The Integrative Approach to Autism part 18: Embracing Failure

Mar 01 2013

This post continues the 3-Step Integrative Approach to Autism series. Today Part 18: BEHAVIORAL Requirements for Growth: Embracing Failure

Encouraging and Embracing Failure:

We live in a society today that glorifies success so much and stomps over failure so harshly. No one wants to acknowledge how success is achieved. People like to believe that life is a smooth ride and that success is in “the gene pool”. I would love to tell you this is true and life is a bed of roses but reality prevents me. Life is a series of failures interrupted by the occasional success, save maybe for Bill Gates and the trust-fund babies. Any reasonably successful person will acknowledge this reality. The world today consists of two types of people: those who can learn from failure and those who can’t. The point is, insensitive people making every second count rarely stop and reflect on their life in order to learn from their mistakes and failures. On the other hand, sensitive people spend their whole life reflecting on and processing their failures in order to find a way to success. Embrace failure in your child and cherish it. Allow your child to celebrate failure and work with him or her on processing each failure so they can shorten their learning curve, go out, and succeed. The alternative is to frown upon failure. For a sensitive child this fuels avoidance and leads to withdrawal. Many sensitive people stop trying to succeed because they get convinced by their parents and surroundings that they “are failures”. This could be triggered only by a handful of minor setbacks early in life. However, it can easily ruin someone for good. This is how low self-esteem gets started. This is also how the destructive mentality of “I don’t deserve to succeed” gets started, too.

Rami Serhan, MD
Author, Psyche-Smart Autism; Integrative Medicine Consultant
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