by Kathi Szabo
I’ve been a personal development junkie for just about as long as I can remember. In middle school I was elected treasurer of our student council and had to go to Leadership Camp. This completely got in the way of Girl Scout camp that I had been going to for years, but I went. I took in all the workshops on not just how to be a better leader in my school, but how to also be a better person!
I purchased a book at camp, Lifelines for Leaders. It is an almost hand-made, typewriter print publication from Jefferson County Public Schools in Lakewood Colorado with all kinds of poems, quotes, and other writings to motivate a young student leader. I still have the copy and refer to it at times when I’m looking for a piece of inspiration. Writings like, “Life is the childhood of our Immortality,” or “Not what we gain, but what we give, Measures the worth of the life we live.” Amazing that I still pull it out occasionally, this “book” from 1977.
Why am I still attached to this book?
There are things that not only influence us, but they are also what we are drawn to. Things like finding beauty in our surroundings, carefully considering our options, living authentically, without doubt or fear, being curious as to how things work, or looking at things from 10,000 feet. These things that are inherent in us. Part of our personality, of who we are. For me, a joy of always learning, making myself better is a part of me I can’t imagine being without.
What are these “things” that are so ingrained in us, these things we are attached to?
It wasn’t until just a few years ago that I was able to put a name to these things. In working on a Yoga Teacher Training Program, I was introduced to VIA Character Strengths, 24 strengths that each of us possess, but we all use differently and to varying degrees.
This is what makes up our Character Strength Profile.
These aren’t strengths like being able to do something. They are not talents. They are also not simply our interests or skills we learn. These are character traits. Part of your personality. Your character. They reflect who we are being. They are part of our identity.
Going back to my story of leadership camp, my character strength of Love of Learning was already showing itself even at that young age. So was my character strength of Perspective, wanting to see a different type of summer camp, see a bigger picture than just one camp. These are both Signature Strengths for me, those strengths that are most dominant in our personality. They have what VIA calls the “3 E’s:”
- Essential – they are part of who you are as a person.
- Effortless – when using this strength it feel natural. No work, just flow.
- Energizing – using this strength makes us feel good. Ready to do more!
Yep, for me Love of Learning and Perspective is all of those!
VIA Character Strengths are a foundational tool of Well-Being and Positive Psychology.
Positive Psychology lists at least 7 benefits of knowing and understanding your character strength profile. (https://positivepsychology.com/via-survey/):
- Improved Well-Being or lowered negative feelings
- Greater Happiness
- Improved Mental Health
- Positive Work Experiences
- Positive Affect at School
- Improved Problem Solving
This is why at Eclectic Well-Being we include this survey as part of our Well-Being Overview. Simply knowing your strengths improves your well-being which is what we are all about!
In my one-to-one coaching program, The Total MindShift, we dive deep into your profile, gaining a complete understanding of not just your signature strengths, but also phasic strengths, those that one may not use every day, but when required we bring forth and utilize it to a high degree. We also discuss the 5 strengths identified with higher levels of happiness as well as spotting strengths in others so that we can understand and improve relationships!
Curious to know your character strength profile? It only takes 15 minutes!
Once completed, I’ll send you your Character Strength Profile and you can set up a Discovery Call with me to answer questions and help you gain a better understanding, or not. It’s up to you. The profile is yours regardless, no obligations!
Discover your unique character strength profile and boost your confidence, increase your happiness and accomplish your goals, consciously creating the life you desire!