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How Resilient Educators Thrive by Embracing Gratitude and Celebrating Wins

Updated: Jul 6

Quote: Gratitude is like a flashlight. It lights up what is already there. You don't necessarily have anything more or different, but suddenly you can actually see what it is. And because you can see, you no longer take it for granted." MJ Ryan

I fell in love with this quote when I first read it. I really speaks to being mindful and intentional about looking for the good in the world. Both of these habits translate directly into resiliency.

Let's take a quick look back at our definition of resilience:

"Resilience is the ability to withstand and recover quickly from adversity, challenges, or stressors. It involves the capacity to adapt, bounce back, and maintain well-being in the face of difficult circumstances." ~Definition written in collaboration with AI.

Four images in a 2 x 2 grid pattern, all showing people helping one another.

Purposefully looking for opportunities to be grateful and to show that gratitude to others has many benefits. First, it deepens social connections. We are designed to be social beings that want to connect with others, and showing gratitude is one great way to do this. Next, it deepens emotional intelligence and self-confidence. Yes, showing gratitude to others makes you a more confident person! This is because when you express gratitude, you're focusing on positive experiences and emotions. It is this focus that if practiced and reinforced overtime, can lead to a more positive mindset, which boosts your self-confidence and self-awareness by reinforcing a sense of worth and accomplishment. Additionally, practicing gratitude will make it a habit and habits turn into dispositions. Dispositions are a person's natural tendency to think, feel, and act in a certain way. Turning gratitude into a disposition strengthens our resiliency.

My favorite side benefit of practicing gratitude is that it motivates you to do kind things for others. There is a very memorable commercial (I can't tell you for who 🤣) that is a series of good deeds being passed forward. It starts with someone holding a door for someone, who then helps someone who dropped something, and on and on it goes. Imagine if this was the life everyone aspired to live? How different would our world be?

Clipart image of a group of people celebrating. A man stands on a platform in the middle of the group, seemingly connected to a large balloon.

Another way that we can strengthen our resilience is by recognizing when we've done a good job and celebrating our wins. This can seem more daunting than celebrating others. The reason is because celebrating ourselves or receiving our own thanks and gratitude can make us feel like we're being prideful. This brings up emotions that make us feel uncomfortable. I'm here to tell you, though, that's its okay and good for you to take ownership of your successes! One thing that I became aware of was that when people would tell me , "Thank you," for helping them out or doing something for them, my immediate response was, "No worries, " or "No big deal,". This totally negates the time and effort that I put into doing whatever it was that I did. So now, I practice simply saying, "You're welcome." This acknowledges the effort that the other person is making to show their gratitude, and it acknowledges my contributions as well. This too, builds resilience.

To show my gratitude and celebrate you, Awesome Educator, I've written you a poem using the word GRATITUDE.

Animated image of an acrostic poem written using the word, "gratitude".

I hope that you have enjoyed this series on building educator resiliency. If you haven't read the other 3 posts, I have linked them below.

Title and images created in collaboration with AI using ChatGPT and, respectively. All other content was created by the author.


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