Transformative Thursdays: Resilience is the Key to Success

A few days ago, my fifth grader entered middle school for the first time.  She was excited to “change classes”, meet her new teachers and see her friends, but reality quickly settled in on day three.  In her previous years of school, she hasn’t had homework, or very little, and it was pretty simple.  This year, she will have homework and actual grades on a report card rather than a mastery level of 1, 2 or 3.  On day three, she came home with her first homework assignment.  It was a problem-solving activity which required major thinking skills.  After doing the first three or four problems, she was DONE.  I decided to use this as a teachable moment and encouraged her to complete all 20 problems.  She explained the teacher gave the class the option to do 10 for a prize, 15 for a different prize, 20 for another prize or more than 20.  My daughter quickly decided she just wanted to go for 10.  I explained that she was capable of doing all of them although it might take her some time.  I was willing to help her but giving up was not an option.  We would attempt to do all 20 and maybe a bonus one for good measure.

How many times in life are we hit with situations that are new, difficult, challenging or uncomfortable?  It happens pretty frequently.  Many times, the first temptation is to QUIT.   We just want to get back to what’s comfortable and normal.  But there’s no turning back if you want to experience success.  One of the keys to success is resilience—the ability to keep going, to learn from failure, to push through challenges.  Resilience is getting back up even if it’s the 20th time you’ve fallen.

  1. Be quick to adapt to changing environments.
  2. Learn from every experience.
  3. Keep going regardless of how you feel.
  4. Ask for help if you need it.
  5. Get an accountability partner, mentor or coach.

Is there a situation in which you have given up?  Is there something you need to do today to be resilient?  Make up your mind to go for it.

~Coletta Jones Patterson

Coletta is an author, life coach, business executive and weekly blogger.  Connect with Coletta at

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One thought on “Transformative Thursdays: Resilience is the Key to Success

  1. I just came back from an important meeting where a major topic of conversation was the lack of problem solving skills in students when they complete their K-12. It is one of the largest impediments to gainful employment and career building. I am so glad you are encouraging your children to persist in their problem solving skill development. It will pay off in the end.


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