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  • Francine Habib

14 Traits of Resilient People: Be Inspired

Updated: Jan 15, 2021

Get insight into the qualities of highly #resilient survivors, resiliency in general and how it works.

Dr. Al Siebert was the originator of resilience research over the course of 30 years and his books The Resiliency Advantage and The Survivor Personality give us a good understanding of what resilient people do and how they think. Here are 14 traits that resilient people exhibit:

1. They are playful and curious

They ask lots of questions and want to know how things work. They enjoy new developments. Like a child with a new toy they wonder about things, experiment, make mistakes, get hurt, laugh.

They aren't afraid to have fun

"What’s different now? What if I did this? Who can answer my questions? What is funny about this?"

2. They constantly learn from experience

They rapidly digest unforeseen events and experiences and accept being changed by them.

"What is the lesson here? What early clues did I ignore? The next time that happens I will...."

3. They are quick to adapt

This flexibility is due to accommodating contradictory personality qualities with ease such as strong/gentle, sensitive/tough, logical/intuitive, calm/emotional, serious/playful. When they think in negative ways, it’s to explore positive outcomes.

"What could go wrong, so it can be avoided?"

4. Their self-esteem is rock solid

Self-esteem refers to how you feel about yourself; how much positive regard you have overall. It develops through life experiences and how you perceive yourself in relation to those experiences. It affects how much you can learn when things go wrong as you assess accountability for the problem and alternative actions/outcomes. It allows you to receive praise and compliments and shields against spiteful statements while still leaving you receptive to constructive criticism. The great news is self-esteem can always be reinforced.

Self-esteem is built via confidence in many areas

5. Their self-confidence unwavering

#Selfconfidence is your reputation with yourself. It is how you feel about your abilities and can vary from situation to situation. I may have healthy self-esteem, but low confidence about specific situations involving confrontation/public speaking/mathematics etc. As you develop confidence in more areas of your life, you begin to increase your overall sense of esteem. High self-confidence allows you to take action/risks without waiting for validation or reassurance from others. You expect to handle new situations well because on your past successes.

"These are my reliable strengths...."

6. They have good relationships

Research shows that people in toxic working conditions are more stress resistant and are less likely to get sick when they have a loving family and good friendships. Loners are more vulnerable to distressing conditions. Developing a network you can trust and lean on diminishes the impact of difficulties and increases feelings of self-worth and self-confidence.

7. They express how they feel

They are able to express anger, love, dislike, appreciation, grief and the entire range of human emotions naturally and sincerely. They are also able to regulate their emotions when they believe it is best to do so.

8. They expect things to work out well

They’re deeply optimistic with a high tolerance for ambiguity and uncertainty. They have clear internal values and standards which provide a good role model of professionalism, bringing stability in a crisis. They might ask,

"How can I interact with this so that things turn out well for all of us?"

9. They have empathy for others

This allows them to alter perspectives even with adversaries. This ability gives them the advantage of being able to adjust their strategies for solving conflicts and generating acceptable solutions. They ask,

"What do others think and feel? What is it like to be them? How do they experience me? What is legitimate about what they feel, say, and do?"

10. They use their intuition

They accept subliminal perception and intuition as useful sources of information and ask

"What is my body telling me? Did that daydream mean anything? Why don't I believe what I'm being told? What if I did this?"

Robust defense strategies

11. They have robust defensive strategies

The can usually avoid and block attacks. They discern and by-pass ploys and manipulations that others attempt by paying close attention to what's happening around them, sourcing allies, resources, and support for their goals.

12. They make their own luck

They don’t feel like victims and can convert a toxic situation into something emotionally beneficial by seeing it as a life-lesson and gain strength from adversity. Holding a victim position hands over power to others and curtails action for change. A good indicator of exceptional mental health is when a person talking about a rough experience says "I would never willingly go through anything like that again, but it was the one of best things that ever happened to me."

"How can I turn this around? Why is it good that this happened? What is the gift here?"

They keep getting better

13. They get better and better with age.

They continue to become increasingly life-competent, playful, and free. Less time and energy are spent surviving than others and they simply enjoy life more and more.

Resilience training is an investment in an individual’s overall health and well-being. If you'd like to be able to manage life's challenges with greater ease, and thrive though the tough times, then start today.

For more information about building your resilience, please contact me at or visit

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