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Why do some people keep going through bad circumstances? It is called resilience.

Updated: Mar 21, 2022

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Resilience can help you heal from difficult circumstances.

Sometimes life kicks you when you're down, and you have a choice if you are going to rise to the occasion or stay on the ground.

Have you ever noticed that there are some people that keep going, no matter what happens to them?

I am one of those people, and lately I have had several moments that have made me question, what is it that makes me keep going in situations where other people stop? My life hasn't been perfect, I have dragged myself up by the bootstraps out of the mud more than once. I have lost everything, and never let it stop me.

Of course, there are times in life that I wanted to give up, just like anyone else. However, there was something inside me that made me get back up and keep going.

When I got divorced, I spent several months sleeping on a friend's couch because my ex-husband kicked me out of the house. We shared time with our daughter, and I had to go stay at my mom's on the days that I had her. I didn't even have a stable place to live. I had hit rock bottom, and I still had a child to take care of. I could easily have given up, and just kept floating from place to place without an anchor, but I didn't.

When I see other people giving up on themselves, on life, selling themselves short, I just ask myself how they can do that. Why do some people give up and others keep going? I found out it is resilience.

What is resilience?

Resilience is the ability to bounce back from stressful situations and keep going. There are many reasons why some people have more resilience than others, but it is a quality that can be developed over time.

According to the Mayo Clinic, "Resilience is the ability to adapt to difficult situations. When stress, adversity or trauma strikes, you still experience anger, grief and pain, but you're able to keep functioning — both physically and psychologically." Basically, resilience means that you keep going no matter how bad things get.

This isn't to say that you don't feel sad or upset if you are resilient. Still, no matter how you feel, you keep going.

How to develop resilience.

Some people develop resilience as children, when parents are able to instill these qualities. Resilience can develop in childhood more easily than adulthood, when kids are taught that mistakes don't define them. Children who learn resilience early have a leg up in life over those who are allowed to just give up on things.

According to Positive Psychology,

Traits, Qualities, and Characteristics of the Resilient Person

According to Conner and Davidson (2003), resilient people have certain characteristics. These characteristics may include:

  • Viewing change as a challenge or opportunity

  • Commitment

  • Recognition of limits to control

  • Engaging the support of others

  • Close, secure attachment to others

  • Personal or collective goals

  • Self-efficacy

  • Strengthening effect of stress

  • Past successes

  • Realistic sense of control/having choices

  • Sense of humor

  • Action-oriented approach

  • Patience

  • Tolerance of negative affect

  • Adaptability to change

  • Optimism

  • Faith

Even if you don't feel resilient now, it is a quality that can be developed over time as an adult. Here are some ways that you can develop resilience over time. According to Positive Psychology,

There are many ways to increase resilience. Some of those include having a good support system, maintaining positive relationships, having a good self-image and having a positive attitude.

Other factors that contribute to resiliency include:

  • Having the capacity to make realistic plans.

  • Being able to carry out those plans.

  • Being able to effectively manage your feelings and impulses in a healthy manner.

  • Having good communication skills.

  • Having confidence in your strengths and abilities.

  • Having good problem-solving skills.

Developing resiliency can help you maintain caring relationships with others and help you maintain a positive and easygoing disposition. It can also help you develop good coping skills and improve cognitive thinking skills.

Those who develop resilience tend to cope much better with life than those who aren’t resilient and they may even be happier.

Learning how to set achievable goals, managing feelings, communication skills, problem solving, and self confidence are all things that we can learn if we apply ourselves. You will also find that, the more you DO meet your goals consistently, it will naturally increase your self confidence as well. Then, better self confidence helps you consistently do harder tasks, some of which you would have never thought possible.

When you try to learn new skills, it is good to go slowly and learn one thing at a time. That way, you are more likely to be able to maintain the new skills and progress forward. Even positive change isn't always quick, and can be stressful. However making changes in your life to become more resilient will serve you well in the future!


Not everyone grows up with the skills that contribute to resilience in their toolbox. However, these are skills that we can still learn as adults.

If you feel like you need help working toward your goals or developing resilience, you can also take classes or work with a therapist to develop these useful life skills. It is never too late to change your life for the better!

To learn more about setting goals and developing good health habits, check out my ebook, "Happy. Healthy. Rich. The smart mom's guide to living your best life." It is built around a goal setting framework, and covers skills like better communication, personal finance, improving your health, and more!

Let me know what you think in the comments. Do you have the skills necessary to be resilient? Which skills would you like to learn? Also, let me know which topics you would like me to cover in more detail in the future!

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