Just because you have massive faith that you can win, overcome or “get to the next level”, doesn’t mean that it will absolutely happen at whatever numbered attempt you’re at now!

The worst kind of success is the kind that hasn’t been through disappointments. In today’s youth athletic environment, we see a surge of what I’ve determined as unmerited acknowledgements (participation trophies). While I understand the idea behind it, possibly from positive psychology research, I believe that it has unintended consequences.

What are those consequences?

By shielding our youth from the feelings of failure we have prohibited essential brain development. We impede with the strengthening of the neural pathways between our emotions and the decision making portion of our brains. By the time a generation of youth reach college, they have no idea of how to mentally deal with pressure or disappointments. The kids then feel entitled to “success” and have formed no connection between hard rigorous work and “success” nor have they formed the mental skills that reduces their anxiety.

There are many articles that talk about this idea, I have posted two from Psychology Today…you can find them here and here.

What I find amazing is that the fragile mind phenomena is happening within the regular student body at college campuses – upwards of 50%.

I see this happening even in athletics. Where young people quit for no other reason than their feelings are hurt, some thing is different than what they thought it should be or they can’t get over not being good although they won’t practice hard to get skilled. They use that entitled mentality even on themselves.

Life is NOT like that! Please tell me where you’ll find any person giving out jobs, grades, promotions or positions just because you want them?!

The only link I can personally use to connect participation trophies and weak mindedness are purely observational. But even from an abstract theoretical level we got to say that these trophies have unintended future mental consequences that far outweigh our fear of present disappointments.


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