Improve your life with these 3 ways to use your character strengths
If you’re anything like the majority of my coaching clients, you’re always looking for ways to make positive changes in your life.
Character strengths are the positive parts of your personality, so it makes sense to use them as much as possible.
Here are three ways to employ strengths to change your life for the better:
- Shore up weaknesses
You may be acutely aware of areas of weakness where you’re not so good at a skill or find something challenging. Identify one or more of your stronger strengths to bolster your performance in these areas.
For example – perhaps you’re not great at remembering upcoming events, but one of your signature strengths is Creativity, and another is Zest. (Your signature strengths are the top 5-7 strengths in your VIA ranking). You could use Creativity to brainstorm new ways of reminding yourself, and you could use Zest to inject some energy and enthusiasm into finding workable solutions for yourself.
2. Develop relationships
There are many ways to develop and improve relationships with others by using character strengths.
One way is to observe someone using one of their strengths and comment favourably upon it; this is known as strengths spotting.
For instance, if you notice someone coordinating with a group of people to get a job done, you could comment on how they employed their strength of Teamwork and say something about how valuable that quality is.
Sadly it is more common for humans to notice and pick up on errors and mistakes than to catch the positives. Making a point of remarking on someone’s strengths is an excellent way to help them feel seen and appreciated. You’ll generally find people respond well to their strengths being noticed, and will begin to notice yours in response. Everyone wins!
3. Overcome stressful situations
When irritated or stressed, you can learn to draw upon your strengths and turn around the feeling of helplessness or being stuck, which is often the default response to challenges if you have ADHD.
One way to do this is to bring to mind a past occasion when you faced and successfully overcame a problem or stressful situation.
Have a list of your 24 character strengths and their definitions in front of you, and pick out what it was inside of you that helped you deal with it. Was it your Bravery or Kindness? Was it Perseverance or Humour, maybe? Or perhaps it was a combination of Love, Fairness, and Perspective?
Write down or think about which strengths you used and how you used them to help you in that situation.
In the future, when facing an irritation or something stressful, you’ll be much better placed to draw on similar strengths to overcome difficult situations.
There are many ways you can bring strengths use into your daily life to build a more fulfilling and productive future. If you’re interested in finding out more about how to increase your awareness of and focus on your strengths, look out for my half-day strengths workshops, or consider one-to one coaching with me.
I’m coach Anna Schlapp, B.A., ACC, coaching people with ADHD and other co-occurring conditions for 8 years in the UK and worldwide. You can get in touch with me here