Top Habits of Highly Resilient People

How to bounce back from failiure

Have you ever noticed how some people are stressed during transitions while others seem to be unfazed by it all? People who can face failure, or stressful situations, without getting overwhelemed are showing emotional resilience. Resiliency is the ability to recover and learn from life's setbacks without losing your optimism, sense of self-worth, and the ability to take reasonable risks. Resilient people soothe from within and not from sources such as drugs or alcohol.

Here are seven things that emotionally resilient people do when faced with a difficult situation:

Top Habits of Highly Resilient People

Learn the immense power you possess

Patricia Thompson, Ph.D., an Atlanta-based corporate psychologist and author of “The Consummate Leader: a Holistic Guide to Inspiring Growth in Others…and in Yourself,” shared her thoughts as to the top traits of resilient people:


Resilient people have an understanding of their strengths, weaknesses, triggers, quirks, values and the like. Because they know themselves well, they are able to be intentional about leveraging their strengths and seeking assistance in areas in which they are not as strong. They take time to reflect on areas in which they can further develop to be even more successful, and are open to others’ feedback, so they can guard against having blind spots. The legendary tennis player Billie-Jean King noted this and said, “I think self-awareness is probably the most important thing towards being a champion.”

Maintain perspective

In the journey toward success, mistakes and setbacks are almost a guarantee. However, successful women are able to maintain perspective, dust themselves off, and persist in these instances. Their sense of determination enables them to put in the hard work necessary to achieve their goals, while also maintaining an optimistic mindset. I think Diana Nyad is a great example of this. She is the swimmer who, at age 64, on her fifth attempt, swam from Cuba to Florida. Her first attempt was 35 years prior, and across the years, the causes of her failed attempts included everything from choppy waters to jellyfish stings to asthma attacks. Still, she believes in herself, and finally accomplished her goal. Her mantra that helped her as she swam was, “Find a way.”

Have self-confidence

If you lack a sense of confidence in your abilities, you make the battle that much harder. Successful women may have doubts and fears, but deep down, they have a sense of self-assurance that they can move through difficulties and achieve their goals. You have more power than you think. You can create change in your life.

Top Habits of Highly Resilient People

Learning to be resilient

Audrey Ervin, a licensed professional counselor and a Delaware Valley College counseling psychology faculty member, focuses on helping people develop resiliency in her private practice. She teaches people that the way they react to situations can impact how they do during tough times.

Don’t blow things out of proportion

Resilient people can avoid “awfulizing.” Sometimes non-resilient people make situations seem worse than they are. When someone is “awfulizing” about doing poorly on a paper for example, he may think, “I got a bad grade so, I will fail out of college. I’ll never get a job; I won’t be able to support myself and I’ll never accomplish anything.” Try to think about the situation as a small part of your story that is something you will overcome and learn from. Avoid allowing your mind to wander too far into the future because of one setback.

Maintain a support network

Resilient people reach out for support. Just telling someone who can empathize is helpful even if that person can’t offer you a solution. Support groups specific to the topic are a good option for issues like addiction, a spouse deploying, grief and illnesses. Someone who has been through the same issue will know where you are coming from and may even be able to offer advice on what worked for her.

Time heals all wounds

It’s easier to be resilient when you realize that whatever the problem is, the situation will look different with time. Often during a tough time people will start thinking the situation will never change. A person struggling to make friends may think he will always be alone. What is stressful today is often a distant memory in a year, or sometimes, even a few weeks.

Be grateful

Focus on what you’re grateful for. It’s easy to lose sight of what there is to be thankful for when things are going wrong, but by noticing some positives, you can put yourself in a better place. Are friends supporting you? Take a moment to be grateful for those friends. There is usually something to be thankful for during every difficult time.

Deal with what is happening right now

Deborah S. Simmons, Ph.D., and a licensed relationship counselor, said, “Most people look for control in life. Resilient people deal with what is happening, rather than what they wish was happening. I tell myself and my patients aloud, ‘Okay, this is what is happening right now and what I am going to tackle,’ rather than resisting, controlling or resenting what is happening.”

Related Articles