What does it mean to be Strengths-Focused?

       When you are being strengths-focused, your attention is focused on the positive aspects of whatever you are attending, be it another person, a memory of a past experience, or an event you are experiencing.  To be strengths-focused is to approach something with a positive perspective.

       If the focus of your attention were a new person you are meeting for the first time, you would probably be interested in his or her interests, talents and passions. You take it for granted that the person has many positive qualities and you are interested in learning about these qualities.  If you have a positive perspective when approaching a new situation that you have not yet encountered, you would be looking for opportunities to find stimulating experiences where you learn new things, while feeling engaged.  You are looking for meaning in the experience.  With a positive perspective, you are expecting that the experience you are entering into will be interesting and satisfying.

       Being strengths-focused does not mean that you will be unaware of problems or threats to your well-being.  It just means that you are not expecting something bad to happen, even though you would recognize a problematic situation if it did arise.  In other words, you are on the lookout for positive possibilities rather than potential threats to your safety and well-being.

       This strengths-focused perspective also applies to how you think of yourself. You assume that you will do the right thing and try to make the world a better place to be for yourself and others.  You do not approach new situations with feelings of guilt or expectations that you will make things worse for others or yourself. You are quite aware of your own strengths and articulate when describing them to others.  You have had feedback from others that your own self-perceived strengths are valid and reliable.  In other words, you have a strengths-focused identity.  

       A strengths-focused Identity is actually a very complex concept to define and describe. It will not be easy, but I will attempt to to unpack this rather dense concept in the next page, which is titled What is a Strengths-Focused-Identity?  Click on the Back to Contents designator shown below to get back to the Table of Contents, which will lead you to the next page.

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