Shifting Strengths Through Mindfulness
A blog post with a personal example about how strengths shift through mindfulness practices.
Last September I completed the VIA character strengths assessment as part of a coaching class assignment. It was a helpful exercise as I needed to learn my strengths to capitalize on them when building and creating my coaching business. Incorporating your strengths in a project is a great way to create something authentic and fulfilling, which were both desired outcomes of that process.
Here are the top five strengths that were identified in the September 2020 assessment:
1. Love of Learning
5. Appreciation of Beauty and Excellence
It is recommended that you retake the assessment after some time has passed as your strengths can change with time. I took it again in early April out of curiosity, but honestly, I was skeptical and did not expect to see shifts in my strengths after such a short period of time. I was certain that my top strength was the same as I still consider engaging in every learning opportunity that crosses my path. The other strengths are still important to me, but I did not have anything tangible to confirm they remained in the top five.
Here are the results from the April 2021 assessment:
1. Love of Learning
Over that seven months, I increased the use of elevated emotions like gratitude, self-compassionate language, and loving kindness in my mindfulness practices. In fact, they have become a cornerstone of my practice as I find myself utilizing one or more throughout each day. I knew from academic research that these practices can lead to changes in the brain and behavior of the practitioner, but it has only been a few months, and I was only doing them for a short time each day.
Do you see how these focuses of my mindfulness practice are now in the top five?! This is my own personal proof of the change that can occur with a consistent practice of mindfulness focused on gratitude (#2), self-compassion (#3), and loving kindness (#3 and #5). Amazing!!