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Character Strengths Mirrors

Updated: Jul 16, 2019

How do you see yourself? Does it depend on the day, your mood, your circumstances? You're not alone. We all have a difficult time seeing ourselves clearly and objectively. We all have something in our nature called "negativity bias", which is hard to fight no matter your background, circumstances, or even training.

Now, think of someone you feel really knows you and supports you in challenges and opportunities. How does that person see you? You might realize they are "in your corner"... but if you ask them to list, specifically, what they believe are your top strengths, you might be initially surprised to hear their list. However, if you allow yourself to let them be your "mirror" for a moment, you might realize they have a unique perspective worth considering. Their list might even start to feel like seeing yourself in the mirror.

Then try this. Think of something in the past you're very proud to have accomplished or overcome. You have a general good feeling about it - now list some specific strengths you used in that situation. If you've taken your VIA Character Strengths Survey, you may recognize your signature strengths on that list. Putting specifics to a past success helps you remember to apply those same strengths when faced with a new challenge.

Even better - talk this exercise through with that friend, co-worker or family member who really knows you. Do the same for them. You'll start to realize the impact of having character strengths mirrors in your life - and being one in the lives of others.

To learn about our personal resilience coaching or resilience consulting services to bring programs to your school or organization, visit

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