Strengths are also called virtues and values because of their fundamental importance.
They are your ways of “being” who you really are.
These superhighways of neuropathways are unique to you and they are the only ones that you can travel and be who you really are. Your values, as your strengths, are who you are.
Get off the highway and some voice within you, first of all your feelings, will start to give you messages that you need to change your direction, make a turn, take the next exit and go back, just as surely as the GPS system in your car won’t give up until you’re on your chosen route.
The greater your alignment, your consistency and your focus is on your strengths, the more in alignment with your Real Self you are going to feel.
You will feel more in sync, more in control, more in harmony, more like you are “in your own skin”.
It is when we play to our weaknesses that we begin to feel “out of sync”, disconnected, out of alignment, anxious, frustrated, and in a state of discord.
The more you use your strengths, that are also your basic values and virtues, the happier you will be.
Your strengths are in fact the GPS of your life if you know them and allow yourself to use them.
Restless, listless, out-of-sync, unsettled and out of your own skin; these are the word that describe us when we are not playing to our strengths. They are the things we experience when we are playing to our weaknesses.
We you know your strengths (because they have been scientifically tested) it’s easier to play to your strengths so long as you stay in an UpSpiral.
In a DownSpiral or when we are down spiraling, we will not play to our strengths, but rather to their opposites, which are our weaknesses or our character defects.
The opposites of our strengths are wonderful things because they warn us by feeling restless, listless, out-of-sync, unsettled, bored, irritable, and frustrated.
The more we play to our weaknesses, the worse these things get
It is amazing that we think so little about using our strengths when we are DownSpiraling. They are just not in our focus. That’s because the DownSpiral is characterized most by narrowing, but it starts by questioning and doubting yourself.
Go down a negative path with a particular negative thought, and it’s very much like going from a “1” or a “2” to a “10”.
From doubting just a little, in a few short minutes, you doubt where you live, where you work, who you love, and why you’re doing anything you’re doing. That’s a bit of an exaggeration but you can identify.
Then there comes the sense that things are beginning to get on top of you –that there is just too much to deal with. That is followed by the sense that you can’t make sense out of things –they just don’t seem to fit together in one way or another.
The DownSpiral shuts you off from your repertoire of strengths, options and abilities, it shuts you off from faith, it shuts you off from doing the very things that keep you in an UpSpiral and gets you to question whether they work or not.
When, in fact, if you were doing the things that worked to stay in an UpSpiral, you wouldn’t be headed into a DownSpiral.
Your strengths are one of your best guides to recognizing and deepening the UpSpiral of your life.
© Dr. William K. Larkin