Resilience is a trait that is important to the survival of human beings. It allows you to push forward despite the odds. It permits you to conquer what you think you cannot, even with poor events happening in your life. Some people have more of this fighting spirit than others.

There are quite a few reasons why you might lack resilience. These can affect many areas of life and can be improved over time to strengthen your ability to push through the harsh moments. Keep reading to learn more about why you may not have any resilience and the areas in your life that you should focus on before you can develop resilience.

What Causes Lack of Resilience?

There are many causes as to why you might be lacking in resilience. Anything from your outlook on life to health can play a role in this. Resilience is crucial for withstanding hardships, challenges, and stressors that you may encounter throughout life, so a lack of resilience can be highly problematic. 

It is critical to understand what causes a lack of resilience if you intend to better yourself in this area. Most of the time, a lack of resilience can be attributed to a specific mindset or mentality, an inability to learn from the past, or something more profound such as the failure to find meaning in life. 

You Have Not Experienced Hardships

Someone who has not gone through many hardships might not be as resilient as someone who has. This generalization does not mean that undergoing terrible experiences is a requirement for gaining strong resilience. However, those that have experienced troublesome times and survived tend to bounce back repeatedly.

If you experience something hard, such as the death of a loved one or a rejected job offer, it can be easy to sink into sadness. However, if you want to work on your ability to persevere, you should:

  • Address what is making you feel this way
  • Seek help, whether professionally or from a group of trusted peers
  • Become familiar with healthy coping mechanisms

These items will allow you to bounce back the next time something of this caliber happens again. Every time, you will get stronger and stronger and be able to bounce back in a healthy, resilient way.

You Have a Negative Outlook on Life

Having a negative outlook on life can reduce your ability to come back from the bad things that occur. If you look at everything in a glass-half-empty manner, there is absolutely no reason to bounce back. You will go from hardship to hardship without any hope or happiness.

Negativity has been shown to:

  • Hurt mental health
  • Destroy emotional well-being
  • Isolate individuals from their peers

A simple shift in perspective can change a negative mindset. Whenever anything happens, it is critical to look at the positives of what is going on. Even in the worst of situations, there is something good. This must be done over a long period to train the brain and force it into this mindset.

Once you push your brain into a healthy, positive way of thinking, the world will seem to be more open. You are more likely to bounce back and endure more when there is always something happy driving you into the future.

You Do Not Take Care of Yourself

A body that is well-taken care of is better prepared to take on whatever is thrown at it. This includes physically, mentally, and emotionally.

If just one of these states is out of whack, it can impact the entire body. Learning how to care for each of them is a big step in improving your resilience.

Mental Health

Mental health affects everything, from the way you think and feel to the way you act when you are around other people. Your mental health determines your outlook on life, the way you live, and so much more.

If you allow your mental health to decline, it will not take much to snap your resilience in half. You can take action to improve your mental health by:


  • Seeking out the help of a counselor
  • Taking medication
  • Discussing your state with trusted friends or family members
  • Writing in a journal to get everything out onto the page

Putting your mind’s thoughts out into the world is the first step in improving your mental health. Once others are capable of helping you to help yourself, you can improve. Your brain will be able to bounce back from events that would have smashed it before.

Emotional Health

Your emotional health has to do with your ability to cope with certain feelings. It means accepting that it is okay to not be happy all the time, but it is also not okay to be sad every single second of the day.

To improve your emotional health, start jotting down what you feel inside of a journal. If you catch sadness becoming an overwhelming feeling, it might be time to seek professional help. A counselor, therapist, or trusted friend can help you to become more comfortable with your emotions and push you to find joy in the little things. From here sprouts resilience.

Physical Health

Physical health is your literal health—how well your body is operating both inside and out. In a world obsessed with working and making a change, it can be easy to neglect your body. This is a problem, as you need health to be able to fight the hardships that come your way.

To improve your physical health, you might try:

  • Going to your local doctor’s office for your annual physical
  • Taking a walk or jog around your neighborhood
  • Selecting a free trial membership at your local gym
  • Incorporating more fruits and veggies into your diet
  • Go to the dentist to get a cleaning and consultation

These activities will improve your physical health, which will also lead to improvements in your emotional and mental health. Adopting one or more of these habits will provide you with the resilience that you need to get through life.

You Ignore Problems Rather than Addressing Them

Moving away from problems without figuring out what caused them in the first place is not a great way to improve your resilience. If you do not address problems, you cannot learn from them. If you do not learn from them, you are bound to run into them later on in the future. You will not know how to deal with them then. They will take you down.

Though it may be hard, you should face problems head-on when they occur. Apologize, question, and resolve. This technique gets rid of stumbling blocks in your future. You become tougher because you are not afraid to stop things before they start. Resilience relies upon facing problems instead of running away from them.

You Are Not Grateful for Experiences

Bad things are going to happen to us in this life. It is just the way it goes. However, many good things will happen as well. By being grateful for the things that you learn from every kind of experience, you can change your perspective on what bad times mean to you. You will be able to bounce back quickly with this optimistic outlook on life’s lessons.

Whether you go through something wonderful or terrifying, use these three items to analyze the situation. Ask yourself:

  • What did I learn from going through this?
  • What have I gained from this experience?
  • How will I use this in my future?

Once you have found out what you have gained from the event, you can put it to use for the rest of your life. This will allow you to look back and be grateful, rather than looking back in fear or regret. Everything happens, and you can choose to be resilient and learn or fall back on regret.

You Have Not Found Your Purpose

What is life without a purpose? If you do not have a reason for why you are going through life, your ability to push through the obstacles life has will be diminished. There needs to be a reason behind all the actions that move you through life.

A purpose is not some superhero, out-of-this-world calling that comes from beyond. It means you have something in your life that gives you a purpose, that makes you feel alive and happy in the midst of whatever is going on. A purpose might be:

  • Educating yourself and training to become a trained medical professional
  • Providing meals at your local retirement community
  • Creating and managing your own business

Each of these activities has a valid purpose. They give you something to do, a reason to exist in this life. This will help you to build your resilience despite the flaws that come. With a purpose, you are unstoppable.

Selecting a purpose does not have to be hard. You can start with something that sounds exciting to you, or think about a way that you may want to contribute to your community. You can find a great purpose from there and push your absent resilience into the spotlight.

You Do Not Have Any Goals

Having goals can give you something to pursue in life. Much like your purpose, without goals, you are left flailing in the wind without a safety net in sight. By making a healthy habit of setting goals, you can: 

  • Give yourself something to focus on no matter what is happening
  • Push yourself to keep moving forward in life
  • Surround yourself with accomplishments

Without goals, you have no reason to be doing what you are doing. Practice setting a goal every day, no matter how small. It could be something as simple as drinking four glasses of water. By training yourself to create these milestones, you are pushing your resilience in a whole new direction.

A goal is like an invisible finish line in the distance. You can see it, and you can push faster and faster because the end is in sight. Your resilience improves. It is that simple.

Setting Reasonable Milestones

Goals do not have to be big, monumental tasks that take all of your energy and effort to accomplish. They can be that large if you would like them to be. Or they can be small moments. Some prominent examples of easy goals for someone just starting with this method include:

  • Walking one mile every day
  • Playing with your children at night
  • Smiling twenty times a day

These might seem simple, but even the littlest goal can help you to accomplish big things in terms of resilience. Goals make us happier, healthier and give us the ability to push through whatever comes your way. They can be in whatever size that will make you the most motivated and proud when you succeed.

You Do Not Learn from Your Mistakes

Everyone makes mistakes. If you are a human being that has never made a mistake, you are wrong. Unfortunately, it is all too easy to convince yourself that you are the only imperfect person in a world full of perfect people. This is a mindset destined for failure.

If you lack resilience, you might have extreme negative reactions to making mistakes. These can include:

  • Pretending that it did not happen
  • Blaming another individual for the event
  • Beating yourself up about it until you are full of shame

This is not the mindset of a resilient person. This sets you up for failure in the future, rather than success. If you do not learn from mistakes, you are bound to repeat them. When you make a mistake, rather than running from it, you should embrace it as a learning opportunity. The more you do it, the easier it will get.

Some mistakes cannot be resolved at the moment that they are made. This is okay. However, as soon as possible, they should be fixed or worked on. Letting them sit and simmer is more dangerous than making them in the first place.

You Do Not Accept Change

Change is a part of life. Sometimes it is for the better, and sometimes it is for the worse. Your resilience can be determined by how well you can adapt to the change that will inevitably occur throughout your life.

Change happens at varying points throughout your lives. For instance, you experience large shifts when:

  • You move out to college for the first time
  • You get married
  • You lose a loved one unexpectedly
  • You do not get a job that you were anticipating getting

Some of these are good, some of these are bad. All of them require the person experiencing them to adapt. You can either cling to what once was, or move forward. The change will continue to happen, regardless.

You can practice improving your adaptability by taking big, deep breaths when a large shift occurs. You can mentally remind yourself of all the wonderful memories you have in the past and tell yourself about the amazing memories that are yet to come. You are strong enough to accept this change.

You Have No Support System

A support system is vital for someone who is dealing with something hard in their lives. There is only so much you can accomplish on your own. If you do not have an active group of people to whom you can turn to in times of distress and trouble, that is something that you should do.

A support system does many things. They can:

  • Help you in times of crisis
  • Guide you towards a professional if it is needed
  • Give you a shoulder to cry on
  • Let you know that you are not alone

There are many kinds of groups that you can pursue to gain these benefits. A network of close friends can serve as an outlet. You might try going to a support group, depending on what you are dealing with. If you are religious, a bible study group of ministry can work with you and listen.

The most important thing is knowing that you are not alone. Having a great group of peers can make this clear and bring the world into perspective. It is much easier to bounce back when you can give all of your worries to other people and have them listen to and care for you. Resilience is something you can all build together.

Is It Possible to Gain More Resilience?

It is possible to gain resilience over time. By following the suggestions in each of these categories, you can go from getting beaten up by life to conquering it. All it takes is a bit of work.

Pushing yourself to gain resilience is an absolute necessity for a full life. It will make you happier, healthier, and stronger. Nothing can take you down if you set your mind to it. This trait can come with hard work and a determination to succeed.

You can document your progress by:

  • Writing down your accomplishments in a book
  • Asking someone to set goals for you
  • Creating mini-milestones for you to hit as you continue to better yourself

Soon, you will be able to take everything that life throws at you. Resilience is just a small part of being able to step up to the plate and take any challenge that the world has in store for you now and in the future.

Content Disclaimer 

The information contained above is provided for information purposes only. The contents of this Blog article are not intended to amount to advice, and you should not rely on any of the contents of this Blog article. Professional advice should be obtained before taking or refraining from taking any action as a result of the contents of this Blog article. HealthWorkerBurnout.com disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on any of the contents of this Blog article. 

Sources:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4780285/

https://www.apa.org/topics/resilience

https://www.samaritans.org/how-we-can-help/schools/deal/deal-resources/emotional-health/emotional-health/

https://www.takingcharge.csh.umn.edu/how-do-thoughts-and-emotions-affect-health