9 ways your silent resilience shows you’re doing better than you think you are

by Alexandra Plesa | July 5, 2024, 11:28 am

Have you seen that viral image showcasing success as an iceberg?

There’s the part people see, which is above water.

Then there’s the part people don’t see. The failures, disappointments, and sacrifices we don’t talk about.

Similarly, the ability to bounce back from adversity and persevere through difficult times isn’t always noticeable, but its power is not to be denied.

While we often associate resilience with visible strength, silent resilience is the subtle force a lot of people count on to get through a brutal day, week, or year.

Are you one of them?

Here are 9 ways your silent resilience shows you’re doing better than you think you are.

As long as you have yourself to rely on, ain’t no mountain high enough.

1) Emotional control

The other day, I was in the supermarket when I noticed a kid frantically running around and picking sweets off the shelves.

He then approached who I assume was his mother and demanded she buy him the treats. All of them.

When the woman refused, he began to shout and cry and do all the things spoiled kids do when they don’t get their way. Basically, he threw a tantrum.

My reaction as I observed from the sidelines?

Oh, kid, how I wish I could still do that. It would release some pent-up frustrations.

But then I realized how lucky I am to have found healthier ways to deal with my emotions.

Rather than losing my cool in public when angry, I now climb on my elliptical machine or go dancing.

I put on sad girl music and cry when I’m upset.

I take deep breaths when I’m stressed to calm myself down.

You know what I don’t do?

Scream at people who don’t deserve it.

That’s emotional control for you.

If you keep your composure during challenging situations, your silent resilience deserves a round of applause.

2) Adaptability

As change is the only constant in life, being adaptable is a coveted skill you should be immensely proud of.

If you quietly embrace change, you’re fine with being uncomfortable because you know it can lead to bigger and better things.

Additionally, being adaptable implies that you have other amazing abilities, too:

  • You are open to new ideas and different viewpoints
  • You have a growth mindset
  • You are willing to expand your horizons
  • You do well in new situations
  • You are the friend everyone wants around in a crisis

All in all, adaptability is a sign of silent resilience, a superpower not everyone has.

It’s worth being grateful for.

3) Self-compassion

Practicing self-compassion by forgiving your mistakes and embracing self-kindness demonstrates resilience in the face of doubt.

Many of us have a little voice in our heads that says we’re not skilled enough or good-looking enough.

Not worthy of love, success, or anything nice in the world.

Learning to quiet that voice is a feat in itself.

It shows that you value yourself and figured out how to be your best friend.

It’s nice to have loved ones who can comfort you during turbulence, but it’s equally impressive if you manage to comfort yourself.

4) Endurance

Persevering through long-term challenges without seeking recognition speaks volumes about your silent resilience.

In a world that’s becoming increasingly more depressing to navigate, having the discipline to move forward despite troublesome circumstances is an ability that not many people have.

I was never a great athlete, and whenever we did sprints back in high school, I would come out last.

But I excelled at endurance. Slow and steady, I could run for hours, with only myself for company.

I have the same approach to life.

I may not be your most talented employee, but I work the hardest.

I may not dazzle someone on a first date, but I grow on him as we keep seeing each other.

I may wallow in bed for a couple of days after I fail at something and drink too much prosecco, but I eventually get up.

I change my sheets, I put on a cute outfit, I try again.

Life isn’t a sprint; it’s a marathon.

Endurance helps you keep a steady pace as you run toward happier times.

5) Staying positive

Do you maintain a positive attitude and find silver linings in tough situations?

If so, it’s a display of silent resilience, and you’re doing much better than you think you are.

Some folks get discouraged when they experience hardship. 

They mope around and may even decide that happiness is out of their grasp forever. They stop trying.

Not you. You carve pockets of joy that give you perspective.

The world may be harsh, but there are things worth fighting for, happiness being one of them.

And if you’re still struggling with this, cultivate gratitude.

Learn to appreciate what you already have.

People who care about you. A cozy home, a decent job, a frozen pizza. Your silent resilience.

Things could be much, much worse.

6) Independence

Being self-sufficient and not feeding on constant external validation highlights your silent resilience.

You don’t need others to agree with your opinions or approve of your choices.

You know what’s best for you and are willing to go against the crowd to get it.

More importantly, you care for yourself, and you have the receipts to prove it:

  • You can provide for your basic needs (food, shelter, clothing, healthcare)
  • You don’t depend on financial assistance from other people
  • You cut toxic people out of your life or set healthy boundaries
  • You don’t stay in romantic relationships past their expiration date
  • You can entertain yourself without having to be out with other people
  • You can make yourself laugh

That last bullet point, I would argue, is essential for a tolerable life.

7) Problem-solving

If you’re the type of person who prefers to find solutions rather than dwell on problems, your silent resilience is off the charts.

You’re proactive in addressing challenges, approach problems creatively, and are not afraid to think outside the box.

Not only that, but you’re intrinsically motivated to tackle problems, even when there’s no apparent external reward.

That’s just how you’re built. Luckily, it comes with benefits.

Resilience requires you to make the most of available resources, so you’ve become surprisingly good at looking for alternative ways to get what you want.

This comes in handy whenever plan A fails and you must figure out next steps.

You have the skill to do that – and you’re doing much better in life than you give yourself credit for.

8) Courage

Resilient people are more likely to take risks.

Think about it. They know they can pick themselves up if they don’t succeed.

If they open their own business and it doesn’t work out, they trust themselves to survive the disappointment.

If they ask someone out and that person says no, they know they can handle the rejection.

And if they – knock on wood – hit rock bottom, they find the strength to crawl their way back up.

This courage is priceless, and it comes with extra determination to boot.

9) Silent growth

You know those people who swear they’ll turn a new leaf come Monday?

They’ll exercise more, quit smoking, eat better, or finally find a hobby that doesn’t involve staring at a screen.

They update their social media status and tell their friends about their big plans.

But Monday comes, and everything stays the same.

And then there are people who keep their goals private and commit to a silent pursuit of their dreams.

Turns out, the second approach might be smarter.

Some studies show that impulsively sharing goals can lessen the likelihood of seeing them through.

When you share your goals with others, you experience a sense of satisfaction that can reduce your actual commitment to achieving those goals.

In contrast, keeping specific goals private comes with advantages:

  • It lessens external pressure, saving you unnecessary stress
  • It ensures that you set objectives that are personally meaningful instead of simply wanting to check things off a list society drilled into your brain
  • It protects you from naysayers
  • It helps you focus on the process, not the result, which can increase your chances of success

If you regularly set challenges for yourself you don’t share with others, you’re committed to silent growth. 

This shows a copious amount of resilience.


You’re doing much better than you think you are.

Bottom line

Silent resilience is a powerful trait that frequently gets overlooked.

It’s a reflection of your strength, adaptability, and emotional fortitude.

If you relate to the points above, there’s nothing you can’t handle.

Celebrate your inner power.

It makes the difference between dealing with life’s many curveballs head-on and giving up on the first minor obstacle. 

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