You Are Far From Ordinary
Just as the famous 17th century English poet John Donne wrote, “no man is an island”, no character strength is an island either. At any given time, you are expressing a unique combination of strengths. Even as you read this, you are most likely exercising several—a little bit of self-regulation, a dash of love of learning and possibly others, like curiosity and hope.
This is an important concept to consider as you review your Character Strengths Profile (sign in to see yours) and explore the ways you use your strengths throughout your day. The late Christopher Peterson, lead scientist in the field, once said: “Character is plural.” People are not just kind or fair, brave or forgiving; and situations don’t just call for one particular strength. You are constantly using a different constellation of strengths at varying levels as you move from one activity and interaction to the next. Did you realize you were so dynamic?!
To explore this further, we’ve pulled an exercise from Dr. Ryan Niemiec’s latest book, Character Strengths Interventions, for you to try now!
Exploring Your Strengths Use
Sign in to your VIA Account and print a copy of your Character Strengths Profile to use during this exercise or, for more in-depth information, get your personalized VIA Package of Reports.
Choose an activity that you engage in that has a high level of meaning to you (e.g. giving a 2-hour presentation, leading an important work meeting, having dinner with a friend while conversing about life problems). Rate each of the 24 strengths from 1-10 in terms of the degree to which you are expressing them at the beginning, middle, and end of the activity. See what emerges in regard to the number of strengths expressed, the nuances of degree, and the importance of context.
You can do this exercise with just about any activity you do throughout the day! Think about the blend of character strengths you used by simply getting out of bed when your alarm went off (self-regualtion, zest), choosing your outfit (creativity, appreciation of beauty and excellence) and fighting traffic to get to work (bravery, prudence). The key is seeing your strengths use, not as ordinary, but as extraordinary, because it truly is!
A New Way To Examine Social Anxiety: Could You be Overusing or Underusing a Strength?
Researchers are now discovering that social anxiety can be linked to strengths expression- specifically, overuse and underuse. Visit our VIA Facebook page to see questions that help you explore this further. Also, read this blog post from VIA's Education Director, Dr. Ryan Niemiec, with more on the research findings.
What Will You Discover About Yourself?
Get your in-depth VIA Me and VIA Pro Report package to learn more about your unique profile of strengths. If you've completed the VIA Survey, you have already provided the information needed to generate your Reports. Learn more about what it looks like to overuse and underuse your signature strengths, get tips for boosting lesser strengths, and discover how others see you in your VIA Me and VIA Pro.