12 personality traits of a truly resilient person

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Life has a funny way of testing us when we least expect it. 

One minute you’re quietly sitting there minding your own business, then BAM! 

A problem arises. 

An unforeseen hiccup (seemingly) designed to put you through your paces. And, at the worst possible time. 

Typical, isn’t it? 

Here’s the thing. 

Don’t let it defeat you. If you want to be more resilient you need to tackle your issues head-on. 

But what exactly makes someone resilient? 

You know, the magic sauce that helps people persevere when things get tough – no matter what.

Well, here are 12 personality traits of a truly resilient person. Let’s unlock the secret of being more resilient together!

1) They have a glass-half-full attitude

Have you ever met someone who always looks on the bright side of life

You know…

The kind of person who, despite finding themselves in a pickle, remains hopeful for a positive outcome. 

It’s like they’re unshakeable – a pure force to be reckoned with. 

Well, that’s called optimism

And resilient people have bucketloads of it. 

But don’t make the mistake of thinking they’re simply ignoring their problems. 

Quite the contrary. 

Instead, optimists face their problems with confidence and a hopeful spirit. And they certainly don’t dwell on the negatives. 

Rather, they find solace in the lessons they can learn from the experience. After all, what is a problem if not an opportunity to find a solution?

Simply put, they believe in gratitude and the power of positive thinking. 

Something that brings us to the next point.

2) They have a positive mindset

Not to be confused with optimism, having a positive mindset is an attitude adjustment. 

It’s something you choose (not born with). 

They don’t inherently assume everything will be okay, but they certainly hope it will. 

Ultimately, they roll with the punches.

And research shows that this kind of positive thinking is a key element of being resilient and bouncing back after hardships.

Mostly, though. 

They have a tremendous sense of self-belief and faith that they have what it takes to overcome challenges. 

But not in an arrogant way. 

More like, they’re quietly confident that they can handle whatever life throws at them. A coping mechanism that allows them to handle stress better.

In fact, it’s this resilience that helps boost their self-image and confidence in the first place. 

What’s more, this upbeat energy is contagious. So much so, it uplifts those around them.

That said…

3) They are realists too

Let’s get this straight. Being a realist doesn’t make you a pessimist. 

It simply means you’re not delusional.

Let me put it this way.

Sometimes, to be positive, you also need to accept the reality of the situation. It’s the only way to find a tangible solution and move forward. 

Because the truth is, things aren’t always as bad as they first appear. It’s all about putting things into perspective and considering the possibilities. 

Let me explain. 

When we’re in the thick of a crisis, it can be difficult to see the forest for the trees. In fact, we’re so caught up in the moment, that we’re focusing on all the wrong things. 

Instead, instincts and emotions kick in and take over rational thought. 

Basically, you’re reacting not responding

And while resilient people are generally optimistic, they understand that bad days happen – and that’s okay! 

Better ones are on the way. 

4) They learn from failure

Fear of failure is common. But not if you’re resilient. 

Instead of dwelling on their mistakes, they see them as opportunities for growth. 

A life lesson that teaches them they won’t always have the answer. 

Not yet, anyway.

This growth mindset allows them to embrace setbacks and analyze their own shortcomings in order to learn, develop, and improve over time.

The benefits?

Well, by identifying what went wrong and how to fix it, they’ll be better equipped to deal with similar situations in the future – or avoid them altogether.

Not only that. 

But by facing their fears, they know that anything is achievable, while also establishing their limits.

At the end of the day, ask yourself… “What’s the worst that can happen?”

5) They are resourceful problem-solvers

In addition to being avid learners, they are extremely resourceful. 

To put it another way.

When they don’t have the tools they need, they make them.

It’s their superpower! 

And driven by a desire to learn (and pure tenacity), they’re always finding creative solutions to problems.

They do this by first, breaking down complex issues into manageable pieces. Then, they work through them systematically until they find a realistic solution.

This clever tactic makes the overall task seem less overwhelming and most importantly, achievable.

Ultimately, avoiding being overcome with emotion.

6) They know how to manage their emotions


We’re all guilty of getting in our own heads from time to time. 

But to be truly resilient, it’s important to recognize when we’re being ruled by our feelings (and when all logic has gone out the window). 

And that’s where emotional awareness (and regulation) comes into play. 

Something resilient people are very adept at.

They understand their own feelings and are empathetic towards others

What’s more, they know when to show themselves compassion and kindness by not beating themselves up over silly mistakes or setbacks.

And the result?

By engaging with positive emotions, experts believe that resilient people experience less stress.

And it’s this emotional intelligence that allows them to navigate complex situations with ease. 

Not only that. 

But being attuned to the emotions of themselves and others enables them to build strong relationships. 

7) They have a strong support system

A big part of being resilient is knowing when to ask for help. 

That’s why resilient people like to have a strong network of friends and family to rely on.

This is backed up by research. 

Experts found that having social support (along with resilience) improved people’s mental health and self-esteem. It did so by relieving pressure.

On top of that…

Another study revealed social support reduced feelings of hopelessness and increased resilience.

Think of it this way.

It’s a bit like putting together an Ikea flatpack. Sometimes, you need more than one person to get the job done. 

After all, life isn’t a one-person show.

8) They have a survivor mentality

Are you a victim or a survivor?

If it’s the latter, that’s half the fight, and you’re more resilient than you think. 

Resilient people have true grit and a never-give-up attitude. They’re continually pushing forward, even when the going gets tough.

And that’s because they live in the now – not the past!

By that, I don’t mean completely ignoring your mistakes. Otherwise, how would you ever learn not to repeat them? 

But it’s important to accept that your failures and problems don’t define you. They’re merely a stepping stone.

A hurdle to overcome.

Moreover, once you start seeing yourself as “the victim” it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. 

And truly resilient people understand this. 

In a nutshell, they adopt mindfulness strategies to help them persevere, move on, and focus on a positive outcome. 

Mostly, though…

9) They embrace change

Not only do they welcome change – they relish it. 

That’s because resilient people accept that it’s an integral part of life. And to survive, they must adapt or be left behind.

Above all else, they don’t conform to the notion that “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.”

I know, I know. 

It can be a scary thought. Especially when you’ve forged yourself a nice little comfort zone.

But think about it. 

Without change, how will you allow for personal growth and development? 

Simple answer – you won’t.

By adopting a flexible approach, you’re opening yourself up to new opportunities. With it, the ability to find solutions to any problems you may face along the way. 

The lesson here?

Don’t dwell on the past or what could have been. Instead, be open and flexible to what can be. 

That said, that doesn’t mean you can’t have plans.

10) They have a purpose (and goals)

Resilient people often have a clear sense of purpose. They know what they’re working towards, and that purpose keeps them motivated and focused.

But is that really the secret of resilience?

According to psychology, it’s a resounding YES!

In fact, this science-backed study discovered a link between having a purpose in life and the ability to bounce back from adversity. 

So, what’s the best way to cultivate this positive attitude?

Good question. 

Resilient people like to break things down into manageable chunks. But not just when it comes to problems. 

By this I mean…

Setting goals and creating a practical (and realistic) plan on how to achieve them. Basically, keep track, be organized, and prioritize tasks.

That way, when life throws them off course, they can quickly find their way back.

A great way to do this is through bullet journaling, self-reflection, and time management. 

That’s why…

11) They aren’t afraid to say “no”

To be truly resilient, sometimes you must learn to say “no”!

Sounds pretty defeatist, right?

But knowing when to quit and move on is a matter of survival and locus of control

It’s all about understanding your limitations and establishing boundaries when it comes to other people. 

Otherwise, you may find yourself fighting a losing battle with nothing to gain. 

When all is said and done, your mental well-being should be the number one priority.

Last but certainly not least…

12) They see the funny side

When stress rears its ugly head, resilient individuals have an arsenal of coping skills at their disposal.

This includes humor. 

After all, what better way is there to lighten the mood and defuse tense situations than having a good laugh?

I can’t think of anything. 

In fact, it’s just what the doctor ordered according to experts. 

Not only does it boast a long list of health benefits, but laughter and resiliency are a match made in heaven. 

Final thoughts

At the end of the day, it’s the best way to manage stress and have the strength to carry on in life.

That’s the point of being resilient, isn’t it? To keep going and take comfort in the fact that things can only get better.

And in the words of 1980s pop singer Yazz: “The only way is up, baby…

Leila El-Dean

Leila is a passionate writer with a background in photography and art. She has over ten years of experience in branding, marketing, and building websites. She loves travelling and has lived in several countries, including Thailand, Malaysia, Spain, and Malta. When she’s not writing (or ogling cats), Leila loves trying new food and drinking copious amounts of Earl Grey tea.

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