Learning to focus on your personal strengths and teaching your children how to focus on theirs is a freeing experience. Instead of feeling limited by the things you cannot do, you concentrate, and show your children how to concentrate, on the things you do well.
Examples of Personal Strengths
Strengths combine your knowledge, skill and your individual talents. Your personal strengths may be mental abilities such as problem-solving, mathematical skills or spelling. Or, you may find yourself possessing qualities such as kindness, unselfishness or have a strength for volunteering. Other special skills can be physical, such as the ability to work long hours, lift heavy boxes or carry a blowtorch. Each person is different and not every person has the same personal strengths. The beauty in this is that each classroom, team, workplace and family have a combination of various strengths.
Personal Strengths and Weaknesses
Everyone has strengths and weaknesses. Instead of letting your weakness hold you back, focus on your strengths and your reasons for wanting to identify them. Your desire to know your personal strengths may be personal- you are doing a self-assessment and may be contemplating a life change, or they may be professional. For example, during job interviews, you may be asked “what are your personal strengths?” It helps to be prepared to answer this question and you can also prepare your children for interviews by having them consider their strengths. According to Business News Daily, you can ask yourself, or your child, a few questions to help determine your strengths. These include, but are not limited to:
• Do you perform certain tasks better than others?
• Do you have morals that help you make choices?
• What values do you possess that can be seen as a strength?
• Do you have any special certifications or educational accomplishments?
• Has anyone told you what they see as strengths in you?
• Are you good at mental or physical tasks?
What Are Personal Strengths?
Another way to determine your strengths is to review the things that make you happy. You can also help your child, or adult child do this by pointing out your observations. The University of Kent in the United Kingdom suggests identifying your strengths by considering:
• Tasks you do that flow easily.
• Things you can do for hours and lose track of time.
• What do you look forward to, or what gets you excited?
• What subject areas do you learn quickly and want to learn more about?
• In what areas do you show high levels of performance?
• What work, or activities do you continue to do even when sick, tired or stressed? And, continue to succeed at?
Your personality strengths and weaknesses will contribute to your overall success in life and in business. When you understand what your strengths are, you can work within them. This improves your mood and your health, which also help contribute to your success. Psychology Today says it best when it encourages to people to look to their passions to find their strengths.
So, instead of asking yourself what are personal strengths, you ask yourself “what activities do you enjoy?” Then, you look to the abilities you need to perform those activities. For example, if you enjoy cooking, your strengths may be an attention to detail, mathematics, or budgeting. If you enjoy playing basketball, your strengths may be endurance, physical focus and the ability to block out distractions. By looking at your strengths from another angle, you may find many more than you originally thought.
Psychology Today also says that your happiness increases when you are allowed to use your personal strengths. For example, if you have a strong attention to detail, but are in a job that does not use that skill, you will not be as happy. The reasons for this land with your intrinsic goals. You have personal goals and to reach those, your strengths need to be used. This meets one of your basic psychological needs.
Make it Work
Encourage your children and yourself to use your personal strengths at work, school, in the family or with a team. After you determine one or two strengths, find ways to use them. For example, if you do have a tremendous attention to detail, ask your boss if you can review figures, or edit papers. Another example is if your strength is helping others organize, tackle your child’s closet or have your son help you with yours. Find ways to use your children’s strengths and contribute to the family.
List of Personal Strengths
The University of Kent offers a few personal strengths. See if you can identify these in yourself, or in your children. Some strengths to choose from are:
Other strengths you may find in yourself are:
- Manager of others
Another article of Psychology today says that when you use your strengths you feel better. Not only are you happier, but you feel less stress and have more energy. You are more productive since you enjoy the things you are doing. Teach your children that when their strengths are used, they will improve their self-confidence and feel more satisfied with their lives. Instead of wasting their time in a job that may be lucrative, but unsatisfying, your children can learn to have both. Other benefits of using your strengths on a daily basis are that your personal growth and development flourishes, plus you are more engaged in your tasks and your creativity is allowed to bloom. All these benefits improve your overall mental and physical health.
When you see someone who always reaches their goals, achieves greater success and seems overall happier than others, you may wonder what their secret is. Possibly, high-achievers have learned to focus on their strengths while managing their weaknesses. This is something you can learn and teach your children.
It requires a conscious mindset to concentrate on your strengths and it takes bravery and courage to use them. You may have to leave a job in which your strengths are not being used to switch careers into something that is better for you and your family.
If you are in a management position, but managing others is not one of your personal strengths, you will find your job difficult. Spend time discovering what makes you strong and the tasks that leave you feeling energized instead of drained. That way, when you work, you will enjoy your day and return home with energy for your family.
Be an Example
Children learn mostly by example. You can tell them to use their strengths and you can label the positive characteristics you see in them, but if they do not see you using your strengths, they may not learn to either.
Your children will need to articulate their personal strengths when they apply for colleges. This is an important question on a college application and is not a time to be modest. They need to distinguish themselves from other applicants and one way to do this is to truly embrace their strengths and weaknesses.
When your children feel confident in their qualities, they can share them with others- on paper and in person. So, the earlier you begin showing them how to use their strengths, the easier it is for children to talk about them.
There is a difference between confident and cocky when it comes to personal strengths. If you or your child come across as egotistical and bragging about the things you can do better than others, you will not succeed. Knowing your personal strengths also brings with it a humility. You are confident in your strengths, but do not feel the need to rub it in the face of anyone else.
You know you will succeed if you use your gifts and you can do this without stepping on other people’s toes. Children need to see this too and need to be taught that not everyone has the same personal strengths. Each person is given the strengths they need to succeed and all should be accepted for who they are.