Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Fail to Succeed?

 A recent article in the NYTimes Sunday magazine, although focused on children, had ramifications for adult women, and seemed connected with the October 3rd post http://intelligentwomenonly.blogspot.com/2011/10/eliminate-disclaimers-and-overripe.html. Paul Tough, author of "The Character Test", quoted the headmaster of a private Eastern school.  ". . . there was this idea in America that if you worked hard and you showed real grit, that you could be successful. Strangely, we've now forgotten that." He goes on to say that children are no longer developing or expected to develop characteristics of grit, gratitude, and self-control; characteristics that are needed to bounce back from failure. Mr.  Randolph, the headmaster, views failure as key to success in achieving a meaningful, productive life. Because he feels children now are protected from failure by parents in particular, his curriculum is laced with learning and lessons of character building.

I wondered how this might apply to women. I'll check to see if research exists that says that adult women have more grit, gratitude and self-control than men.  I believe we do, although it seems that we have a greater perception of failure than men and a lower  perception of success. Or is that just another face of perfectionism? I wonder if all the negative self-talk that women engage in is a major roadblock to seeing ourselves as resilient and successful regardless of some true and real failures we've experienced. I wonder if the talking out loud approach to problem-solving http://intelligentwomenonly.blogspot.com/2011/09/problem-solve-out-loud-and-alone-even.html might also work to increase our beliefs that we have strong character and are successful.
E.g. "I  can explain complex concepts clearly and briefly and that is working well with my team."
        " I've learned a better way to handle conflicts with Sam and he's more productive because of it."
        " I like the way I just accept compliments without disclaimers. And my daughter is starting to do the same thing. So good."
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