Resilient people don’t give in to anger or despair when faced with a setback. Instead, they tap into a greater purpose to bounce back stronger than ever.
“They find resilience by moving towards a goal beyond themselves, transcending pain and grief by perceiving bad times as a temporary state of affairs,” says Hara Estroff Marano, editor at large of Psychology Today.
Highly resilient people know how to bend to inevitable failures and tragedies and not break. Here are seven habits of people who know how to confront adversity and move on with their lives stronger than before:
1. They have a strong sense of purpose.
Resilient people make a habit of being persistent. “Knowing what one wants is the first and, perhaps, the most important step toward the development of persistence,” says Napoleon Hill in “Think and Grow Rich,” one of the top-selling books of all time.
2. They are self-reliant.
Resilient people believe that they are fully capable of carrying out their purpose, says Hill, which allows them to rebound from setbacks.
3. They have a support network.
Just because successful people are self-confident and can rely on themselves doesn’t mean that they isolate themselves from others. Studies show that having intimate relationships with friends and family provides the benefits of belonging, increased self-worth, and security that reduces stress levels, especially in times of crisis.
4. They are accepting.
Resilient people understand that frustrating situations, failures, and tragedies are inevitable parts of life, and they’re able to move on because they don’t ignore or repress their pain. “Acceptance is not about giving up and letting the stress take over, it’s about leaning in to experience the full range of emotions and trusting that we will bounce back,” Brad Waters writes in Psychology Today.
5. They are optimists.
Those who move forward do not dwell in a state of victimhood or self-loathing. “What the resilient do is refrain from blaming themselves for what has gone wrong,” says Marano of Psychology Today. “In the language of psychology, they externalize blame. And they internalize success; they take responsibility for what goes right in their lives.”
6. They turn adversity into opportunities for growth.
In “The Obstacle Is the Way,” Ryan Holiday points to several historical examples of people who practice the ancient Greek philosophy of Stoicism by re-framing adversity as an opportunity for triumph. He cites Nassim Taleb, who defines a Stoic as someone who “transforms fear into prudence, pain into transformation, mistakes into initiation, and desire into undertaking.”
7. They take care of their health.
Psychologist Karen Horneffer-Ginter focuses on the physical characteristics of resilient people, who know how to keep stress from accumulating and then crippling them. She says exercise and meditation can be great ways to clear the mind of anxiety. “Unplugging and stepping off the wheel of our doing can offer just the reset we need to re-find our center,” she says.