What Is the Definition of Psychological Hardiness?

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According to Psychology Today, psychological hardiness refers to the coping strategies, attitudes and beliefs that help people work through the stressors of life. These traits tend to fall into three major categories: challenge, control and commitment.

Psychology Today notes that the trait of challenge refers to the ability to see stressful situations as opportunities to be challenged and rise above the given circumstances. Control refers to the perception that a person is in control of his own life and capable of overcoming challenges through his own ability. Commitment refers to a sense of having a strong purpose in life rather than merely going along with the current of what everyone else is doing. These three traits result in empowerment, positive thinking and the confidence needed to succeed.

Wikipedia notes that psychological hardiness was first described by Suzanne Kobasa in 1979 as a pattern of personality traits found in managers and executives who remained psychologically healthy. The traits of psychological hardiness were not found in managers and executives who succumbed to the pressures of their jobs and developed health problems.

Numerous researchers have refined the definition over the years, and psychological hardiness is now considered a reliable indicator of well-being, according to Psychology Today.