Know Your Top 24 Strengths

“The strength of a person is often weighed by how they deal with their weaknesses.”

Nathaniel Summers, Author

While interviewing for a job if someone were to ask you what your weaknesses and strengths are, would you be able to answer in full honesty? Would it be easier to answer what your weaknesses are, most people know their flaws far better than their positive traits. Attending to our weaknesses alone while ignoring strengths can leave one feeling discouraged, depressed, and unfulfilled. Alternatively, focusing on the individual strengths that make  us unique encourages, motivates, and contributes to our success. While studying psychology at UT Austin I learned of an innovative and easy to use tool that medium_3595375174helps one define not 1, but 24 strengths, it’s really insightful and I share it here with you.

In the field of psychology there was a movement to end the disease model of human nature. Instead of finding and fixing flaws, this new branch called Positive Psychology would aid people in  defining their character strengths as  a means to realizing their potentials. Leading psychologists developed a unique tool called the VIA Inventory of Strengths which gauges 24 core virtues, positive traits like creativity, social intelligence, humor, leadership, and bravery are among some.

What is interesting about this survey is the way it measures your strengths. Whether leadership is your number 1 strength or number 24, it is treated as positive trait not a weakness. The only difference between #1 and #24  is how frequently you uphold it.

The link to the survey is http://www.viacharacter.org/SURVEYS.aspx it takes about 20-30 minutes to complete.

The survey is very thorough and you’ll get compelling insights about yourself. Perhaps you’ll focus on using your top strengths more confidently or you may focus on using the lower strengths more consciously in an effort to further develop them. One of their suggested exercises is to try to use the strengths in a new way everyday, here are some of the ways:

Bravery:

    • speak up for an unpopular idea in a group
    • do something you would not do because of fear

Creativity:

    • enroll in a drawing, photography or other art class
    • send a card to a friend with a poem you wrote

Social Intelligence:

    • make someone feel at ease
    • when someone annoys you, understand his or her motives

Modesty:

    • for an entire day, do not talk about yourself at all
    • dress in a way that does not call attention to yourself

If you would like to know what other suggestions they have for any of the other strengths, leave a comment or if your interested in the topic of positive psychology look into the book A Primer in Positive Psychology by Christopher Peterson, here you’ll find a lot more information on VIA and strengths descriptions.

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Categories: Positive Psychology

Author:raimyd

My name is Raimy, I’m a soul-searching writer and amateur photographer. Creative-guru is a by-product of a deep creative passion for personal and spiritual growth.

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10 Comments on “Know Your Top 24 Strengths”

  1. February 7, 2013 at 12:21 pm #

    Ok so I went and took the survey, (when I should have been working) Interesting, they returned the following results. Your Top Character Strength

    Forgiveness
    You forgive those who have done you wrong. You always give people a second chance. Your guiding principle is mercy and not revenge.

    Your Second Character Strength

    Curiosity
    You are curious about everything. You are always asking questions, and you find all subjects and topics fascinating. You like exploration and discovery.

    Your Third Character Strength

    Fairness
    Treating all people fairly is one of your abiding principles. You do not let your personal feelings bias your decisions about other people. You give everyone a chance.

    Your Fourth Character Strength

    Gratitude
    You are aware of the good things that happen to you, and you never take them for granted. Your friends and family members know that you are a grateful person because you always take the time to express your thanks.

    Your Fifth Character Strength

    Social intelligence
    You are aware of the motives and feelings of other people. You know what to do to fit in to different social situations, and you know what to do to put others at ease.

    Thanks for the fun! Always learn something interesting.

    • February 7, 2013 at 4:04 pm #

      OOo Cool! Wasn’t it such a long survey, but I think totally worth it. One of my top five was fairness also! You know what’s cool, if you take it like 4 or 5 years from now those are probably going to change a little bit.

      • February 7, 2013 at 4:12 pm #

        Really long. But interesting. I think the idea on focusing on the positives rather than looking for what needs to be fixed is what I liked. I saved all of them 1-24 and am going to blog about it this weekend I think. Every page of your blog has fun on it.

      • February 7, 2013 at 4:15 pm #

        That will definitely make for a good blog post, cant wait to read it. Thanks Jonathan, I’m so glad your finding useful stuff here and by the way likewise, you have so much knowledge to share.

      • February 7, 2013 at 4:26 pm #

        Thanks for saying that, I know I am just a guppy in the sea of knowledge. Looking to learn a little more every day!

      • February 7, 2013 at 4:26 pm #

        Thanks for saying that, I know I am just a guppy in the sea of knowledge. Looking to learn a little more every day!

      • February 7, 2013 at 4:27 pm #

        same here, we are both just a couple of crazy guppies.

  2. March 31, 2013 at 9:32 pm #

    I found you through Rarasaur, thru Jonathan Hilton and then onward to you. Excellent test. Saved the results for those days when I’m feeling lower than a snake’s belly, as my grandmother used to say. Best ~ HuntMode

    • April 1, 2013 at 7:24 pm #

      I’m so glad you found it useful. I’ve taken the test twice, with a few years in between. I found that some of our strengths shift around significantly with time. You might also like to see how they change in your case, so it’s good that you saved them. Nice meeting you HuntMode 🙂

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. I am strong! | rarasaur - March 25, 2013

    […] found these neat Character Strength quiz via Jonathon Hilton, who found it via the ever-creative Raimy.   It’s sort of long, with an estimated 30 minutes to complete, but it’s really […]

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