What Makes You a Survivor

The art of survival is not easy to master, especially because it does not just include building a shelter or lighting a fire. It takes the development of a survivorโ€™s mindset and attitude first. Look at any real-life survival story and you’ll find that the survivors in each shared similar mental traits that enabled them to keep holding on to their dear lives.

When you are hit by adversity, how will you react? Will you feel victimized? Will you blame others? Or will you make the most out of what you have left and try to thrive on them? Learn about the characteristics that make a survivor now!

What is a Survivor?

Various studies have given various definitions for the survivor personality. When classified into themes, we can say that a survivor is someone who:

  • Has survived a major crisis or challenge
  • Surmounted the crisis through personal effort
  • Emerged from the experience with new strengths
  • Finds values in the experience.

Whether youโ€™re someone who has gone through a major crisis, or just someone trying to be prepared for these challenges like a survivalist, it takes a survivor mindset to get better.

Characteristics of a Survivor

Equip yourself with these five attributes that combine to form a survivor’s mindset. However, beware that each has its kryptonite.

Mental Toughness

Itโ€™s not just about physical prowess or stamina, but the strength of your will and your mind. Tolerate the intolerable and overpower your weakness.ย 

However, its kryptonite is the declining mental capacity. It is uncommon for someone who went through a tragedy to retain 100% of their normal mental faculties. Fatigues, injuries, dehydration, and lack of sleep can cause people to lose their minds.ย 

Make sure to monitor yourself and other survivors for depression, anger, hyperactivity, etc.ย 

Positive Attitude

However cliche it sounds, a positive attitude is necessary in the face of a survival situation and is one of the most important skills. Practice this attitude every day and youโ€™ll be determined to get out of unfortunate circumstances like getting lost in the wood or stuck in a disaster.ย ย ย 

Pessimism is the kryptonite of a positive attitude. A pessimist will always focus on the bad side of a situation and often feel overwhelmed. The person can be so negative that they just volunteer themselves as prey of wild animals instead of creating traps and cooking them.

Suck it up and try to stay as positive as you can, while maintaining a grip on reality. iF you have weaknesses, work on them instead of losing hope. Itโ€™s hard to put so much time into things you find difficult, but itโ€™s the only way youโ€™re going to get any better.


When everything has gone south, what or who is your motivation to stay alive? Some stories of survivors claim they survived through their devotion to religion, or their desire to go back to their family and friends. Itโ€™s really different for everyone, and only you can tell what or who will keep you going.

Hopelessness is your biggest enemy here. Donโ€™t let it eat you alive.

Work Ethic

Oneโ€™s attitude towards work is a huge consideration of the survivorโ€™s mindset. Learn how to stick to your job by practicing and practicing until it is done. Donโ€™t do things half-assed, but exert all the effort that you can.

Laziness is work ethicโ€™s kryptonite. It is seeking the easiest path that you think will get you through the problem, but will only cause a more serious problem. Donโ€™t just lounge around your camp waiting for someone to find and rescue you. Learn how to forage, build a bonfire, and gather water!


Adapt to changing events, situations, and environments since this is the main key to survival. Learn to recognize the things that are worth continuing and the things you shouldnโ€™t abandon.ย 

Other than being stubborn to die, donโ€™t be stubborn! Donโ€™t refuse to adapt or donโ€™t be afraid of change. Donโ€™t let this bad attitude kill you.

How to be a Better Survivor

Here are other ways for you to become a better survivor.

  • Donโ€™t stop teaching yourself. With all the five characteristics mentioned, it will create a survivor out of you who continue learning as much as you can. Once you stop, it will be harder for you to continue that you might go back to zero. Push through whenever you feel worn out, lessening how much youโ€™re learning if you have to.
  • Practice! It does not end in reading or watching videos about being a survivor. Take what you learned and exercise it. Donโ€™t just trust youโ€™ll be able to make a fire after itโ€™s rained because youโ€™ve read about it. Test yourself to make sure you can reproduce what your head knowledge dictates you should be able to do.
  • Incorporate survivalism in your daily life.ย  Take regular camping trips, start barbecue with firesteels, filter water through your improvised filter, forage for mushroom and other plants! Use what you have learne as regularly as possible so you wonโ€™t forget them.
  • Assess your own skills and limits. No one is perfect, so try to recognize your expertise and make sure the skill stays with you always. Itโ€™s also important to know your limits and what you will find difficult in survival situations. Hope for the best, but if youโ€™re in a survival situation where itโ€™s getting late in the day and you are no expert at making shelters from scratch, you may want to save yourself some time and valuable energy/calories by looking for a good โ€œnaturalโ€ shelter instead

Channel the Survivor in You

Lifeโ€™s best survivors are no different from other people. Like us, theyโ€™re imperfect, they get tired, and theyโ€™re only humans. They survive, cope, and thrive better because they are better at using the inborn capabilities possessed by all humans.

Maximize the survivor characteristics that you have now and try to follow our simple tips so you can be better in survival situations!ย 

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