People who bounce back from failure quickly often share these 11 character traits

There are certain folks who seem to bounce back very quickly from intense setbacks. 

How do they do it?

Let’s face it: 

When things go south, some people run for the hills and others learn and stage a comeback.

Let’s take a look at the comeback crowd and see what they have in common: 

1) Resilience and grit

Those who bounce back from hardship and failure have true grit. 

They don’t expect anybody to come in and save them, and they practice habits of mental and emotional resilience. 

They face their emotions and feel the pain, but they don’t let that define their story.

 They keep fighting. 

They keep getting back up.

And they never ever look for excuses. 

2) Adaptable to change

Those who bounce back from setbacks are able to adapt quickly to change. 

They can navigate failure and disappointment more easily because they have already planned for possible failures and setbacks. 

They are able to rapidly adjust strategies and learn from mistakes because it’s become a habit:

There’s no need to overthink it, they’ve already made a habit of flexibility. 

3) Perseverance in the face of struggle

When change and failure do come, the person who bounces back doesn’t give up. 

They get up and try again, changing course if necessary and learning new skills and tactics. 

They become strong through the fight itself, honing their skills and emotional self-control through the ups and downs. 

They don’t expect life to hand them anything: they carve it out with their two bare hands. 

4) Self-reflection and deep introspection

When things don’t go as planned, the successful person engages in quite a bit of self-reflection and introspection as well. 

Why did it go wrong? Were there factors out of their control? What could they have changed, if anything, to change the outcome? Was their goal what they really wanted to start with? 

This level of introspection can lead to real breakthroughs and refinements of approach. 

As cognitive psychology professor Robert Kraft, Ph.D. puts it: 

“Were our expectations realistic? Depending on our answer, we may change our approach or our expectations. 

In ‘Worstward Ho,’ Samuel Beckett wrote, ‘Try again. Fail again. Fail better.’”

5) Emotional Intelligence and frankness 

Those who bounce back from failure quickly do not hide from painful emotions. 

They aren’t a grinning Cheshire cat all the time, and they admit that they’re angry, sad or bored at times. 

But out of these painful emotions they are able to channel them into their renewed efforts. 

Professor Kraft again:

“We really did want the job, and the rejection was unpleasant. 

We shouldn’t dwell on the outcome, but we also shouldn’t engage in premature positivity. 

Accepting the emotion of disappointment, however painful, allows us to understand our disappointment more fully.”

6) Optimism in the face of disappointment

Despite facing the pain of the emotions, the ultimate reaction of those who bounce back from failure is optimism:

“That was fucking awful. But it’s going to be better in the future.”

They keep trying. They reevaluate, and they avoid playing the victim at all costs. 

When they do feel like a victim they take some time out away from others and do their best not to spread it by complaining openly and emoting in a victim-mindset

7) Learning quickly and across a wide range

Those who bounce back quickly are natural learners. 

They cultivate curiosity across a wide range of subjects and try their best to learn more wherever life takes them. 

If they aren’t knowledgeable about a certain subject or aren’t interested, they find somebody in their network who is. 

They are able to delegate and network effectively and keep learning and growing even through the bad times.

8) Goal setting and ambition

Those who don’t have big goals and ambitions tend to fail less. But they never truly try. 

Those who have big goals and are ambitious often end up failing. But they bounce back quickly because they know that their efforts are making them a stronger person. 

They know that even if there are big bumps along the way, they’re on a path that’s meaningful to them and they’ll eventually either reach their goal or get better and smarter as a result of not reaching it.

9) Risk-taking and comfort with failure

The more you try and the bigger the risks you take, the more you will fail. 

It’s inevitable, and it’s a law of averages. 

Those who bounce back quickly have internalized the reality that temporary failures are absolutely worth the price. 

Those who are scared of failure end up ironically becoming even worse than a failure in many cases, because they play it safe and hide from life instead of facing its sharp edges and the high price it demands for growth. 

That price? Risk and frequent failure! 

Don’t credit yourself as a failure if you haven’t yet earned that title:

10) Cultivating a wide support network

Nobody successful does so alone. 

Those who bounce back quickly from failure have a wide support network and they aren’t afraid to use it. 

I’m talking about:

  • Mentors
  • Friends
  • Colleagues
  • Teachers

They learn and grow from others and keep their head above water by talking to others who’ve been in the same rough waters and come out stronger. 

11) Time management and scheduling acumen

Those who bounce back quickly from failure are able to manage their time well.  

They schedule effectively and don’t give themselves too much leeway in dodging commitments or shirking their responsibilities. 

They have goals and they take those goals seriously. Even if it takes pure self-motivation to get there, they keep grinding and find a way to show up on time whenever possible. 

It’s comeback time

Each of these traits contributes to an individual’s ability to bounce back from failure. 

Let’s face it: 

We all need a break and a rest from the sound and fury now and then. 

But eventually the bill comes due and we wake up and life is asking for us to do something. 

That’s when we’re all faced with a brutal choice: keep going and try our hardest or give up and try to keep hiding. 

This is when it’s crucial to double down and keep trying. Many of us have had the absolute shit kicked out of us by tragedy, disappointment and our own flaws. 

But that’s not the end of the story. It doesn’t have to be. It won’t be.

It’s comeback time.

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