7 lies young people hear about the ‘real world’

Try showing that ‘certificate of participation’ at your first job interview, and see how much weight it carries. The truth? Honesty is a must, perfection is a myth, and failure is your friend.

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American college students have been trained from an alarmingly young age to believe that as long as they show up, they should be rewarded—and that is lulling them into a false sense of security.

After all, simply being there isn’t the same as contributing, and participating isn’t the same as succeeding. No one will be rewarded for just showing up in the real world.

Success isn’t found inside a rubric. It certainly isn’t something achieved without a few experiments, mistakes, and failures along the way. Here are seven common lies that young people hear growing up—and the blunt, uncensored truths behind them:

1. You’re amazing at everything you do.

Any 5-year-old will tell you it’s not polite to hurt a person’s feelings. Instead, society sells us a lie, because apparently it’s better to tell someone she’s great than tell the truth when she isn’t. We think we’ll stunt growth if we tell the cold truth; in reality, we’re stunting growth by handing everyone a participation trophy instead of rewarding real talent and achievement.

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