Watching babies learn to walk is amazing. Months of scrambling up the sofa, cruising along the cushions, those first tentative steps and the inevitable stumbles. All repeated, day after day. It’s wonderful to watch.
But my favourite part? Their constant smile. They love what they are doing. Absolutely relishing it. I’m in awe of toddlers; they haven’t succumbed to the social stigmas that we, as adults, have. Put it this way; would we want to learn a new skill that involved falling over, dozens of times a day, in front of all our family? For a year? Thought not.
So what happens between being a toddler and becoming an adult? Why do we become, in general, more reticent to try new things that might not work?
My opinion – Fear. More specifically, the fear of failure. When we’re tempted to try something new, our usual internal monologue pipes up with,
“What will people think?”
“Will I get laughed at if I get this wrong?”
“Who am I to be doing this?”
When does this change happen? When does the fear set in? And for what reason? My experience tells me that the ‘fear factor’ gets worse as children get older. I’m inclined to say that it comes with an increased awareness of peers and self-consciousness, magnified by the omni-presence of school – with its tradition of ‘Right answers, good. Wrong answers, bad’ galvanising the issue.
We want to change this. What we are creating at Auseras is a place where everybody feels encouraged and inspired to try new things, experiment with ideas and, importantly, to get things wrong. The Auseras culture is one where the we remove the fear of failure, by celebrating it. Holding it aloft as a brave and deliberate action of intent in order to improve, develop and grow oneself. We want students to breed confidence in themselves and amongst each other, growing together as mature people, with agency over their actions. Daring to do.
“Our doubts are traitors, and make us lose the good we oft might win, by fearing to attempt.”