7 Main Characteristics of a Resilient Person

Have you ever seen someone go through something that should have broken them but instead they came back stronger than before? That would be their resilience working! Being resilient is about being able to bounce back from hard things quickly. Resilient people are able to work through hard times, learn from them and grow stronger and more capable to overcome hard things in the future.

Resilience can be seen in a little kid learning how to ski, tumbling down the mountain and still getting up and trying again to a college student failing their first class and learning their best learning strategies and passing that class later on. Characteristics of resilient people can be seen across all cultures and age groups.

There are multiple types of resilience that one can grow and enhance. From resilience in one person to a community as a whole, the types of resilience can be seen everywhere.

  • Emotional resilience
  • Physical resilience
  • Social resilience
  • Mental resilience
  • Community resilience

The main characteristics of a resilient person

1. Self-awareness

Self-awareness is essential because it helps you to see yourself clearly and thoroughly. When you are self aware, you are able to keep yourselves more accountable for your actions because you can see yourself in a real light. With self awareness, you are set up for more success in personal development.

2. Realistic

Being able to see the world and the situations you are faced with in a realistic way is extremely impactful on your ability to be resilient. When combating a hard situation, being able to be realistic helps you to address the situation and make clear, concise decisions about how to take it on. Although being realistic is beneficial, it needs to be balanced by optimism and sometimes a little bit of pessimism!

3. Keeping Calm When Under Stress

The ability to stay calm in hard circumstances is invaluable. Remaining calm allows you to face any obstacle and still make thoughtful decisions on how to combat it. Calamity and resilience go hand in hand because when faced with adversity, both of these characteristics are necessary to overcoming it in a positive manner. 

4. Empathy

Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of others. When a resilient person can also show empathy to those around them, they will have the ability to better understand the situation and how it is impacting other people. With this ability, you will be able to better gauge how to move forward and combat the situation while keeping others in mind. 

5. Self Control

When you are resilient, self control helps you to take control over yourself and your actions. An important aspect of resilience is being able to be accountable for yourself and how you combat issues, and with high self control, you are aware of yourself. Self control comes out the most in times of discomfort and hard situations and that is also where our resilience is seen the most.  

6. Motivated

Without the drive to respond in a particular way or achieve certain accomplishments, you wouldn’t have the stamina and strength to push through obstacles. Being motivated allows you to seek and strive for hard things in life. When resilience and motivation work together, you will be empowered to strive for your goal and overcome obstacles along the way. 

7. Optimistic

When obstacles come up, an optimist will first think, ‘how can I overcome this?’ rather than ‘why did this happen to me?’ With their energy focused on the positive, optimists have the energy and head space to be resilient and push through whatever came their way. 

Resilience examples

  • Erik Weihenmayer Summits Everest While Blind
    • Erik, the founder of No Barriers, lost his vision at the age of 13, but that did not stop him. Erik has numerous accomplishments from writing books to teaching middle school to being the first blind man to make it to the top of Mt. Everest, the highest peak in the world. Erik has taken the adversity he faces and turned it into triumphs. 
  • Aaron Hale Trumps Adversity
    • Aaron has faced extreme adversity, from losing his sight while serving in Afghanistan to contracting a rare form of Meningitis and losing the majority of his hearing. Despite these obstacles he has faced, Aaron chose to turn his experiences into a chocolate business and vowed to make the most out of his life. 
  • Bobby, an Aspiring Scientist Born Deaf
    • The adversity Bobby faces has changed throughout his life. Being born deaf, learning to accept it and make the most out of life is no easy task when surrounded by others so different from you. While on a No Barriers trip for those who are deaf or hard of hearing, Bobby found a community and a drive for life that encouraged him to go to college to study environmental science and advocate for others to make the world a better place. 
  • Nerissa Climbs Mt. Bierstadt in a Wheelchair
    • Nerissa has not let the fact that she cannot use her legs stop her from reaching some of the highest heights. With the help of 27 amazing people, Nerissa made it to the top of Mt Bierstadt, and she doesn’t just stop there! Nerissa camps, kayaks, dances and so much more!

Resilience strategies

1. Get a Rope Team

Surrounding yourself with others who will lift you up and encourage you to be the best you can be is life changing. Through No Barriers programs, you will be empowered to surround yourself with others and work together to succeed. No Barriers programs are designed to increase resiliency amongst all participants and finding your rope team will help you achieve greater resilience. 

2. Find More Resilience Examples

Learning about others like you who value resilience empowers you to grow your own resilience and go forward to empower others as well. Whether you hear stories about people or talk to your friends, hearing about resilience encourages you to push through obstacles you face and come out stronger on the other side. No Barriers offers awesome options to hear about others who are resilient just like you! Check out Stories of Impact and No Barriers Podcast!

3. Reflect & Journal

A great way to promote your own resilience is to reflect on your life and the experiences you have faced and to journal about them. Journaling is shown to help you process your experiences and grow from them. When you can look back on the obstacles you have faced and see how far you have come since then, you will not only feel a sense of accomplishment, but also a sense of confidence in yourself and your ability to overcome and succeed. 

4. Be Kind to Yourself

Growing your resilience is not always a straight path to success and that is OK! It is so important to be kind to yourself and give yourself and those around you grace as you navigate through this process. There will be set backs no matter what, but it is all about what you do with those setbacks.

Sign saying "we will be back"

Being resilient makes a difference! Resilience skills can be grown and refined at any stage of life.  Whether you are learning how to ride a bike or applying for jobs after getting laid off, being resilient allows you to take control over your life and work towards your goals. 

The best part is, resilience is not something you have to do alone! Find your rope team, search for examples of resilient people that inspire you and never give up. No matter what setbacks and obstacles you may face, you can come out on top!

August 27, 2020
No Barriers

No Barriers

Get Involved. Be Forever Changed.

Stay up-to-date on new opportunities & community stories.