A common question that some of us avoid at an interview, meeting someone new, or even filling out a questionnaire for their new therapist, “What are your strengths?” A question that some of us might feel is pompous, arrogant, or self centered. When in reality, the answer to this question will open up avenues of fulfillment for ourselves.
For example, if a strength you have is being kind, how would you practice that daily? Sometimes we take for granted holding open a door, letting someone in front of us on the freeway, or sending a “good morning” text to someone we care about. Are those not acts of kindness?
I fear that at times humans feel as though they have to move mountains with their strengths. Like the kindness example above, that they feel as though they might have to pay it forward for a group at their favorite coffee shop. When they may have forgotten that holding the door open for the person behind them with their hands full of coffee positively impacted that individual, while our kindness individual took it as a habit.
When experiencing a low mood, it is also difficult to come up with strengths. The negative fog in ones thinking that occurs when a low mood sets in, often hinders their positive thoughts, including exercising their strengths. Keeping a note on ones phone, journal by the bed, or a sticky note in the car often helps as external reminders when it is difficult to remember those strengths.
I highly recommend checking out http://www.viacharacter.org/www/ and taking their survey about strengths. They provide an excellent summary at the end about what it means to have those strengths, and how you can utilize them daily.
Did you learn something new about your strengths?
Do you practice your top 5 strengths daily?
Were you surprised that something you thought was a top 5 strength wasn’t there?
I encourage you to try and be present in practicing your top 5 strengths daily, and see what happens.