When strengths surprise

Our top strengths are things that we usually do without necessarily thinking about. They’re just how we’re built.

That’s the beauty of exploring your strengths; there’s not always a lot to “do” and “fix,” but more so, it’s a system of remembering and utilizing.

But what if you come across a strength that you really just don’t recognize in yourself?

Both times I’ve taken the VIA Strengths Assessment, Bravery comes up as one of my signature strengths, but lately, I’ve been feeling anything but brave in my life. With so many things changing and unknown, I often feel more terrified and anxious than brave. So much so that I have been wondering if the VIA test missed the mark in ranking that as one of my top five!

But sometimes, your strengths can surprise you.

This past weekend I had the opportunity to attend a Holotropic Breathwork Training that Alice invited me to. I was so scared! I’ve done breathwork before, just not at this level of intensity (it’s a 3-4 hour practice!) and I was nervous I wouldn’t be able to do it or would have so much emotion rise up that I would want to run away.

As soon as I closed my eyes to begin the breathwork session, a voice within said, “You’ve got this, you can absolutely do this,” and I remembered that part of me that is so brave, despite the fear that also arises.

And I came to an entirely different understanding of bravery. It’s not the absence of fear; it’s the ability to acknowledge the fear but keep going anyway, which is the VIA definition of bravery anyway….but at this moment, I finally felt it in my bones.

As you continue to discover and explore your strengths this month, be open to being surprised by what you find and how they show up in your life. The answers might not be clear right away, but know that you’ve got some serious strengths that are a part of your internal scaffolding, and they’re holding you up, even if you don’t know or feel it all the time.

What’s a top strength of yours that surprises you? I’d love for you to share it with me this week!

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