Build Your Confidence - Three Things I Did Well Today

My Personal Strengths:

The ‘Strengths Movement’ is a social movement, based on the approaches of positive psychology, and it’s intended to change how we view ourselves, our world, and other people. Its philosophy is based on the importance of focusing on our positive qualities rather than our faults, on what’s best about us rather than what’s worst.  Although it’s often necessary to acknowledge our weaknesses, human nature makes us prone to seeing our shortcomings in much sharper focus than our assets. By recognising our strong points and giving ourselves credit for them, we’re more likely to utilise these well and live happier, healthier and more creative lives.

The following list is taken from the VIA (Virtues in Action) Inventory of Strengths and was developed by Psychologists Christopher Peterson and Martin Seligman. In this inventory there are six core virtues compiled from philosophies, religions and traditions down the ages. The sub-headings below each virtue are the strengths that it takes to realise these virtues in our lives. 


Wisdom and Knowledge:

Cognitive strengths that involve the attainment and use of knowledge.

These include:

  • Creativity – finding new ways of doing things, using our common sense
  • Curiosity – being interested in a variety of subjects and experiences
  • Open-mindedness – critical thinking, being a rational thinker, being able to make good judgements, having a balanced outlook
  • Love of learning – increasing knowledge for its own sake, enjoying learning new things and having new experiences
  • Perspective – wisdom, seeing the big picture, being considered wise



Emotional strengths that enable us to accomplish goals in the face of opposition.

These include:

  • Bravery – making a stand, overcoming fear, daring to be the sole voice
  • Persistence - finishing what was started, not getting sidetracked, going on in the face of adversity
  • Integrity – honesty, keeping promises, being genuine and open, doing what we say we’re going to do
  • Vitality – zest, enthusiasm, living life to the full, having energy, loving life



Interpersonal strengths that involve nurturing and supporting others.

These include:

  • Love – capacity to love and be loved, valuing and having intimate loving relationships
  • Kindness – generosity, helping others, caring, showing empathy
  • Social intelligence – sensing what other people feel, awareness of our own feelings, being at ease with others



Civic strengths that create healthy community life.

These include:

  • Citizenship – teamwork, loyalty, working well in a group
  • Fairness – treating people equally, not discriminating on the basis of our own biases
  • Leadership – organising and motivating other people



Strengths that protect against excess.

These include:

  • Forgiveness and Mercy – forgive and forget attitudes
  • Humility/Modesty – awareness of our place in a larger universe
  • Prudence – making careful choices, avoiding unnecessary danger
  • Self-regulation – controlling emotions, self-discipline, keeping ourselves on the ‘straight and narrow’



Strengths that forge connections to the larger universe and provide meaning in our lives. These include:

  • Appreciation of beauty and excellence – noticing it, creating it and/or being inspired by it
  • Gratitude – thanking people, counting blessings
  • Hope – believing in the future, planning for the future, believing in good possibilities
  • Humour – bringing smiles and laughter, working playfully
  • Spirituality – having a calling in life, developing coherent beliefs about a higher meaning to our lives
Page 3 of 4