Something life continues to show us is that bumps in the road happen. The ability to be resilient and persevere, allows us to overcome challenges. We grow in strength and confidence. These things are as important to our children’s success as the academics we teach.
I am blessed to have a beautiful valley park close to my home to run. When I head in, I am going downhill, and the run is peaceful and easy. Headed out is another story. It is a long, gradual climb. One I have not been able to run…until now.
I never noticed the sign in the picture on the way down the hill before. I started thinking about how we teach our students an open mindset, one that allows for possibilities. I decided instead of using this uphill climb to walk as I finish, I would run to the top. I would approach it with the same three steps of resilience and perseverance I teach:
1. One step at a time.
2. Take deep breaths.
3. Personal motivation.
Being in the present and taking things one step at a time, always makes a task more achievable. It is the same as task analysis, each step making the next one more manageable. Looking all the way to the end of a task can be a daunting. Taking one step at a time makes overcoming a challenge look possible.
Deep breaths not only allows for focus, but it empowers the body. Slow breathing also gives us a chance to visualize our success, growing our confidence. Pulling the shoulders down and back, creates room for full, deep breathing.
The personal motivation is incredibly important, giving us purpose to accomplish a task. What we do has to have meaning, especially when it is challenging. Being a five-year survivor of breast cancer, I know exercise is an important part of staying healthy. Yet, to run all the way up this hill, I would need even more incentive. I decided I would exhale the names of those I have promised “thoughts and prayers”. Each breath, each step, a silent prayer. It pushed me harder and made me physically and mentally stronger. It was an amazing feeling.
Resilience and perseverance bring confidence, strength, and hope. Take time to model and practice your own growth mindset with your students. It is a life-skill every one of us needs.