It can get pretty lonely when you’re chasing your dreams. I think it’s because you realize no one else can make it all happen for you except for yourself.
People who have a strong sense of resilience don’t just wake up like that one day. It’s often years of being broken down that give them a certain resilience that keeps them going.
‘Tis but a scratch! They might say.
Here are 8 traits of people who never let failure get them down.
1) They get scared and get stuck in stalemates.
I remember when I uprooted my entire life to make room for change, it felt a lot more like loss and grief than anything else.
I was too scared to start over again and because I didn’t know this was a part of the process. All I could think about was how I had failed.
That meant being too scared to open up to new people, or even applying for new jobs. I didn’t believe I was worthy of the new life I had literally set myself up for.
It doesn’t make sense looking back, but in the moment, it did! Fear is a strange thing because you aren’t always aware that it’s fear.
My head literally convinced me that it was a bad idea to do things. I was convinced that those were my gut feelings.
But gut feelings don’t exist to help you be avoidant. They should help you to gain multiple perspectives.
So while no opportunity is perfect, nothing is worth locking yourself up in a tower and waiting for someone to save you.
2) They view fear as a gateway.
Your fear of the unknown is what’s keeping you from moving on from your failures. And in that sense, fear is just the step before new experiences.
I think not taking action towards your goals is also a fear of the self. Where you believe all sorts of things about yourself that make you believe you are bound to some tragic fate.
We’ve all heard of the term, “get out of your own way.” And it’s true. Sometimes, the only way we can overcome our fear of success is to overcome our fear of the self.
So rather than doing things to succeed or stroke their egos, resilient people do things in order to quell their curiosities. Like Indiana Jones, for the thrill of it all.
Because maybe an opportunity was too good to be true!
Doesn’t it feel better to know something wasn’t meant for you? Rather than making assumptions that only cloud your sense of reality?
3) They unconditionally love themselves.
People who get out of their own way and embrace life’s changes are often multi-faceted. And they have the stories to prove it!
The end result being a person who doesn’t give up, because they are loyal to the process and themselves.
As corny as this sounds, I had to lose aspects of myself to become who I truly am.
Because I’ve always followed my heart, there were times it led me to make some life-changing decisions. Some of those decisions came with material and emotional losses.
At one point, it felt like these losses were a reflection of my worth. But practice makes perfect, even with failure. I realized that these struggles were a byproduct of change.
And because it happened many times, who I “truly am” is no longer a concept rooted in a specific identity.
Instead, it’s a collection of selves that demonstrate how I love who I can be. That I see how capable I am of overcoming anything.
By reframing my self-love to be unconditional through space and time, it became easier to not identify with my struggles.
But rather as hiccups I would only be facing if I was meant to overcome them.
4) They don’t identify with their struggles.
I’ve been using the term professional bullet dodger for a while to describe the way I see failures as redirections.
Not identifying with your struggles doesn’t mean you ignore them. But it’s about reframing them.
As a woman of colour, there are certain restrictions and systems in place that keep me from experiencing life as a cis white man would.
For example, I’ll never feel safe walking around daylight in a neighbourhood I’m not familiar with.
Or when I speak about my experiences, I will always have to deal with people who doubt me or diminish my struggles.
But those aren’t because of my inherent lack of worth. It’s because we live in a system built on discrepancies!
These issues in our society can create illusions of inadequacy in people like me.
It’s crucial you recreate your perception of yourself that acknowledges the ignorance of others so they don’t become a part of you.
And a part of reclaiming yourself is thriving in your own way. Which can be anything but giving up on yourself or playing small.
5) They accept their individualism.
There’s a streak of independence in people who are resilient.
It’s not that they don’t ask for help or can’t work with others. But they most likely ask for insight than instructions.
And they take time to know what they bring to the table so they can thrive with others. Knowing your strengths and weaknesses, so you know when to ask for help and also offer help.
They also don’t compare their journeys to others because they believe in the value of forging their own path.
When you define your own success, it makes celebrating your wins feel much more special.
It’s also hard to bring down someone who lives life to the beat of their own drum. They’re doing it all for reasons beyond your comprehension and happily so.
6) They know achieving their goals isn’t supposed to be easy.
I’m all about working smarter, not harder. But I know that doesn’t mean everything will be easy.
This is a huge scam that we are sold from a young age. That if we suffer and get through school, we will be awarded with a stable job.
But nothing is guaranteed and there are especially fewer guarantees when it comes to finding a job that will actually make you happy.
Because that requires you to be real with yourself. It means leaving a job if you don’t like it and starting the process over again if you have to.
The quicker you accept this, the easier it will be to make the process feel worth it.
Sure, there’s no real finish line, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t get easier. With practice and consistency, I found that the hiccups in my journey didn’t exhaust me as much.
This also instilled a sense of stubbornness in me that I can only describe as selective of who I take advice from.
A type of selectiveness that found even more momentum once I found a sense of purpose. Which only sounds intimidating, but really isn’t.
7) They feel a deep connection with their purpose.
The problem with a lot of New Age spirituality is that they can often lack a sense of reality. I think a lot of it is a marketing ploy to keep you coming back for more.
And if you’re into manifestation, you probably know about visualization. Which is a great tool to get to know your fears and desires.
But visualization alone will not keep you warm at night. Most likely, it will keep you up.
It might make you feel like you’re running in place towards a goal-post that keeps moving. Which only makes failure feel imminent and something to fear.
I watched Ideapod co-founder Justin Brown’s free Find Your Purpose masterclass, and felt validated in how I felt about all of this.
Justin saw how these self-help techniques only made him foster a lack-mindset, so he decided to try something new.
Which is when he found himself in Brazil with a shaman and learned to derive a sense of purpose from within.
Because becoming your “best self” shouldn’t drive you away from the present.
It should teach you to see the value in the failures, successes and everything in between. Even if the goal post does a backflip and lands somewhere else.
8) They are realistically optimistic.
The difference between the realistic kind and the forced kind depends on how emotionally available you are to yourself.
In conjunction with having a realistic sense of purpose, I find that true optimism has a sense of direction. So that way, you can sit with your shortcomings and learn lessons that are relevant to you.
Rather than being blindly optimistic and a touch delusional (I’ve been there), it takes into consideration what you value. It requires you to be serious about what you want.
Because what’s the point of being happy with a silver lining that doesn’t have anything to do with your purpose?
A positive outlook shouldn’t require you to fear negative emotions, it should instead help you feel more open to them.
And knowing how to channel your optimism can help you make more meaningful decisions, and be more adaptable as you coast through challenges.
Uncertainty is naturally blinding and a sign that you’re changing. When you’re in the thick of it, it’s hard to not get down.
So with everything being said, I think the trait to nurture within yourself is grace.
And letting your eyes adjust so you can truly admire who you’ve become.