7 junio, 2024

20 examples of resilience

The resilience It is the ability of an individual, a group or a community to face traumatic and painful events and overcome them, learning from the circumstances and returning to live with joy and strength. It is to return to the state prior to the disaster, after internalizing the teachings that it has left.

Here we present a series of examples of resilience of people who have known how to overcome their problems and learn from them.

List of Resilience Examples

– Ukrainian girls and boys who have had to leave their country because of the war, and with their parents have settled in Germany, the United Kingdom, Spain, etc., and have managed to continue their studies.

– Thousands of Syrians, who have managed to move on despite the refusal of many countries to give them refugee status.

– Women who have become widows and have had to go to work to support themselves and their children.

– Single mothers, without social assistance, who must face hours of low-paid jobs and decide to pursue a university degree.

– Young separated parents who take care of their children without their partner, and overcome the obstacles that arise.

– People who overcome cancer, and live grateful days.

– Men who have suffered false accusations from their partners, and yet continue to fight to build a just world, without becoming bitter.

– Millions of people during the coronavirus pandemic who knew how to reinvent themselves to support their families.

– The Venezuelan families who have walked out of the country and have arrived in Ecuador, Peru, Brazil, Colombia, and have settled in these countries and started working.

– The construction of the green wall of Africa, a belt of vegetation that began in 2007 and is supported by 11 African countries to stop the desertification of that continent.

Examples of resilient people

1. Malala Yousafzai

Malala is of Pakistani origin, an activist for women’s rights and their education. At the age of 12 she began to write a blog, where she recounted how she went to class clandestinely under the Taliban regime and her conviction that she had the right to receive an education.

This was what led her to be the victim of an attack by the terrorist group TTP (Tehrik-I Taliban Pakistan, for its acronym in English) in 2012.

Malala was on a school bus traveling through Pakistan’s Swat Valley when a TTP member shot her with a rifle, hitting her in the skull and neck.

He had to undergo several reconstructive surgeries, due to the extensive injuries he sustained, and even had to have a titanium plate attached to his skull and a hearing aid inserted into his left ear. She was flown to Birmingham, England, where she recovered.

Months after her assassination attempt, she was released and went on to rehab.

This did not stop Malala, she continued to educate herself and fight for women’s rights to education. In 2013 she was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, she being the youngest woman in history, since at that time she was 16 years old. That same year she received the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought.

In 2014 he received the Manuel Broseta Coexistence Award and the Nobel Peace Prize. He currently continues to fight for the rights of children and for an equal education between men and women.

2. Adriana Macias

Of Mexican origin, Adriana was born without arms due to a genetic problem. From a very young age she had to learn to use her feet like her hands.

Despite the fact that her parents always insisted that she use prostheses, Adriana never knew how to adapt. As a teenager she suffered a lot because of her disability and she thought that she could not get married.

However, she learned to make fun of herself, and with the support of her parents she became an independent and autonomous woman.

He studied law, public speaking and writing. Since he was 18 years old, he has been traveling the world giving lectures and motivational talks. He has written two books and is able to turn his big toes to write, put on makeup, grab things…

Although life has not been easy for her, she is completely happy because she has fulfilled one of her dreams, to be a mother and have a family.

3. Stephen Hawking

Due to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, diagnosed at age 21, Hawking was paralyzed from head to toe and confined to a wheelchair. A tracheostomy damaged his vocal cords and he was unable to communicate through his voice.

The doctors gave him three months to live, from the diagnosis. However, he was married twice, had three children, and is one of the most relevant and notable scientists of the 20th century.

He was a theoretical physicist, cosmologist, astrophysicist and scientific popularizer, in addition to developing theorems referring to space-time singularities and the prediction, now proven, that black holes emit radiation.

He wrote numerous books, traveled the world giving lectures, and was always an example of how to overcome adversity. He died in 2018, at the age of 66.

4. Nuria del Saz

Nuria del Saz is a journalist, presenter and writer. She is also blind, and has been the first visually impaired person to go this far in the world of television.

At the age of 14, she started in the media at a station that she herself had created. Before finishing her studies, she was already working for Canal Sur TV.

She has received awards, such as the Clara Campoamor award, in 2005, or Young Journalism, in 2006. Also in 2012 she was awarded by the Association of People with Disabilities El Saliente de Almería.

He has written several books of poetry, one in 2006, trapped soulthe second in 2011, intimate paradiseand in 2013 a novel, blind in manhattan.

5. Pablo Pineda

Pablo is recognized for being the first European with Down syndrome to finish a university degree, teaching. Currently, he is studying psychology, which he carries out in conjunction with other activities, such as presentation and acting, writing, and motivational lectures.

Obtaining a university degree has not been easy for him, since he had to fight very hard to complete his compulsory studies in a public school, and even continue with the baccalaureate or enter the university itself.

In 2013 he published a book, The challenge of learningand in 2015 another, Children with Disabilities: A Manual for Parents. On the other hand, due to the interpretation and appearance of her in the film Me toowon in 2009 the Silver Shell for best actor at the San Sebastian Film Festival.

Currently, he is dedicated to giving lectures on Down syndrome and also works at the Adecco Foundation, giving talks to eliminate prejudices about this condition.

6.Albert Espinosa

He studied industrial engineering, and is also a screenwriter, playwright, novelist, actor, and film director. He collaborates in the Catalunya newspaper and gives motivational lectures.

At the age of 13, he was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, which led to the loss of a leg, giving him only months to live at that time. Later, at the age of 16, they removed a lung and part of the liver, at 18.

He spent 10 years of his life in a hospital, which gave him the source of inspiration for his works. He lives as if he were going to die tomorrow and does not make plans for more than a month.

He continues to work as a screenwriter, playwright and film director. His main motivational phrase: «What is sad is not living intensely.»

7.Alison Lapper

He was born in Burton, England, with shorter than normal legs and no arms. In her childhood, and due to her disability, she was abandoned by her parents when she was four months old.

From a very young age, doctors have tried to get her to wear artificial arms and legs without success, since they did not make her feel good and she was not comfortable. She doesn’t know her older sister and she spent most of her childhood in a center for people with physical disabilities.

Her adolescence was very hard, because she wanted to be like the others, but little by little she began to understand that she was different. At the age of 19, she graduated in Fine Arts and became a renowned painter, a hobby that she had been practicing since she was three years old with the help of her head and her mouth.

She has been awarded the Member of the British Empire (MBE) that the queen herself gave her. They have always rejected her, and even her partner abandoned her while she was pregnant. However, she currently considers herself a happy woman and willing to continue fighting.

8. Piermario Morosini

He was an Italian soccer player who played as a midfielder. He died at the age of 26, after living a very tragic story. At the age of 15, he lost his mother, leaving him in charge of his father, who also died in 2003 along with his brother, who committed suicide due to being disabled.

His life, although marked by tragedy, did not prevent him from being a great soccer player and enjoying an unmatched fighting spirit. His brother took her own life after losing her mother and his father, leaving him in charge of his sister, also disabled.

He was a happy person, despite everything he had experienced. He died in 2012, collapsing on the grass while playing, despite attempts to revive him.

9. enhamed

He is considered one of the best Paralympic athletes in history. At the age of 8 he went blind and had to go to study at an ONCE center in Madrid, from Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.

He wanted to be independent, and he discovered swimming. He started as a hobby that turned into hours of training. Thanks to the swimming pool, he got the necessary strength to face his blindness and go out into the street.

He has won four Olympic golds at the Beijing Paralympic Games in 2008, four golds and one silver at the World Championships in Eindhoven in 2010, five medals at the European Championships in Berlin in 2011, and the list is long.

He gives conferences on self-improvement and motivation and even wrote a book. He is currently a sports counselor.

10.Mark Inglis

He is a New Zealand mountaineer, winemaker, researcher and motivational speaker. In 1982 he got trapped with a friend while trying to reach the top of Mount Cook in New Zealand.

The site was difficult for rescuers to access and he was trapped for 14 days. His feet froze, and his legs had to be amputated up to above the knees.

After a while they put prostheses on him and, without knowing how to walk with them properly, he continued to climb mountains. He is the first double amputee to reach the top of Mount Everest.

Currently, in addition to continuing to climb summits, he gives motivational talks and has written 4 books.


Iglesias, E.B. (2006). Resilience: definition, characteristics and usefulness of the concept. Journal of psychopathology and clinical psychology.
Forés, A., & Grané, J. (2008). The resilience. Grow from adversity.

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