When I was in school and my teachers would look for someone to call on, I’d do my best to make myself invisible. Throughout elementary, middle, and high school I’d sit as still as possible, hoping I’d be overlooked to avoid the humiliation of being called on. Even though I was smart, the thought giving an incorrect response paralyzed me with fear because I didn’t want to be the girl who failed.
Since 2014, the Always #LikeAGirl campaign has worked to tackle the barriers to girls’ confidence because research shows that half lose confidence at puberty and many never fully recover. Results from new study among girls ages 16-24 found 50% of girls feel paralyzed by the fear of failure. Always discovered 7 out of 10 girls avoid trying new things because they’re so afraid to fail.
I know what it feels like to be part of that 50% but as a mom of a teen girl, I want Emily (age 13) to know that it’s ok to fail. I want to encourage her to embrace failure, to keep trying new things even if she’s afraid. I hope that she has confidence to realize failure can be embraced as a critical part of growing and building confidence instead of being something to fear.
Over 80% of girls agree that if they felt failing was okay during puberty, they would keep doing the things they loved. They would take on more challenges and their confidence would grow.
This academic year, let’s pledge to encourage our girls to keep trying new things even if they’re afraid to fail. Let’s empower them to look inside, acknowledge their inner battles, and have the confidence to power through them to realize the success that awaits them.
While our girls may not realize it quite yet, important life lessons can be learned from failures “because we only truly fail when we don’t even try.”
The Always #LikeAGirl campaign aims to help stop the drop in confidence girls experience at puberty by encouraging every girl to Keep Going #LikeAGirl. For more information, visit the #LikeAGirl website.
I am a member of the Always fEMPOWER Network and while I was not compensated for this post, I did receive items Keep Going #LikeAGirl items for my involvement.