This post is made possible with support from Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls and Always. All opinions are my own.
Failure isn’t a setback. Failure is fuel. That’s the message Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls and Always #LikeAGirl want tween and teen girls to know and live out.
Recently, I had the chance to watch an incredible panel of women share advice and wisdom on failure and growing up for the Fueled By Failure Summit. Talk about inspiring!
Fueled by Failure: Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls and Always #LikeAGirl
Check out the amazing women who spoke:
- Laura Brounstein, Director of Editorial and Business Development Cosmo + Seventeen, moderator
- Amanda Hill, Brand Director, North America Feminine Care at Procter & Gamble
- Meredith Walker, Co-Founder and Executive Director of Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls
- Dr. Knatokie Ford, Founder and CEO, Fly Sci Enterprise Former Senior Policy Advisor, Obama White House Office of Science and Technology Policy
- Christina Diaz Mars 2020 Instrument Engineer for the MEDA and RIMFAX science investigations at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab
Amanda Hill shared that 7 out of 10 girls are afraid to try something new. And that 2/3 of girls who, if they fail at something during puberty, quit.
Whoa! That’s not what we want for our girls, is it?
Hill encouraged us as parents, mentors, and teachers to help our girls see that trying and failing is a good thing — it’s fuel to building confidence, skills, and resilience. #LikeAGirl means that you try and keep going.
Dr. Knatokie Ford shared how she failed to get two jobs but the third one was worth those failures because it was at The White House. Good thing she kept trying, right? She said something that is so true and we need to tell our kids, “Just because I failed over time, doesn’t mean I was a failure.” Love that.
Christina Diaz remembered being fueled by failure when failing a class in college was told that maybe she shouldn’t be an aerospace engineer. She became even more determined to succeed. (And look at her now!)
So what advice do these amazing women have for situations where they might fail or when they do fail?
Ford reminds herself to be kind to herself. She said she stays open to asking for help and remembers the interesting thing about life is learning new things. She added, I give myself permission to feel disappointed. Then after that, I can move forward.
Self forgiveness is important agreed Diaz. She tries to breath, listen to good music, and forgive herself.
Since music came up, the panelists all shared their favorite pick-me-up songs:
Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You) by Kelly Clarkson
Rise Up by Audra Day (one of my favorite songs ever!)
Enter Sandman by Metallica
My Shot from the Broadway show Hamilton
I’m Alive from the movie Xanadu
What advice did the panelists have for their 14-year-old selves?
“It’s okay to be weird,” advised Diaz.
“Keep going toward things that make you feel like yourself,” recommended Walker.
Ford said, “Get out of the habit of comparing yourself to other people. . .You define your metrics for success.”
“Step out of your comfort zone. Grab a friend and try something new,” advised Hill.
The panelists know what it’s like to fail. It’s happened to all of them. And they know it’s not a bad thing. They hope the girls listening to the Fueled By Failure summit will remember to go forth and be bold, don’t let the fear of failure stop you.
“Let yourself feel silly, you’ll be more imaginative and creative because of it,” shared Walker.
Diaz said, “Find your passion.”
“Trust yourself. Trust your intuition,” advised Ford.
Companionship can help. “If you’re afraid to try something new, grab a friend,” recommended Hill.
Good advice for us all!
There was so much information and wisdom in this presentation, I hope you can watch it for yourself and share it with the girls in your life.