Monthly Article Archives: November 2000

Mistakes: Experiences from which to Learn or Feel Defeated? – Part IIRobert Brooks, Ph.D.

In my last newsletter I continued my discussion of the characteristics of successful people by examining the ways in which they deal with mistakes and failures. I noted that as a father, clinical psychologist, educator, youth sports coach, and consultant I have been very interested in how children and adults understand and respond to mistakes in their lives. I strongly believe that one’’s response to failure or to the possibility of failure is a strong indication of a person’’s sense of self-worth and feelings of competence. Last month I focused on the strategies that educators might use to lessen the fear of failure in our youth. This month’’s newsletter is dedicated to what parents can do to help their children be less fearful about mistakes and setbacks. I should emphasize a point I have made in several previous articles about the concept of success. When I refer to people as successful I am not using as the main criteria their accumulated wealth or social status but rather the extent to which they are comfortable and content with their personal and professional lives, their compassion and generosity, their ability to handle adversity, and the ease with which they relate to others.

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