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Strengths Finder: Week 1

The Strengths Finder process is one of empowerment and enlightenment. Week 1 helps us see ourselves positively.

Strengths Finder

Editor’s note: Using the product or author links in this article, and subsequently making a purchase from amazon, will help support the work of Real Life Counseling Ministries.

Many people spend their time and energy on trying to overcome their inadequacies instead of embracing and utilizing their strengths.  I think we’re all guilty of this at some point in our lives, which can often challenge or overwhelm us.  Our self-esteem is sometimes shaken with thoughts of: “what is wrong with me,” “what can I change about myself” or, “why aren’t I good enough?”  It’s time to start believing in ourselves and showcasing what we have to offer!  Acknowledging our own natural abilities can be inspiring.  These qualities help us recognize what makes us stand out from others around us.  Awareness is the first step towards success!

The Strengths Finder process allows an individual the opportunity to identify their top strengths.  It also teaches how to implement these attributes into their life to enhance potential and improve daily functioning.  The process is one of empowerment and enlightenment.  As we are able to discover the strengths we see in ourselves along with the strengths that others see in us.  This six-week process provides insight and action planning to ensure that achievement is positively attained.

Week 1 of the process is exciting, as it is forces us to focus on the positive attributes that we see in ourselves, which may be a new concept for some of us.  Like many people, I have often concentrated on my shortcomings rather than my strengths, so I embraced the opportunity for a little encouragement and guidance from the Strengths Finder.  The idea of learning how to recognize and develop my innate talents and strengths was very motivating, as these qualities often get overlooked or overshadowed.

The process begins with a self-assessment, which lists 34 different themes or strengths.  Narrowing down the list to one’s top strengths is the first step.  This may sound easy, but when a person spends most of their time focusing on the negative, identifying attributes that positively define their character and personality can be challenging.  It’s easy to focus on what we need to work on, but harder to recognize what we are already good at.  Reading through the list of strengths made me realize that I do have some amazing qualities.  I just never really took the time to acknowledge them.

There were so many great themes to choose from.  I connected closely with several them.  Others I knew absolutely did not describe me.  It was easy for me to identify the strengths that did not fit, such as activator, analytical, competition, and deliberative, so I eliminated these themes first.  I found that understanding my own limitations definitely helped me discover what I considered to be my strongest abilities.  After much reflection, I eventually selected my top 5, which included: belief, empathy, fairness and consistency, learner, and positivity.  I felt that each of these attributes clearly defined who I am and how I live my life.

Strengths Finder

Here is what Strengths Finder says about belief

Here is what Strengths Finder says about empathy

Here is what Strengths Finder says about fairness and consistency

Here is what Strengths Finder says about learner

Here is what Strengths Finder says about positivity

Once I chose my top 5 strengths, the next step was to have several other people in my life do the same.  I thought this was such a wonderful part of the strengths finding process, as we are often hard on ourselves and unable to recognize the strengths that others may see in us.  I thought it would be interesting to involve people from various aspects of my life.  So, I chose to have a friend, a family member, and a co-worker each identify my top 5 themes.  Many of us have different roles in our personal, family, and work lives.  So I thought recognizing how different people view me in varying roles would be valuable in identifying my overall strengths.  I was definitely eager to see the themes that others associated with me, and to compare those with the strengths I see in myself.  I found myself excited for week 2!

Identifying and developing one’s strengths can lead to positive change and growth based solely on the abilities that a person already possesses.  Tom Rath, the author of Strengths Finder, sums up the premise of this process in one sentence; “You cannot be anything you want to be—but you can be a lot more of who you already are.”  Finding who that person is can be inspiring! 

Editor’s note: Using the product or author links in this article, and subsequently making a purchase from amazon, will help support the work of Real Life Counseling Ministries.

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