resilience characteristics

What are the traits that make you resilient?

We have researched this question and arrived at a list of 18 traits and characteristics that resilient people have. These are listed below - we also have a questionnaire to help you evaluate whether you have these qualities. We will send you a report with some suggestions for steps you can take.

resilience characteristics


Resilience and adaptability are traits that allow people to be flexible and adapt to changing circumstances or life crises. Learning to be more adaptable will enable you to respond more effectively to events, using them as opportunities for growth and development rather than seeing them as catastrophes.


Connection to others is a basic human need which gives us a sense of belonging, provides meaning, purpose and significance. Through connecting to the wider community, resilient people develop life skills and social competencies, build strong support networks, and engage in meaningful activities.


Resilient individuals bring their creativity to bear on their problems and look for innovative solutions. Creativity can heal painful emotions and help us to enter into a state of absorption or "flow" where we are able to discover new perspectives.

Emotional stability

Stability - when applied to human emotions - refers to a state of being predictable and not easily swayed. People who are emotionally stable act in a rational manner when faced with challenging situations. They are able to effectively work through daily issues without becoming overly upset, anxious or angry.

Family/Social support

A network of family, friends and colleagues can help you through the difficulties you face in life - whether one bad day at work or a significant loss or breakdown over a prolonged period. Resilient people have internal resources to get them through life's challenges, but also ask for help when it is needed.


Sharing a joke with another person can help to build relationships quickly - as common ground is often at the centre of laughter. Humour can put people at ease, reduce stress and help people to take themselves and their lives less seriously. Humour can boost morale in the workplace, and make managers more approachable.


Whilst we belong to a society and are dependent on others for many of our basic human needs, we can also practice independence in a number of ways, for instance by considering your own personal views and standpoints on issues that are important to you, by standing up for what you feel is right.

Internal locus of control

Locus of control refers to the extent that you believe you can influence the events that affect you. Individuals with an internal locus of control take responsibility for events that affect them, both good and bad, whereas those with an external locus of control are more likely to put the blame on others.

Interpersonal skills

Having good interpersonal skills encompasses so much of our human interaction - from being accepting and non judgemental about others, having a sense of awareness about who we are and the impact that this might have on the people around us, to active listening and empathy when faced with challenging situations.

Management skills

The pace of life within society is continually increasing, and individuals can often feel that there are not enough hours in the day to complete everything that needs to be done. It can be helpful to regularly review how you spend your time, whether you are happy with your work-life balance, or whether you are achieving the results you want.

Personal / Collective goals

Having a goal can improve your resilience in a number of ways - it can help facilitate making the right choices and making decisions, assists with creating resilient plans, reinforces your will and inner drive to succeed.

Physical health

Taking care of your physical health, by ensuring that you get the right amount of sleep for you, the types of foods that give you energy and make you feel good, and the right amount of physical activity that allows you to feel energised can make a lasting and positive difference to your resilience.

Proactive development

A basic human need is for growth - without it we start to experience a loss of purpose. It is important to seek out opportunities for personal growth, whether through formal training, self-study, or using the internet. If we adopt the right mindset, we can seek a learning experience in almost every encounter we have.

Problem solving

People who have high levels of resilience are often described as being able to see problems as challenges. This involves adopting a particular mindset when faced with set backs, viewing them as temporary obstacles which can be overcome. In exploring a variety of solutions to a problem, you can learn to be more creative and resourceful.

Realistic optimism

The key here is the word 'realistic'. People with a relentlessly positive outlook on life risk being taken for a ride or overlooking the true danger in certain circumstances, and so it is wise to adopt a balanced approach to optimism. You may wish to start exploring the ways in which you can find a positive in even the most difficult of situations.

Self esteem

If you have a healthy level of self esteem, the thoughts you have about yourself will be largely positive. In contrast, if your self esteem is low you will tend to focus on the negatives - for instance your weaknesses or the mistakes you have made throughout your life. Developing a healthy level of self esteem will help you to get through when times are tough.


A connection to a wider purpose can act as a guiding light when times are tough. Spirituality can act as your internal moral compass, helping you to make good and ethical decisions when faced with a dilemma. This does not mean you have to be 'religious' - it can include such things as appreciation of beauty and nature.

Stress mastery

Stress is the result of exposure to pressurised situations over a long period of time. It can affect all aspects of our physical and emotional wellbeing, and if not identified early, can lead to burnout. The key to managing stress is becoming aware of it - this means identifying what your trigger points are by looking at how you respond.