Identifying Personal Strengths

Achieving success in life can be a real challenge. There is no straight path to success, and everyone experiences varying degrees of both achievement and failure during their lifetime. However, you can minimize the risk of failure and increase the likelihood of success by identifying and leveraging your personal strengths.

Strengths Exploration

People who know their strengths and understand how they are best utilized tend to experience more success in their relationships and career-wise, as well as experience a greater sense of personal fulfillment. To effectively use your strengths, you first have to have a clear understanding of what they are. Some strengths are more easily identifiable than others, while some may go unnoticed because they feel or appear ordinary.

In this strengths exploration exercise you will identify your strengths and the ways in which you are currently using them. You will also explore undiscovered strengths and how to use them to your advantage.

How to Identify Your Personal Strengths

There are a number of different ways you can approach this; below are a few suggestions on where to start:

  1. Know yourself: Practice self-awareness and evaluate your objectives and skillsets
  2. Ask a friend: This approach removes personal bias and allows you to better examine your own self-assessment
  3. Find clues in your attempts and failures: By analyzing our unsuccessful attempts and failures, we are better equipped to identify future barriers or setbacks and make plans to utilize strengths to avoid them
  4. Analyze your successes: Which strength did you utilize most when you last achieved success? Each individual success is a teaching tool that you can use to build continued successes
  5. Maintain your identity: Knowing and staying true to yourself allows you to leverage your strengths
  6. Use a self-assessment: Assessments help to evaluate biases and consider strengths that we may be overlooking. The next section goes into an exercise we’d recommend working with!

How to use a self-assessment of your personal strengths

In this CBT-based exercise, you’ll first identify your personal strengths and then examine how each affects different domains of your life.

Identify and categorize your personal strengths

Circle your personal strengths in the chart below. Feel free to add your own at the bottom!

Think about where each of these strengths fits into one or more of the following categories:

  1. Relationships (romantic, friendships, family)
  2. Career (past or present work, education, professional)
  3. Personal fulfillment (hobbies, interests, and pleasurable activities)

Relationships: romantic relationships, friendships, and family

How do your strengths play into your relationships?

Career: past or present work, education, and professional

How do your strengths impact your career?

Personal fulfillment: hobbies, interests, and pleasurable activities

How do your strengths help fulfill you?

What can Strengths Exploration help with?

Practicing a Strengths Exploration can help with a number of different issues, including the following:

Consider seeking support from a therapist

Identifying strengths can be a daunting task. Do you ever think to yourself “that’s not a strength, everyone can do that,” “I’m just not good at anything” or “I feel like I have all these strengths, but I keep failing at everything I try”? When we encounter failure, it isn’t easy to reflect on our strengths. A therapist who specializes in the following therapy types can help you to identify and utilize your strengths in order to achieve success: