Real growth comes from trying new things. Many years ago the organization, Outward Bound, created the phrase “comfort zone.” In their camping efforts, they train and challenge students to endure backpacking excursions, and push campers to new heights by “getting outside of their comfort zones.”

How can we encourage children to take on new challenges and push beyond what is comfortable? Put a net beneath them! Rather than protecting our youth from hurt or pain, mentors come alongside and support these young ones in both success and failure. Just like a trapeze artist who can confidently jump knowing there’s a net to catch them, children can attempt to “jump” knowing it is safe to make mistakes.

One way to redefine the perception of mistakes is to model acceptance of your own foibles and failures, removing the pressure of perfectionism. You are the net that allows them to both fall and bounce back. So, communicate to your children that they can dream big, jump high, and leap for the next trapeze. You’ve got them!