What are your strengths?
We live in a country that strives to fix what’s broken instead of building on what’s already working well. Just take a look at our health care system for proof of that! And you can often see it in business, too; consultants brought in to fix the weak links of profitability.
What about identifying the assets and leveraging them?! Do you know what your best character strengths are and how to utilize them to their full potential?
Through the University of Pennsylvania’s Positive Psychology Program, I have taken their VIA (Values In Action) Survey of Character Strengths three times, once in 2011, 2012, and again last week (Go to: https://www.authentichappiness.sas.upenn.edu/ and create a free account to take the survey, which is under the questionnaires tab and on the bottom left column. You will not receive spam by signing up.) Keep in mind that there are no weaknesses, just a ranking of strengths from 1-24, with 1 being your top strength and 24 being your lowest strength.
While there have been slight changes in my 24 strengths, my top five haven’t varied much, really just rearranging a bit.
I’ve worked with these strengths long enough that I can see them in action and can recognize when a strength is also my achilles heel. And perhaps it’s my number three strength of optimism that enables me to call upon my strengths when I don’t feel like I have it in me to keep trying in the face of frustration. Or perhaps it’s my wellness coach training?
I’m going to share my top five strengths with you so you’ll have a better picture of who I am, and for those of you that know me, I’m interested to hear if you recognized these qualities in me (or perhaps not).
1. Industry, diligence, and perseverance
* You work hard to finish what you start. No matter the project, you "get it out the door" in timely fashion. You do not get distracted when you work, and you take satisfaction in completing tasks.
* You are aware of the good things that happen to you, and you never take them for granted. Your friends and family members know that you are a grateful person because you always take the time to express your thanks.
3. Hope, optimism, and future-mindedness
* You expect the best in the future, and you work to achieve it. You believe that the future is something that you can control.
4. Bravery and valor
* You are a courageous person who does not shrink from threat, challenge, difficulty, or pain. You speak up for what is right even if there is opposition. You act on your convictions.
5. Zest, enthusiasm, and energy
* Regardless of what you do, you approach it with excitement and energy. You never do anything halfway or halfheartedly. For you, life is an adventure.
Perseverance has been in the number 1 position in all three of my tests. Gratitude and Bravery have changed position but have always been in the top five. The other shifts are an increase in Hope and Zest (I’ll leave out the qualities that have moved to a lower position while these rose to the top…)
What does this tell you about me? And what’s that achilles heel I mentioned? First off, I very enthusiastically take on challenges and I don’t give up on them easily (perseverance, bravery, zest, and hope). Secondly, I don’t always know when the best thing to do is to give up - or better stated; move on to something more positive, lucrative, empowering, healthy. Or perhaps just slow down. You can also see that having a positive and appreciative outlook carries me through the trials and tribulations of the challenges I enthusiastically and emphatically take on.
So what do I do with this information? In everything I do; parenthood, career, exercise, relationships, etc., I draw on these top strengths to bring comfort, ease, authenticity, health, peace, and balance to what I put energy into (which I apparently have a plethora of). And I try to pay attention to when my strengths are not acting in my best interest - for instance; perhaps I would experience less injury if I did not always take on exercise with an overabundance of perseverance, zest, bravery, and optimism but instead utilized gratitude for the energy I posses to engage in exercise every day.
On the other hand, why not always forge ahead emphatically?!
So, what are your strengths and how are you capitalizing on them? Care to share?
Do mine fit? Write a comment! What are yours? I dare you to share here! If bravery isn’t up top for you, send me an email!
This is awesome!!!
Learner and sharer of all things healthy, active, esteem building, growth promoting, witty and Hawaiian