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How Self-Compassion Helps With Resilience And Handling Failure

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PCA National Advisory Board Member Dacher Keltner is a Psychology Professor and the Director of the Greater Good Science Center (@GreaterGoodSC) at UC-Berkeley. Keltner is most famous in the sports world for his study on NBA teams, when he identified a link between positive, supportive ‘touching’ (such as high-fives) and success on the court. Keltner is also a published author, most recently publishing The Power Paradox.

One of the ways sports is such an effective teacher, Keltner shares, is because it teaches you how to lose. He says that this lesson is particularly important because often as adults, there are tough losses. To Keltner, any person who has worked hard in a particular area in life will tell you that failure is a necessary part of the growth process.

From his scientific research, Keltner has found that self-compassion and remembering that failure is part of being human helps people persist and be resilient. Further, if athletes can see that failure is part of the broader development process, they can realize the bigger perspective and keep at the process.