first time (and the second time!), but I can also remember so many times when I’ve thought I had no idea how to do something but figured I would have a go anyway!

These are the times where I feel really proud of what I have achieved and learnt. To quote Winston Churchill, ‘Success if not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.’ So many people we may consider successful have their own stories of failure and how it has shaped their lives.

Actors know a lot about failure. Here is Denzel Washington speaking to the alumni of the University of Pennsylvania. “Do you have the guts to fail? If you don’t fail, you’re not even trying. To get something you never had, you have to do something you never did.”

Ruth Taylor

Head of Sixth Form