A study published in the European Psychologist claims that there are seven qualities that help people to thrive under pressure, while others succumb or simply survive.
Conducted by researchers at the University of Portsmouth and the University of Bath in 2017, the study is a conceptual debate and literature review.
It focuses on previous studies of how humans achieve fulfilment in difficult circumstances, and ones which have attempted to define 'thriving'.
Their review found seven common qualities that someone who thrives under pressure would possess:
- positive perspective (optimism)
- spiritual or religious
- motivated and interested
- someone who enjoys learning
- flexible and psychologically resilient to change
- socially competent
These qualities were defined as 'personal enablers' by the study.
A person with these qualities will require certain external factors, in order for them to the thrive (termed 'contextual enablers).
- support from employers, family, colleagues, and others
- a challenging environment
- the trust of others and strong interpersonal relationships
The paper noted that many previous studies of 'thriving' are restricted to the workplace, when 'success' is not always work related.
For instance, a successful relationship may require other qualities.
They conclude however that thriving is a joint experience of 'development and success'.