Written by Mr Rogers, Head of Boarding
“Success is most often achieved by those who don’t know that failure is inevitable”
Gabrielle ‘Coco’ Chanel needs no introduction. From humble beginnings she became one of the most influential people of the 20th century. Her quote can have many interpretations but I like the feeling of fearlessness that it evokes. This fearlessness is seen in many a young child undertaking a challenge for the first time; singing out loud or skiing down a steep slope. Children can quickly master new skills because they did not know ‘failure’ and therefore are not held back by the fear of it. It is unfortunate that life has a habit of eroding away this blind need to achieve and replacing it with a fear of failure.
Manoeuvring the obstacles of life, where failure may be encountered, presents a challenging problem with no absolute solution. Having support around you when an outcome isn’t successful is key but you cannot let the support do the work. Boarding life presents the perfect scaffolding of support to approach life’s challenges and allows students to develop with confidence and, hopefully, without fearing failure. Making new friends, sharing new opinions, accepting new perspectives, living in a new city, experiencing a new culture and learning in a new way are all challenging opportunities that I view as exciting and progressive.
From my personal experience, I had to learn the mind-set of viewing obstacles as opportunities and now I am passionate about introducing and embedding this into the lives of everyone at Princess Beatrice House (PBH). With the new academic year around the corner, we will shortly be publishing PBH’s new weekend activities programme. Each opportunity has been carefully selected and provides an exciting challenge that the students wouldn’t normally get the chance to experience. I hope the activities will allow the students to approach challenges with confidence, and potentially be surprised by the outcome. But if they don’t succeed, they can get back up, thank themselves for the free life lesson and have another go.