Is Resiliency a Learned or Innate Trait?

Researchers suggest that a combination of birth traits and learned experiences shape us as adults. What do you think?

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres on our open platform. We publish pieces as written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team and must meet our guidelines prior to being published.
Resiliency - Is it learned or innate?

According to a Harvard Study, resiliency is both innate and learned. Children are born with certain traits that help them weather adversity and combined with a stable relationship at a young age, they grow up to be more resilient.

It is common to consider that we are all resilient based on our experiences and how they shape us. But, it is also unique to each individual exactly what adversities can be tolerated and what will send one into a psychological breakdown.

One can also assume that resilience is a choice — that we can choose to learn the art and practice the skill through methods such as meditation, counseling and solid coping mechanisms. Regardless, it is obvious that resiliency varies from person to person.

Resilience Grows With Experience

Women in business are particularly challenged because they are expected by society to outperform men simply to achieve an equal status to them. This phenomenon transcends childhood experiences but may be a reason many women fail to bounce back from failure. There is just too much pressure for too little payout.

This is where experiences in a woman’s business life seems critical to her development as a thought leader, entrepreneur, or successful employee. Much like the children in the Harvard study, there must be an outweighing of positive to negative outcomes to foster proper growth. Add to that the need for a relationship that presents stability to a woman in business, the possibility of successful women grows more complicated.

Resilience Is Tied To Self-Esteem and Confidence

If a woman wants to bounce back from troubling circumstances or walk through them without getting emotionally drained, then they must have good self-esteem and confidence in their abilities. The relationships they have in business define them more than most concede. Hence, why communities such as this are critical to women growing into business leaders.

One could also presume that demonstrating resilience in situations builds confidence and thus women in business should not shy away from the pitfalls and failures. They are part of the fabric of their being. It is through good practice that women in business learn to overcome fears, build a following, become leaders in the community, and even achieve their dreams.

Resiliency Needs To Be A Focus

So, what exactly does it mean to be resilient? We’ve talked about how we all respond differently to different troubles. It doesn’t mean that you never have an emotional meltdown in life. It means that those meltdowns become fewer and farther between. It means bouncing back from wherever a circumstance takes you emotionally and carrying your torch to your next level of growth.

Essentially, we are not bound by our childhood experiences, but we can be shaped by how we overcome them. No one is free from imperfections in our childhood years. Some had it worse than others and rise even higher than another who had it better. It is the skills we garner along the way, no matter how long that takes, that will ultimately make a woman successful in business.

    Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

    You might also like...


    Why is it Important to Develop Resilience During Difficult Times?

    by Ally Gilboa

    Tell Them…God is A Black Woman

    by Yolanda Webb, MA

    Margaret Thomson: “ It allows you to set before yourself ”

    by Fotis Georgiadis

    Sign up for the Thrive Global newsletter

    Will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

    Thrive Global
    People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.


    We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.