Leveraging Your Strengths

By Jenna DeRosa, LPCC 

verified by Psychology Today

Identifying your strengths promotes self-awareness but also helps you succeed in what you choose to do in life. This can mean your relationships, hobbies, and in the workplace. The first step is being able to understand the different types of strengths that you have and then how you can leverage them into success.

The word strength has several meanings. To understand the concept of strengths and to identify your own self-awareness, you need to recognize the three different types of strengths and the foundation those have in your success.

Identifying Strengths:

Step 1: Skills

The first type of strength is your personal skills. These are things that can be taught easily through demonstration. They can be things that come naturally to you as well. Some skills are hard initially for some, but with repetition, they can be picked up on. Like riding a bike, driving a car, and more. Some examples of skills in the workplace are:

  • Written communication
  • Public speaking
  • Time management
  • Verbal communication
  • Networking

Step 2: Behaviors and Personality Traits

The next is to figure out your strengths in behaviors. These behaviors go off of your first initial skills. So what behaviors influence the way that you ride a bike or drive a car? Some examples of behaviors are:

  • Receptive to feedback and criticism
  • Flexibility
  • Resiliency
  • Trustworthy and accountable
  • Determination
  • Adaptable

Step 3: Attitudes and beliefs

These go off of the second step of behaviors and personality traits as well. Attitudes and beliefs reinforce and set boundaries for the development of your behaviors and skills. This can come from experiences, religion, societal norms, and more. Some examples of attitudes and beliefs are:

  • People deserve kindness and respect
  • Hopefulness
  • Believing that people are good
  • Believing that feedback supports your growth
  • Believing that you have the strength to throw whatever life offers you

What do you love to do?

After you are able to dig deep and figure out what your three core strengths are, you can leverage them into what you want to do in life and/or your career. Next, you need to figure out what your passions are.

Step 4: Identify your passions

 This step is crucial because identifying your strengths is great only if you are directing them into your dreams. This way you’ll have the most success in what you choose to do in life and your career. Some example of passions are:

  • Working with people
  • Animals
  • Technology
  • Movies/production
  • Writing
  • Business
  • Creating
  • Art 

Decide what comes next.

 Step 5: Figure out what you want to do

What do you want to do with this information you’ve learned about yourself? Do you want to start a career? Do you want to do something on the side of your day job? Now is the time to figure out what you want to do with your life, skills, and passions and figure out what you will need to do to get there.

  • Do you need to go back to school?
  • Do you need to start up a business on the side?
  • Do you need to save up money?
  • What do you need to do to utilize your strengths and put them towards your passions?
  • How are you going to get there?

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