(originally published on MiddleWeb)
By Ellen Carter, School Counselor
This piece was originally written last fall about the “Rejection Boot Camp” workshop given by Rachel Simmons; we are publishing it now as Ms. Simmons is about to return to our campus.
Rachel Simmons came to our school today to teach a “Rejection Boot Camp” workshop for upper schoolers at SBS. The focus of today was on debunking myths of perfectionism in our culture and helping students make personal goals. Students were encouraged to unearth the various ways in which societal expectations are created that effectively pull them into corners of self-doubt and fear of failure. We talked about what it really means to “be brave” and take risks, however small, in one’s life. Simmons emphasized the need for connection, not necessarily doing it on one’s own, but actually collaborating and seeking support. Students were encouraged to think about not only the brave acts in their lives and the healthy risks that they might take, but the aftermath and how they might respond to various failures that are bound to occur when we risk stepping outside our comfort zones. This workshop is about making goals, taking risks, and advancing with small, manageable steps towards reaching one’s goals. It is also about naming what is important to you, unearthing your authentic thoughts, desires, fears, and taking steps towards realizing something that is important to you and carrying it out.