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What are your strengths?

Strengths make you feel good when you use them. Because they represent your core values—the things you deeply and authentically care about—they give you a sense of purpose; they feel meaningful and satisfying. They’re inspiring and elevating. And when you put your own best strengths into action, you feel like you’re being “your authentic self.” Once you know your key strengths, you’re empowered to find more and more ways to use them. You can begin to look for opportunities to express them in all the areas of your life, becoming more and more authentic in all you do. You probably use your strengths every day - kindness is what I would term my highest strength and I use it daily - nurture my son, respect my partner, look after our chickens, say thank you... sit down and work out yours - If I asked you “what are your personal strengths?” would you be able to answer? Would your answers be based on work skills? Are they a combination of skills, talents and abilities? If so, are you already using those strengths in your life?

A great framework to assess what your strengths are comes from the 24 personal strengths based on research by psychologists Peterson and Seligman in their book ''Character Strengths and Virtues''.

1. Go through this list on the worksheet and select 12 that identify with you - are they a personal strength, a talent or an ability. A strength is a moral trait of your character that you can adapt and grow, a talent is a born gift that you either have or don't have and an ability is like a strength but may or may not give you a level of satisfaction. You might have the ability to do something but you might not like doing it; 2. Ask friends and family - just ASK what they think your strengths are and get them to name your top 3... If you do not want to confide in a friend go through your daily and weekly and monthly habits and list the recurring strengths - for example if you wake up every day at 6am, walk the dogs every single day without fail, you are never late for work these portray strengths of integrity and love; 3. Short list these strengths so that you can list your top 5; 4. Create a story around these strengths and your values based on what you WANT. For example Love animals, have strengths of love and integrity - I run a dog walking business that gets me out and about and lets me care for the animals OR use a 'my ideal day scenario' where you write down what your ideal day would look be and visualise it using these strengths; 4. Break the story down to what you would love and what you would struggle with - Easy to collect dogs and walk them but I have no idea how to start a business; 5. Find a friend to revisit and brain storm these stories with - go back and forth creating and recreating the scenarios. Don't let potential issues like cost, time and what people think come into it - these can all be overcome; 6. Now re-evaluate your previous goals. Sit down and look at each goal and list the strengths you have against each goal. You may find that a goal has none of your discovered strengths in it... don't panic this is good. Sit back and realign that goal with your strengths. For example your goal to start a dog walking business. You discover that your strengths are love and integrity and you thrive on routine and love animals then your dog walking goal is perfect!

Remember the meaning of strengths, it's not the skills you have learned, it's about your natural strengths – the ones that you can count on no matter what.

Work at it and when you feel satisfied - you know that fabulous feeling inside where you have nervous butterflies and feel you are on the brink of starting your new story - that this is what you want, review your goals and start setting them around your strengths to achieve your story.

Enjoy this whole process and then start playing to your strengths... you will see the difference show up in your life.

Bye for now.


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