Monday, June 2, 2008

Discovering Your Strengths

Last entry, I wrote about mothering according to your own strengths. In other words, if you are musical and like music, teach your children music and interact with them through music. If you are good at sports, then by all means center your nurturing around sports. Plan time each week to throw balls around. It’s your job! Make it fun.
But what if you don’t know what your strengths are? How can you identify them? Usually your strengths are the things you enjoy doing most, but there is a more scientific approach that is also fun. If you are having trouble identifying your strengths, take a simple personal strengths test. Go to www.authentichappiness.com and register. It is free and no one will send you unsolicited emails. This is a web site sponsored by the University of Pennsylvania and is based on the research of Dr. Martin Seligman, a psychologist who is largely responsible for the new movement toward Positive Psychology.
There are many fun tests you can take on the web site, but the one I am referring to is the VIA Signature Strengths Test. After taking the survey, you will be told your top three strengths such as creativity or discipline. Once you know what these are, ponder on ways to include them in your interactions with your children. Your nurturing will always be more sincere and rewarding if it is accomplished in the course of something you enjoy doing, not just something you feel is your duty to do.
As a mother, you choose how to mother–how to nurture. There is no set way to do it. It is as individualized as all of us. So, incorporate your strengths into your mothering and watch what happens! Not only will your mothering be more exciting; so will life!
Experiment. Enjoy. Include your children in what you love. After all, God sent this son or daughter to you because He knew you were the very best person to raise that particular children. If He’d wanted them influenced by your neighbors strengths, He would have sent them to your neighbor!
As you attempt to do this, the adversary will haunt you with thoughts of your weaknesses. Don’t even think about them. Forget all about your weaknesses. Dwelling on weaknesses accomplishes nothing positive at all–it will only depress and discourage you. The truth is that the best way to overcome a weakness is to drown it in a strength! So push any though of failings out of your head by thinking about your strengths. Identify them. Find ways to use them in your mothering, and enjoy the journey.

5 comments:

Kirsha said...

thank you for your thoughts.

Laresa said...

Wow! Great post and I even took the survey. It was interesting to see the results. Have you read the book Authentic Happiness? Sounds interesting.

Sherrie Mills Johnson said...

I have read Authentic Happiness and yes it is wonderful. You would like it.

Heidi said...

I took the test and here are my strengths:
1.Spirituality, sense of purpose, and faith
2.Kindness and generosity
3.Gratitude
4.Modesty and humility
5.Appreciation of beauty and excellence
I hope I will be a better wife and mother by remembering to sue these strengths often.

Wendi said...

Thanks for the link and for all the good advice. I took the survey and the results made me feel good about myself. Now...to apply them as a mother! :)