Cultivating Emotional Resilience in Educators Book Study

Online Book Study to Help You Remember Your "WHY"

(This will count for 1 Trade Out Day in 2019)

*Remember that you will need to bring your journal/folder to your summative conference as evidence in order to receive credit for the Trade Out Day. Keep notes/activities in your journal.


We all tell stories throughout our day. So many things happen in schools, that each one of us has thought about "writing that book"... How do you feel when you remember these stories? Do they make you smile? Do they touch your heart? This month we are focusing on telling the stories in a manner that lifts us up.

Your thoughts are the keys to unlocking reserves of resilience. Start the year with this key habit.

How you interpret and make sense of events is a juncture point where emotional resilience increases or depletes. You make the choice about what story to tell. When you tell empowering stories, your optimism may expand, and optimism is a key trait of resilient people.

River and Rut Stories

Robert Hargrove, a business and life coach guru and the author of Masterful Coaching discusses two kinds of stories that we tell: river and rut.

River stories allow us to feel open, connected, and optimistic. They reflect a commitment to learning, growth, and perseverance.

Rut stories are those in which we get stuck and feel powerless. They cut us off from other people and from our own potential. Rut stories reflect distorted thoughts and problematic core beliefs.

Examples of Rut Stories are
The Victim Story, where we give away all of our power to others or the situation ("the budget", "those parents", "that group of kids", "new standards")
The Tranquilizing Story, when we don't achieve something we want or when we come up with reasons and excuses to feel better ("I had a tough group of kids"; "The copy machine was broken", "We had a hurricane.")
The Why Bother Story, when we want to stay in our comfort zone or avoid responsibility ("I don't have time", "There's no money for that", "I don't have the authority to handle that")

When you notice yourself in a rut (story), take control with these steps:
1. Interrupt yourself ("Hold on, that's a rut story)
2. Dig down. Explore the assumptions you're making.
3. Zoom out. Consider other ways to view what happened or other data that you might not be considering.
4. Make a new story. Craft a new interpretation that is more inspiring, empowering, or accurate.

Reflect in your journal.
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Being Intentional

The third law of motion in physics is that for every action there's an equal and opposite reaction. What you put out comes back to you. Before the thing that goes out, the action, there is the thought to create the action. Behind the thought is an intention - a motivation. That intention is the energy that is going to be returned to you. So taking time to create intentions, to design them as you want, is a high-leverage strategy to influence how you experience your life. If you want to really mine the potential of this habit, set intentions every day for a month or for a year. Or set intentions every day forever.

What will you intentionally do? Can you switch your verbiage from "I have to..." to "I get to..." Teachers that have been through The Leader in Me will remember switching our thoughts from "I have to" to "I will." So very intentional!!!
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Three Good Things Chart

The story of your life is formed by what you notice each day. Start at the beginning of a school week, and set aside 10 minutes before you go to sleep. Write down three good things that went well today and why they happened. This second step is critical. Many people share something positive - reflecting on why it happens will help you make the connection to your actions.
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The Impact of Cognitive Distortions

Sometimes your thoughts will undermine your emotional well-being and ability to thrive due to cognitive distortion. this occurs when the emotional reaction to an event is one of the distorted thoughts below:

Black & White Thinking - Using words such as "always", "every", or "never; Thinking about things as right or wrong, all-or-nothing, great or horrible; Seeing no shades of gray, no complexity in people or situations, no middle ground.

Jumping to Conclusions
- Drawing conclusions about a situation without knowing all the facts, or sometimes without any facts; Even without evidence, making negative assumptions; Feeling supremely confident in knowing how someone else feels about you; Thinking you can infer other's motivations and feelings without hearing a word from them; Feeling confident about predicting outcomes about things that haven't happened; Interpreting other people's behaviors with no input other than your own thoughts

Unrealistic Expectations
- Getting upset when someone else or life in general doesn't measure up to how you think things "should" be; Holding uncompromising rules about how things should be; Blaming yourself and others for things that aren't controllable; Being relentlessly hard on others and on yourself; Using the word "should" a lot

Disqualifying the Positive - Focusing on and magnifying the negative aspects of a person, situation, or experience; Ignoring or explaining away positive fact or experience

Overgeneralizing - Arriving at speedy conclusions with only one piece of evidence; Making conclusions based on one selected fact, situation, or event

Catastrophizing - Thinking that everything will go wrong; Seeing worst-case scenarios and warning others about them; Telling yourself that a situation is horrific and intolerable

Emotional Reasoning - Believing that your feelings reflect the way things actually are; Treating your feelings as facts

Personalization - Thinking everything is about you, especially the bad things; Being sure that anything negative is directed at you or that you are responsible for it happening; Taking the blame for things that you could not control; If something goes wrong, telling yourself, "It must be my fault somehow"; Feeling as though people do things specifically to get at you
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WATCH: The TED talk below to hear about the importance of different stories. What will YOUR story be this year? REFLECT in your journal.