You might find yourself at a loose end right now and wonder what path to take next. Understanding your strengths is a key part to making decisions about your future, and being a little more ‘mindful’ is one way to help you get there.
“Mindfulness opens a door of awareness to who we are and character strengths are what is behind the door.”
What is mindfulness?
Mindfulness is something that all of us possess, but often life gets in the way and we forget to utilise it. If we don’t have the capacity to train the mind, we will be moving through the world unable to realise our greatest potential.
‘Mindfulness is the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us’mindful.org
Firstly, it’s important to understand the most basic of mindfulness techniques, which is how to focus the mind in three steps.
- Focus your attention on a particular thing (for example, your own breathing, or the present moment).
- Notice when your attention has wandered away.
- Bring your attention back.
How can I be more mindful to find my strengths?
By being more mindful day to day it can make it easier for you to be aware of your character strengths. These 5 steps are a good starting point to becoming more mindful in a way that could help you to understand and appreciate your inner strengths and really put them to good use.
Reflect: An important thing to do is to take time to reflect upon your experiences (good or bad). Why was a particular experience good? If it was bad, how did you get through it?
Observe: This technique will encourage you to continuously observe your qualities with curiosity as opposed to trying to seek or spot particular traits.
Communicate: Once you begin to notice patterns, it’s good to communicate with those around you. Get feedback from your family, friends and co-workers on the strengths you have identified. What strengths might others see that you don’t?
Evaluate: Track your strengths in a log by monitoring and writing down when you use them. Evaluate your signature strengths – these might be what you are ‘known for’, secret strengths – that you might have been hiding for a while and strengths that you might like to improve. One thing you might try is to put a ‘strengths’ poster on your wall.
Develop: Set a target around the strength you’d like to develop or display more often, maybe this is a strength that is particularly useful in your dream job, or perhaps it’s something that you didn’t even realise was a strength and you want to benefit from it more. The aim is to create routines around your qualities.