One of the most popular job interview questions is “What are your top strengths?” It’s usually followed by “And what are your biggest weaknesses?”
But sometimes they can be one in the same.
The VIA Classification of Strengths lists 24 character strengths broken down into six virtues:
Creativity, curiosity, judgment, love of learning, and perspective.
Bravery, honesty, perseverance, and zest.
Kindness, love, and social intelligence.
Fairness, leadership, and teamwork.
Forgiveness, humility, prudence, and self-regulation.
Appreciation of beauty, gratitude, hope, humor, and spirituality.
Knowing your strengths and using them the right way can help you be successful at work and at home.
But a recent article I read by Diane Dreher, Ph.D. also shows how you can sabotage yourself especially during big projects by overusing your strengths.
For example, if one of your top strengths is “prudence” that means you are careful about your choices and cautious. But that same strength can also lead to overthinking and inaction.
A “love of learning” means you love mastering new skills and exploring new topics, but it can also lead you down “rabbit holes” that are distracting you from the task at hand.
Having an “appreciation of beauty” means you have an awe for beauty and an admiration for skill and moral greatness. But overusing that strength leads to thinking your work isn’t good enough.
Dreher advises that you use “if-then” planning when you find yourselves in these situations. This involves being aware of when you are getting off track and figuring out what is causing it. Once you have identified the trigger, you simply create a statement about what you will do about it.
If you find yourself distracted, then you will develop a positive action plan to counteract the distraction.
For example, IF don’t think your work is good enough, THEN you will share it with a friend or colleague and listen to their opinion instead of your doubts.