Seeing Our Strengths As Our Values


Our signature strengths, the top five big ones that we can test to identify, are expressed as values.

What a concept.

Let’s think about values.

They are standards or guides to how we are most who we are. When we live most consistently aligned to our values, a way of life that is most expressive of our true nature is formed.

Strengths seen as values are our “compass.”

Our valuing takes the form of these strengths as one of the strongest indicators and answer to the question, “Who am I?” I have never heard a person who has found out what their strengths are ever ask, “Who am I?”

They know.

Take any problem you think you have and talk to your strengths. Yes, have a dialogue with one or more of your strengths. Ask of it, “with this or that in my life, how do I apply this strength? What does this strength have to tell me, teach me?”

How have I created my world from this strength that is also a value? And where in my world am I furthest from its expression or truth?

Where you are closest, you will be happiest, most content and grounded in easy joy. Where you are far enough a way from this strength, you will find how you devalue yourself and your life and live in a disembodied and compromised life. It will usually be experienced as anxiety and depression.

The fundamental expression of a strength as a life value is as a lens to filter out what doesn’t fit and the delusion that allows it to remain.

Our strengths seek the restoration of the truth of who we are and provides the joy that results. It restores our presence to ourselves and to others.

As you dialog with your strengths, can you hear this message…?

“I fill my shoes and they are solid to the ground, my gait is centered with my posture and it is sure. I am firm footed. I sit in my seat, I fit and I am there, present. I am a part of the beauty and excellence I see accurately around me.”

I am learning to embody my strengths, to go beyond an intellectualized understanding of what they are, and to live in them, with clarity and connectedness I can feel.

© Dr. William K. Larkin 

About the author

Dr. William K. Larkin
  • Shuhan Yang, PHR CPCC ACC

    Strength, seen as value is the default version of who we truly are. By honoring and tapping into our strengths, we are allowing our true self to live and thrive. When we are not honoring our strengths and values, we are in misalignment with who we are. We feel stuck, anxious, nervous or depressed. Those are the signals our body sends us and we need to catch those signals as warning signs. That’s when we tap into our strengths and ask ourselves — how can I use my strengths in this negative situation? What does my strengths teach me about this experience?

    Our strengths are our innate wisdom. By playing to our strengths, we are learning to own our experience and love and appreciate ourselves. We become more self-aware, self-referred and powerful individual that commands the reality of our own lives. Often times, I catch myself wanting to seek the truth externally by talking to friends, or people with psychic abilities. Now I understand that habit is actually a sign of not being in touch with my own inner wisdom and strengths. I can have the clarity and answer by just tapping into my strengths. I am also capable of creating my own ideal reality by having my own needs met first and aligning with the ideal outcome physically, emotionally and spiritually.

  • Dr. gloria wright

    Looking at our strengths as our values, is an interesting perspective. Knowing our strengths intellectually is a step toward living out of our strengths and therefore our values. Dr. Larkin calls it our compass. Joy as our compass is not a contradiction. When we live
    out of our best selves, we are the happiest.
    As we use our assets to keep us focused on who we authentically are, we can better align ourselves by asking pertinent questions. How we react to and deal with life is certainly showing our true selves. I like to ask myself, “How would my best and favorite self,
    handle this situation?”
    Here’s how I use My strengths: Creativity, ingenuity, and originality – I even like to
    experiment in my gardens and in cooking. I am not stimulated by the same ole,
    same ole. Familiar breeds comfort – but too much dulls me.
    Appreciation of beauty and excellence – I love enjoying my gardens from my view on my back porch. I enjoy the warmth and beauty that my antiques and treasures bring to my
    home – not just a house.
    Honesty, authenticity, and genuineness – certainly guide my interactions. They are more
    apparent the safer I feel in relationships. I thrive when there is enough trust and caring for me to be my candid, funny self.
    Humor and playfulness – drives the company I keep. I love to engage with humor and even
    silliness. I’m drawn to companions that bring laughter and light into my life.
    Kindness and generosity – play a part in my social decisions. I have dinner parties and
    bridge parties because I enjoy getting ready and watching people enjoy themselves.
    I have often said that I miss being loving as much as I miss being loved.

  • Deborah Logan

    I love the idea of talking to my strengths. I often talk to my self – inner self, I guess that is, so chatting up my strengths sounds meaningful, in fact, I can see them even more as part of the whole that is me. I also really like that other shares from this blog!

Copyright © 2015 The Applied Neuroscience Institute