Strength Finding: 57 Questions, Exercises & Activities
What are your strengths? Check out these activities and self-reflection questions to get a better idea of your areas of strength.
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Are you struggling to find your strengths? In this article, we'll help you evaluate a variety of different parts of yourself to identify which ones are your strengths. Exploring these parts of yourself can help you prepare for job interviews, pursue opportunities that are a good fit for you, and even boost your well-being.
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What Are Strengths?
Strengths can be knowledge, traits, skills, and talents that are considered positive. In theory, we should know our own strengths--we are the ones who have them, right?! But knowing our strengths means knowing ourselves, knowing how we compare to others, and knowing how others see us. All this makes it a bit tricky to evaluate our strengths. That's why doing exercises to find our strengths can be helpful. We might ask ourselves questions, reflect on past experiences, or ask our friends to find our strengths.
Why Might We Want to Find Our Strengths?
1. Finding your strengths can increase self-awareness
By spending some time thinking about your strengths (and weaknesses) you might get to know new things about yourself. Even beyond discovering your specific strengths, you might discover other things about the way you think or the way other people think about you.
2. Finding your strengths can help you like yourself more
Strength finding is a tool that is often used in positive psychology. That's because thinking about our strengths can help us focus more on the positive aspects of ourselves (Proyer, Gander, Wellenzohn, & Ruch, 2015).
3. Finding your strengths can show you what to focus on
Once we know our strengths, we can use those strengths to improve our lives. For example, in one study where people used a personal strength each day for one week, they showed an increase in happiness, and that increase in happiness persisted six months later (Seligman, Steen, Park, & Peterson, 2005).
Strength Finding Questions
To start finding your strengths, consider asking yourself some of the following questions. Write down your answers so that you can reflect on them later.
Finding your skills
Finding your 'soft' skills
Finding your character strengths
Video: How to Find Your Strengths
Strength Finding Test
Want to keep assessing your strengths? Indicate how much you agree or disagree with the following statements. Keep an eye out for high scores—these are likely to your areas of strength.
*questions were drawn from research at ipip.ori.org.
If you want to find even more strengths, here's a huge list of character strengths.
Video: How to Focus on Strengths
Strengths Finding Exercises
In addition to asking yourself questions to find your strengths, it can be helpful to do other activities to help you better understand your strengths and how to use them effectively. Here are few strength finding exercises you may enjoy:
Strength finding exercise 1: Imagine your best self
Take a moment now to imagine the best possible version of yourself in the future (Sheldon & Lyubomirsky, 2006). Try to be as specific as possible by thinking about the best possible life you can imagine. Ask yourself, who would you be? What would be your strengths and how would you be using them? Where would you be? What would you be doing?
Strength finding exercise 2: Reflect more deeply on your positive qualities
Once you know some of your character strengths, take a moment to reflect on how these strengths affect your life. What do you do that shows these strengths? What are the positive impacts of these strengths on your life? And how do your strengths benefit others? Think through what it actually means that you have these strengths.
Strength finding exercise 3: Build your strengths
We often want to work on our weaknesses, but we can also work on making our strengths even stronger. Take a moment to think about how you could get even better at one of your strengths, turning it into a super-strength. Might you practice using your strength more often? Get feedback from others on how to improve this strength? Or, ask yourself, might you use this strength in new contexts or situations? Building on our strengths can actually be an easy and beneficial way to improve our skills.
A Few More Examples of Strengths
Here are some more strengths to explore. Do you think you have any of these?
Strength Finding Activities
Here are a few other free strength-finding tools and activities from reliable sources around the web.
Strength Finding (SWOT) Analysis
SWOT analysis is another tool that can be used to evaluate the ‘strengths’, ‘weaknesses’, ‘opportunities’, and ‘threats’ involved in any plan, project, or activity (Gürel & Tat, 2017). Although SWOT analysis is a tool that is most often used by businesses, it may also be useful in helping us think about any goal or project we would like to pursue.
Strengths and weaknesses are our internal factors. Opportunities and threats are external factors. It is thought that SWOT is a useful strategic planning tool. By knowing more about where you (or your project) is strong or weak, you can make more informed decisions about what to pursue or what to do next (Gürel & Tat, 2017).
Strength Finding Articles
Want to keep using your strengths? Check out these related articles to keep learning.