Three Sides to Personal Strengths

There are perhaps three sides to personal strengths:  First, there’s the side that is ‘out there’ for all to see. Maybe you’re athletic, a good teacher or instructor, a doctor or nurse?

Second, there’s another side. This is the part of us only close friends or relatives get to see. Maybe it’s the fact you’re a great cook, or have a wicked sense of humor or that you have a serious interest in 19th Century English poetry.

Third, is what we know about ourselves but maybe don’t show. Then again, our personal strengths aren’t always that obvious and are quite possibly never seen as such by the person who has them. A personal strength can be quite subtle, like being a good listener, but it can have powerful effects on others. This can often result in very positive effects for you.

We often tend to view things as personal strengths if they correspond to things we’d like to see in ourselves. This might seem fairly superficial, like being told you having nice eyes or a nice way of walking. But they tick certain positive boxes and make us feel better about ourselves. Other stuff, perhaps more meaningful can be more hidden. 

Things we never think of as strengths are sometimes pointed out to us. For example, you might be told you have a relaxing voice, or that you explain things well, or you can make complex issues sound simple. When people learn to tap these strengths and apply them they often feel more energized more confident and less stressed. 

Confident people tend to have a well-developed sense of self. Our self-image is really a cluster of different techniques and memories. Very few, if any, people portray to others the person they know themselves to be.
Growth in confidence is an important component. The more you play to your strengths the more expertise you gain and the more your self-esteem flourishes. Over time you become less anxious, less stressed and generally more content with your lot. The knock-on effect of this is better health, greater resilience and more vitality.
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