In the final course of the Positive Psychology series I am taking (Coursera link here), they delved more into strengths. I’ve been intrigued with utilization of my Signature Strengths since it was first introduced in this course. My focus has been how to utilize my Signature Strengths in areas OTHER THAN working. How to use Signature Strengths at work was a lot more obvious. Thinking how to continue to use Signature Strengths into retirement, and not necessarily with it being (paid or unpaid) work, is a huge opportunity for anyone in retirement transition.
The most recent information shared in the course introduced the insight of a range of the strength. The range for a specific strengths goes from Excess (over-use) to Absence (under-use), as well as having a full Opposite. In almost all cases, Excess and Opposite are both negative spaces to be behaving. The under-use area was highly insightful to me as I was able to recognize my behaviors, leading me to realize I am currently under-utilizing a few of my Signature Strengths! When we overuse our Signature Strength, this is usually called our shadow side, and is often us not at our best. I find myself often over-using my Signature Strength of judgment/critical thinking.
Here are a few examples of the 24 strengths, with their excess and absence:
|Excess (over use)||Strength||Absence (under use)|
|Eccentricity/Weirdness||Creativity/ Originality||Conformity/ Rigidity|
|Nosiness/Prying||Curiosity/ Open to Experiences||Disinterest/ Apathy|
|Cynicism/ Skepticism/ Condemnation||Judgment/ Critical Thinking/ Open-mindedness||Ineffectiveness/ Indecisiveness/ Unreflective|
|Obsessiveness/Fixation||Persistence/ Perseverance/ Commitment||Laziness/ Inertia|
|Inhibition/ Shackled/ Restricted||Self-Regulation/ Discipline/ Self-Control||Self-Indulgence|
I also found this great article of ideas on things you can do to utilize the various strengths. (link here = 340ways) Many of the ideas are not work related and have given me some great ideas to increase my use of my under-utilized Signature Strengths. I have also pulled ideas on strengths I would like to build. Here is another site with similar information on strengths and how to build then up or utilize them better: link here to build your strengths article.
As you transition into retirement, have you considered how you will utilize your own Signature Strengths away from the workplace? Or if you are already retired, do you feel you are adequately utilizing your own Signature Strengths?
If you’re uncertain of what your Signature Strengths are, link here for a how to identify them.
Picture Credit: Me: a sunrise this week.