In these unprecedented times, with the effects of a global crisis touching all of our lives, we need our strengths more than ever.
Over two decades of positive psychology and strengths research has taught us that when people know their strengths and actively use those strengths, good things happen. They are more fulfilled, more engaged, more resilient and better able to cope with stress.
There are many ways in which you can use your strengths over the coming weeks to support yourself, your studies and others – below are just a few.
Using your strengths gives you energy
Try to balance the ‘should do’ tasks with activities you enjoy, no matter how small or productive, to help you keep up your momentum and morale
Using your strengths builds resilience and can help you overcome obstacles
Make a list of your current challenges and the strengths you have that could help you move forward with them. You don’t need a career strategy or a five-year plan – just a few clear steps to keep you moving forward with your goals.
Using your strengths can help you feel less stress
Look at your unrealised strengths and decide which ones could you use more to support you with today’s challenges or simply to help you have a happier and more productive day.
Using strengths can help you achieve your goals
Your goals may be on hold, deferred, or even out of sight for now. But it doesn’t mean you can’t make and achieve small goals that will make a difference to you and your loved ones. This could be health and fitness related, organising a virtual catch up for your family or friends, or even starting a DIY or creative project.
Using your strengths makes you more confident
Use this time as an opportunity to take another look at your CV, and really think about your strengths and the skills you could bring to a potential employer, beyond your academic achievements. This could be something environmental, humanitarian or community focused. Consider working with a partner and take turns spotting each other’s strengths and suggesting skills you could add to your CV’s.
Focusing on your strengths helps you to learn faster
We learn faster when we concentrate on expanding our strengths rather than improving our weaknesses. Think about additional online learning or resources you have access to and which of them might align to your strengths. You may find you are able to engage in something not just academic but fun!
Using your strengths helps your engagement
We are all finding it harder to focus with the future being so uncertain, but strengths can make a big difference to engagement. Try looking at the smaller picture and consider which strengths you have that could support others right now. Some are obvious such as Listener, Compassion and Planner, but others such as Esteem Builder, Humour and even Gratitude are equally important to share right now.
Trudy Bateman is a strengths expert and is Head of Strengths Profile at Cappfinnity