If you’ve experienced these 9 things in life, you’re more resilient than you think

You might think you’re weak just because you feel strongly, carry a lot of stress on your shoulders, and go through the occasional breakdown.

A person who’s sobbing in tears while lying on the floor isn’t exactly a perfect picture of strength, right?


What if I told you that you’re probably much more resilient than you think? That having a meltdown from time to time says nothing about your ability to overcome obstacles and recover from failure?

That there’s a lot of power hiding inside you, waiting to be recognized and nurtured?

If you’ve experienced these 9 things in life, you’re much more resilient than you give yourself credit for.

1) You’ve gone through a major life change

Flexibility is a hallmark of resilience. It shows that you’re able to adapt to new circumstances, recover from shocks to the system, and find happiness once the initial blow’s been recognized and accepted.

And going through any major life change fosters exactly that.

Have you ever moved house? Left your parents’ home to go to college? Transferred between schools? Changed career paths?

It may seem like a small thing, but the fact that you’ve been able to enter a completely new era of your life and thrive as a result already proves you’re much more resilient than you think.

2) You’ve had your heart broken

Ah, heartbreak.

It hurts like hell, doesn’t it? In fact, research shows that the pain you feel after your heart’s been broken triggers the same response in the brain as breaking your leg.

Yep, it’s that bad.

When you’re going through a breakup, your body is experiencing something akin to drug withdrawal as all the feel-good hormones associated with your partner (such as oxytocin and dopamine) slowly decrease in volume.

What’s more, a huge part of your identity has been shattered to pieces. 

Chances are, you’ve planned your future with this person, you’ve grown used to the idea of being part of a team rather than a single unit, and you can’t stomach the idea your best friend is going to slowly disappear from your life until nothing but memories remain.

This pain is so challenging to bear that surviving the experience and becoming stronger for it boosts your resilience.

Now that you’ve managed to mend your heart back together and reflect on your past relationship, it’ll be much easier for you to navigate both romantic and friendship-based relationships in the future.

3) You’ve been rejected and found another way

Rejection can be a real hit to one’s self-esteem.

The university you’ve dreamed of attending since you were twelve sends you a rejection letter.

The person you’re head over heels in love with friendzones you.

The manuscript you’ve been working on for five years doesn’t seem to garner any interest from literary agents.

When these things happen to us, we often feel like the world is ending.

How can you ever be happy again? The future seems bleak and full of misery. Nothing but eternal doom is awaiting you.

But then a few months pass by, other opportunities pop up, and you realize that one rejection is never the end. In fact, it’s the beginning of something else. Something that is meant for you.

You might not have attended your dream university, but you found the perfect course at another institution that eventually skyrocketed your career.

The person who friend zoned you moved away, and when you went out one night, you met the love of your life.

You decided to self-publish your manuscript and market it online, turning it into an Amazon bestseller.

Remember – rejection is redirection.

4) You’ve faced your fears

man If you’ve experienced these 9 things in life, you’re more resilient than you think

Want to know how I boosted my resilience a few years ago?

I did the things that terrified me. I suffered from terrible social anxiety at the time, but instead of staying home and staring at the ceiling for another depressing month, I went out of my comfort zone. I started going on dates and making new friends.

I exposed myself to what my brain deemed as danger one step at a time.

Soon, it dawned on me that my fears were only ever that – scary ideas I’d constructed in my head that had no bearing on reality.

The more I asserted myself in public, the easier it became to navigate the social world around me and gain confidence.

I chose to be brave, and my resilience increased thanks to that decision.

5) You’ve managed to get out of a toxic relationship

There are very few things in life that will put you through as much emotional overwhelm as relationships do.

Especially if the dynamic between you and the person you care about is very unhealthy.

Have you ever had to navigate a troubling relationship with a family member? What about a friend or a partner? How have you handled this?

It shows a great deal of courage to cut off people who aren’t good for your mental health no matter how much you love them. And even if you’re still in contact, emotional detachment is more than enough to improve your resilience and alter the way you navigate your future relationships.

So, if you’ve ever been in a toxic relationship and learned how to set your boundaries as a result… you’re very resilient, I’ll tell you that.

6) You’ve gone through financial hardship

When I was in my first year of university, my friend and I used to do “fun” shopping challenges. We tried to get our week’s worth of groceries for as little as twelve pounds (15 USD).

Naturally, we didn’t do this because we wanted to. We did it because it was the only way to make our financial hardship bearable. Turning it into a form of entertainment helped lift our spirits.

While my financial situation’s improved tremendously since then, I still think of those days sometimes. Not only does the memory help me put things into perspective and feel a lot of gratitude for where I am now, but it also reminds me how resourceful and adaptable I can be.

When you struggle to afford a cup of coffee and somehow make it through the years, it changes you. It grounds you within yourself. It shows you that no matter what happens, you can take care of yourself.

7) You’ve recovered from an injury

There’s nothing more debilitating than recovering from an injury or going through an illness.

Most of us take our health for granted until something bad happens. The moment our body causes us even the slightest inconvenience, we reminisce about the times when we didn’t have to deal with any issues whatsoever and sigh over our misfortune.

It’s a bit like air. You don’t notice it’s there until it’s gone.

But this is also why recovering from an injury strengthens your character so much.

Last year, my back snapped. I was paralyzed from the waist down for four days. It took me over a month to be able to walk without crutches.

I’m not going to lie – it was terrible.

But you know what? The experience taught me just how strong one can be when the circumstances demand it. During the recovery, I was at my absolutely most vulnerable – and I made it through.

What’s more, I’ve learned and grown from the experience. I now work out regularly to ensure my back is as strong as possible.

8) You’ve moved to a foreign country

how to stop being needy

If there’s one highly effective way to boost resilience, it’s got to be uprooting yourself from your native culture and moving your entire life to an unknown land.

As someone who’s done exactly that, I can attest it’s… pretty wild.

Learning a new language and looking for friends is one thing.

But then you’ve also got all the admin stuff to deal with – getting yourself acquainted with the law, completing various immigration forms, renting a flat, signing up for council tax and national insurance and other important schemes, making sure you’re not accidentally breaking any rules…

It’s a lot.

But it’s also an incredible way to grow as a person. Once you’ve managed to build a life in a foreign country, you know you can do pretty much anything.

It’s basically a crash course in empowerment.

9) You’ve kept going despite failure

Lastly, you’re more resilient than you think if you’ve ever failed and decided not to let it stop you.

Got a bad grade at school? You worked extra hard to ace the next exam.

Lost a match? You scheduled an extra session every week to practice more.

Built one business after another only to see them fail? You took the time to approach your system from a new angle, learned new information, and put even more effort into your next business idea.

In its essence, resilience is the ability to recover from failure and thrive thanks to it. It’s the willingness to keep going even if everyone else has given up.

And guess what?

If you never give up…you are bound to reach your destination one way or another.

Picture of Denisa Cerna

Denisa Cerna

Hi! I’m a fiction author and a non-fiction freelance writer with a passion for personal development, mental health, and all things psychology. I have a graduate degree in Comparative Literature MA and I spend most of my time reading, travelling, and – shocker – writing. I’m always on a quest to better understand the inner workings of the human mind and I love sharing my insights with the world. If any of my articles change your life for the better… mission accomplished. Get in touch at denisacerna.writing@gmail.com or find me on LinkedIn.

Enhance your experience of Ideapod and join Tribe, our community of free thinkers and seekers.

Related articles

Most read articles

Get our articles

Ideapod news, articles, and resources, sent straight to your inbox every month.