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5 Things to Know About Building Confidence in Teen Girls

“I really think a champion is defined not by their wins but by how they can recover when they fall,” Serena Williams said in 2012. 

But that may be easier said than done. nfortunately, many adolescent girls have trouble persevering through their failures, and turning them in to opportunities to learn, grow & ultimately build confidence. What’s worse, more than 50% of girls worldwide report that fear of failure actually keeps them from trying new things, according to a new study from Always’ #LikeAGirl campaign.

These surprising results come from a survey of 1,500 girls, women, and boys about girls’ confidence conducted by MSLGROUP for Always, the leader in global feminine care. The survey also found that girls fear failure because they worry about not being perceived as “perfect” by society.

But girls are powerful, fierce, and resilient. That’s why Always #LikeAGirl hopes to change perceptions of failure and show that failure should be embraced as a learning tool that helps girls build confidence rather than tear it down.

For years, Always has worked to inspire girls to build confidence during puberty. On Aug. 16, they released a powerful video with a message to inspire girls to keep trying and never quit. 

Since understanding more about the unique challenges girls face during puberty is the first step to helping girls build confidence and resilience, here are five key statistics to know in order to help you empower girls and build a future of confident, strong women. 


1. Fifty Percent of Girls Report Feeling Paralyzed By Fear During Puberty 

During puberty, the fear of failure is so intense that many girls opt out of important growth opportunities like trying out for a soccer team, taking part in a dance show, or trying out a new club. In fact, seven in 10 girls said they avoid trying new things if they believe they will fail.

2. Experiencing Failure Makes Six in 10 Girls Want to Quit

Six in 10 girls said they want to quit after failing and seven in 10 girls said they didn’t try new things due to their fear of failure. What's worse is that, 50% of girls feel that society would reject them if they failed. This leads girls to quit the things they love early in life, meaning they miss out on all the benefits and life skills one can learn from persevering through a failure.

3. Social Media Plays a Large Role in Girls’ Fear of Failure

Seventy-five percent of girls surveyed in the US agree that social media contributes to their fear of failing during puberty while 66% of girls agreed with the statement globally.

4. Majority of Girls Said Pressure to Be “Perfect” Keeps Them From Trying

Eighty percent of girls said pressure to be “perfect” and please others contributed to their fear of failure. This was true globally and shows the clear role each of us can play to help encourage girls overcome their fear of failure. If we put less pressure on girls to be “perfect,” we could help them feel comfortable to make mistakes, experiment with new activities, and grow!

5. Showing Girls That Failure is OK Helps Build Their Confidence

The survey found that if girls felt failure was OK they would keep doing things they love, take on more challenges, and grow in confidence. It also found that the top three things girls gain from persevering girls are knowledge, strength, and confidence. So let’s encourage every girl we know to embrace failure as fuel and keep going #LikeAGirl.

*Note: Always is P&G’s leading feminine hygiene brand. P&G is a proud corporate partner of Global Citizen.