The ESSENTIALS: Developing the Growth Mindset to Overcome Adversity and Manage Stress (Digital Curriculum)


This module will introduce strategies for developing the growth mindset that helps us overcome adversity and manage stress. In all aspects of life, including athletics, school, and work, we experience countless challenges, setbacks, and failures. If we have the right mindset, we learn and grow from the challenges life presents; if we do not, we are often plagued by stress, doubt, and despair. Developing the ability “to grow and let go” is therefore essential. Participants will be introduced to the Grow-and-Let-Go Strategies and take an Optimal Performance Self-Assessment.


No matter what you call them — character skills, SEL skills, positive psychology strengths, employability skills, 21st-century competencies, or even soft skills— these foundational skills are essential in every family, school, extra-curricular, sport, employment/STEM readiness program, community, or workplace.

The ESSENTIALS is a research-based character development and leadership enhancement program designed for educators working with middle and high school-aged youth. The ten focus areas in The ESSENTIALS series represent critical competencies for developing character and culture skills needed for success in school, extra-curricular activities, work, and beyond.

The ESSENTIALS modules draw upon nearly 25 years of applied research and development in K-16 education, workplaces, and sports.

Educators can introduce each ESSENTIALS module as a single experience or break it into several 15-minute lessons. Students can use the module’s core tool or strategies repeatedly to master the competency over time. In addition, each module includes several extension activities and teaching ideas, allowing for extra practice throughout a course, semester, or year.

View all 12 ESSENTIALS modules / topics

The ESSENTIALS – Frequently Asked Questions

Growth Mindset – Flipbook

Growth Mindset. Character Counts - SEL/character education curriculum, lessons, and activities


The ESSENTIALS: Series Introduction

Introduction to Essentials


CASEL Core Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) Competency Alignment: Self-Management

Six Pillar Alignment: Citizenship, Responsibility