Resilience is necessary for our survival. You have probably heard that famous saying “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” It’s easier said than done. And yes, it might even sound like a cliche.

Over the past two decades I’ve survived the tsunami in southeast Asia, lost my dearest ones and faced many challenges. I experienced on my own skin, how sour those lemons can be. Each of us faces different obstacles, problems, challenges. Some of them will land us on our knees. Many of us bounce back and keep walking forward, unfortunately others give up or stagnate completely on their path. In this blogpost I’d love to share my thoughts on what identifies a resilience warrior.

#1 A resilience warrior has experienced difficult times but embraced the obstacles and moved forward successfully.

Sometimes the situation looks hopeless but, trust me, it’s not. I have interviewed a few resilience warriors in the past months. Check out my talk with Lisa Cox. She was in her early twenties when she had a sudden brain hemorrhage and as a consequence she lost nine of her fingers, one leg, underwent many surgeries and is now in a wheelchair. It was incredible to talk with such a positive and radiant woman. You don’t have to face the same adversities to become a resilience warrior. Look at your current challenges in life. What do you have to accept in order to move forward?

#2 A resilience warrior doesn’t drown in self-pity

Setbacks often come with feelings of self-pity. We feel like victims. How come this happened to me? What did I do wrong? Why me? Resilience warriors experience all these feelings but don’t make them a permanent part of their lives. They respect and value themselves irrespective of any imperfections which they cannot control. Victimizing ourselves doesn’t help. It just makes us more miserable.

#3 A resilience warrior gains new insights and raises their inner awareness

You don’t learn anything if everything goes smoothly. Challenges make us tougher and teach us important lessons. Christopher used to be a financial shark on Wall Street. He was under constant stress with a lifestyle seriously harming his body and mind. He didn’t realise how toxic his behaviour was until his lungs collapsed. He had to look into the mirror and re-think what lead him to the collapse. Now he is a trainer in martial arts, enjoying beautiful South East Asia and teaching people how to change their lifestyle. He turned his life around to be his true self.

#4 A resilience warrior uses humor to brighten their day

If we want to achieve things we have to focus and this can lead to a lack of joy. But we should not take us too seriously. A pinch of silliness is often the well needed remedy.

Lisa lost her leg and to ease her suffering she started to joke about her condition, for example she has now 50% discount on leg waxing! What better medicine is there than humor?

#5 A resilience warrior leans towards gratitude

In my own life-changing moments I have been able to use gratitude as a life saver. When my husband died in a fatal accident I knew I had lost the love of my life and it was extremely painful. But the gratitude for the love that we experienced kept me going. Often the clouds make us appreciative of the sun. Adversity is an ultimate magnifier showing us what we’ve had and lost. But resilience warriors don’t dwell in the past, they live in the present and fill their life with gratitude. Remember, there is always something we can be grateful for.

#6 A resilience warrior has plenty of dreams and aspirations

Life doesn’t end with adversities. Many of us have lost their partners, children or other loved ones. It’s like losing an anchor. We’re lost in space. Full of sorrow and anxiety about the future. But life has to go on. We have two options. Surviving and waiting for death to come or connecting to ourselves and making something out of this life. We’re not here forever after all. Resilience warriors keep their dreams alive or alter them to make room for new ones.

#7 A resilience warrior has found purpose in life

Why am I here? How many of us are still not clear on the meaning of our life? Tragedies and setbacks bring us one incredible gift. They often help us to find the purpose in our lives. Maybe it’s the fragility of life we experience or the change of perspective when we understand what is important and what is not. We all have purpose in our life. Sometimes it takes a little time to find it.

#8 A resilience warrior does things for others

To give your life meaning is as simple as to serve people around you. Everyone needs help, support, kind words. Resilience warriors use their skills and talents to help others. Service actually makes you feel powerful. You are the person making a difference in somebody else’s life.

Notice the resilient attitudes and people in your environment. Learn from them and make the most of your precious life. Show curiosity for others and acknowledge them for their journey!