Here are three warning signs to look for…
When a child develops a fear of failure, they will whittle down their hopes and dreams to avoid stepping outside of their comfort zone. As parents, it is critical that we see the warning signs so we can help our kids be all they can be. Here are three signs to look for:
1. Look for unusual signs of anxiety
Does your child get unusually anxious before a test? Unreasonably nervous before a basketball game? Develop stomach aches before a recital? If so, she may be afraid of failing.
Some anxiety is normal in these situations, but severe anxiety is not. If you see your child experiencing unusual levels of anxiety, discuss the situation with her before the event. Work with her to instill confidence in her preparation and to visualize success. If she can imagine a successful experience in her mind, she can create it in her life.
2. Watch for procrastination
Children will often procrastinate when they are afraid they won’t make the right decision or do a good job. This is especially common with school assignments and special projects.
If you think your child’s procrastination is due to a fear of failure, sit down and discuss the assignment with him. Work with him to outline the steps required to complete the assignment and help him see that he can be successful. If possible, create checkpoints throughout the project so he can see his progress. This simple step can boost his confidence as he moves towards his goal.
3. Look for aversion to risk taking
If your child suddenly doesn’t want to do something she normally likes to do such as try out for a sports team, submit her art project, or sign up for advanced level classes, she may be developing a fear of failure.
If you see your child “holding back” or “playing it safe” discuss the situation with her. Ask her how she is envisioning the situation – what does she see, hear and feel about the challenge? If she is concerned about failing, remind her that failure is an event and not who she is and that she will never be able to succeed if she doesn’t take a risk.
Learning to handle the ups and downs of life is critical for your kids. By focusing on the core concepts of developing a powerful mindset (power shifting, positive self-talk, visualization, etc.), they will learn how to handle any challenge that comes their way. Have you ever seen any of these warning signs in your children?
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