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Find out what your Top 5 Signature Strengths are.

Updated: Aug 22, 2021

Psychology recognises a total of 24 signature strengths in the world. Find out what your top strengths and start using them in your life!

Have you ever stopped to ask yourself "What are the strengths that define who you are as a Person?"

If you haven't and are not quite sure what yours are, don't worry just yet. Statistically, two out of every three people don't have a meaningful awareness of what their strengths are too.

What's even more common is that most people don't make use of their own personal Signature Strengths enough. We underuse them even though its sitting right there under our noses.

Now, if you've spent your entire life not knowing what your strengths are, while allowing them to lay dormant instead of doing something great with them, wouldn't that seem like such a waste of your talents?

Well, in this short article, we'll not only be uncovering what your Top Five Signature Strengths are, but learning how to use them in a way that will boost your happiness and purpose in life.

What is this Signature Strengths thing all about?

Well, in each of us, there exists a core set of strengths that make up who we are as a person, right this very moment. It might have been innate and born in us, or something that we've knowingly or even unknowingly cultivated throughout our lives.

You probably have a vague idea of what yours are. Perhaps you might say "I am Creative... Does that count?"

Absolutely, that's actually one of the 24 Signature Strengths that massive amount of research has uncovered in people.

You might instead say "I am Persevering... I can queue up outside McDonalds from 3am for the hello kitty soft toy".

Well... yes, Perseverance is also one of the 24 Signature Strengths, but are you really using your strength wisely though?

You aren't just made out of a single strength either.

You're not just a creative person, but you also have other strengths to you. Perhaps that's Kindness? or Humility? or being a good Leader?

Research suggests that we do best when we harness up to five of our best strengths in our lives.

Here's a fun thing to try out before moving on. From the 24 Signature Strengths below, see if you can pick up your Top Five Signature Strengths. You might need to squint a bit.

The 24 Signature Strengths

Write them down somewhere and after we take the test, we'll see how good your guessing powers are.

Why should I care about knowing my Signature Strengths?

Discovering and cultivating your Signature Strengths is a key part of wellbeing and happiness. When we draw upon the positive aspects of our personality, research has shown that it can help with:

  • Our relationships

  • Make us happier

  • Live a more meaningful life

  • Have more purpose in our careers

  • And help us make a positive impact on others.

Signature Strengths actually has its roots in the domain of Positive Psychology.

Positive Psychology is an area of modern day psychology that focuses on how we as humans can turn our rather average-feeling lives into a thriving and meaningful life.

That's not to say that Positive Psychology isn't helpful for people suffering from depression or any number of clinical disorders as well.

For example, Signature Strengths is commonly used in Positive Psychotherapy with severely depressed people. These people often go into therapy with beliefs of self-worthlessness, that might be born out of a sense of learned helplessness.

By helping them to recognise their Signature Strengths, they start to see the truth of what they are at their core and to get in touch with their strengths again.

Practice has shown that by doing so, they get vastly better.

Find out what your Signature Strengths are Now.

Some nice folks have made this into a free online assessment tool to help you uncover your Top Five Signature Strengths.

The Values In Action (VIA) survey is a scientific tool to help you discover your Signature Strengths.

The survey itself takes about 10 -15 minutes to complete, comprising of a total of 96 questions. There is an adult version as well as a version for kids too.

By the end of it you will get a completely free report of what your Top five Signature Strengths.

Are you ready to start? Well, go on and find out your Signature Strengths in the link below. Don't worry it's not going to take you to some silly gambling or porn site.

Understanding your Signature Strengths report.

By the end of the survey, you should obtain a report detailing your:

  • Top Signature Strengths

  • Your Middle strengths

  • Your Lesser strengths.

Did you guess your Top Five strengths correctly? For me, my top five Signature Strengths are:

  1. Creativity

  2. Prudence

  3. Love of Learning

  4. Kindness

  5. Appreciation of Beauty & Excellence.

You might be wondering why there is a word under each Strength. Such as in the above report, under "Creativity" and "Love of Learning" there sits a shared pillar called "Wisdom".

This is because the 24 Signature Strengths are actually further categorised into six classes of ‘Virtues’.

  1. Wisdom – These strengths help us to learn and increase our knowledge.

  2. Courage – These are emotional strengths that empower us to tackle and be resilient in the face of adversity.

  3. Humanity – These are outward focused strengths that help us build and cultivate Positive relationships with others.

  4. Justice – These are strengths that help us relate to people around us in social situations.

  5. Temperance – The strengths that help us be composed, gracious, thought-out and manage against the temptations of excess.

  6. Transcendence – These class of strengths connect us in a meaningful way to the world around us.

Okay I know my Top Five Strengths, so what's next lah?

Now you might also notice that you've got a report detailing what your middle and lower strengths are. Don't think of them as weaknesses! They just aren't the core sets of strengths that define who you are, at least at this point of time.

Now that you know what your Signature Strengths are, you might want to find more about what they mean. You can check out this page on the online test website that adds more fat to the flavour.

So you know how they say 'Knowing is half the battle'?

Well in this case, simply knowing what your Signature Strengths are is absolutely pointless. We have to put them to use and let them loose in our lives.

Want to be happier? Use your Signature Strengths in New ways.

Take a minute and go through each of your Signature Strengths and understand them a bit better. Ask yourself whether you've been using them in your life lately and how so?

For example, one of my top five strengths is Kindness.

It's pretty straightforward. It means that I am helpful and empathic and regularly do nice favors for others without expecting anything in return. How nice of me.

I've used this strength in recent times by donating money to charity, saying thanks to the SBS bus driver when he drops me off, and taking on more chores in the house since my wife has been busier with work lately. I've even started volunteering at a home for the severely disabled.

Using my strength of kindness in new ways has changed me deeply. I feel like I can be a real force for good!

So I hope you take the time to think through each of your Top Five Strengths before going on.

Remember friend, reading about a holiday in the Maldives isn't going to be the same as actually going there. You have to experience this for yourself!

Don't pretend lah.

Here's the activity:

In the next week, plan some time in your schedule when you will exercise one or more of your Signature Strengths in a new way.

Don't pretend to be busy. Just 10 - 15 minutes don't have meh?

This can be either at Work or at Home or in Leisure, but make sure you clearly define this time as the assigned opportunity to practice this activity.

Now use try using your newly discovered Signature Strength in new ways:

  • If your Signature Strength like mine is Creativity, try to use more creativity at work like making a nicer PowerPoint slide or spend time thinking of new solutions to get things done.

  • If you identify Curiousity as a strength, try out a new food or read a book genre you don't normally read.

  • If your strength is Love or Kindness, surprise someone with a small gift, take on an additional chore at home.

  • If it's Appreciation of beauty and excellence, take a different but more scenic route home from work, even if takes a longer time.

The VIA website again provides some tips for using your signature strengths in new ways. Check out their guide here.

After you've done your activity, reflect on the experience. How did you feel before, during and after the activity?

You probably felt great right?

Thank yourself for taking the time to find out what your Top 5 Signature Strengths are. Start using them in new ways each week.

If you're interested, you can check out my article, The 3 Levels of mastering your Signature Strengths about taking them to the next level!

Hey reader, thanks so much for taking the time to stop by. I'd love it if you could drop a life or leave a comment, just so I know I'm not talking to myself. Thanks and until next time, your friend Hernping.


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