As we travel through life, many of our thinking patterns, choices, situations, and direction we take are guided by our character strengths. They affect every aspect of our lives whether we realize it or not.
What are character strengths?
Character strength are qualities that we value in ourselves and others. They are qualities that across time, nations and religions are valued as elements of strong and virtuous behavior. Character strengths differ from personality traits in the sense that they are all positive. For example: You could possess the personality trait of ‘an introvert’. This is neither positive nor negative, it is a trait you possess. However, you can possess the character strength of Hope which always bring about positive connotations.
So why do character strengths matter?
When people are aware of their strengths, they use them more intently for their benefit and the benefit of others. There is a term known as ZPD (Zone of proximal development). This is the stage in human development when we move from where we are into where we are not yet but could be. This zone expands our idea of what is possible and when we explore our character strengths, it opens our mind to what could be. It moves us into ZPD
Character Strengths Survey
The VIA institute has developed the only scientific-based character strength survey that has been used in many industries around the world from tech to psychology to determine what people’s highest strengths are and how to use that to their advantage. The results of the survey are based on a small number of strengths, 24 to be exact, that cannot be broken down into a combination of other strengths. These strengths fall under 6 virtues that were found to be of common value to theologians, philosophers, nations, etc. over the centuries. The 6 virtues encompassing our character strengths are Wisdom, courage, humanity, justice, temperance, and transcendence.
I encourage you to take the survey by clicking the link below to find out what your signature strengths are. https://www.viacharacter.org/survey/account/register
Explore your signature strengths (These are your top 5-8 strengths) as well as others you possess that interest you. Work on using your signature strength more intently or explore some of your lower strengths to find out how to develop them. It is important to note that the characteristics listed at the bottom ARE NOT WEAKNESSES. They are strengths you possess but are not as developed as the higher ones.
Take action to use your strengths mindfully in achieving goals and reaching success. See how you can use them to overcome challenges you may be facing. The more familiar you become with the 24 strengths the more you can see them in others. This can lead to better relationships as we pick up on strong, positive qualities in those close to us. I encourage you to acknowledge these in others and tell them when you have witnessed their strength. It’s a way to build each other up, and strengthen our relationships and our community.
My top strengths are:
4. Perspective (able to see the bigger picture and silver lining)
5. Love of learning
My bottom happens to be prudence and self-restraint, and I can’t argue with that 😊
If you would like to learn more about how to use your character strengths to benefit you or would like help in exploring ways in which you can develop any strength that interests you, feel free to reach out to me and together we can work on unleashing an UNLIMITED YOU.
Character Strengths Matter by Shannon Polly and Kathryn Britton