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The VIA survey of character strengths identifies 24 signature strengths. Most people have one or two top signature strengths. When these top strengths are identified and utilized, this can help a person experience greater confidence and a have a sense of purpose and meaning.

Courage is a virtue that can be cultivated by practicing the strengths of Integrity and Valour.

Integrity is the ability to tell the truth, or to appear in an authentic manner and to act in a sincere way. To cultivate Integrity:

  1. Speak the truth.
  2. Live your life authentically and in harmony with your values.
  3. Practice being transparent – that is to act and speak in a way that consistently represents who you are, no matter what circumstance you are in or with whom you keep company.
  4. Make a list of people you feel are genuine, think about the characteristics you most like and admire about them and emulate these characteristics.

Valour or Bravery is living without recoiling from difficulty or shirking fear.
To cultivate Valour/Bravery:

  1. Dare to speak your truth, what you truly believe in, even if it is not the popular, prevalent, opinion of others.
  2. Avoid engaging in procrastination, as procrastination often appears when we want to avoid an uncomfortable situation.
  3. Psychologically, Valour can be practiced by not emotionally collapsing when a friend or loved one is experiencing pain, but instead being able to be present, calm and supportive.
  4.  historic person to think of who practiced valour is Florence Nightingale, who tended wounded soldiers during the Crimean War. 

Feel free to contact me with questions about your strengths and ways to creatively use them.

Deborah Barnett, Ph.D.
Positive Psychology counselling in Asheville, NC and Phone Consulting for effectively and Positively navigating life’s challenges.

Feeling stressed out? Here is a way to gain greater control of your life.

The Values-In-Action (VIA) Survey of Character Strengths identifies character strengths that we all have within us. Once you are aware of your unique strengths, by taking the VIA Character Strength Survey,  you can actively cultivate your personal character strengths. Benefits of doing so include increased self-esteem, sense of life mastery and greater fulfilment. Two of the 24 strengths on the survey are Judgment, Critical Thinking and Open-Mindedness; and Creativity, Ingenuity and Originality. If these are two of your strengths, here are some ways in which they can be cultivated.

To cultivate Judgment, Critical Thinking and Open-Mindedness:

•    Join multi-cultural celebrations or events. This develops a positive self-perception through increased knowledge of diverse histories, groups and cultures, and their respective contributions to the society.

•    Be neutral in a situation. Hear out both side’s issue without your own personal biases.

•    Participate in other religions’ or spiritual philosophies’ gatherings and events. Try to build fellowship with other believers. You may also try joining a political party that is different from your own.

•    Take a new class or take up a new hobby or sport.

•    Watch shows that you usually do not watch.

•    Invite a colleague that you know has different ideas from your own to lunch.

•    Ask yourself each day about a certain thing you strongly believe in and critique it. Find out more information on the topic to learn even more. .  .

To cultivate Creativity, Ingenuity and Originality:

•    Accept that you are a creative person.  When faced with a task, ask yourself, “What is the most creative way in which I can approach this task?” try to use spare time during the day to write a short poem, draw a simple picture or write in your journal.

•    Rearrange your house, room, dormitory, apartment, office or work place. Move a piece of furniture to a new place.  Try to shuffle the things to improve your disposition and mood.

•    Compose a literary work and publish it in a magazine or newspaper, or the very least post it as a blog.

•    Discover a new word daily, know its meaning, and use it with creativity.

Deborah Barnett, Ph.D.
Positive Psychology counselling in Asheville, NC and Phone Consulting for creating positive, powerful results in your life.