Why We Need To Stop Giving Out Participation Trophies

We are rewarding people for not winning in life. We are literally setting them up for failure due to unrealistic expectations of what it takes to be successful.

Time and time again, I see sports teams giving out participation trophies to kids because apparently “it’s the taking part that counts”. Yet mentally, they are being rewarded for losing.

By giving people participation trophies, you are literally removing drive, persistence and other important factors that lead towards success. Instead, you are giving them a sense of entitlement due to them believing that everything is given to them (regardless of if they fail).

And although they might have a smile on their face aged 7, the majority will be unable to accomplish their dreams when transitioning into adulthood due to the entitlement that you have given them. Facts.

The exact same thing is currently happening within the entertainment industry. It’s ludicrous. Don’t get me wrong, I am a massive advocate of encouragement in order to help people accomplish whatever dreams they may have. However, there is a line.

Music producers are being told that getting 20 plays on their new track is incredible, and that they are going to be the next Martin Garrix (or superstar DJ). Likewise in business, people sell ONE item from an internet brand and all of a sudden believe that they are an entrepreneur. Only the best of the best deserve to become successful. And as harsh as it may sound, it’s true. You know it. I know it. We all know it’s true.

People are clearly unable to see where this ends up. Here’s a real-life scenario that I recently saw:

A music producer gets 30 plays on a track, gets lots of encouragement, and quits their dayjob to go full-time. They move to Los Angeles and take on debt in order to fund the lifestyle. Due to them either not being talented, or not working hard enough, their dreams don’t come to fruition and they end up with $3 in their bank account accompanied by a massive pile of debt which they must repay. That’s just one example.

There is a fine line between perseverance and delusion.

We need to stop giving out participation trophies to anyone & everyone for the sake of making them feel good. It is only a matter of time before the economy collapses, and our current behaviors lead to traumatic actions caused by a previous sense of false-confidence.

I don’t want to sound pessimistic. I’m not. But we need to have this conversation.

Please, before it’s too late…

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