What if you could figure out how to have all the energy you need each day?
How would that change your life?
What could you do then?
Doing too much of what you’re not good at drains your energy. So does doing too much of what you are good at. Your energy level is directly related to how your use your strengths. When you identify your natural strengths and work from them, you increase your motivation, focus, and confidence – and SUPER-BOOST your energy!
In the last decade, psychological research supporting the benefits of strengths use has exploded! Studies have shown that people who use their strengths more are happier and more confident, perform better and are more engaged at work, have higher levels of energy and vitality, and experience lower levels of stress, among other positive results (see CAPP’s research here for more details).
As more organizational leaders, educators, managers, and coaches eagerly tap into the many benefits of strengths use, it’s important to consider how we can best identify and develop strengths in our employees, clients, and personal lives.
From my own research and practice, here are some fundamental things to consider as you begin to hone your strengths:
Strengths aren’t just something you’re good at. Often we notice high levels of achievement or performance and attribute this to using our strengths. But have you ever felt drained after doing something you’re really good at? Your strengths are naturally energizing and should boost your mood and motivation, leaving you in a state of focused flow. If you feel like you’re working too hard using your so-called strengths, chances are you’re actually working from learned behaviors instead.
Strengths use changes with context and can cause harm. Since strengths are dynamic potentials individuals’ naturally possess, they must be applied appropriately based on situational demands. If the wrong strength is used out of context, it can potentially backfire and cause psychological harm. Sound scary? Don’t worry, we’ll dive deeper into strengths development in the next post to help you guard against strengths misuse.
Strengths help you live and lead more authentically. Like putting on your favorite jeans, working from your strengths should feel right. So right, in fact, that often individuals are blind to their own strengths because they apply them so naturally in their lives. By identifying and intentionally living and leading from your strengths, you will be able to express you values through your actions more authentically.
Try This At Home
Consider the areas of your life that give you more energy. Maybe they are activities that you can get lost in for hours or experiences where you feel the most powerful. Take a moment to write these down now.
What common themes or trends do you see? Maybe it’s a love of adventure or focus on creativity. These are you strengths indicators that, when correlated with higher levels of performance, can help you identify areas of natural strength.
In addition to identifying your strengths naturalistically based on your levels of energy and performance, many people prefer to take formal strengths assessments like the free Values in Action (VIA) Survey. You can also take other credible strengths assessments for a small fee, such as Gallup’s StrengthsFinder2.0 or CAPP’s Realise2 strengths assessment. Each of these strengths identification tools has its own personal flavor and will help deepen your self-awareness in your strengths-discovery process.
Want More Support?
Contact me to learn how we can partner together as you identify and develop your natural strengths. I specialize in working with individuals and organizational teams through strengths-based coaching and group facilitation. Check out more about my approach to strengths development and connect with me to get started today!
Join me on Monday, July 29th from 6:30-8:30pm at the Portland Powerhouse for an in-depth exploration of your strengths! During our time together, you will learn how to:
- Identify your natural strengths and those of others
- Ditch draining learned behaviors and manage weaknesses
- Apply your strengths to improve your relationships and leadership
- Re-energize your life by intentionally developing your strengths
This eye-opening, interactive workshop will transform how you live at your best, improve your relationships, and amplify your leadership.
Register online today for only $99!
SoloProRadio Interview Wednesday
Tune in online Wednesday morning at 11am PDT to listen to me describe my coaching journey and advice to other entrepreneurs. Can’t make it then? You can access the recording online here after the show. For more details, click here.
Centre of Applied Positive Psychology. (2010). Why Strengths? The Evidence. http://www.cappeu.com/Portals/3/Files/Why_Strengths_The_Evidence.pdf