10 traits of people who stay strong, even when everything goes wrong in their life

by Lucas Graham | June 8, 2024, 7:20 pm

Life isn’t always fair. Sometimes, it feels like the universe is testing us, piling on one challenge after another.

The difference between falling apart and persisting in the face of adversity often comes down to character. 

How do some individuals keep their cool when everything else is in chaos?

There are certain traits that give these individuals the resilience to keep going, even when everything falls apart around them.

Being strong doesn’t mean that you never feel weak, it means you have the willpower to push through even when you do feel weak.

After observing the lives of many resilient individuals, I’ve compiled a list of 10 traits that seem to be common among those who stay strong, no matter what life throws at them.

If you’re curious about how to cultivate resilience and strength during tough times, this list might be a good place to start. It’s time to build your armor and prepare for life’s inevitable battles.

1) Resilience

The first trait that stands out in people who stay strong when the world seems to be crumbling around them is resilience.

Resilience is about bouncing back. It’s about standing up each time life knocks you down.

It’s not about avoiding hardships, because let’s face it, life is full of them. It’s about facing those challenges head-on and coming out the other side stronger than before.

It’s like a muscle – the more you use it, the stronger it gets. And the stronger it gets, the easier it is to handle whatever life throws at you.

So, if you want to stay strong, no matter what, start by building your resilience muscle. Because as the saying goes, “What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.”

But remember, resilience isn’t born overnight. It takes time and practice. So don’t be disheartened if you fall; remember that every setback is a setup for a comeback.

2) Optimism

Another trait I’ve noticed in people who keep their strength amidst life’s storms is optimism. They choose to see the glass as half full, rather than half empty.

Let me share a personal instance with you. A few years back, I experienced a series of unfortunate events – I lost my job, went through a tough breakup, and had to move out of my apartment, all in a span of few months.

It was hard, really hard. There were days when it felt like the universe had conspired against me. But amidst all that chaos, I chose to remain optimistic. I told myself that this phase was just a bend in the road, not the end.

I started looking for silver linings. Losing my job meant that I could now explore careers that I was truly passionate about. The breakup, painful as it was, taught me much about myself and the kind of relationship I wanted. Moving out of the apartment led me to a cozier place that felt more like home.

By choosing to focus on the positives rather than dwelling on the negatives, I found it easier to navigate through those tough times. And that’s something I’ve noticed in others too. Despite life’s ups and downs, they remain hopeful and optimistic about better days ahead.

So remember, optimism isn’t about denying reality; it’s about choosing to see the brighter side of things.

3) Adaptability

People who stay strong in tough times often exhibit a high level of adaptability. They understand that change is a part of life, and instead of resisting it, they learn to roll with the punches.

Life is unpredictable and full of surprises. What works today might not work tomorrow. Strong individuals accept the fact that things can and will shift – sometimes in ways that are uncomfortable or unexpected. Rather than resisting change, they flow with it.

They see changes as an opportunity to learn, grow, and adapt. And this mindset doesn’t just help them survive the storm – it allows them to thrive in it.

It is this ability to adapt to new situations and circumstances is what helps them succeed, no matter what comes their way.

So whether it’s a sudden job loss, a health crisis, or any other unexpected curveball life throws at them, they adjust their sails and keep moving forward. Because they know that it’s not the situation that defines them, but how they respond to it.

If you wish to cultivate resilience in your life, start by embracing change. It might not be easy or comfortable, but it’s a crucial step towards building strength and resilience.

4) Self-awareness

Another key trait of people who stay strong, even when everything goes wrong, is self-awareness. They have a solid understanding of their strengths, weaknesses, emotions, and beliefs.

Self-awareness is like a compass in the wilderness of life. It helps us navigate through challenges and understand how our reactions and behaviors can impact the situations we find ourselves in.

People who are self-aware can objectively evaluate themselves, manage their emotions better, and make thoughtful decisions. They are able to recognize when they are stressed or under pressure and take steps to address these feelings rather than letting them escalate.

Furthermore, being self-aware allows them to continuously learn and grow from their experiences. They see every failure not as a dead end, but as an opportunity for development and growth.

So, if you want to stay strong during tough times, start by understanding yourself better. Recognize your emotions, acknowledge your limitations, and embrace your strengths. This self-knowledge is a powerful tool in overcoming life’s adversities.

5) Perseverance

Perseverance is another common trait among those who stay strong during hard times. Life is a marathon, not a sprint, and it’s full of obstacles and setbacks.

Those who persevere don’t easily give up. They keep going, despite the hurdles in their path. They understand that the road to success is often paved with failures, and they’re willing to keep trying until they reach their goals.

Perseverance doesn’t mean they never feel like giving up. Of course they do. The difference is that they don’t let these feelings stop them. They push through the doubt and the fatigue, because they know that’s how they’ll achieve what they want.

Thomas Edison once said, “Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.”

So, whether you’re facing personal challenges or professional setbacks, remember to keep going. Keep trying. Keep pushing forward. Your perseverance will be your greatest ally in overcoming adversities and staying strong.

6) Confidence

Confidence is a crucial trait in people who stay strong, even when everything goes wrong. They believe in themselves and their abilities, even when others may doubt them.

Confidence isn’t about being arrogant or thinking you’re better than others. It’s about trusting yourself and knowing that you have the skills and determination to handle whatever life throws at you.

When you’re confident, you’re not easily swayed by the opinions of others. You stand firm in your decisions and beliefs, and you’re not afraid to take risks or face challenges head-on.

Confidence also means acknowledging that it’s okay not to have all the answers. It’s okay to make mistakes, as long as you learn from them and keep moving forward.

So believe in yourself. Trust your capabilities. And remember, your confidence is a key ingredient in your recipe for staying strong during tough times.

7) Gratitude

When everything seems to be going against us, it can be hard to find anything positive to hold on to. Yet, those who stay strong amidst adversity often have a powerful tool at their disposal – gratitude.

Gratitude, in essence, is a practice of acknowledging and appreciating the good in our lives, however small or insignificant it may seem. It’s about shifting our focus from what’s going wrong to what’s going right.

A few years ago, I found myself in a particularly difficult situation. I was dealing with health issues, relationship troubles, and work stress all at the same time. It felt like I was sinking.

In the midst of all that, I started keeping a gratitude journal. Every evening, I would jot down three things I was grateful for that day. Some days were harder than others, but I always managed to find something – a kind word from a friend, a good book, or even just a peaceful moment with a cup of coffee.

Slowly but surely, my perspective began to shift. By focusing on the positive aspects of my life, I began to see that even though things were tough, there was still so much to be thankful for. This practice of gratitude gave me strength. It reminded me of the good in life and kept me grounded during the storm.

Cultivating a habit of gratitude may not change your circumstances, but it can significantly change your perspective. It can bring light into your darkest days and give you the strength to keep going.

Practicing gratitude regularly doesn’t mean ignoring your problems or pretending that everything is perfect. Rather, it means choosing to see the good amidst the bad, to count your blessings even in the face of adversity.

Despite how challenging things may get, never lose sight of what you’re grateful for. It’s often in these small moments of appreciation where we find our greatest strength.

So if you want to stay strong no matter what life throws at you, consider making gratitude a part of your daily routine. You might be surprised by the impact it can have on your resilience and overall well-being.

8) Accepting imperfection

We live in a world that often pushes us towards perfection. We’re constantly bombarded with images and messages that tell us we need to be more, do more, achieve more. But here’s the truth – none of us are perfect, and that’s okay.

Those who stay strong when everything goes wrong understand this. They’re not afraid to make mistakes or admit when they don’t have all the answers. They know that failure is not a dead-end, but a detour on the path to success.

They give themselves permission to be human – to be flawed, to fall short, to mess up. And in doing so, they free themselves from the crippling burden of perfectionism.

Accepting imperfection isn’t about settling for mediocrity or giving up on growth. It’s about acknowledging our humanity and giving ourselves the grace to learn and grow at our own pace.

So, if you want to build strength and resilience, remember this – it’s okay not to be perfect. Give yourself room for mistakes and failures, and remember that they’re just part of your journey.

9) Letting go of control

In a world that often encourages us to take charge, to be the master of our fate, it might seem odd to suggest letting go of control. However, people who stay strong in the face of adversity understand the paradoxical power of surrender.

They realize that there are things in life they simply cannot control – the weather, the traffic, other people’s behaviors, or the natural course of events. Trying to control these uncontrollable aspects only leads to frustration and stress.

Instead, they focus their energy on what they can control – their actions, their responses, their attitudes. They understand that while they can’t prevent a storm from coming, they can choose how they navigate through it.

Letting go of control doesn’t mean giving up or being passive. It means understanding that resilience often comes from knowing when to hold on and when to let go.

So if you’re looking to cultivate strength in your life, consider where you might need to let go of control. Remember, resilience is not about controlling the waves but learning how to surf them.

10) A sense of humor

When life gets tough, it’s easy to get caught up in the seriousness of it all. But those who stay strong in the face of adversity often have one trait in common – they maintain a sense of humor.

Life can be unpredictable and challenging, but laughter can be a powerful antidote to stress, pain, and conflict. It can lighten our burdens and help us keep things in perspective.

People who stay strong know that a good laugh can be the best medicine, providing a welcome break from the worries and stresses of life. They understand that humor isn’t about ignoring problems or making light of serious situations, but about finding joy and lightness amidst the darkness.

If you’re looking to build resilience, try not to lose your sense of humor. Find reasons to laugh every day – whether it’s a funny movie, a joke with a friend, or simply laughing at life’s absurdities. Remember, laughter is not just for good times; it can also be a lifeline in tough times.

Final thoughts: It’s a journey

The journey of staying strong, especially when life goes awry, is often an intricate dance between the mind, body, and soul.

The traits discussed here aren’t standalone solutions. They’re interconnected, each one influencing and enhancing the others.

Consider the words of the ancient Greek philosopher, Heraclitus: “Character is destiny.” This profound observation rings true today more than ever. The traits we nurture within ourselves shape our actions, our reactions, and ultimately, our resilience in the face of adversity.

So as you go forward, remember that cultivating these traits isn’t an overnight process. It takes time, effort, patience, and often a good dose of courage. It’s a journey of self-discovery and growth. A journey filled with challenges, but the rewards are well worth it.

Embrace this journey. Nurture these traits within yourself. And discover the strength you hold within to stand tall, even when everything goes wrong.

Because when you stay strong, you don’t just learn how to survive life’s storms – you learn how to dance in the rain.

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