#030 It’s Hard To Be Resilient, and That’s Okay!

#030 It’s Hard To Be Resilient, and That’s Okay!

Resilience is a skill that has to be practiced to be mastered. Resilience is a byproduct of struggling.

“Do not judge me by my success, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again.”
~Nelson Mandela

Why Is It SO Hard To Be Resilient?

It IS hard to be resilient, and it’s hard to develop resilience.

But, it’s not hard in an impossible bad way. It’s hard in a good empowering way.

Asking why it’s hard to develop resilience is like asking why it’s hard to bench press or lift weights. The answer is because it has to be hard. Lifting weights is supposed to be hard. If it wasn’t hard, you wouldn’t get stronger. Walking into the gym to bench press, is basically signing yourself up to do something hard. As you get better, you intentionally make it harder by adding more and more weight. You are literally making it heavier and harder.

So, why is it so hard to develop resilience?

Because that is how it has to be. Struggle, hardship, discomfort, these are simply the price of becoming resilient.

Think of resilience like bravery or courage. We all think that being brave and courageous is a good skill to have, right?

Well, is it possible to be brave with out first being afraid? The answer is NO. Being brave and having courage means being strong and doing something in the face of fear. There is no bravery without fear.

Similarly, there is no resilience without struggle.

Struggle is hard. This is why it’s so hard to build resilience.

How To Help Your Teen.

It sounds harsh, but let them struggle. I’m not saying to pile it on and go out of your way to make their life miserable.

What I’m saying is, allow them to struggle. Don’t jump in and bail them out. Allow them to struggle, and let them know that they have your support.

Also, be intentional about your perspective when it comes to your teen struggling. It’s easy for parents to “catastrophize” things. Our teen gets an “F” in math, and as parents, we act like it’s the end of the world. We start telling them that that “F”, which represents struggling in math, could keep them from the college of their choice. Instead, we need to reassure them that, though we want them to get better grades, it’s not the end of the world. Let them know that it’s okay to struggle.

Help your teen realize that it is the very act of struggling that makes us stronger. Help them realize that it’s no more than an opportunity to develop their resilience.

Mindset of Resilience

Your mindset makes all the difference. Whether you see your struggles as the end of the world or as an opportunity for growth depends on your mindset. You can make the decision to look for the growth, rather than focusing on all of the negative.

This means, when you get knocked down, not only do you get back up, but you find the positives of getting knocked down. You learn from it and you grow from it.

Even before you get knocked down, if you have a mindset of resilience, you know that getting knocked down is a possibility, you plan on it, and you plan on getting right back up.

Help your teens understand that we all know that we are going to struggle, so just plan on it. That way, when they get dumped or don’t get invited to the party, or they struggle with anxiety or depression, rather than being surprised and shocked by their struggle, they realize, “Okay, this is a struggle. This is part of the plan.”

Call to ACTION!

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#030 It’s Hard To Be Resilient, and That’s Okay!

#009 Turning Struggles Into Strengths

What Strengths Are You Building Right Now?

“The struggle you’re in today is developing the strength you need for tomorrow. Don´t give up.”
~ Robert Tew

Why does struggling get such a bad wrap?

Struggling has gotten a bad wrap.

We seem to think that struggling is something that should be avoided.

We are hardwired to avoid struggles and discomfort. This is just a basic part of being human. Our brains have evolved to minimize effort and maximize efficiency.

Society and media look down on struggles.

The truth about struggling.

Struggling makes us stronger, more experienced, and more able to connect with others.

Struggling isn’t the problem, it’s the discomfort that we experience with the struggle.

Deep down we respect the struggle and those who overcome struggles and adversity. We love rooting for the underdog. We love hearing motivational stories about how people have overcome even the worst of times.

Struggles are a part of life that affects EVERYONE, not just our teens and not just people who have done something wrong.

If you take the time to think about it, you’ll find areas of growth in your life that ONLY came about because of struggle and adversity. Struggles are nothing more than an opportunity to grow.

5 Simple keys to harness the power of struggles.

You’re going to struggle in life. Your teen is going to struggle in life. Here are 5 simple keys to help you and your teen make the most of your past, current, and future struggles.

  1. Change your perspective and mindset when it comes to struggles.
    • The way you think about the struggle will determine how you feel about it, which will influence the actions you choose to take.
    • How you are feeling about your struggle is an indicator of what you think about it.
  2. Rather than focusing on the obstacles, focus on the opportunities (yes, this is very closely related to mindset).
    • This is simple, and yet SO HARD!
    • This takes some creativity. It’s is natural and easy to find the obstacle, the negative. Instead, get creative and explore:
      • What opportunities are there?
      • What benefits can I find?
      • How am I growing?
  3. Stop trying to fix it, hide it, or change it, and embrace it.
    • Resisting your struggle often only increases your struggle.
    • Viewing your struggle as a problem needing fixing leads to feeling shame about the problem.
    • The quickest way to grow from struggles is to embrace the discomfort that comes with struggling.
  4. Identify skills that will help you through the struggle.
    • This is the perfect time to learn, practice, and master some new skills.
    • Every struggle comes with a set of skills to learn. Identify the skills and get to work.
    • This is like weight lifting at the gym. It doesn’t get lighter or easier, you just get stronger and make it look easy.
  5. Trust the process.
    • In the moment it can be hard to use the skills mentioned above.
    • Sometimes all we can do is trust the process.

So, where do I start?

Get curious. Explore the struggles that you are having as a parent and practice using the 5 keys mentioned above.

When it comes to your teen and their struggles, again, get curious. What can you see that they can’t? How is this helping them grow. How can you support them without minimizing their struggle or exaggerating their struggle?

We can’t change our teens. We can’t make them handle struggles better. All we can do is trust their process. Trust that they are doing their best, and trust that change begins with us. By simply changing how we view and handle struggles, it will influence how our teens view and handle their own struggles.

Join the 5 Day Be The Change Challenge

If you haven’t yet, join our FREE Be the Change Challenge. Each day we will be doing simple 5-10 minute daily exercises to help give you a powerful perspective on your role as a parent and your ability to be the catalyst for incredible change in your life and your relationship with your teen.

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