Most of us could easily make a list of our weaknesses, but find it a struggle to name our strengths. And yet, labelled by our strengths can be a source of identity that is powerful and positive. Tapping into and having language for our strengths promotes helpful self talk.
Which strengths do you identify with? How do your strengths drive your interests? Developed by positive psychologists Seligman and Peterson, the research finds that there are 24 strengths. These are the parts of your personality that affect how you think, feel and act.
Because they are our strongest character attributes, our top five are considered to be our signature strengths. Nurturing your strengths is linked to increased happiness and satisfaction.
Character Strengths are divided into 6 core areas, with each area divided into a number of character strengths.
The 24 Character Strengths
1. Wisdom and Knowledge: creativity, curiosity, open-mindedness, love of learning,perspective
2. Courage: bravery, perseverance, honesty, zest
3. Humanity: love, kindness, social intelligence
4. Justice: teamwork, fairness, leadership
5. Temperance: forgiveness, humility, prudence, self-regulation
6. Transcendence: appreciation of beauty and excellence, gratitude, hope, humour, spirituality
Being aware of your strengths – and your relative weaknesses – can boost wellbeing and provide us with essential insight. As humans we often tend to overestimate ourselves in certain areas, and to underestimate ourselves in others.
Discover and use your signature strengths
Once you have identified your strengths, you might like to ask yourself the following questions:
- What are my signature strengths?
- How might I use some of my strengths in new ways to help me perform at my best?
- How can I apply my strengths to the goals I want to achieve?
- What strengths describe me at my best in each area of life?
- Which strength do I rely on most?
- What would others view as my signature strengths?
The use of strengths in the workplace is linked to greater work satisfaction, increased engagement, and greater productivity.
Using strengths in different life domains can help people find new ways to tackle problems.