Deseret News
Letter to the editor

I watched as my little sister worked extremely hard on a painting and entered it into her fourth-grade art contest. She came home with a participation ribbon and said that her teacher didn’t want anyone to feel bad for losing, so everyone got a prize. This gave me a new perspective on failure and differentiation. People that receive awards after anything they do won’t know what to do when failure inevitably comes. Failure is a powerful tool that should be used to teach people how to progress and work hard. Learning to deal with and make changes after a failure will ultimately be more beneficial for growth.

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Though failing isn’t our end goal, it is essential to success. The world’s top athletes credit failure for helping them succeed. Psychologist David Bedrick says, “failure can serve a deeper psychological function prompting more profound change.” Viewing failure as an opportunity to change, and knowing that failure is not linked in any way to self-worth, will reduce fear of failure and give opportunities to learn from mistakes. We can find ways to recognize failure as an opportunity for growth, rather than trying to hide from it.

Amanda Erickson

Cedar Hills