5 Ways You can Discover Your Greatest Strengths

Become your highest self by nurturing your strengths.

Nurture your best personality traits.

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Everyone has unique strengths, aspects of yourself that allow you to reach your highest potential. When you recognize your strengths, and nurture them, you will attract opportunities that make you shine and live your best life. Ready to shine your brightest? Here are five ways that you can discover your own personal strengths and become your highest self.

Brainstorm your greatest strengths
When you want to build upon your personal strengths, you first need to recognize what those strengths are. Oxford Clinical Psychology recommends that  patients take the time to brainstorm strengths, and you can do the same. 

Take a piece of paper and write down all the things that come to mind, in a short exercise or over the next week or so. Then rank those virtues and choose the top three or four qualities that most relate to you. When exploring your strengths, think of qualities that you have that help you grow. Some examples of strengths can include patience, discipline, inspiration, creativity, trustworthiness, or honesty. 

Here are some hints: Can you think of aspects of yourself that tend to receive a lot of praise from others? Strengths can mean the things you love to do, that make you come alive when activated. Often, you’ll lose track of time when nurturing your strengths and feel a great sense of fulfillment.

Differentiate strengths versus talents
People often confuse strengths with talents. But they are very different things. In his book, Authentic Happiness, psychologist Martin Seligman defines strengths as the “route” through which we achieve virtues in our life. For Seligman, strengths are moral traits that an individual can develop and learn with effort, whereas talents refer to those natural qualities that people inherit.

Talent can only take you so far. Your strengths, like dedication, commitment, and tenacity, will carry you through to reach the highest version of yourself. Take the example of someone with musical abilities. A person may have natural born talent to express themselves through music, but it requires the strengths of patience and persistence to become a master of an instrument. 

Try strength-finding exercises 
When you feel ready to unleash your highest potential, you can discover more about yourself through self-assessment exercises. Tools like the Best Personality Trait Quiz will dig into some of your best qualities to uncover things you may not realize about yourself. You can also join personal development programs, in person or online, to reveal your inner virtues. These types of exercises will light the way forward. You’ll discover some of your key strengths, qualities in yourself that you can develop to build a greater life.

Assess strengths through others
You can learn a lot about yourself through other people, especially those who you trust and love. Speak to others to help understand your personal strengths, things you might not notice within yourself. Insight from friends, family, coaches, therapists, or mentors can help discover your greatest virtues and point the path forward toward self-actualization. When you surround yourself with uplifting, supportive people like this, you’ll also feel more encouraged to pursue your strengths. 

Accepting your weaknesses
A part of self-awareness means seeing the full picture of who you really are, even the less flattering parts according to Positive Psychology . Just like everyone has their standout qualities that make them shine, so too does everyone have their weaknesses. And guess what? That’s okay!

You can recognize weaknesses and work with them. Instead of obsessing over what doesn’t come easily, focus attention on nurturing strengths and growing those qualities where you naturally excel.

When you recognize areas of life that don’t come easily, you can look for support from others to guide you. If you have trouble remembering something, ask a friend to remind you or set a notification on your calendar. And if you do forget, give yourself a break. You’ll only learn and grow in life by making mistakes. Always keep in mind that when you work with your strengths, you’ll attract opportunities to succeed, a boost for confidence and self-esteem.

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