So what are strengths?


What are your strengths? They are universally valued, positive inner resources of your personality that you can use to thrive and become more resilient in your everyday life.

The VIA (Values In Action) Survey was researched and developed by Martin Seligman, PhD., and the late Chris Peterson, PhD, when they were searching for a “manual of the sanities”, or a guide to all the traits that help humans live well and have deeply satisfying lives. They categorized their findings into 24 different strengths that are valid across cultures, and are relatively stable over a lifetime. Research has shown that using these strengths can increase overall happiness, increase well being, increase work satisfaction, decrease depression and decrease perceived stress levels. Importantly, these strengths are not only naturally available to use, we can consciously develop and expand them to increase the benefits to our lives and the lives of those we care about.


Each individual possesses all 24 of these strengths, though in different amounts. How they are blended and expressed are unique to us as individuals, and the top 5 are known as our signature strengths. You may instinctively know which strengths you express by looking at the list below, or you may wish to take the free scientifically validated survey at


  • Creativity
  • Curiosity
  • Judgement
  • Love of Learning
  • Perspective


  • Love
  • Kindness
  • Social Intelligence


  • Forgiveness
  • Humility
  • Prudence
  • Self- regulation


  • Bravery
  • Perseverance
  • Honesty
  • Zest


  • Teamwork
  • Fairness
  • Leadership


  • Appreciation of Beauty and Excellence
  • Gratitude
  • Hope
  • Humor
  • Spirituality

Take the Strengths Challenge:

Try using one of your strengths in a different way each day for a week
If your strength is creativity, and it usually shows up in your life by doodling or drawing, try exercising it by cooking a new dish, or redecorating your desktop. Start with small challenges, and notice the positive impact they have on your mood, energy level and satisfaction with life.

Research has shown this to be an effective intervention to increase happiness and decrease depression for up to 6 months (Linley,A. et al, 2010. Using signature strengths in pursuit of goals, International Coaching Psychology R eview, 5(1) 6-15