Focusing on Your Strengths

As appreciators of physical and mental excellence, it is easy for us to get overly involved in focusing on weakness. This is especially true for those of us who compete or simply want to improve a body part or two. Instead of looking at how beautiful our biceps are, we tend to focus on that belly, or that little extra fat in the bum. It makes sense because part of how we got to the level of excellence we are at is by looking at flaws and working on improving them.

But what if we play just for a minute with our strengths? What would that be like if you knew your strengths? What if you could tap into those strengths at a moment’s notice whenever you were feeling down on yourself or in a bit of a rut? Sometimes we can get obsessive and our negative focus takes a downward spiral and we have trouble digging ourselves out of a hole. But, if we know our strengths, then we can tap into those and utilize them to empower us and make our lives better in a more enriching way.
So here are some ideas to tap into your strengths and find out what it is you are really good at.
  1. Think about a time when you were most like you?
    What were you doing? What were you experiencing? What qualities did you poses when you were most like you? Write it out if you like and get a really good idea. Jot down maybe 5-10 characteristics or strengths that you really felt resonated with you during this time.
  2. Answer the following questions:
    What are you good at? What do people compliment you on? What are you most proud of about your personality?
  3. How do you get through challenging times?
    Think about a time when you were challenged. How did you overcome this challenge? What resources did you access in order to pull yourself out and get through this challenging situation? Write out 5-10 different strengths that you used to help yourself in this situation.
  4. Create a top 10 character strengths.
    Much like we create a list of values, we can also create a list of strengths so that we can be contentious of them at any moment and use them as a resource to empower us.
  5. Take the Character Strengths Survey:
    The survey is based on the work of Martin Seligman and Positive Psychology. It is an empirically tested list of the top 24 character strengths universal to humans. There are no weaknesses according to the model, only strengths that you identify with more and strengths you identify with less.
Focusing on our strengths allows us to tap into our natural resources when we are in a bind. Understanding our strengths is the first step to using them. When we utilize our strengths we feel more empowered to live the life that we choose.
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