9 traits of a truly resilient person who can bounce back from anything

It’s a universal truth that life throws curveballs. That we’ll all fall down every now and then. 

It’s also a universal truth that the right thing to do would be to rise back up every single time. 

Not all of us are born with a fighting spirit, but the good news is, we all have the capacity to develop it. 

So, how exactly do we do that? Let’s take a look at nine traits of resilient people who can bounce back from anything. 

1) They are flexible

If there’s one thing the pandemic taught us, it’s how to pivot and adapt. I know that many of us lost jobs and fell into a huge pit of depression, but there are also countless stories of folks who pivoted, adapted, and made the most out of the situation. 

It was truly inspiring to see the way we humans innovated to deal with the crisis. We came up with a ton of products and systems to help us bounce back, such as telemedicine, online classes, clever remote work hacks, and even cocktails to go! 

It’s all about survival. If you can’t adapt, you won’t last long. That’s exactly what Charles Darwin said in his Theory of Evolution way back in 1859. 

2) They are realistically optimistic 

Emphasis on “realistic.”

Resilient people aren’t naive, nor are they oblivious to their hardships. But they choose to see beyond them. They sift through their thoughts and reject the ones that don’t serve them. 

At the same time, they acknowledge the realities of the situation. 

See, balance is important, lest we cross over to toxic positivity territory. The key is to hope for the best but also prepare for potential challenges. 

This kind of grounded optimism makes it easier to bounce back from disappointments because we don’t get overly disheartened when things don’t work out. 

In fact, part of being realistically optimistic is embracing failure. 

3) They embrace failure

Yup, resilient people have a built-in mechanism to keep them rising to the challenge, and that’s the ability to embrace failure

For many people, the thought of failure is enough to paralyze them. Enough to make them not even want to try. 

But for resilient people, failure is a given. For them, it’s merely a roadblock, something to learn from, grow from, and come back stronger.   

4) They have grit and determination

Ah, grit. The quality that helps us finish a race. 

Ever hear of someone who, against all odds, achieved something remarkable? Someone like Helen Keller, for instance. Imagine losing your sight and hearing at a young age, stumbling around in the dark and struggling to express yourself. 

I’m not quite sure I have what it takes to live in such circumstances. But Keller did. And she didn’t just live – she thrived. She had so many achievements throughout her life and made a powerful impact in the world. 

That is true grit. The tenacity to keep going regardless of how hard things are. 

In Keller’s own words, “The true test of a character is to face hard conditions with the determination to make them better.”

5) They keep their eye on the prize 

I repeat – “The determination to make them better.” 

That’s purpose right there. Another thing that keeps resilient people mentally tough. 

When life gets incredibly difficult, they look at the big picture. They do that by asking themselves the big questions: 

  • What is my ultimate goal?
  • Why is this goal important to me? 
  • What steps will get me there?
  • What obstacles might I face and how can I overcome them? 
  • How can I stay motivated? 
  • What’s one small thing I can do today to get closer to my goal?

Sounds pretty easy, huh? For some, maybe. But for me, it was’t quite so straightforward. 

Finding my purpose on my own was something I struggled with a few years ago. What really helped me was life coach Jeanette Brown’s Reset Your Life Compass Challenge.  

The videos and exercises really helped me take stock and reflect on where I was and where I wanted to go. It really unlocked for me the idea of living an intentional life. 

Here’s the link if this sounds helpful for you. 

6) They are problem-solvers

Speaking of intentionality brings me to this next point. For resilient people, the intent is clear – they shift their focus on finding solutions to their problems instead of sitting in a puddle of emotion. 

This gives them control over their situation and empowers them to bounce back. 

As you can see from my earlier example of the pandemic, the ones who thrived were the ones who focused on problem-solving! 

7) They have emotional intelligence

Another key trait you’ll find in resilient people is a high EQ (Emotional Quotient). As I mentioned above, when problems come, they get a grip on their emotions. 

Sure, they feel just as disappointed or overwhelmed just like anyone who has suffered a setback. But the difference is, they don’t stay in it too long. 

They can manage their emotions and tell themselves, “Okay, time to buckle up and do the work!” Because of this emotional intelligence, they can motivate themselves to go on. 

That said, it also alerts them when it’s time to take a break and fill their empty cup.

8) They understand self-care 

Self-care is something the resilient person truly understands. They know that they can’t bounce back if they don’t take care of their health. 

That goes not just for their body, but also their mental health. They don’t see it as selfish; they see it as a necessity.

What does self-care look like for the resilient person? 

  • Regular exercise and healthy eating
  • Adequate sleep
  • Mindfulness practices
  • Engaging in hobbies and relaxing activities
  • Boundary setting
  • Continuous growth and learning
  • Self-reflection
  • Asking for help when needed

9) They practice gratitude

Finally, we come to gratitude, one of the most important traits of resilient people

It’s kind of common sense that being grateful for what we have helps us see the silver lining. 

But if that isn’t enough to convince you, let’s check out what science says: 

Studies show that gratitude directly changes the neural structures in the brain. It actually does more than that, but I’ll focus solely on its effects on the brain in terms of resilience. 

You see, one thing gratitude does is to foster cognitive restructuring. How so? 

It’s pretty simple: by evoking positive thinking and releasing toxic emotions. 

So, it breaks apart the negative patterns that hold us back and develop a new, more optimistic frame of thought to propel us forward. 

And the more we practice gratitude every day, the stronger we make those neural pathways, ultimately creating a permanent state of positivity within ourselves. 

Final thoughts

As you can see, there’s no one trait that dictates how resilient we are. It’s a combination of interconnected qualities that all come with constant mindfulness and practice. 

It’s about being okay with not knowing everything because of one resounding truth: you are capable of handling whatever life throws at you. 

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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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