There is something raw and scary and difficult about that moment when you stare failure in the face. Every piece of your body enters a flight or fight stage and you respond, many of us into a place very unlike your daily self. We all have a place in our heart that craves a moment of success from the smallest feat to the largest accomplishment. Success feels good. The opportunities for success and failure approach multiple times each day and while many will say there is no right or wrong, in our hearts we have an expectation.
It may be that you expect that great pair of pants to fit after months at the gym or that you pass the final exam you have taken a week to study for. Maybe it is the hope that the courage you have built up to say a simple “hello” is matched with a pleasant response. Whatever your struggle, there is not much more fulfilling than being successful. Unfortunately, many of us have most likely met many moments, maybe even more moments, of failure in our life. So, what is it that drives us to go on and to continue even if we have not done well the first time around. Why don’t we all just stop, sit down, and give up?
It is possible, that our unbridled way of moving on despite failure is built out of a natural instinct to survive. It could be evolution at it’s best. Survival of the fittest. More often though, I would classify it as resilience. Resilience in its most simple form is the innate ability to try again when things do not go as planned. It requires the ability to be flexible enough to know that there may be another way. There is not a tangible reward waiting at the end of the road, there is simply determination to try again and hopefully get it right. Once you have had the opportunity to pair resilience with success you are then intrinsically motivated to try again next time and thus the cycle begins.
Having a breakdown in your ability to be resilient can result in a stand still in your ability to move forward. This can impact academics, social relationships, work, and a million other applications where resilience is necessary. There is a recipe for becoming resilient though, and as simple as it sounds, it is the only way to grow. To become resilient you must practice the art of resiliency by trying again next time you are staring down the face of failure. If you are helping your child become resilient you can provide them opportunities of success when they try again and spotlight the moment when they decide to try one more time. Get something wrong on purpose and let them watch you be resilient. The truth is, resiliency is not about getting it right or wrong; but instead having the courage to try again.