Personal Strengths

Personal strengths are very important in personal growth and development. They are the attributes that define us as individuals. Positive attributes could include being honest, kind, patient, respectful, motivated, confident and self-disciplined. While negative attributes could include being dishonest, impulsive, cruel, self-serving and obnoxious.

Overall, personal strengths are the personal skills we use in achieving goals. They are also the skills that help us survive. With that in mind, it is easy to see why some people consider negative attributes to be strengths. These "strengths," however, rarely lead to positive relationships and high levels of satisfying and enduring success.

If we truly want to change our lives and take more control over our future, personal strengths is the place to start building basic life skills. In general, positive attracts positive and produces better outcomes. So our main focus should be on acquiring and developing positive attributes. Since no one is perfect, however, allowing some time for minimizing weaknesses is also a good idea.


Building Personal Strengths

A Personal Inventory Provides a Good Starting Point

Before acquiring and developing the skills that will bring us success, we first have to identify those specific skills. A good way to do that is to create a personal inventory that outlines current strengths and weaknesses. This personal assessment will help in developing an overall plan for building necessary skills.

Honesty/Trustworthiness is Most Important

Honesty is probably the single-most important personal strength. (It is also a crucial part of good character. ) If we are not honesty with ourselves, reality can become fantasy. If we are not honest with other people we cannot expect them to be honest with us. And as mentioned before, positive tends to attract positive. Honest people tend to attract honest people and dishonest people tend to attract dishonest people. Who do you think will have an easier path to success?

Self-confidence Moves us Forward

Fear of failure often holds people back. If we don't believe we can accomplish something, we may not even try. Nothing will change if we don't find the courage and self-confidence to move beyond our fear.

Keeping a positive attitude is an essential part of self-confidence and very important in finding real happiness and success. Focusing on what we can do, rather than what we can't do will make it easier to answer the question: What is success? - as it pertains to our personal lives.

Start small. Build confidence slowly by accomplishing a series of small tasks. Recognize these accomplishments as successes and move on from there.

Self-control Gives Us Power

Self-control (self-discipline) is empowering. By acknowledging and using our AREA of Control we learn to take charge of our actions, reactions, emotions and attitude to the best of our ability. This allows us to gain a stronger position in almost every situation. If others dictate our actions, reactions, emotions and attitude we give up that power.

Stress-control Keeps Us Focused on the Important Things

Stress management skills can help us take at least some control over every situation. Lessening stress in a given situation allows us to think more clearly.

Goal-setting Keeps Us Moving in the Right Direction

Personal goal setting not only gives us a road map for achieving success, it also increases our determination and confidence. If the goal is realistic and well-defined, we will be more determined to achieve it. And every step that is accomplished along the way will build the confidence to continue.

Boundaries Keep Us Safe

We have a right to set boundaries on our time, energy, money and emotions. Boundaries protect individuality and are a very important part of successful relationships.

Personal Strengths Provide a Foundation for Other Skills

The strength of our relationship skills and project skills depends heavily on the strength of our personal attributes. If we have self-confidence, then assertiveness and project management will come easier. If we have self-control, then conflict resolution and quality work will be easier to achieve.

On the other hand, if we are obnoxious or intimidating, cooperation with others will be harder. And dishonesty can easily destroy relationships and result in being fired. Organization may also be difficult if we tend to be impulsive.

Without a doubt personal strengths provide a solid foundation for developing both relationship and project skills.