Did you know aspiration in childhood is a strong indicator of not just success, but wellbeing and longevity? In my kids school they promote both high aspiration and a growth mindset. Strengths Psychology fuses these aspects together beautifully by helping us all to recognise and then develop the potential within us.
This is radical! Why? Because our potential is already within us. We don’t need to try to be something other than ourselves. We simply need to focus our efforts on developing our innate talent ~ becoming all that we can become.
I’ve been a passionate advocate of Positive Psychology ever since I studied Psychology at London University in the late 1990s / early 2000s. Since then the field has flourished with the body of knowledge and evidence about how to live our best lives becoming part of mainstream culture in education, work, faith and life. What’s sometimes lacking though is the cultivation of practices that allow us to embody psychological wellbeing.
This is where ‘working your Strengths’ comes in. It is a daily practice, much like brushing your teeth, running, yoga, walking the dog, reading with your children... when we live and breathe our Strengths with intentionality and focus we flow through our days and towards our goals. Much like an arrow speeding towards a target.
My own experience in work has centred hugely on mental health and wellbeing. In strategic commissioning roles in the NHS and Social Care, as a management consultant and more recently working in a strategic role in homelessness prevention. In homelessness prevention we are finding the introduction of trauma informed practitioners and trauma sensitive services has been key to helping our workforce better understand and engage with their clients, many of whom have extremely troubled backgrounds. We also know that we must work with a client’s strengths and assets if we are able to move them from survival to getting back on their feet and for some, the chance to thrive.
I believe working in these strategic roles keeps me connected to issues that matter to me and give that extra meaning to my life. The people I meet and places I go keep my Strengths fuelled and ultimately make me a better coach.