Using your strengths will take you places. Do you know what they are?


Strength comes in all shapes and sizes


If I were to ask you “What are your greatest strengths?”, would you know the answer? And I don’t mean the answer that you think ‘should’ be the right answer. I mean honest and authentic strengths that are true for you, and not someone else’s strengths that you wish were yours. I also don’t mean the kind of strengths that you’ve heard people say in job interviews. You know the ones – “I’m a hard worker.” “I am good at dealing with people.” “I have good organisational skills.” These responses don’t tell us a lot, and might indicate that you don’t have a great deal of insight about your personal characteristics that make you uniquely YOU.

And if I went on to ask you whether you are using your strengths, I wonder if you could give me a good answer to that.

Perhaps we should take a step back and understand what is meant by personal or signature strengths.


What do I mean by personal or signature strengths?

Your signature strengths are your top strengths. They are the core characteristics that come the most naturally to you, make you feel authentic, alive and engaged. These top strengths are easily displayed across all facets of life, such as school, work, community and family.

There is a strong scientific research base suggesting that one way to find greater happiness and well-being is to use your signature strengths in new ways. That’s why it’s important to understand our personal or signature strengths – so we can harness them and use them to our advantage.


Why should you know your strengths (and your weaknesses)?

If you are invested in your career or personal development, the ‘why’ is important. When you have a good understanding of the ‘why’, you can really begin to care about the ‘what,’ ‘how,’ and ‘what’s next?’

When you know what your strengths are, you can harness them and use them to your advantage to get great results. Sometimes you will have strengths that you don’t even realise are strengths. This can result in wasted opportunity for you to demonstrate and use those strengths to your advantage.

When you know what your weaknesses are, you can use strategies to overcome your weaknesses to turn them into strengths through a path of development. You can also learn to mitigate your weaknesses through deliberately changing behaviours, or bringing other behaviours to the fore to overshadow the weaknesses. When you don’t know what your weaknesses are, you might have a problem! You can’t improve what you don’t know, right?

You don’t have be ready for a new job or career, to want to know your strengths. You might be interested in self-development, or might just want to satisfy your curiosity and do it for fun…


Find your strengths test

There are a few free tests you can do to reveal what your personal strengths are.

Here is one through the VIA Institute on Character:

You will need to complete some registration details in order to take the test.

Here is another: – this a 100 question test that is a fun one. You will need to register your name and email. The results you get from this test show your top 5 skills. If you want any more information than that, you will need to pay for a report. I didn’t pay for a report, rather answered each question and thoughtfully reflected on my top 5.


What are my personal strengths?

As someone who reflects quite a bit, I’m quite in tune with what my personal strengths are. I certainly know what my strengths and weaknesses are in a professional context.

Today I thought I’d take the time to do some tests to see how I fare. This one is through the VIA Institute on Character.

Here are my results:


My personal strengths


To be honest, I was happy but disappointed with my results at the same time. These top strengths of mine certainly ring true for me. I think part of me was hoping they might be strengths that are more ‘powerful’ – whatever that might mean. Like courage and resilience for example. Surely Wonder Woman has a more impressive set of personal strengths than mine? But instead, my top strengths are:

Love – valuing close relations with others, in particular those in which sharing and caring are reciprocated; being close to people.

Appreciation of beauty and excellence – noticing and appreciating beauty, excellence, and/or skilled performance in various domains of life, from nature to art to mathematics to science to everyday experience.

Honesty – speaking the truth but more broadly presenting oneself in a genuine way and acting in a sincere way; being without pretense; taking responsibility for one’s feelings and actions.

Gratitude – being aware of and thankful for the good things that happen; taking time to express thanks.

Hope – expecting the best in the future and working to achieve it; believing that a good future is something that can be brought about.

Next came kindness, fairness and humility.


I am grateful


These are my summary results through site:

High5 strength results

What does these results tell me?

I am who I am. These are my strengths. They are what makes me uniquely ME and not someone else. They absolutely fit my personality, the choices that I make, and my behaviour.

The more I thought about my top strengths, the more I wondered why I was hoping they would be different or ‘better’, especially when I knew they did ring true for me. And I realised that I am perfectly suited to be doing what I’m doing, and that I’m using these strengths in a tangible way every day – building my online businesses from home, and helping others to achieve their own goals to build the lives that they want, in an honest and authentic way. The fact that I see beauty in things and have gratitude and optimism does make writing come quite naturally and honestly.

The whole reason I decided to build an online career from home was to be able to spend more time with my family and be present for them, and to help both myself and others design our best careers for ourselves, on our own terms.

Are your strengths shining through in your work, life and community?

Thanks for reading and I hope you’ve been motivated to investigate and reflect on your strengths. What are your strengths, and are you using them?



Create the life you want



12 thoughts on “Using your strengths will take you places. Do you know what they are?”

  1. I love this post. All of the research shows that you should spend time developing your strengths as opposed to focusing on improving your weaknesses. The key is you first have to find out what you’re good at and you’ve provided a couple of great ways to do just that.

    When someone tells you that you need to improve on your weaknesses…what have you found is the best way to lead them down the path of instead harnessing your strengths?

    • Hi Craig, I agree wholeheartedly that developing and using your strengths is where it’s at. And discovering what those strengths are is key to doing that.

      I do believe there are times when our weaknesses stand in the way and sometimes work to our detriment. When our weaknesses are impeding us reaching our goals or doing our job then I do feel they need to be addressed if we are to succeed. So I believe it’s a balance.

      Thanks for sharing your perspective here, I always appreciate hearing the views of others. Thanks Craig and I wish you all the very best.


    • Hello Melissa,
      What a fabulous article..and to think in terms of core strengths? Wow!
      I so appreciated your honesty with your findings. To me they are beyond fabulous.. if we love more we change the world.. and if that is your reason and core strength..just think how you are changing the world. .
      Superwoman has nothing on you!

      So did enjoy reading this.
      I think you are so right.. we do need to define and know who and what we are and how we choose to live.
      Light the path
      in peace and gratitude, ariel

      • Thanks so much Ariel, you made my day : )

        I’m so glad that you stopped by and shared your thoughts here. “If we love more we change the world” – yes!


  2. I’m glad I got to read this article. I believe that you have a solid base here, and I will be sharing this with my friends and family. Thanks

    • Hi Kevin, thanks, I’m glad you got something out of it. All the very best to you.

  3. Hi Melissa, a great article, thank you for sharing!

    Whilst I agree with you knowing your strengths and weaknesses I am a firm believer in focusing on your strengths. I find that when you focus on your strengths you automatically do the tasks well which in turn gives you more confidence in yourself and you tend to improve in other areas of your life simply by having the confidence in yourself.

    Out of interest I did the high5test and answered 100 questions. My top 5 results are:
    * Self Believer
    * Empathizer
    * Catalyst
    * Deliverer
    * Problem Solver

    I was not sure what to expect however this pretty much describes who I am!

    I have bookmarked your site and will be visiting again to read more of your interesting articles… keep up the good work!

    • Hi Moni, I’m so glad you stopped by! I agree that harnessing our strengths brings us the most success, as our strengths naturally come the easiest for us. And using our strengths is usually an enjoyable experience for us, boosting our confidence and making us feel accomplished.

      It’s a fun test isn’t it? I enjoyed doing it and got some insight from it. I’m glad your results resonated with you. Thanks Moni and I look forward to seeing you here again. All the very best to you.

  4. Hi and thanks for this interesting article.

    My strengths as being reflected by people around me are about the ones you mention in the beginning lol.

    Hard working, empathizing with people, I get along with children very well and I never get stressed in difficult situations.

    I think a weakness is that I don’t know how to sell my self for the price I deserve. Any kind of business skills I have to work on.

    I’ll do one of these tests when I find time and for now share this valuable post with my friends.

    • Hi Stefan,
      I think the weakness you mention is one that’s familiar to so many people. I know that I’m the same with that. Always downplaying my achievements and my worth. How do we change that? I don’t know! Something to reflect on and work at I guess.
      It sounds like you’ve got some things you’d like to work on too, and I wish you all the very best with that. Thanks for stopping by Stefan.

  5. I would have to say my strengths are:


    I think a lot of people focus on their weaknesses though. Meaning, for me I am disorganized at times and rather than harp on that I sometimes don’t have the best organizational skills. However, I did have a question for you, though. What advice would you give people that are trying to improve on their weaknesses?

    • Hi Garen, I really appreciate you sharing your thoughts here, and offering your strengths. Those are some great strengths to have!

      I think it’s absolutely OK to want to improve your weaknesses and the best way to start is to identify if the weaknesses one has are weaknesses that NEED improvement in order to be successful. I think there’s a difference between weaknesses that don’t matter and weaknesses that do matter. For example, if your lack of organisational skills doesn’t really have an impact on your effectiveness, then there’s not a huge driver to improve it unless you want to. However, if your lack of organisational skills is impacting you, such as resulting in poor customer feedback, loss of sales, or whatever it might be, then you should address the weakness. We all have weaknesses and that’s OK.

      The fact is that it’s easier to harness our strengths than it is to improve our weaknesses. As long as we understand our strengths and use them to our advantage, then there’s no harm in identifying our weaknesses and attempting to improve. That’s how we grow. We don’t want to only dwell on our weakness though!


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