7 signs you’re resilient and adaptable (even if you don’t think you are)

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We all admire people who are resilient and adaptable — these qualities serve you extremely well in life, helping you stay strong and positive when faced with difficulties, and adapt to unexpected change. 

But what if you too are resilient and adaptable, and you don’t even know it?

I don’t think I’m necessarily the most resilient and adaptable person in the world, but I was able to recognize these qualities in myself based on the signs below.

If you take a good look at your personality and experience, you may realize that you too are more resilient and adaptable than you think!

Let’s have a look at the signs. 

1) You’re able to stay calm under pressure

We all find ourselves in high-pressure situations, such as a job interview, a tight deadline, or a challenging conversation. But while others cave or become too worked up to handle things well, you’re able to keep a cool head.

This is a sure sign that you’re a resilient and adaptable person.

Being able to stay calm means you can handle stressful situations without falling apart. Naturally, you may still feel anxious or stressed, but you’re still able to think clearly and respond effectively, and you bounce back from the experience much more easily. 

Also, you can manage your own emotions more easily, to keep a more objective perspective and stay focused on what’s most important. This helps you find the best way to adjust to unexpected circumstances and navigate the unknown. 

Here’s a personal example: not too long ago I was working on a project with an extremely tight deadline, and I absolutely needed to finish it on time. 

In the past, I used to get anxious pretty easily, but this time I was able to duck my head down and just focus on getting the work done until I could finish it — on time. 

So this is a clear sign that I’ve grown to be more resilient and adaptable. 

2) You’re always willing to learn 

Have you ever heard someone say, “You’re never too old to learn”?

It’s true — no matter how much we know or how experienced we are, there’s always more to learn. And living by this is a sign of resilience and adaptability.

Here’s why.

Resilience is all about being able to bounce back from difficult experiences. It’s about being able to recover from setbacks, learn from our mistakes, and keep moving forward. And one of the best ways to do that is by being willing to learn

When you have this mindset, you’re also open to new ideas, new experiences, and new ways of doing things. You’re not stuck in your ways or resistant to change — you’re flexible and adaptable.

Of course, this doesn’t mean you have to be an expert in everything. It’s okay to have areas of expertise and to focus your learning in those areas. 

But when you see your life could be easier if you acquired a new skill, or you lack knowledge to solve a particular problem in your life, you don’t hesitate to fix that. 

For example, when Chat GPT first popped up, I must admit I freaked out a little on the inside. I imagined an intelligent digital robot taking over my job, and my first reaction was to feel a little demotivated.

But then I let myself become curious about the new tool, and have found ways to let it help me do even better at my job while boosting the personal and human skills that it lacks. 

3) You don’t always have to get your way

We’ve all seen spoiled kids who have a fit if they don’t get what they want.

While adults don’t throw tantrums anymore, some of them continue to try to mold everything and everyone around them to their expectations.

We can’t exactly blame them — it’s hardwired as a part of our nature, as being in control of our environment helps us ensure our survival.

But it also makes life more difficult when there’s things that are out of your hands.

If you’re flexible and adaptable, then you instead live by the phrase “bend but don’t break.”

Because you’re adaptable, you’re able to bend as needed to suit the situation. And because you’re resilient, you don’t let yourself bend too far so that you would snap. 

A good example of this is somebody who can adapt to changing work requirements without compromising on their values. 

The job may have changed — for example, a restaurant may start doing delivery rather than dine-in, based on the changing needs of its customers.

So you’re able to adapt and switch from waiting tables to bringing food to people’s homes by car or bike. 

4) You have a positive outlook

How positive do you tend to be? This is another sign that you’re resilient and adaptable, even if you don’t realize it.

When you have a positive outlook, you’re more likely to see setbacks or failures as opportunities to learn and grow, rather than as insurmountable obstacles. 

This can help you bounce back from difficult situations because you can identify what you can learn from the experience and use that knowledge to make improvements or avoid similar mistakes in the future.

Also, you’re more likely to see the potential benefits and opportunities that come with change, rather than focusing solely on the challenges and difficulties. This can help you adjust more quickly and easily to new situations.

Of course, it’s important to note that having a positive outlook doesn’t mean ignoring the challenges or difficulties that come your way. You do need to acknowledge and confront challenges head-on.

However, being optimistic can give you the mental strength and flexibility you need to face those challenges in a way that lets you grow and thrive.

For example, the situation above with switching from waiting tables to delivery happened to a friend of mine. 

He didn’t particularly enjoy either driving or biking, but by looking at the bright side he was able to think of it as an opportunity to listen to podcasts or get some exercise. 

5) You look at solving problems as a fun challenge

Resilience and adaptability are both about being able to handle and overcome challenges, whether they be small or large. 

Problem-solving skills are key to both because they help you identify and address challenges in an effective way.

When you’re good at solving problems, you’re able to break down complex problems into smaller, more manageable parts. This allows you to identify the root causes of the problem and come up with a plan to address them. 

In addition, good problem-solving requires creativity and flexibility. You’re able to come up with unique solutions to problems and adjust your approach as needed. 

The key to becoming good at solving problems is first, looking at problems as a fun challenge — the same way you would approach solving puzzles, or passing a level in a video game. 

For example, I recently had to take a short trip abroad to take care of an urgent personal matter. I missed my departing flight, and my return was scheduled for 2 days later, with an important appointment the day in between.

Rather than panicking, I thought to myself, “This is an interesting challenge. Let’s see how I can find a solution to reorganize everything without losing too much money.”

I managed to reschedule things to get everything done and ended up spending only $50 more than I had planned.

6) You’re self-aware 

Imagine how hard it would be to solve difficulties and adapt to change if you had no idea what your strengths and weaknesses were. Pretty darn hard, right?

Self-awareness is a key part of being resilient and adaptable, because you can understand and plan how you will face challenges with the best chances of success. 

For example, when I was a teenager through my early twenties, I tried out a variety of jobs. And I noticed that each time I started a new job, I would be extremely nervous until I got the hang of things.

This made it pretty difficult to do the job properly, and I worried about making a bad impression on my colleagues as well.

So I learned to work with this part of my personality and set up strategies to make things easier. I asked a lot of questions about what to expect before my first day of work and took notes that I went over on my way in. 

I also wore a name tag that said “in training” and tried to be extra friendly, so that customers would be more understanding if it takes me longer or I make a mistake. 

These things made it much easier to handle the stress and adjust to a new working rhythm, and eventually I stopped being so nervous at a new job altogether. 

7) You like trying new things 

Here’s a sign you might not have thought of, but that’s a pretty good indicator you’re a resilient and adaptable person.

Wherever you go, you enjoy trying new things and having new experiences. 

This isn’t just about those “wow” experiences like sky diving or backpacking around South America. 

It’s as simple as tasting new foods, openly trying out new sports or activities, and visiting new places even if you don’t go far from your home. 

Many people spend their whole lives stuck in the same routines and patterns. But when you’re open to trying new things, it shows you’re willing to take risks and venture out of your comfort zone.

This also requires a willingness to overcome failure as you navigate something unknown. 

The good news is this is something you can practice and train yourself to do. Next time you do something you’ve always done, such as the typical movie night with your partner, see if you can think of something new to incorporate into the experience. 

It could be as simple as watching the movie from a new place in your home.

Final thoughts

You’ve just read 7 signs you’re resilient and adaptable, even if you don’t think you are. 

You’ve probably recognized at least a few of these in yourself — and you can be very proud of that fact. Resilience and adaptability are key skills in today’s rapidly changing environment. 

And if you’ve identified other points that you can improve on, that’s great! You’ve taken the first step towards great personal growth that is sure to make your life a whole lot easier. 

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Tina Fey

I'm Tina Fey, the founder of the blog Love Connection. I've extremely passionate about sharing relationship advice. I've studied psychology and have my Masters in marital, family, and relationship counseling. I hope with all my heart to help you improve your relationships, and I hope that even if one thing I write helps you, it means more to me than just about anything else in the world. Check out my blog Love Connection, and if you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Twitter

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