Embracing Failure – A Lesson To Be Learned at Any Age


Today I read a quote from an interview I did with some 40-something moms talking about raising kids and resisting the urge to help them with school work and ultimately protect them from  life. I thought it was as good reminder for us all to embrace failure and learn from it.


“With your kids, I always think that you have to let them fail. Don’t hover over them. Don’t protect them too much. Let them go out there, make mistakes and come in and fall apart in your arms because if you fix everything for them, they won’t ever learn how to stand up for themselves.  When they fail they’ll figure out that they have to do to succeed.  They have to figure it out and learn on their own.” 40-something, Mom, Phoenix, AZ

It also reminded me of a wonderful speech that Susan McPherson gave at Ignite NYC about embracing fear of failure as inspiration for making those changes – no  matter how old we are. Here she reflects on fear and midlife career change.

“I was able to harness a sense of fearlessness to open the doors necessary to get me to that next step. So if you are in a job that is anything less than invigorating. Move on. We have so many resources at our disposal we can actually meet anyone anywhere anytime. So take advantage of it. Whether it’s through Reddit, Facebook twitter. 100 and thousands of groups on linked in you can literally get information in seconds and minutes rather than weeks or days. So what are you waiting for? We can make change happen but we have to be open to the self reflection necessary to find that next step and take advantage of every meetup or tweet up or conference or symposium that is out there. I can tell you won thing if you do the self-refection and be open to curiosity and risk taking. The sun will rise tomorrow. So what are you going to make change happen?  — Susan McPherson,


Watch the full video here — at 5 minutes it’s worth it!  Video:  The Sun Can Rise Again, Even In Midlife

Susan is a SVP Senior Vice President at Fenton and regularly speaks and writes on corporate responsibility, social entrepreneurship, international development and social change.

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