Do you know your character strengths?
Have you ever taken the time to discover what you are really good at? For many of us talking about our strengths makes us uncomfortable. It’s not something we naturally focus on. We tend to learn toward our weaknesses, things that we perceive as needing to be “fixed.” We may even think it’s inappropriate to focus on our strengths, as we don’t want to come across as cocky or conceded.
I help my clients to leverage their character strengths as building blocks for sustainable change. I’ve noticed that clients react with a certain energy around the idea of thinking and talking about their strengths. It’s new. It’s novel. It’s generally not something they do. It even makes them a bit uncomfortable.
People who focus on their strengths, and use them to their advantage, are healthier, happier, and more satisfied. When you know what works for you, what really lights you up, you can take an active role in your life and find things that are exciting and fulfilling. This creates an upward spiral of growth and positivity.
Focusing on my strengths has been a essential piece to maintaining a healthy lifestyle and dealing with my chronic illness. Somewhere along the way I started to feel very down on myself, like all the effort I was putting forth was worthless and I’d just be doomed to be ‘sick’ forever. For a long time I fought the idea of having chronic health conditions. If I just got more strict with my diet (or some other modality) I’d put my diseases into remission and be the happy, vibrant, and healthy person I knew I could be. This fighting of my reality led me to focus on things that weren’t working, and in turn left me feeling sicker and sicker. Switching my focus to my strengths helped me dig out of that hole, helped me to heal, and helped me to start taking steps towards the life I really want to live.
The VIA survey is a psychometrically validated personality test that measures positive character strengths. This survey will help you tap into your core character strengths and use them for a more engaging life. Taking this survey helped me to begin to focus on what I was good and use it to my advantage in improving my life.
My top strengths, known as “signature strengths,” are perspective, creativity, fairness, honesty, and an appreciation of beauty and excellence. Reviewing my results helped me to open up to some of the great things and changes I had already made in my life. It also helped me to recognize some of the tools and strategies I had used to get there. I realized just how important my sense of perspective was in tailoring my approach to stressful and complicated situations and how much I thoroughly enjoyed times when I could be creative. I was filled with doubt about taking the the leap into private practice, but the awareness of my strengths helped me to tap into inner resources and tools that I had lost touch with.
TAKE THE VIA CHARACTER STRENGTHS SURVEY
What were your top results?
How can you use these strengths in tackling your health & wellness goals?