School of Hard Knocks

With the launch of its “failure week London’s Wimbledon High School is teaching its pupils to embrace risk, give things a go and not be afraid of the unknown”. As one of the UK’s top girls’ schools the focus is to ensure that students understand that failure is a normal part of life and learn the merits of not succeeding all the time. Over the course of the week, pupils attend workshops and assemblies, as well as hear stories of their own parents’ and teachers’ failures.

When Headmistress Heather Hanbury arrived at the school four years ago, she made a commitment to developing the resilience and robustness of her students. Some were so focused on academic success that the fear of failure was crippling them. Conscious of ensuring the stress doesn’t get the best of the girls, “failure week” is an attempt to teach her pupils how to ‘fail better’.

It’s not just young people who are afraid of failure. No matter what your age, a lot can be learned about overcoming your fears by listening to other people’s stories. Want to get inspired? Take a look at these videos from Stockholm’s Berghs School of Communication where some of the world’s most loved creators like Stefan Sagmeister and Paulo Coelho share their experiences.

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Kevin Roberts

Kevin Roberts is founder of Red Rose Consulting; business leader and educator; author and speaker; adviser on marketing, creative thinking and leadership.


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