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We are so often reliant on external resources in order to be successful in our jobs. We blame the economy, power supply, economic policies and job scarcity for our inability to be promoted or find opportunities to excel. What we don't realise is that we have the capacity to find and develop resources within ourselves through applying optimism, hope, self-efficacy and resilience in our everyday lives. These four concepts combined make up the Psychological Capital of a person.
Optimism means that you believe that things will work out now and in the future and that you are likely to succeed in life or work. The charming movie, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, famously had the saying, "Everything will be all right in the end... if it's not all right then it's not yet the end". Voltaire said that, "Optimism is the madness of insisting that all is well when we are miserable". Optimism is the gasoline that fuels the intention to persist until a positive outcome is reached.
Hope is the perseverance towards identified goals and figuring out the way or path in order to reach these goals. To be hopeful is to deal with stumbling blocks, problems and difficulties on the way.
Self-efficacy is the confidence in oneself to perform a certain task and put in the necessary effort to be effective. The famous little train from the children's classic ("I think I can, I think I can") is a good example of how we can basically achieve anything that we put our mind to, however putting the plans into action is not always simple. Self-efficacy therefore influences the way in which we approach goals, tasks and challenges.
Resilience is the ability to recover, bounce back, or even grow, after encountering
a problem or setback. Having resilience will mean that you can take problems in your
stride and not be set back in your endeavours to succeed. The Japanese poet,
Masahide, expressed a resilient outlook as follows,
Barn's burnt down...
Now I can see the moon
If you can identify some of the above in yourself, then you already have some untapped wealth towards success. The good news is that psychological capital is not static and can therefore be easily developed.
Follow this practical exercise and start mining the wealth in yourself:
Tada! You have developed your psychological capital!