If you’ve overcome these 12 obstacles, you’re more resilient than you think

by Brendan Brown | May 6, 2024, 10:22 pm

Resilience. It’s one of those buzzwords that seem to be reserved for people who’ve survived the worst kinds of trauma or adversity. 

However, resilience is not about the magnitude of the fight, it’s about the courage to get back up, dust yourself off, and keep going—even when no one’s watching. 

You may not realize it, but there’s a good chance you’re more resilient than you think. 

Let’s take a look at some common obstacles that, if you’ve overcome them, are proof of your inner strength.

1) You’ve dealt with a heartbreak

Ah, love. It’s a beautiful thing, isn’t it? Until it’s not. 

Heartbreak can feel like your world is ending, and let me tell you, I’ve been there. 

If you’ve picked up the pieces of your heart and dared to love again, that’s resilience. 

Sure, your heart might have a few patches now, but it’s beating and capable of love. And that’s a win.

2) You’ve faced rejection and still kept going

Rejection is never fun. Whether it’s from a job, a school, a person, or even a pet (ouch), it can be a blow to your self-esteem. 

But if you’ve faced rejection and didn’t let it define your self-worth, congratulations. 

You’re a rock star! It’s a sign of resilience to acknowledge the sting, dust yourself off, and continue pursuing your goals.

3) You’ve overcome failure

We’ve all been there, haven’t we? That sinking feeling when you give something your all, and it still doesn’t pan out. 

Maybe you failed an exam, a project, or a diet (that last slice of pizza was just too tempting!). 

If you’ve managed to learn from your failures and not let them deter you from trying again, you’re definitely stronger than you think. 

Remember, it’s not about the number of times you fall; it’s about the number of times you get back up.

4) You’ve faced your fears head-on

Everyone has fears. Some are afraid of heights, some of spiders, and others, of commitment (yes, I’m talking about you, ex-boyfriend!). 

But it’s not about eradicating these fears—it’s about facing them

If you’ve ever stepped out of your comfort zone, faced your fears, and said “I’m scared, but I’m doing it anyway,” then that’s resilience personified.

5) You’ve experienced financial difficulties

Money problems—now that’s something most of us can relate to. 

Whether you’ve struggled with debt, lived paycheck to paycheck, or had to make some tough budget decisions (like whether to buy that pair of shoes you’ve been eyeing):

Financial stress is a tough beast. 

But if you’ve navigated through such issues, made tough calls, and still kept your head above water, you’ve shown tremendous resilience.

6) You’ve dealt with the loss of a loved one

Grief is one of the toughest things any human can go through. It’s messy, it’s painful, and it feels like it will never end. 

But if you’ve loved and lost, and somehow found a way to keep living and keep loving, you’re resilient in a way that words can’t adequately capture. 

Your capacity to carry that pain and still find joy in life is a testament to your inner strength.

7) You’ve bounced back after a health scare

Facing health issues can be a terrifying experience. If you’ve battled disease, managed chronic pain, or recovered from an injury, you know the journey can be arduous and demanding. 

But if you’ve found ways to cope, adjust, and keep moving forward, it’s a sign of your exceptional resilience

You’ve adapted to your new normal and refused to be defined by your health struggles.

8) You’ve navigated a career change

In an ideal world, we’d all be happily situated in our dream jobs. 

But the reality? Well, the career path is often more like a labyrinth than a straight line. 

If you’ve taken the plunge and switched careers, especially in uncertain circumstances, you’ve shown incredible resilience

Jumping into a new field takes courage, persistence, and a whole lot of hard work.

9) You’ve coped with major life changes

Life has a funny way of throwing curveballs at us, doesn’t it? Maybe it was a divorce, a big move, or becoming a parent

These major life transitions can shake up our world and leave us feeling unsteady. 

Now if you’ve navigated these changes, weathered the storm, and eventually found your footing again, that’s resilience. 

You’ve proven to yourself that you can handle the upheavals that life inevitably brings.

10) You’ve dealt with discrimination or bias

There’s nothing quite as disheartening as being discriminated against or facing bias based on your race, gender, religion, or any other aspect of your identity. 

It’s a harsh reality that many face on a daily basis. 

Although, if you’ve encountered such prejudice and refused to let it diminish your self-worth or deter your goals, you’ve exhibited profound resilience. 

Your ability to rise above hate and ignorance is truly commendable.

11) You’ve survived a toxic relationship

If you’ve ever found yourself tangled in a toxic relationship, you know it can feel like sinking in quicksand—the more you struggle, the deeper you get pulled in. 

Managing to recognize the toxicity, extracting yourself, and moving forward… These demonstrate incredible resilience. 

You’ve proven to yourself and to the world that you deserve better.

12) You’ve struggled with mental health issues

Coping with mental health problems like depression, anxiety, or any other disorder can be an exhausting uphill battle. 

But if you’ve sought help, tackled your issues head-on, and worked towards better mental health, it’s a sign of your immense resilience. 

Remember, it’s okay to have bad days. It’s the fact that you’re still here, still trying, that counts. 

After all, resilience isn’t about never breaking; it’s about mending ourselves again and again.

The thing about resilience

The misunderstood power of resilience

Resilience is often viewed as a superhero-like quality. We admire those who keep pushing forward no matter what obstacles life throws at them. It’s a testament to the human spirit. 

However, the flip side to this powerful trait is that it can sometimes be misunderstood, and even exploited. 

There are people who might mistake your resilience for invincibility and push you harder, thinking you’re capable of withstanding anything. 

Remember, resilience doesn’t mean you’re indestructible, and it’s okay to set boundaries.

When resilience backfired: A personal anecdote

Let me tell you a story. Once, in a job I was eager to excel in, I found myself working ungodly hours, trying to meet impossible deadlines. 

My resilience made me push through the exhaustion, the stress, the nagging sense that something was off. 

It wasn’t until a friend pointed out that I was being taken advantage of, that I realized my resilience was being weaponized against me. 

This brought a crucial insight—sometimes, resilience isn’t about how much you can withstand, but knowing when to step back.

Balancing resilience with self-care

Resilience is a strength, but it should never be at the expense of your well-being. 

Being resilient doesn’t mean you have to put on a brave face and bear every blow life throws at you. 

Sometimes, resilience is understanding when it’s time to retreat, take care of yourself, and then return to the battlefield when you’re ready. 

It’s knowing when to lose the battle to win the war. 

So, the next time you find yourself stretching your resilience too thin, remember it’s okay to step back, recharge, and then come back stronger. 

After all, true resilience is about enduring, not merely surviving.

How to be more resilient

Acknowledge your feelings

Resilience starts with acknowledging your feelings. It’s okay to feel down, hurt, or disappointed. 

These emotions don’t make you weak; they make you human.

Reach out to others

Don’t isolate yourself. Reach out to friends, family, or a mental health professional. 

Sharing your experience can lighten the load and provide a fresh perspective.

Practice self-care

Prioritize your well-being. Exercise, eat healthily, get enough sleep, and engage in activities you enjoy. 

Nurturing your physical health can have a profound effect on your emotional resilience.

Set healthy boundaries

Learn to say no when you need to. It’s important to protect your time and energy. This doesn’t make you selfish, but self-respecting.

Embrace change

Change is inevitable. Instead of resisting it, learn to adapt. 

View change as an opportunity to grow and evolve.

Learn from your experiences

Reflect on your past experiences, the good and the bad. Each one is an opportunity to learn something about yourself and the world around you.

Cultivate optimism

Try to maintain a hopeful outlook, even when things look bleak. This isn’t about being naive, but about believing in your ability to overcome.

Final words

Resilience is a powerful trait that can see us through the darkest times. But remember, it’s not about being an unbreakable force. 

Real resilience is about understanding when to push through and when to take a step back. It’s about balance, self-care, and wisdom. 

So the next time you question your resilience, think about all the obstacles you’ve already overcome. You’re stronger than you think

And remember, it’s not the fall that defines you, but how you rise again.

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