Connect With Me

Connect with me on FacebookConnect with me on TwitterConnect with me on TwitterConnect with me on LinkedInConnect with me on YouTubeConnect with me on TwitterConnect with me on Twitter

 

Sign-up for free monthly e-newsletter and get "Organizing Tip 101" series as a thank you bonus!

Buy Linda's book at her Amazon store for Autographed Copy!

In The Other Side of Organized, Linda Samuels, CPO-CD® will encourage you to get organized enough to reduce the stress of life’s details and make time to embrace your passions. Already, thousands of clients and readers have found help and inspiration in her advice, personal reflections on change and connection, and vision of what can be accomplished when you find that sweet spot between chaos and perfection.

Available in paperback or eBook for Kindle, Nook, iPad or iPhone and Sony Reader.

Professional Organizing

Need some help? Linda's company, Oh, So Organized! provides professional organizing services. Click here to learn about our unique Client Loyalty Program. Visit the Oh, So Organized! website for organizing tips, resources, videos and more. Make this your year to get organized.

« 5 Success Tips for Life's Surprises | Organizing Help for Back to School »
Wednesday
Sep052012

Failing Your Way to Success

Last fall, I came across an article in the New York Times by Paul Tough called, What if the secret to success is failure? It was about rethinking how students should be taught and evaluated. Especially as a parent, I find this idea of allowing space for our children to fail along the journey as essential. It's challenging for many of us to do because we don't want to see our children suffer or struggle. However, if we can step back, encourage, and let our kids figure life out with some guidance and minimal hovering, amazing growth will occur.

This was an unusual week for us. We watched as both of our daughters’ successfully navigated major transitions. We were there to provide emotional and minimal hands-on support, but they orchestrated all of the decisions, even when they weren’t 100% sure.

Our youngest daughter negotiated her first apartment lease for her and three roommates, organized and packed all her belongings, moved in, and set-up her new digs a few days before starting her fall semester of college.

Our oldest daughter, a recent college graduate, networked, explored many next step options from teaching English in South Korea to working on a farm in Oregon, was offered a job in her field (textiles) in New York, organized and packed her apartment, rented a truck, and moved back to New York all within three days.

We raised our kids to be independent and encouraged them to try even when they weren't sure. We invited them to make the best decisions possible based on the information and knowledge they had at that time. We also let them know that if the outcome wasn’t as they hoped, they could make changes. We always looked at failures, both theirs and ours, as learning opportunities.

We have all experienced our share of disappointments, failures, and mishaps. Whatever you call them, they are unavoidable. They are in fact, necessary. Our failures tell us as much about what we don’t want as they reveal about what we do want. If we allow them, our failures teach us how to tweak, to explore, and to be less fearful of making mistakes. We can then experience the joy of success.

The next time you feel the need to rescue someone, take a deep breath, and give them room to explore and fail their way to success. What are your thoughts? How have your failures influenced your success?

PrintView Printer Friendly Version

EmailEmail Article to Friend

Reader Comments (5)

I SO resonate with your parenting philosophy:
We raised our kids to be independent and encouraged them to try even when they weren't sure. We invited them to make the best decisions possible based on the information and knowledge they had at that time. We also let them know that if the outcome wasn’t as they hoped, they could make changes. We always looked at failures, both theirs and ours, as learning opportunities.

AMEN! Children will be more successful with parenting that honors the child's individual accountability for their decisions. Allowing them to feel their own consequences (and even failing) is the best teacher vs leaping in to save them...

Thanks Linda!

September 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCena Block

Wonderful to hear your thoughts, Cena! I know that not every parent agrees with this parenting philosophy, but glad to know that it makes sense to you. Being in charge of our decisions and taking responsibility for their outcomes (the learning or the success,) makes all the difference in our development.

September 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLinda Samuels

As parents, it's really hard to watch your kids struggle with career and other decisions, but it's very gratifying to see them ultimately succeed. I think the key to letting them find their own way is to remember that if they make a wrong choice, they will learn from it, but if they do something because you insisted on it and it doesn't work out, they'll only learn not to listen to you.

September 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJanet Barclay

It can seem frustrating to have to struggle and fail again and again. One thing I like to keep in mind is the life cycle of a butterfly - it may start out as an ugly caterpillar, then it's in the cocoon - but in order for it to become a real butterfly and fulfill its destiny in this life it has to fight and struggle to get out of that cocoon. If someone or something were to help it, its wings would not be developed enough for it to fly when it emerged. Whenever I am having challenges like this I just remember the butterfly and how beautiful it is when it emerges from the struggle!

September 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTracy K. Pierce

@Janet- Good point you make that if we tell our kids what to do and things don't work out, the lessons learned may not be what we desire. If however, we give our children room to own their decisions, they can learn from their failures and completely embrace their successes.

@Tracy- You are so right! It's all in the struggle. It makes us both strong and beautiful. Thank you for the wonderful reminder about the caterpillar to butterfly transformation.

September 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLinda Samuels

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Post:
 
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>