People With These 5 Personality Traits Have What It Takes To Survive (Pretty Much) Anything

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In my many years as a life coach, I have worked with all sorts of people who seek help, guidance, and support while making their way through harsh, difficult times.

Some of them have experienced more success adapting to their circumstances than others. And when I look back on those who not only survived but "bounced back" even stronger, I can see that they share some particular personality traits and behaviors with one another.

What is resilience?

According to Merriam Webster's definition, resilience is "an ability to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change."

And lest you think resilient people possess this skill only because they're lucky enough to breeze through life unscathed, the American Psychological Association (APA) states:

"Being resilient does not mean that a person doesn't experience difficulty or distress. Emotional pain and sadness are common in people who have suffered major adversity or trauma in their lives. In fact, the road to resilience is likely to involve considerable emotional distress."

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And if you want a better understanding of what being resilient means, look for the men and women you know who possess these 5 dominant personality traits.

1. Self-confidence

People who are self-confident know who they are in the world, know what they’re capable of and have life experience that shows them that they can do what they need to do if they try hard enough.

Ironically, many people build self-confidence as they successfully navigate their difficult times.

One of my clients was deserted by her husband, leaving her alone and feeling worthless. As she worked hard to get her life back, she developed a steely self-confidence because she knew she was going through hell and back — and that she was prevailing.

Self-confidence is a key part of knowing you have resilience, and that you will be okay.

2. Determination

People who are resilient never give up. Never.

Picture yourself running a marathon. You reach mile 13 and you say to yourself, "I will never be able to do this." A person who has no resilience would pull over to the side of the road and drink the proffered lemonade, happy enough that they have made it as far as they did.

A person who is resilient doesn't give up. They run until the end of that race, no matter what kind of pain and suffering they experience. They are so determined to finish what they started that they make it happen.

If you aren’t determined to finish what you start, to reach a goal, or to get through a difficult period, you won't able to do it. Before you start on your journey, ask yourself how determined you are. That level of determination will be a measure of your potential for success.

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3. Flexibility

A person who has resilience is a person who is flexible. A person who believes that their way is the right way or the only course of action is a person who will be stymied in their journey to get through difficult times.

When I was getting a divorce I was determined that I would find love again as soon as possible. I joined dating sites and started meeting every eligible man I encountered.

Surprise, surprise. I didn’t find love. Instead, I was extremely frustrated at the lack of connection I had with these men. Rather than continuing on my initial course of action, finding love immediately, I decided to turn attention away from finding love towards building my business instead.

To my surprise, building my business did more to get me through those hard times than finding love ever would have. If I hadn’t been flexible in my perspective and insisted on staying my original course, I might never have been resilient enough to get through those dark times.

4. Optimism

There is something about that person you know who remains persistently hopeful. They believe that, no matter what, everything is going to turn out fine.

This can be sometimes come across as annoying, especially when to those who are struggling themselves. But because they know, deep in their heart, that they can get through difficult times, they do indeed make their way to the other side of their challenges intact.

If you aren’t a persistently hopeful person, consider developing this personality trait. If you truly believe that everything will work out in the end, it most likely will.

5. Resourcefulness

Resourcefulness is a key part of having resilience. People who are resourceful have a plan, as well as resources they can tap into to make things happen. They know people who can help them on their journey.

People who are resourceful are people who know, no matter what obstacles present themselves, they will figure out a way to get around them.

I always ask my clients what kind of tools they have worked on to help them deal with difficult times.

Who can support them? What kind of books can they read? What kind of experiences have they had in the past that they can draw from that might be helpful in the situation?

When you are going through difficult times and need resilience more than anything, assess the resources available to help you move forward successfully.

In my experience, people who are resilient have self-confidence, determination, flexibility, persistent hopefulness, and resourcefulness.

They call on these traits every day to get them through difficult times.

Fortunately, all of these personality traits are ones that you can develop through consciousness and action.

When you are going to the dark times, dig deep and find your self-confidence. Set out to be determined always and be flexible when necessary. Always keep an eye out for that person or thing who can help you on your journey and know that it’s all going to be okay.

Resilience is yours for the taking — and, really, everything will be okay!

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Mitzi Bockmann is an NYC-based Certified Life Coach and mental health advocate whose writing has been published on The Huffington Post, Prevention, Psych Central, Pop Sugar, MSN, and The Good Man Project, among others.