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WEEK 36 - Friday 1 July 2022

“Failure is a stepping stone to success”

Why do some of the most successful people like to boast about their past failures? How were they able to pull it off and emerge victorious? Some believe that what separates successful from mediocre people is the way they treat failure. Everyone may have work ethics and attitude but not everyone has the tenacity to face failure head on.

I don't think you will be surprised to hear that I myself have failed many times in either a professional capacity or a personal capacity. I have had to learn to accept these failings and the critical feedback that often accompanies such events. This can be a painful experience in itself. I’ve failed on the sports field many times, and had to take these defeats with as much grace as I can muster at that time….which hasn't always been something I found easy. But I truly believe that each of these experiences have led to a positive future outcome.

Last night had me really thinking about the importance of experiencing failure during our learning journey. As I watched Wimbledon on the TV, I witnessed a 19 year old British player lose her second round match live in front of millions of watching fans. During the match she displayed every attribute that we as educators look for in our students. Hard work, integrity, responsibility, resilience. But she lost. She failed to win a match! Now, in today's society not only does she have to deal with the actual defeat, she also has to deal with the impact of social media, the mainstream media, and how she is portrayed in a medium that she has no control over! All this at 19 years of age. Having excelled in her field, having sacrificed so much to be a professional tennis player she is still faced with failure and questioned by others on her ability and performance. 

Her interview after her defeat was the epitome of “failure is a stepping stone to success”. She very maturely and eloquently explained that the experience was a positive one. That she would learn many things from the experience. That she was proud of her efforts but that on the day she came up short. She made sure to compliment her opponent. She made no excuses and accepted that she must look at the performance and make improvements moving forward. She literally told the listening audience that she was proud of her performance and would not let the failure in this one match define her. 

This is a message I give to my year 9 students as often as possible. We all fail at certain times. We should never be frightened to fail….we need to look at failure as a stepping stone to future success. Learn from it, improve on it, and let it lead to future successes in school and in your personal lives. 

If you have any concerns or questions please contact me at hoyyear9@hessleacademy.com 

Mr Leckenby

Head of Year