Psychological Capital and Optimism
Psychological capital or PsyCap is a concept that refers to an individual's positive psychological resources, including self-efficacy, hope, optimism, and resilience. These resources enable individuals to cope with stress, adversity, and uncertainty and help them to thrive in challenging situations.
In "How Can Psychological Capital Strengthen Your Mind?", Dan Tomasulo put it this way, "Psychological capital (PsyCap) is the belief that our thoughts and emotions can have a positive or negative impact on our mental and physical health."
According to Dan, "Hope, empowerment, resilience, and optimism (HERO) are central features of psychological capital."
The term "psychological capital" was coined by Fred Luthans, a management professor at the University of Nebraska.
According to Luthans, psychological capital is a construct that can be developed and enhanced through intentional efforts. By building and strengthening their psychological capital, individuals can increase their levels of resilience, adaptability, and overall well-being. This can lead to improved job performance, greater job satisfaction, and increased overall success in life.
Optimism is a key component of psychological capital, as it represents an individual's positive expectations for the future. Optimistic individuals tend to view setbacks and failures as temporary and specific, rather than permanent and pervasive. This optimistic outlook can help individuals to maintain their motivation and persevere through difficult times. In contrast, individuals with low levels of optimism may become discouraged and give up more easily when faced with challenges.
In summary, psychological capital is an important construct in positive psychology that includes self-efficacy, hope, optimism, and resilience. By intentionally building and strengthening these resources, individuals can enhance their overall well-being, cope more effectively with stress and adversity, and achieve greater success in life.