Do You Already Have the Solution to your Problem?
July 19, 2014 by VIA Institute on Character ·
One of the most common reasons that individuals seek help from therapists, coaches and psychologists is to get assistance dealing with an issue they are currently struggling with, either internally (ie: depression/anxiety, weight management) or externally (ie: relationship issues, work disengagement). Everyone is dealt their fair share of problems, stressors and worries. In fact, to this date you have probably overcome countless setbacks, and even when things seemed dark and difficult you were able to pull through to the other side. So, how did you do that? We can bet that your strengths played a role and they can help with a current problem or future challenge too. Learn how with our quick exercise…
Take a few moments to think back on a recent problem or challenge that you overcame. After you have one in mind, grab a pen and paper and journal about your experience. Explain the obstacles you faced and all of the issues involved. Next, detail the steps you took to approach the dilemma and then eventually conquer it. After you have written your story, re-read your journal entry and, using the VIA Classification as a guide, spot all of the strengths you used to overcome the challenge. Did you know you were armed with this array of problem-solving tools?
For example: Over the summer, my husband and I were in the process of buying a new home and we had a very strict time frame for when we needed to move. This, coupled with fact that we were mainly interested in buying in a high demand/low inventory area made the process frustrating and stressful! We looked at so many houses over a 5 month time period and many sold before we even had a chance to put in an offer. When we finally found “our home” we knew we needed to act fast and we did… and we got it! Looking back, I realize that I consistently called upon my strengths of hope, perseverance and honesty to help pull us along. I also know now that I used my signature strengths of love and social intelligence when I decided to compromise on a couple of my “wish list” items to accommodate some of my husband’s wishes. Now when I tell the story of our home search I do so with pride knowing that our strengths brought us to the perfect place for us.
Now write about a current struggle or upcoming challenge. Take time to explore ways you can use the strengths identified in your previous story to help you cope with the current/future challenge. Sign in to your VIA account to review your rank order list of strengths and purchase an in-depth VIA Pro Report. The Pro Report provides your raw scores for all of your strengths, information on the benefits of your top signature strengths, and a variety of graphs to help you understand your strengths within the virtue categories and along a Heart/Mind-Interpersonal/Intrapersonal continuum. Learning more about your signature strengths can help as you apply these innate tools to solve a problem or reach a goal. Or, check out the VIA online course, Navigating Transitions, for guidance from our strengths experts on using strengths to deal with life challenges.
-Kelly Aluise, VIA’s Communication Specialist