What sets resilient people apart from the rest? Is it an inner strength or part of their raisings that make them so determined? The strong folks are a different breed, and you will see them rise during adversity rather than fold.
Walking the floors of a hospital and talking to some patients can be a real eye-opening experience. Pain and agony make you vulnerable; however, some can rise above their circumstances with a mindset to win. How do you react during a crisis?
Do you stand up willing to fight, or do you lock yourself away, hoping the situation will fix itself? Some believe that resilient individuals have specific characteristics that allow them to bend but not break when facing hard times. The analogy is often made that people should be like trees, which are deeply rooted into the earth.
Did you know that a tree can take speeds of over 90 mph before it encounters any serious damage? According to Physics World, the diameter, height, and elasticity of the tree all come into the equation when it comes to strength. Some trees can take more of a direct hit than others, based on their flexibility.
The mighty redwood can sustain more pressure than the Colorado blue spruce, which has a reputation for being the weakest tree around, according to Houzz. It all comes down to the root system and the makeup of the plant. Do you tend to be more like the redwood and be strong, or do you tend to be weaker like the spruce?
Seven Common Things Resilient People Do Instinctively
If you want to check your resiliency, you can start by looking through a list of things that most people do. Since the strong person has specific characteristics that come into play, you may have many of these traits. Here are the seven most common things to look for in a resilient person.
Having realistic expectations is a big problem in today’s world. Did you sign up to work two double shifts this week because the money looked good, but you discovered quickly that you were unable to do such a task without exhausting your body? Somewhere between your hopes and dreams lies reality.
Being resilient means that you understand that you must be realistic in your endeavors. You might want to hike the Appalachian Trail, but you know that with a bum knee, it’s not possible. It doesn’t mean you can’t hike at all; it just means you must do a trudge that fits within your capabilities.
Even the strongest people know their limits, and they don’t expect impossible things. Adjusting your mindset is half the battle, and it may be what you need to do to become more resilient.
2. Resilient People Are Resourceful and Think Outside the Box
When something strikes you out of the blue, you must learn to cope and develop skills to get through this storm. Assume your mother received a diagnosis of breast cancer. Rather than freaking out and accepting defeat, a resilient person automatically goes into defense mode.
They want to find out as much as they can about this disease. They want to know the mortality rate, the types of treatment available, and precisely what she’s facing. Rather than allowing their mind to wander into places that are not healthy, they arm themselves with knowledge.
Knowing all the facts and information allows them to be a better support system, as well as helping her make the proper decisions for her care. They’re not afraid to think outside the box and look at studies and trials to find alternative measures for healing. Isn’t this approach better than falling to pieces and accepting defeat?
3. Resilience Teaches That Flexibility Is the Key To Conquering Issues
Do you tend to go with the flow, or do you fall to pieces when things don’t go as planned? It’s hard to plan everything out perfectly, as life is ever-changing. However, being able to pivot is a key element of resilience.
Some people face more adversities than others, and life can be frustrating if you refuse to change. Trying to control every aspect of your life will cause you to deplete your resources and burn out quickly. When life doesn’t go as you thought it would, you can conquer whatever is thrown your way by being flexible.
4. Resilient People Are Solution Driven
When you receive a devastating blow, do you sit and complain or immediately go into resolution mode? Resilient people are solution-driven, and they want to find a way to improve the situation or resolve the matter altogether. They feel it’s a waste of time to use all their energy to figure out why life is so unfair.
Instead, they want to channel their energy towards solutions instead of wallowing in self-pity. It doesn’t mean they don’t cry, get upset, or feel sorry for themselves, but they shake off these feelings, as they know it’s not productive.
You’ve heard the saying that when life hands you lemons, you make lemonade; well, resilient people are all about this way of living. They can get quite creative when they’re backed against the wall. Using their creative thinking skills, they learn to adapt and adjust to the changing tides.
If you use the same thinking to resolve the problems that you did to create them, then you will never get anywhere. Assume your car broke down on the freeway and you have no money to fix the vehicle. Rather than taking out a loan, you sell some antiques you have around the house to pay the bill.
You quickly went into resolution mode and solved the problem without creating debt. Being creative allowed you to get your car fixed and not make the situation worse.
6. Resilience Sometimes Means Accepting the Baseline
Accepting your current situation is always easier said than done. It would help if you acknowledged your baseline or the place you are right now. For instance, the blood sugar levels of a person with diabetes are much different than those who have normal glucose levels.
Generally, a doctor doesn’t like to see a number rise above 100 mg/dl. However, if a person has Type 2 diabetes and their sugar runs in the 400-500 range, a doctor might be ecstatic to get the numbers down to the 200 mg/dl range. Your baseline is the starting point.
Everyone’s baseline is different, so you must acknowledge where you are and what you need to do. Your average isn’t going to look the same as someone else, but it’s the hand you’ve been dealt in life. Do you ever ask yourself questions like:
- “Why is this happening to me?”
- “What did I do to deserve this?”
- “Why is life so unkind?”
- “Have I been cursed?”
The resilient person doesn’t ask such questions, as they accept the current situation and work from the baseline. It doesn’t mean they aren’t affected by whatever storms come their way; it just means they don’t let it get to them too much.
7. Resilient People Learn From Their Mistakes and Circumstances
Each situation that you go through in life was there to teach you a lesson. Perhaps you always had a stigma about mental health until you develop crippling anxiety. The lesson was to teach you that mental health issues can happen to anyone at any time, and you should never judge things you don’t understand.
A study by Oregon State University suggests that it is mentally sound to learn from your mistakes. Furthermore, they noted a connection between narcissists and a lack of embracing ways to fix errors.
Look back at some of the circumstances in your life, and you will see that there was a lesson to be learned from it. Take, for instance, a person who didn’t have their home inspected before they bought it. They thought it was a structurally sound place with no issues until they discovered the plumbing was troublesome two months later.
You always learn from your mistakes, and many of the situations you go through in life were because you didn’t do your due diligence. Resilient people are looking for the lesson they need to learn to help make them better.
Did you find any of these things that you normally do in a crisis? Perhaps you’re a bit more resilient than you originally thought, or maybe you’ve discovered you have much work to do. Resilient people are strong, determined, and don’t fall to pieces every time a storm comes their way.
It doesn’t mean they don’t get upset, and it doesn’t mean that they don’t cry. However, they allow themselves a specific time to process the situation before they go into resolution mode. If you fall apart every time life doesn’t go your way and things don’t go as planned, then you’re going to have a hard time living.
There is no way humanly possible that you can control every aspect of your life or even a fraction of it. Nature teaches you how to be strong like the mighty tree, who’s rooted in the ground and able to withstand an indescribable amount of pressure before breaking. How deep are your roots, and are your foundations strong enough to sustain you?