I recently read a comment where someone said that the first time they were proud about attending their university was when the basketball team won a big game that they did not expect to win. While congratulations are certainly in order, I was struck by how strange this sounded. Why would someone be that proud about their university team winning a basketball game when they were not even on the team? I can understand being happy, but pride should not be determined only by the result, but also by the effort given.
Try to think of this not from the standpoint of a university basketball team, but of a child. We often tell children that we are proud of them, even when they lose. We do this because they did the best they could, and that is what they should be proud of. Saying to a child that we are proud of them only when they win sends a message that their worth is connected only to the outcome. If they feel that they are worthy only when they are a success, they will choose not to try anything, rather than risk failure. Pride should come from the process, and the best thing that we can give our children, and ourselves, is the courage and the confidence to try new things.
What is something that you never did because you felt that you would have “won” only if you had succeeded?
Brian Hock, CMA, CIA