Why Should I Care About Knowing or Using My Strengths?
Updated: Sep 9, 2022
By Silver See, MA, LMFT
Using our character strengths in our lives is extremely important for shifting our focus to what is strong within us, and we can learn to utilize these strengths to create what we want in our lives. For example, if someone has a top strength of prudence, they may be overly prudent in their everyday lives, but they can mix this strength with their other high strength of honesty, and utilize courage within themselves. If someone is very kind towards others, but not themselves, they can realize that they have high kindness, and it needs to be directed more inwards and can focus on pairing this with a strength of, say, love of learning. For example, if a person makes a mistake, they can use their love of learning to ask themselves what can be learned from the mistake, and offer kind words in their thinking towards themselves and move past the incident while growing themselves instead of criticizing themselves.
Utilizing our character strengths in our everyday life is essential in helping ourselves with our challenges and moving forwards with resilience.
One can know their unique set of character strengths by taking the VIA assessment online for free, which ranks our character strengths in order. According to the VIA Institute on Character (VIA, 2022), “In general, character strengths seem to assist in reducing the likelihood of distress and dysfunction while encouraging tangible outcomes like:
Acceptance of oneself
Reverence for life
Competence, mastery, efficacy
Mental and physical health
Positive and supportive social networks
Satisfying, engaging, and meaningful work
Accomplishment of goals
Greater engagement and life meaning
Higher work productivity
Increased likelihood of work being a life calling
Less stress and improved coping
Greater academic achievement
Improved close relationships”