I Believe Every Strike Takes Me Closer to the Next Home Run
We all love that wonderful feeling when we’re really good at something. What an awesome feeling it is to win the race, to get 100% on an exam, to be the best, the funniest, the most popular, the smartest. What a joy to inhale that sweet smell of success.
And while we’re basking in that glory what do we learn? The truth is not very much. Success, as it so happens is a rather poor teacher. And while “failure” can be emotionally challenging, it is also loaded “up to the gills” with potential lessons. When we ask why something hasn’t worked and try a new approach we have transitioned out of “failure” and into a state of growth. It may not feel that way at the time but it is nonetheless the case.
To many children, failure = pain = wrong = avoid. What if we changed this association to failure = learning = growth = fun = something to be invited? We all want to grow right? To get better? Well that is not possible without “growing pains.”
Think of any elite sportsperson. They train until their muscles fatigue and fail because they know that it is at that point that they will grow stronger, better, faster. They employ a mindset that is about growth. This is the same mindset we employ at Goat Track Theatre. We believe that if children and young people can have a healthy relationship with “mistakes” they are likely to see them as signposts of how to improve rather than a reason to retire to the back of the room and never be seen again.
Thomas Edison is famous for saying “I haven’t failed [to invent the light bulb] I’ve just invented 10,000 ways that don’t work.”We now know that this wonderful persistence and mindset paid off.
Growing greatness is children is not about them getting it “right”. It’s about them constantly improving. It’s about them inviting challenges that takes them beyond their current abilities so that by “failing” they succeed.