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Psychological Capital

True success requires perseverance, the mental will to continue despite all manner of obstacles. Everyone has some level of perseverance, but for the road ahead you will need to leverage your perseverance, magnify it, and use it like you may never have used it before. For this, you will need to take on four challenges:

  • Psychological capital
  • Mental toughness
  • Physical strength
  • Will power

Psychological capital (PsyCap) describes your mental posture toward your specific goal, your life, and the world in general. You can measure your own PsyCap, along with several other personality and psychological traits, by visiting disciplinestrategy.com.

PsyCap has four dimensions.

  • Hope is the belief that you will succeed. This can be boosted by knowing there are many roads to your destination.
  • Efficacy is your confidence in yourself to succeed. Keeping this high also promotes your energy and willingness to tackle challenges.
  • Resilience is your ability to recover from setbacks. As you develop this, it builds up your inner strength.
  • Optimism is not about denying reality, but rather about accepting reality. An optimist recognizes what external events are and are not within their control and what personal characteristics contribute to their success. They view the future with flexibility.

Taken together, it’s a reminder to foster your inner HERO, so I have designed a general approach to improve your PsyCap.

First, when confronted with a challenge, wait until after your initial emotional response has passed, and then reframe the challenge by writing down your first impressions of the obstacle. Next, write a more positive summary of it. Now you can look at your resources to deal with the problem. And remember that we gather resources every day. Are you overlooking a new person in your life you could turn to for assistance? Is there a new online tool to help you out? 

Consciously take control of your attitude. If you feel the obstacle is insurmountable, then that’s what it will be. Tell yourself it’s a temporary setback, and believe it.

This isn’t a matter of just looking in the mirror with a smile. Your goal is not impossible. Others have done it. If you’re feeling defeated, bear in mind:

  • I didn’t intend this. This is a random life event I didn’t (couldn’t) see coming. The issue is now how I respond.
  • This is a temporary situation.
  • Just how big a problem is this? What can I do to respond to this problem appropriately? What should I not do to blow this out of proportion?
  • If the journey from where I am to my next planned step is too far, I can designate sub-goals between here and there. What is my new next step?

From your first success toward your life-changing goal, you have known there would be obstacles. You believed in yourself enough to do the research, make your plans, and take action. Even if you didn’t see a challenge coming or realize how imposing it would be, you can overcome it by using your skills and determination.