Wednesday, 14 November 2012

How your positive memories can help you identify your strengths.

Can you remember times when you felt you were at your best? Events or situations that were particularly enjoyable, interesting or rewarding? Thinking back to past successes can be motivating and inspiring and can be useful to help you remember and notice your strengths. As we are naturally drawn to activities that allow us to use our strengths, our past interests, hobbies and lifestyle can also remind us where our natural abilities lie.
Some strengths develop at an early age and you may have used them throughout your life. These strengths may have shown themselves in your choice of childhood and teenage activities. Can you think of the activities that you enjoyed as a young person? For example, did you like sports, art, reading etc. What activities or lessons did you look forward to the most? Has this changed over time or have these sorts of choices stayed the same?  You may have changed your activities over the years, but does anything stand out as always being part of who you are. For example, have you mostly been sociable, or interested in learning, or organised, or creative?

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Getting Started on Building Your Strengths

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It’s not human nature to be good at everything. Everyone has areas of strength and using them well can give the most energy, satisfaction and potential for achievement. However, if we overplay a particular strength we start to lose out on its value. According to psychologist Alex Linley, it’s best to optimise our strengths by learning to ‘use the right strength, to the right amount, in the right way, and at the right time.’

If you’re interested in developing your strengths and using them to your best advantage, here’s a few suggestions based on the books of Alex Linley and Mike Pegg to help get you started.

Saturday, 7 July 2012

Welcome To Focus on Your Strengths

This blog builds on the idea that the easiest and most enjoyable way to accomplish what you want in life is by drawing on your existing strengths. When life brings you change, challenges and opportunities, it is good to know your strengths and use them to your best advantage. I hope to make it easy for you to understand your own strengths and perhaps discover hidden strengths too!

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Why Focus on Your Strengths?

Focussing on your strengths gives you confidence to develop new abilities and skills. It is important to keep in mind the great things you can do, your values that keep you motivated and the qualities that you like most about yourself.

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Our strengths bring us to life and give us the energy and resilience to overcome difficulties or new challenges. When you feel sure of your own strengths and enjoy the benefits of using them, you have more  resources to manage challenges in other areas. 

Strengths Based Approach

Strengths based philosophies have been around for a long time. Today, strengths-based thinking is still alive within positive psychology and is becoming more popular in education and business. Students who are acknowledged for their strengths by their teachers make better progress. Employees who are encouraged to use their strengths are more productive and feel better about their life in general.

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Recent neuroscience research shows that our brains are more adaptable and flexible than we ever realised. It is important to harness the power of our brains in a positive way and make the most of our amazing capacity to learn and grow. Paying attention to strengths and abilities can enhance performance and have a positive effect on well-being in general.  So, for many people, a positive approach to improving thinking and abilities works much better than focussing on problems or weaknesses.

I love learning about what makes people tick; the things that make us feel better, work better and make life more enjoyable. My experiences of working in healthcare has affirmed my belief that people recover better, make more positive personal choices and enjoy working towards their goals more when they focus on their strengths.

Here are a few questions to help you think about your own unique strengths, values and abilities:

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What is really important to you?
What are you good at?
What activities give you lots of energy?
When do you feel most alive and inspired?
Who or what in your life is a source of strengths and comfort for you?