We focused our efforts this month to positively expand your perspective on yourself, others, and your environment by focusing on The Character Strengths as outlined by the VIA Institute of Character. To learn more about the Strengths, read our introductory blog post here. We’ve even included access to take your own FREE Strengths assessment to really be able to leverage all the information we’re sharing throughout the month over on Instagram.
STRENGTHS Recap: Final Week
How fun was that!? You know the drill: read on for a recap of the last Strengths in our February Focus series!
Love of Learning: The strength of loving to learn warms our heart as we connect to this one big time! This strength aligns to the virtue of wisdom. When you love to learn, you go deep with the knowledge, and overtime master it. This strength partners nicely with curiosity but goes beyond it to describe the tendency to add systematically to what one knows. Most of us love to learn, but not everyone takes their learning into a method & carries it out in a deliberate way. Here’s fun exploratory exercise to use your love of learning strength! Read or listen to a book or article about a topic you’re passionate about learning. We will use the example of meditation. Once you’ve completed reading, create a list of questions to answer to help retain the information. What benefits can meditation bring your life, how do you do it, what do you need to meditate, how long do you meditate, what does research say about it? Etc… Use your curiosity to explore the topic to you feel satisfied with it. The next step would be to create a system to incorporate all the information, and to design a meditation habit. This last step is important so your love of learning is strengthen.
Gratitude: We believe everyday is a practice of gratitude. Starting each day with 3 things you are grateful for in your life dominoes outward onto others. Gratitude strength aligns with the virtue of transcendence, and is one of the 5 strengths most associated with life satisfaction & happiness. Try this on today friends: write a gratitude letter to someone to whom you are especially grateful and who you have properly thanks. If appropriate, make a gratitude visit & deliver your letter to them.
Spirituality: Our strength of spirituality aligns with the virtue of transcendence, and is a belief about the higher purpose & meaning of the universe. Your curious about how you fit into the bigger scheme of it, and enjoy connecting to the sacred. Spirituality isn’t a religion nor is it separate from religion; it’s an extension of your belief system. This strength is linked to compassion, altruism, volunteerism, and philanthropy. Those of us who naturally lead with it have lower levels of marital conflict, greater spousal support, consistent parenting, and additional supportive relationships between children & their parents. Eckart Tolle has been one of our admired spiritual teachers, and he says, “I have learned to offer no resistance to what is; I have learned to allow the present moment to be and to accept the impermanent nature of all things and conditions. Thus have I found peace”. How can you best define spirituality for yourself? How can you build a practice around what you believe” You may be surprised as you build your spiritual practice, the little things that annoy you will start to fade in the background.
Zest: Just the word Zest makes ya want to move! Zest is the strength that aligns to courage, and supports your approach to life with excitement & energy. People who are naturally connect with work as their calling, have deep meaning & engagement in what they do have high levels of life satisfaction. Research shows when you share positive events with others (compared to not sharing) you boost your energy & vitality! Be mindful of the balance of zest & humility; balance is the key friends. What blocks zest for you, and what do you commit to doing to unleash it within you? Did you know that going outside, bonus if you go into nature, boosts zest & vitality? Try taking your breaks outside, going for walks to catch up with your friends, and using your brave strength to go outside after a sauna or hot yoga in the cold air! Boom; you’ve connected to your zest!
Social Intelligence: The strength of Social Intelligence is the “PI” of all the strengths! You are a natural at knowing the motives, and feelings of other people & yourself. Your “know how” in social situations is soaring! You fit in, and are aware of what makes other people tick! This strength ties in the virtue of humanity, and relate to having a pleasurable life. If this is not an easily expressed strength, be curious about what stops it from flowing forward! Build your support system with someone who expresses this easily, and ask them mentor you!
Perseverance: When life gives you lemons and you choose to make lemonade with it; you are exercising your perseverance strength friend. You are committed to finishing what you start in spite of obstacles, and take great pleasure in completing your work. Typically- with this strength comes the use of hope as you see the obstacle as an opportunity to reassess, and be strategic with going forward. Gawsh- we really love this strength as it is required to keep moving forward; bottom line. The use of a growth mindset is uber important here as it aligns with the mindset of taking risks, learning, and practicing. Shifting your mindset to see everything you’re creating as a practice gives access to the ease perseverance wil bring to your end game.
Self regulation: Friend, we saved the best strength for last; self regulation. Don’t ya just love the ring those two words have to your ears? Haha!!! First thing is first, self regulation aligns with the virtue of temperance. You’re disciplined in appetites & emotions, and have appropriate control over your impulses. The interesting piece about self regulation is it’s like a muscle- it can be fatigued by over-exertion or strengthened with practice. In laboratory studies, it takes only 7 minutes to deplete. This strength supports more of your health behaviors. Now it’s easy to “pooh pooh” on this strength, but stay with us. If the word discipline conjures up no fun, lack of spontaneity, and boring; we’re here to shine a new perspective for ya! The practice discipline has on your life has the magic of freedom on the other side. When you consume, show emotion, and take what you need your life expands beyond belief! It’s the over indulging moments that leave you literally hung over & drained, and lacking zest & vitality. Take inventory of where in your life you’ve excelled with self-regulation. What other strengths supported you alongside it? Self-regulating the use of all your strengths, knowing when to use one versus the other in situations, is the overall name of the game to increase your overall well-being.
Would you call yourself an explorer? You are awe struck by topics, places, and experiences? If you are shaking your head “yes”- you my friend have leading strength of curiosity. Curiosity is aligns with the virtue of wisdom. Curiosity means taking an interest in ongoing experiences for its own sake; finding subjects & topics fascinating. Curiosity is said to be one of the strengths connected to happiness, life engagement, & life longevity. To light a fire under your curiosity- try this on: what domains of your life are you the most & least curious? Spend time exploring 1 lesser domain to kindle your curiosity flame.
We love when a member of a team is acknowledged for being MVP, and they acknowledge everyone in the team. Without the others, they wouldn’t look as memorable as they do with them. So true! The strength, teamwork, is connected to the virtue of justice. Teamwork means you work well as a member of a group or team. You demonstrate loyalty to the group, and you do your share of work. Hmmm; know some people who are on a team but a bit of a soloist? Here’s your chance to bring them onboard- reach out to them in your positive style. Your loyal nature is needed to boost them into the group spirit.
Are you looking for a way to reduce the perception of being overwhelmed, running everywhere; yet getting nowhere? So many things to do, books to finish, and your list piles higher? We hear ya friend, and we’re bringing some prudence alert to your conscious. Just the word alone makes one want pucker up, and turn away; or is it just use? Haha! It’s one of the strengths that are least recognized globally, but relate to having fewer external behaviors such as aggression. Prudence aligns with the virtue of temperance. Prudence means to be careful about one’s choices; not taking undue risks; not saying or doing things that might later be regretted. You’re wise and cautious. If the thought of doing this makes you break out, it’s okay AND be sure to surround yourself with peeps who lead with this strength! Ready to strengthen your prudence strength? Make a specific plan for one goal at a time on your task list while considering the constraints to achieving the goals. The constraints aren’t there to side track you from going for your goal, but rather know ahead of time how you will persevere in the face of the obstacles.
Are you ready to dive into your Strengths?
Want more? We talk all about Strengths in our 1:1 coaching sessions and our group coaching platform HighPer Space. Ready to say YES to unblocking what’s holding you back and use your strengths to elevate your life? Shoot us a note. We’d love to chat.
Wishing you your YES,