Why Building Resilience is so Important

Written by: Maddie McGarrah, M.Ed.
Why Building Resilience is so Important

Resilience involves maintaining an encouraging mindset, perseverance, and the ability to learn and grow from adversity. Resilient individuals display mental and emotional strength, allowing them to cope with and navigate difficult situations successfully.

Students who are resilient are better set up for success academically, socially and emotionally. They can cope with disappointment, appreciate mistakes as a learning opportunity, take appropriate risks, navigate emotional and social situations, resolve conflicts, search and utilize needed resources to get what they need to accomplish their goals.

What does it look like? During setbacks, they focus on what they can control and acknowledge what they cannot. When encountering a problem, they are flexible; they look for ways to resolve the issue or ask for help. During a peer conflict, they acknowledge their part and take ownership. They are confident in their abilities and know their strengths. They generally feel hopeful, confident, and capable of handling life’s challenges. They understand that uncomfortable emotions are temporary. They understand that messaging matters and engage in positive self-talk.

What does it sound like? It sounds like encouraging & positive self-talk:

This is tough, but so am I. I can figure out how to handle this.

I messed that up, but everyone makes mistakes, and this will help me learn what to do better next time.

This is really hard, but I’ll get better with practice.

Maybe this is not my strength, but I don’t have to be perfect.

This is a stressful time, but it won’t last forever.

I want to do my reasonable best, but I know that I am not my grades.

When I begin to feel overly stressed, I can take a break and reset. Then I will start again.

How Can you Foster it?

Allow yourself to struggle at times, this helps increase your critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Don’t let others do for you that you can do on your own because it would be easier. This is only diminishing your problem-solving skills. Allow failure and consequences to be a teaching tool or learning opportunity. Demonstrate flexibility in your life, learn to roll with change sometimes. Do not criticize failure – focus on the process & effort that it took to try and what you can learn from the failure. Look for motivation in situations by understanding the pros & cons of your actions or inaction. Have patience & self-compassion for yourself.