What are Signature Strengths?

A strength is a particular way of behaving, thinking or feeling that enables optimal performance. Your signature strengths are the character strengths that are most essential to who you are. Signature strengths are important to identify and utilise regularly because they will energise you, help build your confidence and help you to achieve success. Here at itsMYtime we use the VIA classification of strengths and virtues to help you identify your character strengths. This model states that 24 character strengths exist that each fall within 1 of 6 broad virtue categories. 

Full List of Character Strengths & Virtues

Wisdom & Knowledge

Cognitive strengths that entail the acquisition and use of knowledge.

  • Creativity (originality)
    Thinking of novel and productive ways to conceptualise and do things; includes artistic achievement but is not limited to it.
  • Curiosity (interest, novelty-seeking, openness to experience)
    Taking an interest in ongoing experience for its own sake; finding subjects and topics fascinating; exploring and discovering.
  • Judgement (critical thinking)
    Thinking things through and examining them from all sides; not jumping to conclusions; being able to change one's mind in light of evidence; weighing all evidence fairly.
  • Love Of Learning
    Mastering new skills, topics, and bodies of knowledge, whether on one's own or formally; obviously related to the strength of curiosity but goes beyond it to describe the tendency to add systematically to what one knows.
  • Perspective (wisdom)
    Being able to provide wise counsel to others; having ways of looking at the world that make sense to oneself and to other people.

Courage

Emotional strengths that involve the exercise of will to accomplish goals in the face of internal and/or external opposition.

  • Bravery
    Not shrinking from threat, challenge, difficulty, or pain; speaking up for what is right even if there is opposition; acting on convictions even if unpopular; includes physical bravery but is not limited to it.
  • Perseverance (persistence, industriousness)
    Finishing what one starts; persisting in a course of action in spite of obstacles; taking pleasure in completing tasks.
  • Honesty (authenticity, integrity)
    Speaking the truth but more broadly presenting oneself in a genuine way and acting in a sincere way; taking responsibility for one's feelings and actions.
  • Zest (vitality, enthusiasm, energy)
    Approaching life with excitement and energy; not doing things halfway or halfheartedly; living life as an adventure; feeling alive and activated.

Humanity

Interpersonal strengths that involve tending and befriending others.

  • Love
    Valuing close relations with others, in particular those in which sharing and caring are reciprocated; being close to people.
  • Kindness (generosity, nurturance, care, compassion, altruistic love)
    Doing favours and good deeds for others; helping them; taking care of them.
  • Social Intelligence (emotional intelligence, personal intelligence)
    Being aware of the motives and feelings of other people and oneself; knowing what to do to fit into different social situations; knowing what makes other people tick.

Justice

Civic strengths that underlie healthy community life.

  • Teamwork (citizenship, social responsibility, loyalty)
    Working well as a member of a group or team; being loyal to the group; doing one's share.
  • Fairness
    Treating all people the same according to notions of fairness and justice; not letting personal feelings bias decisions about others; giving everyone a fair chance.
  • Leadership
    Encouraging a group of which one is a member to get things done and at the same time maintaining good relations within the group; organising group activities and seeing that they happen.

Temperance

Control over one’s emotions and decision making.

  • Forgiveness
    Forgiving those who have done wrong; accepting the shortcomings of others; giving people a second chance; not being vengeful.
  • Humility
    Letting one's accomplishments speak for themselves; not regarding oneself as more special than one is.
  • Prudence
    Being careful about one's choices; not taking undue risks; not saying or doing things that might later be regretted.
  • Self-Regulation (self-control)
    Regulating what one feels and does; being disciplined; controlling one's appetites and emotions.

Transcendence

Strengths that forge connections to the larger universe and provide meaning.

  • Appreciation of Beauty and Excellence (awe, wonder, elevation)
    Noticing and appreciating beauty, excellence, and/or skilled performance in various domains of life, from nature to art to mathematics to science to everyday experience
  • Gratitude
    Being aware of and thankful for the good things that happen; taking time to express thanks.
  • Hope (optimism, future-mindedness, future orientation)
    Expecting the best in the future and working to achieve it; believing that a good future is something that can be brought about.
  • Humor (playfulness)
    Liking to laugh and tease; bringing smiles to other people; seeing the light side; making (not necessarily telling) jokes.
  • Spirituality (faith, purpose)
    Having coherent beliefs about the higher purpose and meaning of the universe; knowing where one fits within the larger scheme; having beliefs about the meaning of life that shape conduct and provide comfort.

How To Identify Signature Strengths

To identify your signature strengths you can either select the 5 character strengths from the list that most apply to you and then rank them in order. Or you can take the VIA Strengths Survey which accurately ranks your character strengths in order. To completete the survey you will need to quickly register on the VIA site, answer all questions on the survey, and then finally select to complete survey. This process takes around 15/20 minutes to complete. When you have your results, just transfer your top 5 strengths over to your profile page. These are your signature strengths.

How To Use Signature Strengths

Thinking of new ways to utilise your signature strengths can be challenging as you probably use them regularly without even realising it. The best opportunities to use your signature strengths often occur; when you're at work, in your relationships with others, when engaging with your hobbies and interests, and when you have time alone. If you want some additional help on ways you can begin using your signature strengths more regugularly then check out the VIA's Tips for using character strengths. They propose two ways you can use every single character strength. 

Benefits Of Using Signature Strengths

Here at itsMYtime we encourage you to use your signature strengths as often as possible and have included them in a number of our wellbeing workouts. This is because effective use of your signature strengths opens you up to a number of benefits that will improve your wellbeing.

Using signature strengths can;

Improve your confidence
Elevate your insight and perspective
Raise your levels of energy and vitality
Increase your levels of optimism
Increase your resiliency
Enhance your performance at work
Increase your likelihood of achieving your goals
Help to combat anxiety and depression
Increase your self-esteem
Help you discover a sense of purpose
Enhance your performance with your hobbies and interests