Who We Are: Character Strengths

Susan Cain, author of "Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Cannot Stop Talking", posted a link to the VIA Institute's survey on character strengths. It is an interesting way to get to the heart - something we started talking about as a precursor to the #ClimbYourOwnLadder concept of following your own compass

The MBTI (Myers-Briggs Type Indicator) helps us understand our personality. Like any assessment, it is a tool that provides some light and awareness into our hearts, strengths, and challenges for us as we live and define our lives. I have tested as an INFJ on the MBTI assessment consistently for about 15+ years now. I did not fully understand what it meant until about 10 years ago, when an MBTI-certified coach walked me through my results and what it meant about my personality. It provided awareness that I have gradually used in my personal work to become a more centered, mindful person spiritually and in my relationships. Understanding my strong introverted bias in particular has helped me in the area of energy management. 

Description of an INFJ: Seek meaning and connection in ideas, relationships, and material possessions. Want to understand what motivates people and are insightful about others. Conscientious and committed to their firm values. Develop a clear vision about how best to serve the common good. Organized and decisive in implementing their vision. (Myers & Briggs Foundation)

The VIA Institute's survey on character strengths is another tool or light we can use as we get closer and closer to the heart. I, for one, took this survey and was initially surprised by my results. I thought that appreciation of beauty would come up as my top character strength, since this is something that I value greatly. However, when I read deeper, love as my top strength made a lot of sense and absolutely right on. Like Cain, I am going to list my top 5 strengths from the VIA Institute survey. Feel free to take the survey and comment with your MBTI type (if you know it) as well as your top strength so we can celebrate our diversity together!

The VIA Institute survey on character strengths is a great tool* for assessing your strengths and then creating a life that draws on them. *Please note that you’ll need to create a VIA Institute account (free and simple to sign up for) to take the quiz. 

Kristen's Top 5 Character Strengths

Character Strength 1: Love

Valuing close relations with others, in particular those in which sharing & caring are reciprocated; being close to people.

Character Strength 2: Appreciation Of Beauty & Excellence

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.

Character Strength 3: Honesty

Speaking the truth but more broadly presenting oneself in a genuine way and acting in a sincere way; being without pretense; taking responsibility for one's feelings and actions.

Character Strength 4: Kindness

Doing favors and good deeds for others; helping them; taking care of them.

Character Strength 5: Fairness

Treating all people the same according to notions of fairness and justice; not letting feelings bias decisions about others; giving everyone a fair chance.