We know strengths are important for leading successful lives. Strengths and talents can help us grow and thrive when we intentionally use, develop, and cultivate them.
Have you ever thought about what your character strengths are?
Scientists began studying the psychology of strengths in earnest decades ago. They started to explore what it looks like when we focus on developing what is right instead of fixing what is wrong. In 2004, leaders in positive psychology, Dr. Martin Seligman and Dr. Peterson developed the VIA Classification of Character Strengths and Virtues (Peterson & Seligman, 2004). Following that, the personal strengths assessment, VIA Survey, was developed, measuring 24 character strengths under 6 Virtues in human beings (Find a copy of VIA Classification of Character Strengths and Virtues here).
Character Strengths are defined as the positive parts of your personality that impact how you think, feel, and behave in daily life. You can discover your unique profile of strengths by taking the FREE VIA Survey online. Users need to register and create an account in order to take the survey.
According to leading positive psychologists, we each have strengths we are naturally good at. These are called our signature strengths. Find out your unique profile and your TOP 5 signature strengths!
When you have your signature strengths (TOP 5) identified, consider these questions to help you reflect on how to develop greater awareness of your strengths:
- Do they seem to fit you well?
- Are you surprised by any of them?
- Read over your list of signature strengths. Think about ways in which you already use them in your life.
- Do you underuse any of your strengths?
- Do you overuse any of your strengths?
- Brainstorm ways in which you can use them in new ways, and write down a list of specific actions you can take to use your strengths more in healthy and balanced new ways. And then, commit to using your strengths in new ways each day this week.
You can also invite others to take the survey and have some fun activities with them!
- Families: Invite your family members to take the survey and make a Family Strengths Tree!
- Friends / Colleagues: Invite your friend to do this survey and have a discussion with them! Share with each other a story about one of your strengths and ask them to guess which strength it is!
- Romantic Partner: Have you ever had a strength date? Invite your partner to take the survey and have a Strength Date with them!