Sometimes, you might think you’re a wimp.
Or a “weakling” or a “scaredy-cat” or a “princess” or a “namby-pamby.”
Shush that noise in your head because trust me—you’re actually one tough cookie.
If you’ve had these 12 life experiences (and you bounced back better), you’re more resilient than you think.
1) Growing up in a toxic home
Was your home a war zone?
Did you tiptoe around your parents because they’re always ready to explode? Were you shouted at, neglected, or even abused?
There are 1000 ways a family can be toxic, and you’ve experienced a lot of them.
You once thought you’d be forever damaged by having a toxic childhood, but here you are, 18+ years later, thriving despite experiencing all that.
2) Moving to a place where you don’t know anyone
Whether you moved to a new place to study at a University or there are circumstances that led you to leave your family home, moving to a new place is always hard.
It’s especially harder if you have no one to help you navigate your new life. I mean, hey, it’s frightening to start everything from scratch.
But you’re able to deal with it quite well, homesickness included. In fact, you’re able to make a home again.
And now, you know that when the time comes that you need to move again, you can do it, with less fear and just more excitement.
3) Traveling alone
There’s a reason solo travel is highly encouraged—it makes us more independent and resilient.
You might think “Well, yeah…but I just booked an Airbnb and that trip was actually pretty easy.”
But even the simplest solo trips can already build resilience and life skills!
You’ll have to figure out everything on your own—from handling delays to making sure you don’t get mugged.
So if you’ve gone on a solo trip at least once, you’re now more resilient than you think.
4) Surviving a financial crisis
Perhaps you lost $500 that your friends entrusted you. Or perhaps you lost $10,000 when your business went kaput.
Or perhaps both of your parents lost their job and you had to wait tables at sixteen so you won’t go hungry.
Any problem that involves money is distressing. It can make you feel like it’s a matter of life and death—and sometimes, it actually is.
That’s why if you’re able to go through it (and became wiser and more resourceful in the process), you’re more resilient than you think.
5) Being rejected over and over again
Rejection hurts—especially if it happens repeatedly or one after another.
Have you worked hard for an application only for it to be rejected by all the grants you sent it to?
Have you expressed your love for someone only for them to ignore you and even push you away.
It sucks, right? But hey, at least you tried.
I know someone who’s so scared of rejection that he’d rather not try…and hey, at least you’re not that kind of person.
Rejection gets rid of this fear slowly. Rejection helps you build tougher skin so that the next ones won’t cut deep and discourage you to keep trying.
6) Being bullied with no one to back you up
Being bullied is traumatic, especially if you have no one to run to and especially if the people closest to you are the ones doing it!
So if you’ve experienced bullying in any form, and you’ve dealt with it as gracefully as you can—perhaps you fought back or you learned to ignore them—then you’re stronger than you think.
Yes, some of the words they said and the things they’ve done still sting, but as time went by, their power over you has faded.
And because you’re resilient, it hasn’t turned you into a bitter and angry person in the end.
More than anything, it has taught you to stand up for yourself and to not take people’s opinions of you personally.
7) Your best friends betraying you
I had a best friend who stole money from me. I also had another best friend who spread rumors about me. Needless to say, we’re no longer friends now and I’ve moved on completely.
But at that time, it hurt like hell!
It felt like you lost your family and that you can make you feel like you can never trust people again.
So if you’ve experienced betrayal and yet you still believe that people are inherently good, then you’re much tougher than you think.
8) Having your heart broken in the most painful way
Have you been cheated on? Have they fallen in love with your best friend?
Have they—after years of being together— broken up with you over text out of nowhere? And when you demanded an explanation, did they shoo you away like you don’t even matter?
Yeah, some people can be assholes.
Having your heart broken is one of the hardest things a person can go through.
And if it’s done in an awful way, it can make you question your worth, question the love you had, and even question life itself!
So if you’re now healed and you can just shrug off your previous heartaches (even the most traumatic ones), you’re tough as nails.
Give yourself a badge and wear it like you deserve it—because you do.
9) Failing miserably
There’s regular failure and there’s the epic kind that would make you want to curse the heavens and hide in a cave for eternity.
Have you ever felt humiliated for an awful performance? Have you ever made your coworkers and partners extremely disappointed?
Well, congratulations. Because while you did mess up, you also learned: how to hold your chin up high but also have humility, how to problem-solve, how to negotiate, and how to be hopeful again.
10) Handling other people’s problems
Alcoholic father. Mother drowning in debt. Sibling with an illness. Friend running away from an abusive partner.
Have you ever dealt with anything similar?
I feel you. You can’t just shoo away the people you love so their problem becomes your problem, too.
And while it has caused you a lot of stress, it has also turned you into the resilient person you are now.
In fact, you’re so resilient that problems don’t cause you to break down anymore. You just handle them as they come.
And one bonus is that you’ve also learned how to set healthy boundaries because you realize that you can’t set yourself on fire to keep others warm.
11) Surviving a disaster
I’m talking about the big stuff here—fire, typhoon, earthquake.
My family’s store burned down when I was just a kid and I saw my parents struggling to recover from that incident.
There are sudden and unexpected incidents that could change our lives forever. Have you experienced one?
If you have, and you’re now back on your feet, congratulate yourself.
The day-to-day challenge of putting things back to where they were while grieving for the things you’ve lost is no easy feat.
12) Crawling out of depression
Depression sucks, and it can last for weeks or months or years…even decades!
So if you’re able to trudge your way out of that dark, miserable place, you’re a warrior. You need to be proud of yourself for making it.
Sure, you may not be fighting monsters we all can see, but you’ve dealt with your inner demons one by one, day by day.
So if you ever feel like you’re a weakling, hit yourself with a pillow on the head. You’re definitely not giving yourself the respect you deserve for getting out of that slump.
If you’ve experienced at least a couple of these challenging life experiences, you’re definitely resilient.
You have no right to call yourself a wimp or a weakling.
You’ve gone through a lot and this has made you tough on all fronts.
So have some self-respect and start seeing yourself as the tough warrior that you are.