Strengths is a concept which denotes your positive resource – the power that can guide you towards completing a challenge in life, understanding your psychological abilities as a personality full of life. It has been proved in hundreds of pieces of research that self-esteem, self-confidence or the lack of it can either give us energy or deprive us of it, overcoming difficulties, selecting and realising/not realising our aims and values.

First, see the list of strengths saite ) and do these three steps –

1) a challenging situation from the past, 2) finding and writing down your strengths from the list, 3) remembering a challenging situation in the near future and applying your current strength to the future challenge – which of them could be used?

(Seligman&Peterson, 2004, adapted by Varenberga, 2019).


Step 1 – “From a negative past to a positive present. Telling a story about a past challenge and an event full of doubts, which you still handled successfully.”

In pairs (in a group) or individually tell/remember an event from the past in which there were challenges or difficulties, for example, a career offer, a trip in an unknown direction, stepping into an unfamiliar situation and alike. But in this situation you still decided to face “the unknown”…

Remember and describe, what you found difficult in this situation, what created doubts, negative emotions, what impeded you to make a decision. What you did after making the decision – specific actions that in the end led to a successful result. How you felt, what you thought after obtaining the result.

Step 2 – Feedback.

Other member(s) of the pair or group provide feedback, using the given list of the strengths, saying “… (Name), what I hear in your story is that you have the following strengths: …. (name them and explain, why)”.

If you are doing this exercise alone, after remembering the situation look at the list and find the strengths that, in your opinion, characterise you in this situation. Write these strengths down!

Step 3 – “From a positive past to a positive future. Telling a story about a challenge in the near future.”

Imagine a challenging event that awaits you in the near future that scares you or makes you doubt yourself, or causes insecurity and anxiety. Then remember (tell) the strengths you wrote down in Step 2. Then answer the question – how could I use these strengths in the face of a new challenge? Then apply each strength found in the past situation to the new challenge one by one. For example, if you have named a strength before – wisdom or creativity, I liked to learn – then apply it to the new situation: how you would apply wisdom or creativity, or affinity to learning to the future situation you are getting ready for.

Table: Categories and the Character Strength