What are Your Signature Strengths?

Photo by ChristySherrer

By Mary Jaksch

Do you find life exhausting and frustrating? Or is it easy and exhilarating? The difference between the two experiences may hinge on something simple: whether or not your life is aligned to your signature strengths.

Signature strengths are the things we like doing and are good at. For example, I love learning; it excites me!

We find more happiness and satisfaction in our life if it is aligned with our signature strengths.

Imagine for a moment that your top signature strength was curiosity. You would be interested in how things work and would happily spend hours tinkering in a shed, taking things apart and putting them together again. What kind of job would make you happy? Maybe being an inventor, or a repair-person. You would happily pour over the bit that doesn’t function, forget about lunch, and wonder, “Why doesn’t the bl..dy thing work?”

But put you in a highly constrained job as a store manager or as a factory worker at a conveyor belt and you would be unhappy and unfulfilled.

In the following, you’ll find Martin Seligman’s 24 signature strengths. When you consider the various signature strengths, take note of the ones where you immediately think, ‘Yep, that’s me!’.

I’ll tell you at the end of this post which are my signature strengths (as well as my signature weaknesses…)

Which description in the following list fits the real You?

1. Love of Learning

You love learning new things, whether you are in a class or on your own. You find opportunities to learn wherever you go and what ever you do.

2. Bravery(valor)

You don’t shrink from threat, challenge, difficulty, or pain. You speak up for what is right even if you encounter opposition and act on convictions even if they are unpopular.

3. Vitality (zest, enthusiasm, vigor, energy)

You approach life with zest, enthusiasm, and energy – For you, life is an adventure.

4. Leadership

You excel at the tasks of leadership: encouraging a group to get things done and preserving harmony within the group by making everyone feel included.

5. Appreciation of beauty and excellence (awe, wonder, elevation)

You notice and appreciate beauty, excellence, and skilled performance in all domains of life.

6. Humor (playfulness)

You like to laugh and tease. You try to see the light side of all situations.

7. Creativity (originality, ingenuity)

Thinking of new ways to do things is a crucial part of who you are. You are never content with doing something the conventional way if a better way is possible.

8. Curiosity (interest, novelty-seeking, openness to experience)

You take an interest in all of ongoing experience for its own sake. You find subjects and topics fascinating, and love exploring and discovering.

9. Open-mindedness (judgment, critical thinking)

You tend to think things through and examine them from all sides. You don’t jump to conclusions and are able to change your mind in light of evidence.

10. Perspective (wisdom)

You are able to provide wise counsel to others. You have ways of looking at the world that make sense to yourself and to other people.

11. Persistence (perseverance, industriousness)

You work hard to finish what you start. No matter what the project is, you get it done in time.

12. Integrity [authenticity, honesty]

You are an honest person, not only by speaking the truth but by living your life in a genuine and authentic way.

13. Love

You value close relations with others. The people to whom you feel most close are the same people who feel most close to you.

14. Kindness (generosity, nurturance, care, compassion, altruistic love, “niceness”)

You are kind and generous to others, and you are never too busy to do a favour.

15. Social Intelligence (emotional intelligence, personal intelligence)

You are aware of the motives and feelings of other people. You know what to do to fit in to different social situations, and you know what to do to put others at ease.

16. Fairness

Treating all people fairly is one of your most important principles. You do not let your personal feelings bias your decisions about other people.

17. Gratitude

You are aware of the good things that happen to you, and you never take them for granted. You always take the time to express your thanks.

18. Hope [optimism, future-mindedness, future orientation]

You expect the best in the future, and you work to achieve it. You believe that the future is something that you can control.

19. Spirituality [religiousness, faith, purpose]

You have strong and coherent beliefs about the higher purpose and meaning of the universe.

20. Forgiveness and mercy

You forgive those who have done you wrong. Your guiding principle is mercy and not revenge.

21. Self-regulation[self-control]

You regulate what you feel and what you do. You are a disciplined person.

22. Citizenship [social responsibility, loyalty, teamwork]

You excel as a member of a group. You are a loyal and dedicated teammate.

23. Humility/Modesty

You do not seek the spotlight, preferring to let your accomplishments speak for themselves. You do not regard yourself as special.

24. Prudence

You are a careful person. You do not say or do things that you might later regret.

These are all the 24 signature strengths according to Martin Seligman. You can take the signature strengths test here. (It’s a free online test but takes some time to do)

My top strengths are ‘Curiosity and interest in the world’,‘Love of learning’, and ‘Zest, enthusiasm, and energy’. I rate low on ‘Caution, prudence, and discretion’, ‘Citizenship, teamwork, and loyalty’, and ‘Modesty and humility’.

I think my life is well oriented towards my signature strengths. For sure that’s one reason I’m happy and content. Just imagine how unhappy I would be if I built my life around my signature weaknesses and was a politician or an accountant!

How about you?
What are your signature strengths and weaknesses?
Is your life aligned with your strengths?
If not, what would you need to change?

You might like to check out the following links:

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  1. I love the message of pleasure in working with your strengths. Thank you for the summary of all 24 strengths, very informative.

    It looks like I need to take the test. Many on the list appeal to me, but I’m not quite sure which ones actually apply to me. Thanks for the info.

  2. Mary Jaksch says:

    Welcome, Sterling! It’s a good idea to take the test, although it’s quite a lengthy process.
    It would also be quite fun to ask a close friend to do the test on our behalf. They might see things differently!

  3. As a secular humanist, I find it disgusting that spirituality is labeled a “strength”.

    It’s highly offensive to those of us who are not deluding ourselves with religion, because it labels us as being “weak” because we don’t believe in supernatural nonsense.

    It would also imply that the deeper or more extreme your faith is, the more “strength” you have.

    That’s obvious nonsense. It’s also delusional to think that there is any “higher purpose” and that you are somehow part of it. Fortunately most people today don’t ordinarily think in such terms even when they do retain some vague religious feelings.

  4. Mary Jaksch says:

    @ Anthony
    Thank you for you comment, Anthony. It’s great to have some fire on this blog!

    As a Zen Buddhist I don’t hold with supernatural beings or ‘higher purpose’ either. But I respect those with a quiet and deep faith.

    Zen Master Robert Aitken Roshi once said, “If I had the choice of being operated on by a secular surgeon, or one that goes to mass each morning, I’d choose the second one without hesitation!”

    Why did he say that? Well, maybe because people with a purpose in life that is wider and broader than just their own gratification are more likely to truly work in service of others.

    The term ‘spirituality’ is difficult and sometimes vexing. If it’s taken to be a view that is somehow ‘higher’ than ordinary reality, something is awry. Someone who sees spirituality as ‘elevation’ and ‘transcendence’ misses that the marvel is revealed in the ordinary moment.

    Having said that, I do think that having a practice in life that fosters wisdom (in a sense of overview and connectedness) is maybe important. That might be prayer, or meditation, or a body practice.

    What do others think about this?

  5. “Why did he say that? Well, maybe because people with a purpose in life that is wider and broader than just their own gratification are more likely to truly work in service of others.”

    That’s the kind of stuff that really annoys me.

    Secular humanists are just as like as likely as anyone else to work in the service of others. That smacks of morality being handed down by the god-thing, which is incredibly insulting.

    Remember that prisons are full of the deeply religious..

  6. @Anthony – I feel where you’re coming from. I was raised in a very religious family (bordering on fanatical) and hated it. So for many years I was very anti-religion.

    But, I’ve always felt a HUGE difference between spiritual practice and religion. To me spirituality as a strength is very valid, but like other strengths doesn’t apply to everyone.

    Nowhere in this post is it suggested that if you lack one of these strengths than you’re labeled as “weak”. It just means you have other strengths.

    None of these strengths are listed as superior to other strengths…they’re just different. So to count out the strength of Spirituality because it doesn’t appeal to you is like counting out the strength of Logic because you prefer Creativity.

    Mother Theresa and Gandhi are both considered very effective humanitarians. Many would agree that their purpose and productivity were based on their Spiritual strength.

    It doesn’t mean that Mother Theresa is better than Einstein. They’re both extraordinary people with different strengths.

    You might value reason and intellect over the spiritual, and that’s ok. Others might value spirituality and that is ok too.

    When people stop being ok with other’s beliefs and start bashing, that’s when religious fervor turns ugly.

  7. I disagree with Anthony’s assertion, “It’s … delusional to think that there is any “higher purpose” and that you are somehow part of it.” And more generally the assertion that it is objectively offensive that spirituality is not a strength. What the article is suggesting is that each of these may subjectively be a “strength” for an individual, and that living his or her life around such strengths is psychologically beneficial for that individual. Whether there may be a “better” choice of word than “strength” is open to discussion, but I think the point is that it generally accepts we are individual. Also, whether the specific claims of the article are true is open to discussion also.

    Given than humanism as a movement rejects religion [Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy; Wikipedia], I don’t find it surprising that a humanist would disagree with spiritual belief. However, humanism is a rational movement, and I find such emotive language inappropriate to a rational stance. Surely if humanists resorts to apparently emotional argument they are guilty of the same irrational discussion on things relating to religion as they accuse the religious themselves of?

    I believe everyone is entitled to their point of view, and to its expression, however. It is irrational to expect everyone to agree with or adopt a single viewpoint. There are may examples in the modern world and throughout history of the suffering that arises when some attempt to force others to do so. For my own part, I am a Buddhist having been an atheist and scientist (as in scientism – the belief that science alone can explain the universe) for many years prior. It was through analysing science that I came to an understanding that mirrored much of Buddhism.

    But throughout those years, I never found lasting happiness until I found Buddhism. And that is because of the spiritual aspect of it; something that I believe most if not all people need, psychologically, to some degree or another. But the main claim of Buddhism is simple: It has found a successful route to lasting happiness, that also seeks to help others; and does this without proselytizing and on recommendation that anyone interested try the teachings for themselves. If they do not have merit for the individual, he or she is free to walk away. It offers a spiritual explanation as well as rational, philosophical analysis that matches scientific findings well. I would argue that it is precisely the lack of any belief in a “higher purpose” and a spiritual element that is a major cause of personal unhappiness and social and international problems; including among humanists and people of any particular faith.

    If anyone finds a belief centred on the ending of unhappiness disgusting, then I believe they deserve our compassion. If it is delusional, I think any Buddhist would argue it is the person finding it so that is deluded. In either event, the non-Buddhist is just as entitled to his or her beliefs. All I ask is that the other recognises my entitlement too, and at least make an effort to understand the Buddhist viewpoint before criticising or lumping Buddhist spirituality with other systems.

  8. My wife and I bought our first home in 1973. The couple we bought it from had a young child, and while we were waiting for her parents to do something inside the house, she was outside with us.

    Playing in the street.

    This wasn’t a real busy street, but still.. I said to her “Honey, it’s dangerous to play in the street”

    She looked up at me and said “Jesus won’t let anything happen to me”

    That’s pretty strong religious faith. It’s also extremely stupid, and I’m sure that all but the most insane of the religious would agree.

    Ian, I said nothing that should be construed as you framed it. You are setting up straw men. If your silly beliefs make you happy, I’m all for it: believe whatever you want and BE happy. I simply objected the the categorization of religious belief as “strength”. Delusion may make you happy, but it isn’t a “strength”.

    Of course it isn’t surprising that the deluded THINK that it is. But it’s amazingly insulting.

    Consider this: you are quite willing to insist that lack of belief is a reason for unhappiness just because belief makers YOU happy. I believe that eating unsalted peanuts makes me happy and that if you don’t eat them, you are a lesser person.

    Of course you’d consider that idiotic. Turn the mirror around.

  9. Mary Jaksch says:

    Thank you for your calm post, Ian. It’s very easy to get caught up in the anger and unhappiness of others. But you stayed calm.

    I am grateful to you, because I want GoodlifeZen a place where we can share our thoughts, feelings, and experiences in a peaceful and respectful way.

    By the way, what where your signature strengths?

  10. Anthony,

    Others can draw their own conclusions regarding what I wrote, and on the merits or otherwise of Buddhism. As indeed they can on what you wrote and the merits or otherwise of that. But since Buddhism offers a suggestion on the question of how to find lasting happiness, perhaps you can offer an alternative? Then others can draw their own conclusions on the relative merits of Buddhism versus your suggestion. If you like, you could provide weblinks and suggested reading, so that others could explore your viewpoint further; and I will do the same in which case.

    I wish you well in finding lasting peace and happiness if that is your wish.

  11. Mary,

    In decreasing order (strongest to least strong), my top five are listed as:

    1. Creativity, ingenuity, and originality,
    2. Spirituality, sense of purpose, and faith,
    3. Fairness, equity, and justice,
    4. Caution, prudence, and discretion,
    5. Judgment, critical thinking, and open-mindedness.

  12. Mary Jaksch says:

    Thank you for sharing your ‘signature strengths’ with us. (I tend to think of a ‘signature strength’ as ‘character bias’). Actually, your comments already reveal many of these qualities.

    I don’t know if you read the article Beyond Authentic Happiness – 10 Reasons to Doubt Seligman that I referred to at the end of the post. One of the problems he highlights is that self testing is a doubtful matter and we may be deluding ourselves about our signature strengths.
    I think that’s a very interesting thought.

    I reckon that some signature strengths are missing in this test. For example, my top ‘strength’ – that is, the thing I enjoy most and where I’m most effective – is teaching. In fact, it doesn’t seem to matter, what I teach! Apart from my ususal Zen teaching, I’m having to assist my partner David with his tango classes at present. Which turns me into a de-facto tango teacher 🙂 That a rather unexpected twist in life!

    What I love is being able to spot talent, bring it out for the person to see themselves, and then to say, “I told you so!”

    My peak experience in teaching was when I taught my sister-in-law Carmen (who is from Columbia) to drive a car. She had just arrived in the USA. She didn’t believe she would be able to pass the test and get a driving license, and no-one else in the family believed it either. I took her driving every day until she finally passed the test with top marks. You should have seen my wrap-around-grin!

    Is there anyone else who finds that their main passion isn’t covered in the list of signature strenths?

  13. suedaz says:

    “18…You believe that the future is something that you can control.”

    This is simply NOT TRUE- we control very little. My 42 yr old husband died last April, suddenly and instantly -and sadly our future, the one we had planned, evaporated in a second.

    I think it’s fine to have direction-but I will never be at ease with planning much too far ahead of the present moment anymore. Our control is illusionary at best.

  14. Mary Jaksch says:

    Thank you for sharing your sad story with us. I’m just in the process of finishing an Ebook called: ‘From Storm to Stillness: How to Weather a Life Crisis’. (It will offer it for free on GoodlifeZen). When it’s completed, I’ll email you a copy, Sue.

    The point you raise is important. I think we have to dance on a knife edge here: One on hand to create a plan for, say, the next 5 years is helpful, because it gives direction to what we do right now. On the other hand, we need to be aware that life can change from one moment to the other.

    That’s why it’s so important to say to our loved ones that we love them! Once we’re in that oblong box it’s too late.

  15. Wow, does anyone else feel the flames?

    It occurs to me that many of these traits could be considered weaknesses.

    “Humor? There are unspeakable tragedies happening around the world every day. Anyone who has the nerve to find humor in a world of suffering is disrespectful to those who don’t have the luxury of making jokes.”

    “Kindness? Anyone who is never too busy to do a favor will never be free to do anything else. Someone who volunteers to be a slave to others really needs to get a backbone.”

    These are just hypothetical opinions, and not mine. My point is that spirituality is not necessarily the only controversial strength.

  16. Muhammad says:

    I appreciate the article and author for putting light over the subject of human science and describing the elements. Though I think there are unseen factors which we may never understand. Since we are the beings created by the mercy of GOD, its a fact we all are special and have special strengths, to play certain roles in our lives.
    Best wishes,

  17. Mary Jaksch says:

    @Hunter Nuttall
    Thank you for your observation, Hunter. I think you’re right: Each character bias (or ‘strength’) can also be quite negative if used in a way that is harmful.
    I think it’s easy to get tangled up with the word ‘strength’.

  18. AmazingMess says:

    Depending on if I have some time of my own, I sometimes like to play with these tests. Not that I take them very seriously, but, you know, once involved, it catches you somehow, and the whole thing may turn out into another cage. It is written somewhere that those who create the cages cannot learn. Only the birds can. Problem is that bird and cage have excisted so many ages together that birds don’t know anymore what to do without the cages. So we are left with a life ‘dancing on the razors edge’ as Mary has so kindly put it.

    My score on this test:
    1 Appreciation of beauty and excellence
    2 Kindness and generosity
    3 Love of learning
    4 Capacity to love and be loved
    5 Curiosity and interest in the world

  19. Mary Jaksch says:

    Welcome to GoodlifeZen, Mohammad. It’s great to see your comment as a reminder that there are many people who take strength and comfort from their faith in God.

    By the way – I spent some time in Morocco this year and was impressed by the friendliness, hospitality, and cheerfulness of the people. I felt safe even in huge crowds in Marrakesh market because nobody was drunk and there is such a focus on ethical conduct. My positive experience was very different from the way Islam is usually portrayed in our media!

  20. Mary Jaksch says:

    @ AmazingMess
    Thank you for sharing your ‘score’!

    I wonder if you would mind also sharing with us how these strength shape your life? Do you think that your life reflects these strengths? Or will you have to reshape your life to be aligned with some of these strengths?

  21. Muhammad says:

    Basically I am a computer software engineer, living a very fast life. However as per my knowledge I will try to explain. When we get selfless and realize the life is about helping others and performing our duties for Allah, we get the strengths. Selflessness means that when we don’t do things for just our own sake, when we actually ignore our personal desires and focus on humanity. Helping others brings great sense of happiness, relief and satisfaction.

    Every human is unique and surely possesses great deal of energy and strength. Everyone has their own ways to utilizing this energy and recognizing it. We must explore ourselves and find out what skills we have and put them on good work.

    If we run after life, for our personal worldly desires, we will keep running all our lives and may never be fulfill our desires. While on the other hand, we realize and accept a life after death and know that the world is created for a test between good and evil, and we must support good and work for it. That will bring us satisfaction that even if we do not have certain something, its not the end of life, in fact its just a beginning.

  22. AmazingMess says:

    In applying these top 5 strengths to my daily life I feel quite uncomfortable. Almost immediatly my Dutch calvinistic amniotic fluid shows me a vicar with a raised finger. ‘This is way over the top, keep acting normally, you are already acting mad enough then’. They don’t seem to suit me and are more likely to be owned by Zorro, one of the heroes of my youth, or they suit some heroic caracter in one of these online virtual world games where a lot of kids are involved in nowadays.
    In my domestic life they aren’t also the first noticable aspects, nor are my frieds telling me these kind of things, at least very seldom. If they would say it more often, I probably would get the feeling that they were burying me or that they were talking about some other person.
    For a while I could cope with these strengths, and act as such a person, I suppose, but soon I would be missing my other half, my dark and negative side, not neccesarily weak. I don’t seem to be able to live a life which is positive alone for very long. But, than again, this is no reason for not acting and responding in a positive way to other people.
    It reminds me of the latest entry that Anne Frank wrote in her diary: “…and keep trying to find a way to become what I’d like to be and what I could be if . . . if only there were no other people in the world.”

  23. Mary Jaksch says:

    According to your previous comment, your top two strengths are ‘Appreciation of beauty and excellence’ and ‘Kindness and generosity’. You say: ‘For a while I could cope with these strengths, and act as such a person, but soon I would be missing my other half, my dark and negative side, not neccesarily weak.’

    I think we would be like cardboard cutouts if we only tried to live our sunny sides. I reckon that it’s important to gives ourselves permission to be human.

  24. qma says:

    I was very unhappy about students’ work ethic and many other things during my first few years of teaching college kids. I thought it was because that I was a foreigner and didn’t understand the culture here. I knew I needed some adjustments. After some thought, I believed that my “expectation” of students was the main reason that I was so frustrated. So, I decided to expect nothing from students and to just offer my help to students who truly want to learn. Wow, what a life change decision. I am now able to laugh about the shortcomings of college students and to be proud of those great students I have. I now enjoy my job so much more. I have also applied the “expect nothing” principle to other situations. I am so much happier without expecting anyone (including myself) to meet MY expectation or demand. I get along so much better with my kids and husband. It just makes my life so much more peaceful.

  25. MonkMojo says:

    I have recently started a webcomic focused on life hack topics. I highlight
    Mary’s article.

    MonkMojo applies for a job not well suited for his strengths.

  26. Mary Jaksch says:

    @ MonkMojo
    Thanks for your funny comic, Brent. I had a good laugh when I saw it!

  27. thank you for illustrating your article with my photo.

  28. Mary Jaksch says:

    @ Christy Scherrer
    Thank you for making your beautiful photo available for public use!

  29. […] What Are Your Signature Strengths? – GoodlifeZen.com on Seligman’s 24 character strengths test. […]

  30. […] good at. It’s important to be clear about what we are good at. As I pointed out in my article on signature strengths, we tend to be happier if our life is aligned with our signature strengths. And – conversely – you […]

  31. […] a nice list of all 24 Signature Strengths with short descriptions at Goodlife […]

  32. Trent M. says:

    Love of Learning- I positively love learning. Though I admit, I’m very picky about what I want to learn. For example, only specific parts of history interest me. Those being prehistory and ancient civilizations. When it comes to math, I only enjoy learning things that I know I could apply to my life (sppecifically art). Science and literature, I enjoy. But usually I enjoy the unknown. Learning about theories and possibilities rather than actual fact. Mythology, for example, is something I find deeply interesting. And now I have that deep interest for many different techniques of meditation.

    Bravery- I have not always been brave. In fact, as long as I can remember, I’ve been quite the push-over (which I undoubtedly inherited from my mother). However, in recent years, I’ve acquired quite the backbone. Even in the past when I had no “spine”, if things went to far, especially with a friend or family member being troubled by someone, I was quite the little ball of fury. And I still am in this case, not only more so, but along with my courage to stand for other things.

    Humor- Humor is certainly a key strength of mine. While I don’t always use humor to lighten up my pessimistic attitude or thoughts and worries, I allow what comedic talents I have to lighten, cheer up, and lift the moods of my friends and family or anyone who might need it.

    Creativity- As I have mentioned before, creativity is one of my strengths. I’ve been creative as long as I can remember and incorporate my gift in life every day.

    Curiosity- I’m very curious. However, curiosity kills the cat as they say. Which is why I know when to “stop”. Though taking an electronic device apart sounds more than fun, I do not do it in caution to that I may not know how to put it back together. And for example, animals and plants. I’m very careful if examining something “new” in regard to the fact that some flora and fauna can be poisonous. So I’m especially hesitant to physically examine a bug or plant.

    Open-mindedness- I’ve always been open-minded, but some of that “open-ness” was closed up a bit by my dad, who is quite the bigot. In recent years, I have regained that “open-ness” but in certain instances, I’m sometimes narrow minded. This is only when I hold onto a belief of mine because I feel that it is sort of a “safety blanket” to an insecurity I possess.

    Perspective- Being an artist, I suppose I naturally see things in many perspectives. I’m also very good at putting myself in others shoes. I’ve always been mature for my age and shown wisdom beyond my years, which may be why so many of my friends rely on me to be their personal, mini “Dr. Phil”. I enjoy this because I help my friends and often give them beneficial advice. The only time that I get annoyed by this is some of my “friends” take advantage of this, but never give the time to listen to ME and my problems, only blabbing on about the drama in their life.

    Love- Another thing I’ve mentioned before, is my golden heart. Sometimes I feel my depression tints this golden heart of mine, but it always glimmers brightly when I’m giving my love to a friend or family member. Though there is somewhat of a weakness to this, which is that I do not know how to love myself. But I’m working on it!

    Kindness- I believe this goes along a bit with my heart of gold. I’m very kind. I always have been. Especially when it’s to a friend or member of my family.

    Spirituality- I was born and raised here in Texas. My home town and current residence is a small town, church-going, farming community. For me, it is hell. I have never fit in and was violently bullied both physically and verbally throughout my school years (thankfully I now attend and alternative school). I have been picked on for being different, and flamboyant. The only time I ever was respected was when someone brought up my artistic abilities, which even the bullies gave me credit for (they also forced me to draw for them on assignments that required it). When I went back to school last year at the age of 16, everyone found out that I was homosexual. Which, as you can imagine, living in this farming church-going community, made things only twice as worse. My parents have always been shoving Christianity down my throat. And even more so now that they have found out that I am gay. This has resulted me in being very anti-religious. It has caused me to go agnostic. Which from what I know, is basically like being an atheist. Except you do believe in a higher power, a higher purpose, and a possible after life. I’ve always felt quite strong about my spiritual emotions. Which is why I have chosen Spirituality as a strength. Reading your blog has introduced me to Buddhism and has caused me to learn about it, which will probably result in me converting.

    Humility/Modesty- I suppose my lack of confidence and depression are what results in this being a “strength” of mine. There are very little things I’m confident in about myself. These include knowing that I’m a kind and loving person, a good and genuine friend, a very intellectual individual, and a very creative person. Though I love that I have an artistic ability, and have no idea what I’d do without it, I’m highly critical on my work and often have doubts about my abilities.
    Prudence- Prudence is certainly an aspect of mine. My mind is very well aware of when I need to avoid doing or saying something, but I sometimes choose not to listen to it and do or say so anyways. This is usually when someone insults or talks badly about something I hold close to my heart or about someone I love. I’m a terribly defensive individual.

    Appreciation of beauty and excellence

    All of the above used to be strengths of mine, except for Appreciation of beauty and excellence (something I didn’t even think about as a child) and self-regulation. The reason these are no longer strengths are due to my depressive state.

    But, I can look at this list of weaknesses and use it as motivation to wash away this pathetic pessimism and depression and recover these extraordinary lost strengths!

    Excellent article. This is a great series.

  33. Mary Jaksch says:

    Thank you for this rich and honest comment! It must be hell for you to grow up in a bible-bashing household where your sexual orientation and your creativity aren’t honored.

    Hold on to the thought that you are soon old enough to create your own life and find companions who treat you with the respect you deserve.

    I recently stayed in a ‘hetero-friendly’ gay hotel and it was great to see that the age of gay-bashing is really over – at least in the big cities.

    As to your strength – I love the way you are clear about what your strength and weaknesses are like! That shows a lot of natural wisdom.

  34. Trent M. says:

    You’re more than welcome. :3
    And yes, it really, truly is.
    But I’m trying to have the attitude of “What doesn’t kill me, only makes me stronger.”
    Which is much better than being somewhat suicidal as I had been in the past…
    That’s very true. It will be all over and worth the wait eventually.
    Really? Oh, wow. That’s really awesome. I’m glad to know some parts of the world are like that. It gives me… Hope.
    Aw, thank you. That really means a lot. In fact, it made my day.

  35. […] a nice list of all 24 Signature Strengths with short descriptions at Goodlife […]

  36. […] to be of service to others – and collaborate from a position of signature strength. There are 24 signature strengths that science have […]

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