Research shows that resilient people think differently. They have a set of skills – sometimes learned, other times innate – that allow them to persevere, manage stress, and triumph in the face of challenges. In the midst of your current challenges, which of the five traits of resilient people is it time to lean on?

1. They are authentic.
Resilient people are at peace with their humanity. Perhaps it is because their mistakes along the way have humbled them, or life experiences have helped them accept their own vulnerability, but resilient people don’t let imperfections hinder them. They don’t think failing makes them a failure. They learn as they go, making course corrections that lead them to positive outcomes.

2. They are flexible thinkers.
Even if they initially struggle with negative thoughts, resilient people are self-aware enough to notice when their thinking is counterproductive. They don’t jump to conclusions or make assumptions. Instead, they gather the facts they need to move around obstacles and face challenges head on. If something isn’t working, they make adjustments. They find aspects of the challenge that are within their control, and they exercise that control.

3. They are (mostly) optimistic.
It’s hard to bounce back from setbacks when you see every obstacle as the end of the world. Research shows that optimists live as much as nine years longer than pessimists. But it isn’t just about positive thinking. Resilient people see risks and take precautions to prevent problems. When faced with a challenge, they are more likely to say, “I can get through this.”

4. They reach out.
Resilient people don’t go it alone. They have close friends and are not too proud to ask for help when they need it, talk out problems, or help others in need. When faced with a stressful situation, just knowing you have support can alleviate the pressure.

5. They use their strengths.
Everyone has innate talents and strengths. When faced with a challenge, there is power in tapping into those strengths – the things that come naturally to you. It takes less energy to use your strengths – and, in fact, you are energized by them. Know what your strengths are and use them.

This message is excerpted from the book Life Coaching for Successful Women: Powerful Questions, Practical Answers by Valorie Burton.

Coach Yourself

Of the five key resilient traits, which do you possess in abundance? What is an example of a time when you used this trait?

In your biggest current challenge, how could you apply at least these resilience traits to alleviate some of your stress and better navigate the challenge?