This post is sponsored by Always #LikeAGirl
Earlier this month Emily completed her high school applications, a process that felt like a precursor of what’s to come as she progresses through high school and looks to college. She attended open houses to learn about the options our public school system offers its students, deciding to focus on applying to schools with strong programs in math, science, and computer science, including one nationally known county-wide magnet school that is notoriously difficult to get into. It takes a select number of best students out of the hundreds that apply and the likelihood of getting rejected is far higher than being accepted.
“I’d love to go there,” Emily told me. “They offer everything I want. So I’m going to try. Why not?”
As a mom, I’m proud of Emily recognizing her strengths, pursuing her passion, and taking risks because she’s at a critical age where many girls start to fear failure.
Failure. The one thing that everyone is afraid of, but the one thing we all experience. We’ve failed at many things. We will fail at many more. And that’s a good thing. Because failures aren’t setbacks. Failures are fuel. To keep going, to keep growing, to keep making progress. For ourselves and all of us. So let’s keep failing. Because we only truly fail when we don’t even try. Try. Fail. Learn.
Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls Fueled by Failure Summit
Try, fail, learn is the core of the new Always #LikeaGirl Fueled by Failure campaign that inspired the recent Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls Fueled by Failure Summit in New York City. Since 2014, the Always #LikeAGirl campaign has worked to tackle the barriers to girls’ confidence. Research shows that half lose confidence at puberty and many never fully recover.
The study also showed that girls ages 16-24 found 50% of girls feel paralyzed by the fear of failure and 7 out of 10 girls avoid trying new things because they’re so afraid to fail. Because of these statistics, Always’s newest #LikeaGirl campaign encourages girls to keep going.
Always partnered with Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls to help adolescent girls from New York City schools understand that everyone fails. Through the newest iteration of #LikeAGirl, Always is encouraging girls to keep going and embrace failure as fuel to build their confidence.
Emily and I were invited to travel to New York City to attend the Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls Fueled by Failure Summit for an empowering day of speakers, mentoring, and confidence building activities. The day kicked off with an impressive panel of trailblazing women who shared their own personal stories of failure.
- Amanda Hill, Brand Director, North America Feminine Care at Procter & Gamble
- Meredith Walker, Co-Founder and Executive Director of Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls (bottom left)
- Dr. Knatokie Ford, Founder and CEO, Fly Sci Enterprise Former Senior Policy Advisor, Obama White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (top right)
- Christina Diaz, Mars2020 Instrument Engineer for the MEDA and RIMFAX science investigations at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab (top left)
You can watch the archived version of the live streamed panel below.
Laura, Amanda, Meredith, Knatokie, and Christina set the stage for a fun-filled afternoon of crafts, art, improvisation, and mentorship. Emily was most excited to meet Christina because of our SilverSat cube satellite nonprofit initiative that our family helped start with other local families and to ask her if she’d be interested in possibly serving as a mentor. She said yes!
It was inspiring to see girls like Emily leave their comfort zones and take risks together in a safe space that encouraged failure as part of the learning process.
Emily had a chance to add her thoughts about failure to the Tree of Growth. This beautiful wall-size drawing of a tree captured the spirit of #LikeAGirl by encouraging girls to keep going and keep growing. While some girls added their names to the tree and others shared their experiences with failure, Emily wrote her thoughts about failure on the tree that will be displayed at Proctor & Gamble Headquarters in Cincinnati, Ohio.
As parents, it can be hard to see our kids fail, especially since it makes them feel like they are failures but it’s important for them to realize that act of failing can be confidence building, rather than confidence breaking.
Rachel Simmons, New York Times best-selling author and confidence expert shares parent tips to help us inspire our girls to use failure as fuel. She encourages us to share our own stories of failure and let our girls see when we make a mistake. It’s especially important for them to see how we handle setbacks. Modeling self-kindness and talking about our struggles is important because these conversations can comfort and motivate our girls.
Since 2014, the Always #LikeAGirl campaign has transformed a phrase that was once perceived as an insult into one of empowerment. From encouraging girls to continue playing sports they love to making sure that girls everywhere keep their confidence throughout puberty and beyond, Always is committed to showing today’s young women that doing things #LikeAGirl is downright amazing.
You can join the Always #LikeAGirl campaign to help stop the drop in confidence girls experience at puberty by encouraging every girl you know to Keep Going #LikeAGirl. For more information, visit the #LikeAGirl website.
I am a member of the Always fEMPOWER Network and was compensated for attending this event with Emily and for this post. Huge thanks to Always and #LikeaGirl for also covering my travel expenses.