One of the most reliable ways I know to boost your ability to be well, do good and enjoy the ride is to amp up a coaching tool called “bag it, barter it, or better it” by mixing it with your VIA signature strengths.
When you’re facing a task or situation that drains your energy, you can choose to:
- bag it by not doing it or entering the situation,
- barter it by trading tasks or activities with someone who actually gets energized by the stuff that sucks the life out of you, or
- better it by doing something to make the task or situation feel better.
Adding your VIA signature strengths with intention and creativity is like adding renewable super fuel to the “better it” approach.
Short version: The VIA is a tool that helps you discover the ways of being in the world that come most naturally to you, therefore energizing you when you actually show up that way and also notice that you’re using your strengths.
Based on nearly two decades of research, it provides a common language with which to understand and talk about character strengths that are valued across cultures throughout recorded history.
While each of us has between four and six VIA signature strengths, we can access and appreciate all 24 VIA strengths.
The ability to appreciate all VIA strengths is key, especially in when we use character strengths as super fuel to better (when better is a verb) tasks and situations that would otherwise sap our energy and well-being.
- If you’re stuck in a boring, mandatory training about arcane rules and regulations and have a signature strength of perspective, imagining yourself in the presenter’s place can fuel your well-being, not to mention preventing you from stabbing yourself under the fingernails with your pencil throughout the presentation.
- If your top strengths are fairness, leadership, and/or teamwork watching the news probably stresses you out in a big way. Seeking stories that don’t get mentioned on TV about the thousands of leaders working together for a more equitable world will help you to stay informed and energized to continue your own justice work in the world.
- Live within site of a city skyline awash in green lights and have a gig that requires you to sing Fly, Eagles Fly, even though you think the best thing about football is how it allowed you and your marching band friends to hang out together every fall weekend during your misspent youth? Tap into your strength of appreciation of beauty and excellence by singing that ditty the best you can.
When you intentionally and creatively add your VIA signature strengths to the “better it” tool, you might find yourself working with the presenter to make future trainings more interactive, stepping out as a social justice leader in a new way, or even feeling energized as you appreciate the excellence that got the guys in green to the big game.
And singing that fight song with gusto during the Super Bowl.
Ready to start bettering even better by leveraging your signature strengths?
I can help. Schedule a complimentary consultation and we’ll talk about how.
image: Pixabay; used with permission
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