9 signs you’re a naturally resilient person, according to psychology

Resilience. It’s that elusive quality that allows some folks to bounce back from adversity while others crumble under the pressure.

Psychologists define resilience as the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, or significant sources of stress.

So, are you a naturally resilient person? There are some tell-tale signs that can help you figure this out.

The following are 9 signs, backed by psychology, that you’re a naturally resilient individual. Let’s dive in and see if you’ve got what it takes to roll with life’s punches with grace and poise.

1) You see challenges as opportunities

Resilience is often tied to perspective.

According to psychologists, resilient individuals tend to have a unique way of viewing life’s challenges. Instead of seeing these challenges as insurmountable problems, they see them as opportunities.

When faced with a setback, their minds immediately shift to solution mode. They’re not focused on the issue at hand, but rather, on how they can overcome it.

This doesn’t mean that they’re unrealistically optimistic all the time – it just means they’re problem-solvers by nature.

Remember, resilience doesn’t mean avoiding stress or hardship, but effectively managing and working through it. So if you have a knack for turning lemons into lemonade, you might just be a naturally resilient person.

It’s all about mindset, and that’s something you can cultivate. So even if you don’t fall into this category right now, with a little bit of work and a shift in perspective, you could be well on your way to becoming more resilient.

2) You’re able to bounce back

Here’s a personal anecdote that perfectly encapsulates this: a few years ago, I found myself in the middle of a major career shift. The company I was working for at the time was going through a restructuring phase and, unfortunately, my role was made redundant.

For anyone who’s been in a similar situation, you know how gut-wrenching it can be. It felt like my world was turned upside down. It was more than just losing a job – it was about losing a part of my identity.

But here’s where the resilience came into play – instead of wallowing in self-pity or letting this setback define me, I chose to see it as an opportunity.

I spent the following weeks networking, sharpening my skills, and relentlessly applying to jobs that aligned with my career goals. It wasn’t easy and there were times when I doubted myself, but I kept pushing forward.

Fast forward a few months later, I landed a job that was even better suited to my skills and interests.

The ability to bounce back from adversity is a key trait of a resilient individual. After all, life is not about how many times you get knocked down, but how many times you get back up.

3) You maintain a positive outlook

Have you ever noticed that some people seem to carry an air of positivity around them, even in the face of adversity? That’s a trait of a resilient individual.

Maintaining a positive outlook isn’t about ignoring the negatives or suppressing negative emotions. It’s about acknowledging the situation for what it is and choosing to focus on the positives.

Interestingly, research from the University of Pennsylvania has shown that people who can maintain a positive outlook have a better shot at bouncing back from life’s challenges. This research also suggests that optimism can help individuals cope with stress and reduce the risk of many health issues, including heart disease and depression.

So, if you’re someone who tends to see the glass as half-full rather than half-empty, you’re likely more resilient than you think.

4) You’re adaptable

Life is full of changes and unexpected twists and turns. And how you respond to these changes speaks volumes about your level of resilience.

Those who are naturally resilient have a high degree of adaptability. They don’t resist or fear change; instead, they embrace it. They understand that change is a natural part of life and they’re open to new experiences and ways of doing things.

Whether it’s a sudden shift in your personal life or an unplanned change at work, if you’re able to adjust your sails accordingly and keep moving forward, then you’re showing signs of being a resilient person.

Adaptability is key to surviving and thriving in this ever-changing world. So, if you’re someone who tends to go with the flow rather than resisting the current, give yourself a pat on the back for your resilience.

pic1973 9 signs you’re a naturally resilient person, according to psychology

5) You have a strong support system

Resilient individuals understand the importance of having a strong support system. They surround themselves with positive, uplifting individuals who offer encouragement and support in times of need.

This doesn’t mean that resilient people always lean on others for help. Rather, they know when to reach out and connect with others and when to stand on their own two feet.

They also recognize the value of giving support and are often there for others in their time of need. This reciprocal relationship helps build a sense of community and belonging, which further strengthens their resilience.

If you’ve got a solid group of friends or family who you can turn to for support (and who can turn to you), you’re demonstrating another sign of natural resilience.

6) You know how to self-care

In a world that often glorifies busy-ness and constant productivity, taking the time for self-care can sometimes feel like a luxury. But for resilient people, it’s a necessity.

Self-care is all about recognizing what you need to recharge and refuel, and giving yourself permission to do it. It can be as simple as taking a quiet walk in the park, reading a good book, or spending time on a hobby you love.

Resilient individuals understand that in order to face life’s challenges with strength and grace, they need to take care of their own physical and mental well-being first. They aren’t afraid to prioritize themselves when needed.

If you’re someone who sets aside time for self-care, even when life gets busy or challenging, you’re showing another sign of resilience. Remember, it’s not selfish to take care of yourself. It’s essential. And it’s a beautiful demonstration of strength and resilience.

7) You’re not afraid of failure

I remember when I was starting out in my career, I faced a lot of rejections. Each one felt like a personal blow, and there were moments when I questioned my abilities and worth. But over time, I realized that failure wasn’t something to be feared – it was something to be embraced.

Failure can be one of life’s greatest teachers. It provides invaluable lessons and can pave the way for future success.

Resilient individuals understand this.

They’re not afraid to take risks or step out of their comfort zones, even if it means facing potential failure.

They see failure as a stepping stone, not a roadblock.

8) You have a strong sense of purpose

Resilient people often have a strong sense of purpose. They have a clear understanding of their values, goals, and what they want to achieve in life.

This sense of purpose fuels their motivation and drives them forward, even during tough times. It acts as an internal compass, guiding them through life’s ups and downs.

When faced with adversity, they’re able to stay focused on their bigger picture, their ‘why’, which helps them navigate through the challenges and keep moving forward.

If you’re someone who has a clear sense of what you want from life and why, you’re showing another key sign of resilience. Having a purpose is like having a lighthouse in the dark – it guides you when times get tough.

9) You practice gratitude

Gratitude can be a powerful force in fostering resilience. Even in the face of adversity, resilient people are able to find things to be grateful for.

They make it a habit to acknowledge the good in their life, regardless of how small or big it may be. This practice helps them maintain a positive outlook and keeps them grounded.

Gratitude acts as a buffer against stress and negativity. It shifts the focus from what’s going wrong to what’s going right, thereby fostering resilience.

If you’re someone who regularly practices gratitude, you’re embodying a key trait of a resilient person. Remember, it’s not about ignoring the negatives, but about acknowledging the positives – that’s where resilience lies.

Final thoughts: It’s in your hands

Resilience is more than just a trait – it’s a mindset, a lifestyle, and for many, a lifeline. It’s what helps us navigate life’s ups and downs, enables us to bounce back from adversity, and pushes us to keep moving forward.

Interestingly, research from the American Psychological Association notes that resilience is not a trait that people either have or do not have. It involves behaviors, thoughts, and actions that can be learned and developed by anyone.

That means, even if you didn’t resonate with all the signs listed in this article, that doesn’t mean you’re not resilient or can’t become more so.

You have the power to cultivate resilience within you. It’s about honing your ability to adapt to change, maintain a positive outlook, lean on your support system when needed, practice self-care and gratitude, embrace failure as a learning opportunity, and stay focused on your purpose.

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Picture of Tina Fey

Tina Fey

I've ridden the rails, gone off track and lost my train of thought. I'm writing for Ideapod to try and find it again. Hope you enjoy the journey with me.

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