Sometimes all you have to work with are the parts of you that have been around for a long time.
These parts are the things inside of you that have gotten you through the tough times — the times when you thought you might not cope and the times when you struggled (even if others did not notice).
These are your strengths.
You may even use them automatically — you may be able to deal effectively with frustrated and difficult children, you may be able to stay calm in a crisis, or you may be good at writing, drawing, organising or managing things. You may be good at encouraging others, at helping when you can, or at listening and being empathic.
All of these are examples of strengths that people develop over time.
Your strengths can also include such things as your integrity, your common sense, your determination, your stubbornness and your appreciation of beauty. Strengths encompass responses such as being calm, caring, loving, supportive, curious, fair and grateful. You may be good at leadership, teamwork, creative work, having self-control or being socially aware.
Your strengths are the responses that you may use habitually — they are responses that help keep your sense of well-being and self-esteem and that complement your work, play and interactions with others.
You need to use your strengths constantly so that you benefit from them.
By using your strengths you will grow them and bolster positive patterns of thinking.
Research shows that more and different strengths can be developed over time — you can learn better ways to respond to challenges and grow new strengths. ☺
What you can do:
- First, make a list of your strengths.
- Here are some strengths you may want to consider: appreciation of beauty, capacity for love and friendship, leadership and teamwork skills, curiosity, fairness, forgiveness, gratitude, hope, humour, stubbornness, persistence, honesty, careful judgement, kindness, love of learning, humility, creativity, wisdom, carefulness, self-control, social intelligence, spirituality, courage and enthusiasm.
- From your list of strengths, choose one that you will work on today.
- Notice how often you use this strength during the day and how it affects what is happening.