It seems as though resilience is the “buzzword” of some sort these days. Arguably so, as events of last year and this current year may have tested you in various ways. You may have been laid off from your job, lost someone due to COVID-19, or you may have filed for divorce because of the pandemic. When you encounter life-changing occurrences, you may wonder to yourself, “How does this make me resilient?” Below are three ways that I believe will help you discover resiliency when times get tough:

First and foremost, resilience is best described as the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties or the ability to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change. In my work as a divorce lawyer and family lawyer in Monmouth County, New Jersey, and Bergen County, New Jersey, I have had many clients going through divorce that demonstrated to be resilient people. In my time, I have witnessed that resilience is not a “trampoline exercise,” where you’re up one moment and down the next. Rather, resilience can be best described as climbing a mountain.

Why is Resilience Important?

Before revealing ways to know you are resilient, I’ll share why resilience is important in the first place. At some point in our lives, we may be faced with trauma, divorce, loss, hardships, and situations that we don’t feel we can overcome. These are just tests. Once you pass those tests, you reveal to yourself that you are built to handle whatever it is that life throws at you. Those who cannot portray resilience get easily overwhelmed, distracted and may develop unhealthy coping mechanisms. 

You Have Mental Toughness

Mental toughness is a clear indicator of resiliency. Many scholars and millionaires believe everything great in life begins with a positive mindset. (Let’s not get this confused with toxic positivity, however.) The ability to face life’s challenges while being optimistic is a sure sign of resilience. You know and understand that tough times don’t last, and certain things are being presented to you that can turn into life lessons. Another sign that you are resilient is that you can keep calm under stress. 

You are Self-Aware

Resilient people know when to step away for a moment to process whatever challenge they are facing in life. This might describe how you initially deal with difficulties. Self-awareness requires you to hold yourself accountable for reactions that occur as a result of tragedy, loss, or misfortune. This is an important trait because it allows you to see yourself clearly and thoroughly. Also, you can make more rational decisions than a person who is not resilient enough to process their emotions during difficult times. 

You are Highly Motivated

As a resilient individual, you are driven by overcoming obstacles and turning your trials into triumph. You believe that certain obstacles are placed in your path to test your strength and faith. Difficulties are merely mental challenges for you to defeat. Without obstacles, you feel as though certain accomplishments are not worthy of celebrating. When resilience and being highly motivated are intertwined, you are better equipped to strive for excellence despite what gets thrown in your way. 


This article contains general information and opinions from Sheena Burke Williams and is not intended to be a source of legal advice for any purpose. No reader of this article should act or refrain from acting on the basis of information included in this article without seeking legal advice of counsel. Sheena Burke Williams expressly disclaims all liability with respect to actions taken or not taken based on any content in this article.