Why should you articulate your strengths?

(The ideas on this page are copied from page 2 of my 2009 book, Articulating Strengths Together (AST): An Interactive Process to Enhance Positivity. The references referred to in page are listed in a page listed in the Contents page of this site.)

        Most people are striving to have the best life they can.  I assume that you have tried to live your life in a way that enables you to be happy and successful, feeling good about your accomplishments. This AST process was designed to help you realize as many of those outcomes as possible. Theorists, researchers, and practitioners identifying with the positive psychology movement4 have developed a growing body of theory, research and practice that provides a solid framework for, and scientific evidence of the benefits of, participating in activities like those suggested in this process5. Practitioners in fields of psychology, education, organizational development and other social sciences have recognized the value of focusing on the positive.6 A large number of studies have shown that positive emotions are beneficial.7 Positive emotions accompany thoughts about the strengths you might be using in the present, and they also occur when you feel grateful for past experiences that were satisfying to you. You also feel positive emotions when you look forward to positive experiences that you expect to have in the future.  In other words, your attitudes and feelings of gratitude,8 optimism9 and hope10 are also strengths.  All of these strengths are correlated with mental, emotional and physical health, as well as success in the workplace and in schools.11 when participants in relationships and organizations focus their attention on each other’s strengths, they experience positive emotions, which result in better morale and productivity.12 Research by the Gallup Organization demonstrates that people who have an opportunity to use their strengths are motivated to work harder, and the productivity of their organization increases as a result.13 Similarly, personal relationships that are strengths-focused are more beneficial to the participants than are those focused on weaknesses and negativity.14 Marriages and other relationships in families last longer and result in greater personal development when focus on strengths is increased.15 This newfound emphasis on strengths has been called a strengths revolution.16