Say Thank You to Past Challenges: The 9 Gifts That Build Resilience


How do resilient people become resilient? What makes someone adjust and recover from life’s stresses? Resilient people owe their resilience to past challenges. How a person copes with challenges builds their resilience for future ones. Every resilient person should say thank you to their past challenges because they made the person they are today.

Each time you face a challenge, you have the opportunity to learn, grow, and change. Psychologists believe that when you successfully navigate a challenge, you build resilience to face another challenge later. Even failure can help build resilience if you learn from it.


Here are the gifts that past challenges offer to help build resistance:

  • Control
  • Plans
  • Goals
  • Commitment
  • Action
  • Past Success
  • Support System
  • Humor
  • Patience


Past challenges teach valuable lessons about control. To succeed, you must learn the difference between what you can control and what you can’t. When you understand that you control your actions and reactions, you are building the foundation of resilience. Knowing what you can control helps you focus on how to cope with challenges throughout life.


Reaching a goal requires planning. You may need to organize your time, workspace, or add to your education. When faced with a challenge, having a plan allows you to work toward your goals, regardless of distractions. Having a plan helps make you resilient when new challenges appear.


People who aren’t resilient allow life to dictate their circumstances. They don’t create goals because they don’t believe they can achieve them. They let challenges overwhelm them instead of having a clear idea of what they want. Goals provide a sense of purpose and a reason to be resilient.


Resilience is staying committed to a goal and finding ways to cope with challenges. When you learn to commit to your goals, you become more resilient to other challenges you may face. People who aren’t resilient give up when presented with a challenge instead of working toward a resolution.


Overcoming challenges requires action. Each challenge in life pushes you to work to overcome it. As you take action, you learn new and better ways to cope with challenges. Your experience and knowledge make you more resilient with each new challenge you face.

Past Successes

There’s nothing better than reaching a goal that you’ve worked hard to achieve. Your past successes build your self-esteem and confidence, making you ready and more resilient for the next challenge. Your past successes also provide a framework for how to cope with other challenges, helping you to be more resilient, even if the new challenge is unexpected or difficult.

Support System

To overcome a challenge, you often need a strong support system. If the challenge is personal, you may need the support of friends and family. If the challenge is professional, you may need the help of a mentor or your coworkers. Building a reliable support system provides endless gifts for future challenges. You know who you can trust and rely on to help you, making you more resilient, and helping you cope.


Many people find that humor helps them cope. Instead of struggling with a challenge, they use humor to lessen stress and accept when they fail. Having a good sense of humor provides an outlet for stress and disappointment, making you more resilient when faced with another challenge.


Not every goal is simple to achieve. Many goals take time, hard work, and patience. Being able to accept that a reward isn’t immediate help make you resilient to delays and disappointments. Patience helps you cope and stay committed to your goals even when you face obstacles.

Past challenges, however painful at the time, truly are gifts that help you build resilience. Coping with past challenges provides a wealth of skills that are needed for resilience. You owe your past challenges a thank you!

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