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Young people ONLY build resilience by challenging themselves.

External challenges - set by adults, or even life itself - won't do it.

We've all heard stories of people building resilience through challenges that were thrust upon them. But those stories as rare as they are riveting.

The difference between the ones who toughen up, and those who are beaten down by life, is whether or not they EMBRACE the challenge. Only those who decide to say "this problem is mine to solve", will grow.

Once you get that people need to challenge themselves and not be challenged by parents, teachers or even life - you'll see that the current vogue of putting young people in difficult situations and hoping that they build resilience is actually quite risky. If you're lucky, they might own the challenge, and grow; but it's usually not the case.

On the other hand, if you give young people space and support to choose their challenges for themselves - especially in order to get something that they want - most people will. And the ones that do, automatically set themselves on the path to building true resilience.

So if you want to help young people build resilience, try taking a load OFF their shoulders, instead of putting one on.

Help them feel safe, supported, and optimistic about life, and you'll set the conditions for them to feel confident enough to challenge themselves.

November 2023
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Georgios Zonnios
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