Sometimes, the world feels so overwhelming it’s almost like the sky is going to fall upon you any second.
And you’re not sure if you’re strong enough to hold it up.
Doubts swirl in your mind, prodding at you and twisting your stomach. “You’re so weak. You can’t even do X and Y. You should just give up.”
But contrary to what you might think, you’re not weak by any means. In fact, you might be much more resilient than you give yourself credit for.
Here are the 11 signs to watch out for.
1) You learn from your mistakes
It may seem like a small thing, but learning from your mistakes is actually a huge sign of resilience.
What’s more, making mistakes in the first place might even be a good thing. According to one study, young scientists who experienced a setback early on in their careers went on to achieve greater success than those who didn’t.
Failure is motivating. It encourages you to bounce back and find new ways of doing things.
So, if you’ve ever learned from a mistake you’ve made… you’re already more resilient than you think.
2) You’ve made it all the way here
Speaking of past mistakes, it’s not just your ability to overcome one failure that points toward resilience – it’s also your general attitude in life.
Think of all the challenges you’ve had to deal with in the past. Extremely stressful exams, relationship drama, family issues, there is so much struggle you’ve been able to get through that just thinking about it blows your mind.
You are resilient because you are here despite everything that’s happened. Even if you think you’ve given up on yourself, you haven’t really. Because you’ve made it all the way here.
3) You’re growth-oriented
You don’t believe that identity is something set in stone. Throughout the years, you’ve evolved to the point where just looking at old pictures seems like meeting an outdated version of yourself.
And at its core, that’s what resilience is all about – updating yourself day by day.
A year from now, you’ll be someone new. Heck, even today is an opportunity for a little bit of growth.
And you’re willing to take that chance. Because you believe you can evolve even further.
4) You don’t let fear get in the way
Sssh. I’ll let you in on a little secret.
We’re all terrified.
We’re scared before we make the leap to leave a soul-draining 9-5. We’re scared before we finally join that literary club. We’re scared before we venture outside our comfort zone.
We’re afraid of rejection, of commitment, of getting our hearts broken, of dying, of spiders, of succeeding, of not succeeding.
Fear is a primal response. It’s normal to be scared. It doesn’t mean you’re not brave.
Courage is actually the exact opposite of the absence of fear. Courage is acknowledging how scared out of your wits you are and jumping in anyway.
If you’ve ever done something terrifying…it’s a sign you’re more resilient than you give yourself credit for.
5) You have a support system to lean on
Did you know that just having a circle of people you can rely on when things get tough automatically increases your resilience?
It’s true. Resiliency researcher Elliot Friedman told Greater Good Magazine:
“The availability of social support in all its forms—instrumental support, emotional support, support with how you think about things—they all matter and help us in facing challenge.”
If the sky feels like falling, it’s easier to handle the pressure when you know there’s a stable bunker offering shelter.
Don’t walk it alone. Ask for help.
And speaking of help…
6) You’re able to ask for help if need be
Resilient people understand their limits. They know how much they can take.
And if things get too overwhelming, they don’t mind sharing the burden. They know their support system will get them through a rough patch, and when the storm blows over, they feel more prepared to go back out into the world.
Resilience isn’t just about strength and independence. It’s also about self-awareness. It’s about knowing when you need help – and having the courage to ask for it.
7) You can be kind to yourself
A common myth is that resilient people always keep it together.
No, they don’t. They break down. They cry and cry until they can’t cry anymore. They have bad days when all they do is order takeaway and watch Netflix.
But do you know what sets them apart?
It’s the fact that they allow themselves to feel this way. They know it’s necessary to give yourself a break.
Sometimes, you’ve just got to have a lie-in. Sometimes, your energy levels are so drained that all you can do is make yourself something to eat.
But if you’re resilient, you don’t chastise yourself for it. You give yourself love and grace instead.
Self-compassion goes a long way. It means you rest properly and recover quicker. And when you come back… you’re stronger than before.
8) You’re a big fan of gratitude
When you’ve got gratitude in your toolbox, you’re automatically boosting your chances of leading a fulfilled and happy life.
Do you ever think of all the people in your life that make every day worth living? Do you ever think of the roof above your head, the food you’ve had to eat, or even just the nice weather outside?
It’s the things we take for granted that deserve the most appreciation. And if you often find yourself filled with gratitude for all that you have, it only increases your chances of success.
Because you’re already successful at happiness no matter the circumstances. And that’s huge.
9) You know how to let go
Everything you have isn’t meant to stay. And that’s okay.
A big sign of resilience is the acceptance of how things truly are. You know you can’t control everything there is to life. You know some people might eventually leave.
And you know that it’s not possible to live in a constant state of happiness forever.
But you’ve made your peace with that. It is what it is. If there’s nothing you can do about it… you let go.
10) You’re always on the lookout for new opportunities
I have a friend who’s tried so many things I couldn’t count them if I tried.
He’s learned five languages. He’s redesigned his apartment like ten times. He’s moved countries and performed at his own music concert and created theatre plays and worked as a teacher and a lifeguard.
Every time a new opportunity opens up, he takes it. And thanks to this attitude, his growth over the years has been incredible.
He doesn’t always feel great. He has his own struggles that bring him to his knees at times.
But he gives himself the chance to keep on trying.
Which brings us to the final point.
11) You keep going
You don’t give up. If something isn’t an immediate win, you don’t lose hope. You just keep on going.
There is no better way to boost resilience than to keep the faith that one day, you will reach your destination.
But before that happens… you’ve just got to believe in yourself.
In the end, it will all be okay.