9 quiet signs you’re becoming more resilient (even if you still feel vulnerable)

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Resilience–it’s what separates the winners from everyone else. 

Resilience is the ability to bounce back in the face of setbacks and adversity. 

Once you develop a high level of resilience, you become bulletproof–you’ll be able to manage the inevitable curve balls life throws at you with grace and poise. 

If you’ve experienced hardship in life and come out the other side, I have news for you: you’ve probably become more resilient. 

To be sure, I’ve put together a list of nine subtle signs you’re becoming resilient, even if you feel a little vulnerable. Let’s dive in! 

1) You know the value of embracing failure 

Rather than have a defeatist attitude and give up, you understand that failure is a way of life. It’s your response that counts. 

If you view your shortcomings as a chance to learn and become a better person, then you’re in a prime position. 

This is a testament to your growth mindset. You know that setbacks are temporary but the lessons you gain are permanent. 

Many people will throw in the towel when they encounter failure. It’s the few who persevere amidst collapse that emerges successful. 

If you’ve failed and gathered the resolve to get back on your feet, then you’ve displayed textbook resilience. That’s pretty badass!

2) You have increased self-awareness

We just spoke of having a growth mindset, something that extends to knowledge about yourself. 

When you go through trials and tribulations, you learn about yourself: not only your thoughts and emotions but also your strengths and weaknesses. 

If this sounds familiar, chances are you’ve become more resilient

You now view every roadblock as an opportunity to better get to know yourself. Once you’ve established that you’re capable of overcoming seemingly impossible odds, you’ve also tapped into a confidence that you didn’t know existed. 

This is your resilience making itself heard.

The pandemic was one of the hardest periods of my life. I lost my business and was up to my neck in debt. Some days, I was on the verge of tearfully melting down. 

Every day it felt like the weight of the world on my shoulders. But soon, I found something deep within me (which I previously didn’t know existed) that empowered me to keep going. 

I took it a day at a time and found a way to move forward. Today, I’ve successfully paid most of my debt. And my stress levels are exponentially more manageable. 

3) You’ve built a stronger support network

Here’s the thing: no man (or woman) is an island. Everyone needs help at some point. 

In the past, maybe you internalized things and had a tendency to shut down. But you eventually came to your senses and reached out to others. 

Soon you realized you didn’t have to go at it alone, that you actually had a support network… all you had to do was ask. 

Knowing that you have people on your side who can offer encouragement, guidance, and support during hard times is not only comforting, but it also strengthens your ability to bounce back. 

Going back to my dilemma during the pandemic, I know that I personally wouldn’t have made it out if it weren’t for my family. You see, I had a lot of pride, and asking for help was out of the question…  a last resort at best. 

I felt they would be too hard on me for my failures. I didn’t need the added stress. 

But to my astonishment, my family made it clear that they had my back and would provide me with as much support and kindness as they could. 

Sure enough, my situation improved by the day. Knowing I now have a firm support system was and still is a revelation to me–one that I no longer take for granted.

4) You are accepting of change

Many people dislike change. I get it, the unknown can be scary. You, however, no longer share this sentiment. 

You accept that uncertainty is a part of life and have a knack for adapting to new situations with relative ease. 

You’ve grown comfortable with the fact that the world is a constantly changing place full of ups and downs. You’re able to adapt and thrive. 

The legendary Bruce Lee once famously said: “Empty your mind! Be formless, shapeless, like water. If you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup. Put it into a bottle, it becomes the bottle, you put it into a teapot, and it becomes the teapot. Now water can flow, or it can crash: Be water, my friend!”

In other words, Bruce is saying that by becoming formless like water you’re able to adjust to different situations. Water is the epitome of adaptability: it changes depending on whatever you put it in. 

Being like water means you change with change. You don’t stay in a fixed pattern. You’re constantly improving and adjusting to the obstacles you face. 

And you’ve also developed strategies to help you adapt. This brings me to my next point… 

5) You know the value of self-care

There was a point when you might have been consumed by stress. 

You don’t feel that type of pressure anymore. You know it’s counterproductive and can make a bad situation far worse. Instead, you’ve developed a set of healthy self-care strategies to help weather hard times. 

This might include mindfulness and meditation, hitting the gym, or spending time with family and friends. 

Personally, when I feel overcome by stress, I try to get some vigorous exercise in. 

Lately, I’ve been boxing. Once those endorphins start flowing, it’s almost like magic: I start feeling a real chemical change in my energy.

I come out far more clear-headed and mentally and emotionally ready to face and tackle challenges.

6) You have a sense of gratitude 

Here’s the thing: once you become more resilient, your energy tends to shift to more positive things in your life. 

Maybe things aren’t going your way for a particular week, you don’t retreat to a corner and lick your wounds. You’re able to see the bigger picture. 

If you have food on the table, a roof over your head, and a family that loves you, you already have more than most people.

You’re able to acknowledge this now. You’re grateful for things you once neglected 

When you develop your sense of gratitude, your priorities change as well. 

7) You take action

As we’ve established, you are no longer passive when faced with adversity. You are proactive about fixing your situation; the helpless victim card has become increasingly irrelevant. 

You have taken control of your life and decided to own it. 

Let’s say you’re going through a rough breakup. You’re hurting but you refuse to let the heartbreak define you. After allowing yourself some time to grieve, you take control of the situation. 

Maybe you reconnect with old friends, start a new work opportunity, or book a trip to some exotic locale. 

Wallowing isn’t for you, so you don’t let it win. You’re aware that to get out of a funk, taking action is necessary. 

8) You have problem-solving skills

As your resilience grows so does your ability to work effectively under pressure. You’ve become more skilled at seeing a problem and working your way around it. 

You don’t panic or get flustered when faced with high-stress situations. You’re able to move forward calmly and methodically with your eyes constantly on the prize. 

You know nothing in life comes easy so instead of feeling helpless, you’ve developed flexibility and the ability to think on your feet. 

Think of your favorite athlete during crunch time. They haven’t risen to stardom solely from their physical abilities. 

They stand out from the pack because they’re able to perform at a high level down the stretch with the game on the line. 

They’re able to solve problems instead of getting flustered—a telltale sign of resilience

This is a form of confidence. Speaking of which…

9) You feel more self-confident

Once you’ve overcome hardship, you naturally tend to become more confident. Remember the old adage “Whatever doesn’t kill me makes me stronger.” Well, I’ve found this saying to be mostly true. 

The more you’ve seen and gone through in your life, the more self-assured and resilient you become. Don’t forget: adversity always comes with a silver lining. 

Final thoughts 

In conclusion, life is unpredictable–once you accept this, you’ll be more equipped to deal with the hurdles that will come your way. 

If you consider yourself resilient then you’re already one step ahead. If you’re not sure yet, don’t be too hard on yourself. The thing about resilience is that gaining it is a subtle process. 

You may not feel it, but if you’ve experienced some hard times in life, then this has already built up your resilience

The amazing thing about the human spirit is we naturally have the ability to adapt and eventually thrive in the face of change. At the end of the day, we’re all survivors.  

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