Hi there and welcome to day three of the virtual self-development conference. If this is the first article you read in this series, I recommend to go back to the introduction and to day 1 where I kick off the conference and establish some ground rules.
I hope you enjoyed the exercise(s) from the last two days. Let me know in the comments how the process is going for you so far. You can also write me a mail =). Again, we will go back to day one and day 2 as everything is connected and builds on top of each other.
Day number three is all about strengths. But why not also talking about weaknesses? What about the balance you always talk about Stephan? You are right. Partially =). I think that most of us are quite good at recognizing and identifying our own weaknesses. Moreover, dwelling for too long on our what we cannot do, will keep us in the past, but we want to go forward. If you think that investigating your weaknesses will benefit you, then by all means, do so. I just want to ask you to be kind and understanding with yourself.
Knowing and especially living our strengths is considered to be one of the most promising ways to live a full and happy life. That is when you can apply a variety of different strengths. Especially your character strengths. You can take the free test to identify your character strengths.
Disclaimer: the results of this test tell you how prevalent a specific strength is in your current life. This might change with changing environment or situations. Still, it is a good indicator of your strengths. Moreover, the end of that list doesn’t necessarily mean that those are weaknesses. But it can be interesting to analyze them, too.
If you have a question about one of those strengths, let me know. I currently write a book about them and have quite a bit of research =).
Now let us come to the exercise of today…
Materials needed: access to the internet, in case you want to take the test; a pen; blank paper or a notebook; some friends and/or family member
Strengths can be a tricky thing to discover. Sure, you can take the test or several different tests, but they will only show you a part of the bigger image. Sometimes we see our strengths quite clearly, sometimes we are completely blind, but others see them. That is why in the first step, I invite you to ask 1-3 (if you want to ask more, be my guest =) ) people to “assess” your strengths. To make it easy and not overly time-consuming for them, you can ask these three questions:
- what do you think am I good at? (give an example)
- what can I do better than others? (again, give an example)
- if you’d need to rank my strengths, what are the top 3 and why?
You should also answer those questions for yourself.
Then, take a look at your notes from the “River of Life” exercise. What strengths can you see in your story? Together with the via results (your character strengths), you probably have a good idea of your strengths right now. A question you can ask yourself is whether it is easy to showcase/demonstrate those strengths in every situation, or whether it is easier in some and more difficult in others? What must happen that you can apply one of your strengths in a different situation?
Okay, now you know more about your strengths. In the next step, you determine your top 5 strengths. They can be the top 5 from the test or your own ranking. Similar to the values exercise, write down how you can demonstrate, use your strengths, so they become visible for other people and you yourself.
Think back to the second part of the “River of Life”. How do you want to use your strengths to get closer to the vision you created for yourself? And last but not least, for the next 7 days, pick one strength for each day that you want to use. At the end of the day, reflect about how you felt using your strengths and where else you could apply this particular strength.
That’s it for day three. I hope you will enjoy this exercise and as always, if you have questions, don’t hesitate to write them in the comments or write me, and also share your thoughts and experiences with me and the other readers.
Enjoy the process and see/read you tomorrow.
Have a wonderful day and take care, Stephan