Character Chats

What Resilience Looks Like

What does resilience look like?

Here at True Balance Karate, we have a social emotional learning program called True Character. I’m Master H., owner and chief instructor here at the studio, and together we’ve developed this curriculum to best meet the needs of our youngest student who’s four and our oldest students who are 85.


And this month we’ve been talking about resilience. We started off with defining it, pushing ourselves out of our comfort zone and bouncing back. Being like that rubber band that bounces back when we hit some adversity. We learn, we grow, we get back up, we try, try again.

Last week we talked about how resilience is problem solving and how do we use our resilience to solve our problems? And it starts with specifically identifying what that problem is and then following through with a list of possible solutions, a list of possible things to try. And then using that list to prioritize. Where am I going to start? What am I going to do first? How do I really actually try to solve this problem instead of just sitting there and suffering through it all? Because resilience is about learning and growing and pushing ourselves out of that comfort zone.

Types of Resilience Skills

And today we’re talking about our resilient skills. What does it actually look like when we are working through being resilient and facing those problems? And it does look a lot like what last week’s conversation was. It does look a lot like solving problems, but it can also look a lot like having an “I can do it” determined attitude. It can look like reminding ourselves of what we are capable of doing. When we’re practicing our resilience, it can look like positive self-talk and it can look like talking positively with our friends so that we’re sharing with them what we need to remind ourselves of what to say.

It can look like reminding ourselves that we’re strong, that we’re able, that we’re capable. All of those things are demonstrating our resilient attitude. Another thing that resilience can look like is taking deep breaths, pausing for a minute, giving ourselves a timeout. A timeout does not have to be a bad thing. It could be like pressing restart or reset. When we’re talking about our resilience, sometimes we need to take a step back, take a deep breath and take a more worldview of whatever that experience is that we’re having at the moment. Whatever that feeling that we’re having at the moment, whatever is going on, if we kind of pretend to climb a tree and we take more of a overview look of it all rather than being stuck with trying to figure out how to fix it, that gives us a chance to reset and come at the problem from a different angle, from a different viewpoint. And that could be what resilience looks like.

Resilience can also be about asking how. It’s not sitting there and whining, “Why can’t I have my way? Why won’t it work?” Why does not help us. I mean, it could, depending on how you view it, but how gives you a better actionable word to answer. How is this not working? How can I make this happen? How can I solve this problem? How is a good way to think about the questions that we want to ask ourselves so that we have a more actionable item to help ourselves bounce back when we’re demonstrating our resilience. Whining is not going to help us. Sitting there and letting somebody else solve the problem is not going to help us. Complaining about it is not going to help us.

But taking a few deep breaths, taking a different viewpoint, asking how, talking it over with a friend, a parent, a teacher, a colleague, working through those different feelings and emotions, going through the three steps we talked about last week, the problem solving.

Those are all resilient skills that will help us learn and grow outside of our comfort zone. Because at the end of the day, our goal is to sharpen our skills. Our goal is to become better people. Our goal is to help out our friends, help out ourselves, help out those around us. And it’s about pushing through tough times and being better than we were yesterday, being better than we were last week, being better than we were last year, so that we can continue to develop our resilient skills.

And next week we’re going to talk about a motto to help us remember to always use those resilient skills and that will be how we wrap up the month of resilience.

Thanks, and I’ll see you on the mat!


True Balance Karate was founded in 2012 by Master Sue and Paul Helsdon.

We offer kids karate lessons for pre-school children ages 3-6 and elementary age kids ages 7 and up. These lessons are designed to develop the critical building blocks kids need — specialized for their age group — for school excellence and later success in life.

Our adult martial arts training is a complete adult fitness and conditioning program for adults who want to lose weight, get (and stay) in shape, or learn self-defense in a supportive environment.

Instructors can answer questions or be contacted 24 hours of the day, 7 days a week at 630-663-2000. You can also contact us here