What kinds of stories do you tell yourself about yourself?
One important story that we need to tell ourselves to build up our resilience memories is that when something is hard, we do it and get through it. The way all of us get better at anything is by having something be hard and seeing that we can accomplish that hard thing.
I’ll tell you a story. When I started teaching, teaching reading was really, really hard. My students were behind and I just wasn’t sure what to do to get them to catch up. Every single day in September, I left my classroom feeling like a failure. Feeling like “Oh my God, I’m going to let these kids down. They’re not going to learn anything this year.”
Then, slowly, I started reading more books and understanding more about what lets kids read. Over time, my students started improving.
Instead of focusing on some of my ineffective practices early on, I reminded myself, “Hey teaching reading was really hard, but look at all the progress my students made once I got better!” The story I told myself mattered.
For your kids, it might be something smaller. It might be “a few weeks ago I couldn’t build that Lego tower, but now I am able to build it and it stayed up the whole time.” Or “a few weeks ago, I couldn’t bat well in softball without striking out and now I am able to bat.” Help your kids realize that when something is hard, they’re able to conquer it.
All of these things are easy to miss if we don’t stop to notice them.
Telling yourself: “that was hard, and I did it” allows for you to create a bank of memories showing yourself that you have your own back.
That was hard and I did it.
The next time something is hard, instead of being intimidated or worried that you might not be able to do it, you remember that you can do hard things, because you’ve pointed it out to yourself in the past.
I encourage you to literally say it out loud. ‘That was hard, and I did it.’
This is what builds up resilience for ourselves and for our kids. To see this in action, click on this video to learn more!