'Why do I get so upset about things other people say?'
'I wish I didn't get so frustrated with the kids!'
'What can't I get in shape? Manage my money better? Get my sh*t together?'
What's wrong with me?
We spend a lot of time and energy lamenting, 'What's wrong with me?' but what if we forgot about 'what's wrong' for a moment and considered 'what's right?' How much better would you feel if you spent your days thinking;
'I'm really glad I've got a wicked sense of humour and enjoy making my friends and family laugh and smile', or
'I love that I get to spend part of each day caring for others and showing them love because kindness is my thing.'
Or if you're me; 'I'm so happy to have my lovely blog readers because I love to research and write and it gives me an audience and a reason to do what I love.'
Psychology for many years has been pretty focused - like you and I - on what's wrong. We became experts on illness and dysfunction and what happens when people get broken.
Then 15 years ago Positive Psychology emerged and we began to ask the question, 'What's right with us?' What makes us grow? Bounce back? Happy? Well? Flourish?'
What makes us win at life?
Two psychologists, Martin E Seligman and Christopher Peterson, got particularly interested in this topic and they spent a good chunk of time putting together a framework for understanding 'character strengths' - the attributes that we all have that bring us happiness when we use them. Things like 'kindness' and 'love of learning' and 'hope' and 'humour' and 'zest.'
There's a questionnaire that you can complete online, the VIA Strengths Survey, that they developed from this research and many coaches (like myself) use the results from this questionnaire to help you to understand your strengths and to use them more in everyday life.
Why would we want to do that?
Because we know that understanding and using your strengths helps to:
1. Increase your happiness and wellbeing
2. Increase your confidence
3. Build your self esteem
4. Create energy and vitality
5. Reduce stress
6. Build your resilience.
Pretty cool huh?
Knowing and using your strengths is a big steps towards knowing what's right with you and that's a powerful piece of knowledge.
When we focus on what's right instead of what's wrong, we feel confident, not despondent. We experience empowerment, not frustratration, and we take steps towards achieving our goals rather than retreating into that 'I don't know what I'm doing, it's all too hard' place.
Discovering and learning more about my strengths has been a game changer for me. It has explained a lot about why I enjoy doing the things that I do and why I love certain tasks and loathe others.
Knowing my strengths and what's right with me has given me the confidence to write this blog and to pour my energy into working with other women online. I know without a shadow of a doubt that I am doing what's right for me and I get to experience everyday the satisfaction that comes with that.
If you'd like to learn more about your strengths, the VIA Strengths Survey is free, online and it only takes a few minutes to complete. If you'd like to learn more about it or to chat with me about your results, complete the survey at my professional access link here and your results will be sent to both you and me. I'll drop you an email with some further questions and information and we can have a mini coaching chat to uncover more about what's right with you. x