Thought Patterns

What Is Psychological Capital: Positive Thinking

Positivity should be at the heart of every single decision, thought, action, belief, and behavior you experience — whether you’re an individual or organization full of individuals. It’s the key to promoting a more competitive yet fulfilling and rewarding environment for everyone involved. As you grow more positive and devote your entire life to this level of positive thinking, you start to gain what’s called psychological capital.

It’s more than just a mindset that shapes the way you see the world, but it’s a lifestyle that shapes who you are and who you’ll become. Without a positive outlook on life, growth and development become more and more difficult to achieve — no matter how hard you try.

So, what is psychological capital?

Also known as PsyCap, psychological capital is defined as an individual’s positive psychological state of development. It’s something that can be learned, developed, managed, and assessed in every area of your life, though it’s often used in the workplace as a form of motivation.

Psychological capital was theorized by a pioneer named Fred Luthans. He believed and proved, along with several of his colleagues, that organizational growth was more dependent on psychological development (human resources), opposed to educational development (physical, financial, structural resources).

The theory was based on the acceptance that employees (and people, in general) possess two different types of knowledge — explicit and tacit knowledge. Explicit knowledge focuses on your skills and abilities, while tacit knowledge focuses on your experience, insight, and intuition.

The 4 Core Elements & Components of PsyCap

In order to fully understand positive psychological capital, you must understand the four core components of PsyCap that were outlined by Fred Luthans and his colleagues nearly 15 years ago. These elements include hope, efficacy, resilience, and optimism — better known as HERO.

What’s unique about the HERO model is the fact it’s greater than the sum of all its parts. This means that these four components of PsyCap work in unison with each other to develop a more positive, healthy, happy, and satisfying life for any individual.

Let’s take a closer look at each element of psychological capital:

  • H – Hope: consists of setting approach-oriented goals, but also consists of the pathway thoughts that push us and motivate us towards success.
  • E – Efficacy: consists of understanding what needs to be done, but also consists of having confidence in your own ability to achieve what needs to be done.
  • R – Resilience: consists of knowing how to bounce back and overcome adversity, but also consists of growing stronger and more effective in the process.
  • O – Optimism: consists of accepting the past for what it was, appreciating the moment for what it is, and viewing the future for what it could be or should be.

By placing a heavier focus on psychological capital, you can start building a more positive outlook on your day-to-day life. Not only will this lead to a more robust growth and development, but it’ll allow you to reach your full potential in whatever you choose to do with your life.

At YoMenGa, I utilize the power of psychological capital in all of my teachings within the positive psychology space. Don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions about PsyCap or want to learn more about how you can utilize more positive thinking in your own life!