Alice, age 17: At school I was bullied. Looking back, I can see that it really knocked my confidence but at the time I just felt bad about myself. I always held back from new situations and was just far more withdrawn than I used to be. I guess I just wasn’t enjoying life like I used to. I won’t sugar-coat the process at Be My Best. Resilience training is hard work as you’re basically retraining your brain and how you think. There’s an active amount of work you have to do outside of what you’re thinking - you’ve got to pay close attention to your own behaviour and moods, and you’ll spend a lot of time challenging yourself. But you’ve just got to think of it as similar to getting into a new sport. When you initially start, it’s exhausting and there will be times where you'll want to give up. However, if you stick with it and keep working hard, you’ll abruptly realise one day that you’re not struggling as much as you used to. The training becomes second nature which makes day-to-day-life easier and if things start to get rough again, you’ll now have the skills to navigate life’s obstacles.

 Kate, age 15:  I have always done pretty well at school and have good friends, so to be honest when I my mum told me about resilience training I wasn’t sure what I could get out of it. But I’m really glad I did it – I learned a lot about how looking after your mind is a bit like keeping a house tidy in that if you don’t look after the little things they can easily grow into big things.  I learned how to get the best out of myself with my work, how to plan well and look after myself better. Small things, like before I used to spend my breaks checking emails but I’ve noticed I’m much fresher if I get away from my desk and go for a walk or just play with the dog. Before I wouldn’t have noticed something like that. And when something does hit me badly, like not being asked to a party, I get over it more quickly now.  I’m doing lots of small things like that differently - they don’t seem like a lot at the time but they add up.

Fred, age 14: When I started resilience training I was helped to spot my negative thinking patterns which affected my outlook on life in a way that was not helping me.  Siobhan helped to me to understand myself, like how my brain was working and why I was behaving the way I was. Now I can process big and small life events in a more realistic and more positive way. Because of this I feel better and am more confident than I was six months ago

Richard, age 16: In a nutshell, I’d say resilience training has made me much more self-aware. I realise now that I do have choices about the way I behave, so I can choose behaviours that are effective rather than just allowing myself to react to situations. This has made a big difference to me. Being more self-aware also means that I am better at recognising potential problems early on so I can nip them in the bud rather than allowing them to build and have a negative impact on me. I guess it’s all of this has helped me to feel more in control of my life. Siobhan is a good course leader and makes the workshops fun, interactive and engaging.

"Research shows that only 25% of achievement is due to innate intelligence while the other 75% is attributed to psychological skills such as persistence, grit and resilience."


Olszewski-Kubilius, Talent development as an emerging framework for gifted education, 2013