SCHOOL – Did you love or hate it?
Learning and education are essential prep for life—and that shouldn’t stop after you leave school.
Lifelong learning is something that can greatly benefit your well-being. A rewarding life is based on strong foundations, and the key to it is the development of your skills.
I am not proposing that you turn back the clock and go back to school or college, not that you can’t if you want to, but there is a much simpler and quicker solution.
Life Coaching teaches you how to reframe your thoughts, and take steps to develop your skills into a much more rewarding, fulfilling and happier lifestyle.
Life coaching and positive psychology combined gets you to look at your core strengths. These are things you have accomplished, but also your pleasure activities.
Strengths are natural capabilities and skills that each person has. When a person uses their strengths, they tend to feel energised, and they report higher levels of self-esteem, well-being, and other beneficial outcomes.
Studies have indicated that using core strength-based positive psychology interventions might reduce depression, and contribute to successful goal completion
Trust me you will have an abundance of strengths and qualities that make you unique, but focus on those core strengths that you enjoy using or are proud of.
The best way to do that is to look at these three areas of your life:
- Your Personality
- Your Work
- Your Leisure/Pleasure Activities
Once you have looked at your core strengths across these three areas of your life, you can look for common themes across them, and see where there are any crevices or cracks. Joining these cracks will then bring transformation into your life and empower you to make changes.
The following example illustrates how a core strengths exercise helped to bring about change for Emily.
Example: Emily is a stay-at-home mother. Prior to becoming a mother, she pursued a demanding career as a Marine Biologist. Due to this major life change, some of the strengths she used to utilise, such as ambition and curiosity, have become underutilised and she felt very unfulfilled.
By looking at her core strengths and doing the following exercise, Emily was able to bridge the cracks and create a new plan. This enabled her to continue using her strengths in her role as a mother but make a few changes. Emily decided to begin teaching her daughter about science once a week through fun activities. Additionally, Emily started to work a few hours a week from home as an editor for colleagues’ research papers.
TRY THE EXERCISE FOR YOURSELF
Step 1 – Take a piece of paper and write down your core strengths in those three areas.
Your personality strengths might include things like: your patience, empathy, honesty, communication, sense of humour, reliability etc, etc…..
Your work strengths should include things not only from any paid employment but skills from any caring roles, or being a housewife/husband or parent. For example: your organisation skills, assertiveness, problem solving, logic, technical or computer expertise, planning, adaptability, emotional intelligence etc, etc…..
Your leisure/pleasure activities might include strengths from competitive sports, social aspects, artistic ability, intellectual interests like crosswords and word games to simple passions like cooking, gardening, decorating etc, etc…..
If you have a hard time identifying your strengths, ask yourself questions like:
- What am I good at?
- What do I enjoy doing?
- In what areas of my life have I been most successful?
Be sure to hone in on those core strengths, rather than specific skills. For example, playing Netball is not a strength, but “Athleticism” and “Discipline” are. You can do this by asking yourself questions such as “What makes me good at Netball?” or “What has helped or allowed me to be successful in this area?”
Step 2 – After you have discovered your strengths, the next step is to further develop and use them. Look toward new situations where you can use your strengths, or toward new ways that your strengths can be used to deal with current problems
On your paper write down and ask yourself these questions:
- Can you think of any new opportunities where you could use your strengths?
- Do you ever rely too heavily on your strengths? Is there anywhere you underutilise your strengths?
- What is the impact of your strengths on others, and how do you know this? What feedback do you get from others about your strengths?
- When are you at your best, and how can you be like this more often?
Step 3 – Finally, think about practical steps you can take to better utilise your strengths. Also take some time to think about how you would accomplish those steps.
- How can I use my strengths better to deal with my existing problems or weaknesses?
- What new activities could I try, to use my strengths more frequently?
- Is there a completely new way I could use my strengths?
This could be a new hobby or project, a career change, or many other ideas.
Remember to write down specific details of how this would be accomplished.
You will now see what you have LEARNED about yourself and how to transform YOUR LIFE.