People who overcame adversity growing up usually have these 8 unique traits

What is your coping style when you fail at something or tragedy becomes a reality? 

You might try to block things out because you just can’t deal with them, but eventually, they catch up and leave you emotionally drained. 

On the other hand, you could shake the dust off and gradually face the difficulties that have made it seem impossible for you to move on. 

But it’s a whole different ball game when you’re talking about dealing with failure and tragedy in your youth. For most, it can lead to positive change and build confidence into adulthood. 

The truth is that people who overcame adversity growing up usually have these 8 unique traits that help them stay focused and purposeful rather than become stuck or lost. 

Resilience, efficacy, and emotional intelligence are a few important ones to mention, but let me help you unpack the most common traits below. 

1) Acceptance. 

Sometimes, we have no choice but to accept the things that we cannot change, and believe me when I say that when you’ve overcome obstacles throughout your life, you’re happy to get to a point of acceptance. 

This doesn’t mean that you simply lie down and do nothing about your situation. 

It just means that you accept circumstances the way they are, and you understand that some things in life are out of your control. 

When these bad things happen, people who have overcome adversity don’t shy away or hide from these circumstances. They dig deep and embrace the pain and discomfort that come with challenges and constraints. 

It’s hard but possible. 

People who have worked through obstacles from childhood into adulthood have learned that coping starts with acceptance. Only by facing something head-on can you successfully make moves to overcome it. 

2) Self-efficacy. 

When you find yourself facing a tough and unexpected situation, how do you manage it? 

In my case, I first retreat into my psychological shell, and only once I’ve found the strength to confront the problem do I deal with it. 

But people who’ve overcome adversity growing up have the right mindset and confidence in their ability to work through challenges that come their way, and this is what self-efficacy is all about. 

It’s not to be confused with resilience, which focuses on adapting to change. 

People who have a true sense of efficacy have the inner resources to manage their struggles effectively, but how do they do this? 

They master the ability to succeed through experience. 

Self-efficacy is a valuable trait that’s connected to a strong self-esteem. It’s about building the courage to make hard decisions in difficult circumstances and this helps you become psychologically prepared for what the future has in store. 

3) Strength and resilience. 

Adversity and resilience kind of go hand in hand, and resilience is the one trait that many young people learn when facing hardship. 

When you’re resilient, you have the inner strength and courage to take on challenges by adapting to change. 

Most adolescents have experienced some form of adversity by the time they reach adulthood. What helps them build resilience is guidance or support during these tumultuous times. 

I clearly recall one kid in my class back in high school who was pretty popular. He was the team captain and always volunteered for initiatives. What I didn’t know was how much he was struggling with the separation of his parents and the loss of his sister at the time. 

Later in life, I met up with him at a reunion, and he told me that if it wasn’t for his grandfather, who reminded him of his purpose and how loved he was, he would’ve gotten lost in negativity and hopelessness. 

Just having someone by his side to encourage him through those dark days helped him build a strong sense of resilience, which he says saved him many times when life got hard. 

4) Empathy. 

Hardship can either turn your compassion cold or it can ignite something in your heart that makes you better understand what others are going through when things get tough. 

Empathy is quite a gift. 

It helps you see someone else’s perspective, particularly when they’re struggling with loss, frustration, sadness, or trauma. Because you’ve experienced adversity of your own, you’re able to connect with their emotions, which helps you respond to them with sincerity. 

Empathic people generally have high emotional intelligence, which helps them relate to the situations and feelings of other people. 

I can only speak for myself when it comes to empathy and adversity. 

Raised by my grandmother, we didn’t have much, but she always focused on keeping our family close. When I lost her along with my brother and aunt in the same year, it changed the way I felt about my family. I became more appreciative of them, and I didn’t take anything for granted. 

It’s a lesson that I carried from my adolescence into adulthood and if it weren’t for my friends who supported me, I don’t think I would’ve developed such a strong sense of compassion. 

Adversity is humbling because our personal struggles make us more sensitive to the needs of others, which is exactly what empathy is about. 

5) Optimism. 

if you really want to live a healthy life say goodbye to these habits 1 People who overcame adversity growing up usually have these 8 unique traits

There are days when everything in my life just feels like it’s too much to handle. 

Do you feel like this sometimes? 

Unfortunately, tragedies strike, and hardship becomes a reality when you least expect it. But as an adolescent, trying to find yourself when you’re climbing out of a dark pit can be taxing and confusing. 

Those who’ve grown up overcoming their struggles and constraints, eventually recognize that a change in mindset, from helpless to hopeful, goes a long way toward coping and making it through their ordeal. 

It’s not a simple journey and it doesn’t happen overnight, but with optimism, experience, and patience, working past adversity can be life-changing. It’s certainly a recipe for self-improvement

6) Confidence. 

You might never associate confidence with adversity; however, a strong sense of self is definitely a trait that you earn when you’ve taught yourself to work through difficulties. 

Just think about it. 

For anyone to deal with obstacles, they have to believe in their ability to do so. 

You will know that you have the strength to manage bad situations because you’ve grown up in an environment where you’ve learned to be hopeful and strong. 

The more you learn how to help yourself, the better you feel about yourself. That means that you won’t allow other people to treat you poorly, and you know how to set healthy boundaries. 

Believing in yourself, setting boundaries, and trusting your instincts all contribute to building confidence. 

7) Flexibility. 

You’ve grown up surviving difficulties that could have sent you down a very destructive path, but instead, you’ve learned how to adapt to change

You might not realize it when you’re going through a tough time, but as you get older, your ability to push forward despite failure or tragedy contributes to flexibility. 

The next time change comes your way; your flexible approach makes it easier to focus on how you’re going to tackle the situation without falling apart. 

Just remember that flexibility makes it easier to adapt to rather than resist change. 

Combined with your sense of resilience, you figure out the best way to cope with or approach the problem so you know which steps you need to take next. 

It’s a learning curve. 

Whether you’ve had to teach yourself or you’ve learned from the support and guidance of family, your past adversity can help you become a much more flexible person. 

8) Perseverance. 

It’s pretty hard to imagine going through trauma and coming out the other side feeling purposeful and driven. 

There are many young people who’ve faced tragedies, yet they’ve turned into motivated adults who continue to work on themselves and their goals. 

When you’re in a situation where it’s either sink or swim, you have to teach yourself to swim. 

The truth is that we can all grow from hardship because it teaches us to appreciate more and to live in the moment. It’s about lifting ourselves up and making the choice to persevere even when things are hard, and we don’t understand it. 

If you continue to work towards your goals despite the adversity you faced in childhood, you’ve developed the drive and motivation you need to make it through any crisis. 

This fight is what gives you purpose. 

You should never feel shameful about what you’ve experienced in the past. The only thing that really matters is how you allow these events to shape who you are today. 

You have a choice in the process, and you can accept the situation for what it is and move forward or turn your back on the world. 

Either way, it’s up to you to be the author of your life story and to make it a positive one.

I can only hope that you discover the 8 traits that I’ve mentioned above if you’ve grown up in adversity and that you focus on positivity and purpose rather than becoming stuck in anger, frustration, and refusing to accept your past. 

Picture of Marcel Deer

Marcel Deer

Marcel is a journalist, gamer, and entrepreneur. When not obsessing over his man cave or the latest tech, he’s failing helplessly at training his obnoxious rescue dog ‘Boogies’.

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