7 Traits of Resilient People

While these articles are meant to be informative and inspirational, sometimes that starts with acknowledging the more challenging aspects of our daily lives. Many of us had hoped that COVID-19 would be mostly in our rearview by now, but that is not the case. And while this continues to contribute to fatigue and burnout so, too, has it shown the resiliency many of us never knew we had or that we did not see in each other. Registered Nurse Pantea Vahidi recently wrote on this topic and identified 7 traits that she has noticed are common to resilient people. They are shared here, along with some recommendations on how to connect with these traits when you feel you have lost touched with them.

1) Resilient People Accept the Baseline: Baseline is your current situation. It is a term we use in the medical field to describe the usual health condition of patients. Your normal may be different than someone else’s, but it’s yours to own. Resilient people do not ask “why me?”, they accept their baseline and put in the effort to change it if they are bothered by it. If you want to try to work on this area, check out these six Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) worksheets.

2) Resilient People Are Flexible: Being willing to change plans and pivot is crucial to being resilient. Those who have experienced adversities know that often life does not go as planned, and the frustration of refusing to change is an unnecessary source of depletion and burnout. Need help with this? Daniel Amen, MD offers these 5 ways to increase your emotional flexibility.

3) Resilient People are Willing to Learn: When challenges and change strike us, we need new skills and knowledge to cope with and overcome the adversities. Resilient people are open to learning about the topic that they are facing. They know that the more equipped they are with information and facts, the better they can make decisions and battle what they are facing. Ready to expand your boundaries? Any number of websites offer free course on a variety of topics, including Harvard, EdX, and Stanford.

4) Resilient People Seek Solutions: When life takes a turn, we can either sit and complain or immediately look for solutions. Resilient people are quick to look for ways to resolve or at least improve the situation. They do not expend their energy in reciting why the problem is difficult or unfair. They channel that time, mental, and emotional energy to find solutions. The VA offers online resources for finding solutions in challenging times.

5) Resilient People are Resourceful: Unusual circumstances call for unusual measures. Those who are resourceful make do with what is available and use their accessible resources to the best of their ability. Many can function and perform in ideal situations, but to be able to work with what is at their disposal is the difference between wishful thinking and being realistic and resilient. Often times this means asking for help. Check out this article from the National Alliance on Mental Illness on asking for help.

6) Resilient People are Creative: When we face trials and turbulences, we often need to think outside the box to come up with new ways to overcome. Resilient people know that they need to tap into their creative thinking to adjust and adapt. They somehow know what Einstein knew that “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” Author Matt Richtel offers advice on how to maximize our creative side.

7) Resilient People Set Realistic Expectations: Expectations are what we believe about the future. While not crossing the line of being pessimistic, resilient people know that by having unrealistic expectations, they are setting themselves up for a major disappointment, which will lead to frustration. Having realistic expectations is a mental rehearsal which makes us more prepared for what is to come. If you think you need help adjusting your expectations, have a look at this advice from PsychCentral.