“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”  – Viktor Frankl


If there’s one single word that will mark the outgoing 2020, for me, it’ll be the word CHANGE. We have across this planet seen an unprecedented changes that are still ongoing. The pandemics. Changes often come unexpected and uninvited in terms of in how we socialize, work, travel, and even perform simple tasks like shopping.

For most of us, change can be very stressful and painful. In other words, it is not an easy job, notably when the changes we’re experiencing aren’t desirable. This is where the so called Psychological Capital comes in. It’s about a concept that I wish to share with you that came out of the positive psychology field in the late 1990’s.

It comprises in total 4 resources that can help both individuals and organizations to navigate various life changes. They can be expressed with an acronym H.E.R.O.

HERO stands for:

Hope – consists of two dimensions: activity or your determination to pursue goals and pathways or one’s ability to overcome obstacles and choose alternative paths to goals.

Efficacy – stands basically for the power to produce a desired outcome. It refers to our confidence in our abilities and our capacity to draw on outside resources.

Resilience – refers to one’s capacity to bounce back from adversity. It also refers to our ability to adapt to changing circumstances and draw on our strengths and assets to successfully overcome challenges.

Optimism – means attributing positive events to personal or permanent causes and attributing negative events to temporary and situation-specific circumstances.

Hence, I believe that cultivating Hope, Efficacy, Resilience, and Optimism, can really help us a lot, not only in terms of surviving the ongoing turbulences nowadays, but also shifting to the so called ”new normal” and nonetheless to thrive with it.

How can you create this H.E.R.O. psychological concept?

1. In order to increase level of your self-efficacy, focus on your past success. You certainly have some or many.

2. Surround yourself, learn and model the success concepts and strategies of successful, positive and moral people.

3. Re-frame negative experience – Simply try to change the meaning of a communication by changing the context, the frame size or other changes that put the communication into a situation where the meaning is altered.

4. Create situations for success – Find out what are your talents and use them. Turn them into concrete actions.

This concept is what allows us to choose our own attitude and our own way, regardless of the circumstances. As the Holocaust survivor Dr Frankl said, that is the most precious of human freedoms – and the only one that no one can take from us.

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Mirella Rasic Paolini, Holistički terapeut