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Grit and Psychological Capital During Covid-19

Photo by Juliet Furst on Unsplash

In this world of uncertainty and ambiguity, how can citizens improve their daily lives? The answers might be in the constructs of grit and psychological capital. These constructs come from positive psychology and encourage people to build these tools to increase success, hope, optimism, and to work on one's passions.

Grit is defined as passion and perseverance. Psychological capital can be broken down into its subcomponents of hope, optimism, self-efficacy and resilience. The question becomes how these tools can be used in a world of uncertainty. As communities and people wonder how they are going to survive, these words can be of some comfort.

Passion: While staying home, people can develop their passions. Maybe they haven't been able to cook, or paint and/or perhaps it's a DIY project that has been sitting idle. The more passion is developed, the happier one will become. A person can become more productive, and the craft one is passionate about can be perfected. The time at home might be the opportune time to take old hobbies off the shelf and redevelop them. It is also an excellent time to retool oneself so that when things do open up, one might be more marketable than before.

Perseverance: Perseverance is the ability to have a positive outcome despite going through tremendous obstacles or adversity. As a country and as a world, people need to persevere in many ways. For those on the frontline working in healthcare, this means continuing over tremendous hardship and trauma. For those of us at home, it means surviving until the world is safe again to resume what was once everyday life.

Staying home is an opportunity not a deficiency. It allows people to develop new skills and ideas that they might not have had time to contemplate. It will enable families to spend more time together and to get to be more robust units. It is also an excellent time to reconnect with old friends through virtual means. It is a period of physical distancing not social distancing. As the country and the world stay home, new lessons can be learned, creativity can be increased and so can the hope of a better tomorrow. 

Hope is what connects grit to psychological capital. As one is more hopeful, the more grit one can have. As people are stuck in their homes, it essential to think about the light at the end of the tunnel. Coronavirus might be here for a while, but how humans cope each day can make the difference between optimism and thinking of the worst-case scenario. Resilience is the ability to bounce back after the crisis, and how the world wishes to shape that opportunity. Everyone on the planet is in this fight together against a virus that has changed the world forever.

From my own experience, I have heard stories of those using these tools to advance their daily adventures, lives and professions. There is a real estate agent who is not getting listings using traditional methods, so they turned to video and virtual spaces to connect. The real estate agent has demonstrated perseverance by finding new ways to conduct business. There is an elementary school art teacher who is no longer teaching but is now focusing more on their art by creating paintings and crafting ceramics. The art teacher has focused on passion and creativity to improve their life during the quarantine. Lastly, there is the Reiki healer who is using words, meditation and mindfulness rather than the physical touch. The healer has discovered hope and optimism as they find ways to heal.

Grit, passion, perseverance, hope, resilience and self-efficacy are not going away. Instead, those are things people and organizations should be working toward. They build performance, productivity, creativity, and bring others together. These resources increase agency and increase one's perceived control of their environment in a time when things are consistently in flux and uncertain. These tools have been around in every crisis and pandemic the world has ever known. Therefore, just as it is essential to mitigate the virus, it is also vital to build psychological capital and grit.  

If you are looking for a way to become an interfaith leader, work for racial equity and build bridges, please check out our free curriculum "We Are Each Other's" and start your interfaith leadership today

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The opinions contained in this piece are solely the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the views of Interfaith Youth Core. Interfaith America encourages a wide range of views and strives to maintain a respectful tone with a goal of greater understanding and cooperation between people of different faiths, worldviews, and traditions.