I set out to explore my strengths and character. I took a test. The result was eye opening and has got me reflecting.
Of course we usually know what our strengths are but what I have discovered is, there are some strengths we have but don’t know we possess or never comes to mind when asked.
I had shared a post on the result on LinkedIn but for lack of space, I shared a little on what I thought about the 1st and last strength – Creativity & Gratitude.
I find most of what came out of the test to be strengths I possess, but I was certain they weren’t in the right order.
It did shock me to see #gratitude as my 24th strength! But after thinking briefly about it, I had to agree that I am not the most ‘grateful” of people. I will explain more at the end of the post where gratitude sits.
Let’s explore my strengths together
I have done the exploration, first stating exactly what the test says, then using my character, giving examples and trying to make sense of the result.
Some may look like me shooting myself in the foot as I can be brutally honest, but I want to be open and factual as no one has it all together.
I want someone who reads it to know it’s ok not to be 100% or perfect.
2 things were missing though – INTEGRITY and SACRIFICE. I will explore them at the end of the 24 strengths.
The Test: Thinking of novel and productive ways to conceptualize and do things; includes artistic achievement but is not limited to it.
Me: Yep. I’m often buzzing with ideas especially when it comes to business. My sisters are usually amazed at how I can name things and businesses uniquely. Surely a strength. But number 1? Not sure.
I have so many ideas that are sitting on the back burner and may never see light of day. One just materialised – content creation for safety companies which is something I am now exploring. Another I have been playing with, materialised from my recent work experience in the hospitality industry.
Am I creative? Hell yeah!
The Test: Speaking the truth but more broadly presenting oneself in a genuine way and acting in a sincere way; being without pretense; taking responsibility for one’s feelings and actions.
Me: This is so me! Telling the truth is what I do. Do I ever lie? Of course but only if it is absolutely necessary. I am mostly telling the truth. People have said they feel a good and positive aura when I’m around them. I’m trusted by friends – sometimes too much and ridiculously but this pushes me to ensure I do not mess up and break that trust.
The Test: Having coherent beliefs about the higher purpose and meaning of the universe; knowing where one fits within the larger scheme; having beliefs about the meaning of life that shape conduct and provide comfort.
Me: The Universe? No. God is what I believe in. I throughly believe there is a reason for everything even the horrible bad things. If bad, I tend to believe and convince myself that it could have been worse. I’m comforted in the knowledge that God has a better plan.
The Test: Liking to laugh and tease; bringing smiles to other people; seeing the light side; making (not necessarily telling) jokes.
Me: Sometimes I try to be serious but I find myself not so serious or coming across that way. Husbandman often can’t even tell when I’m joking or serious. I find I am able to make light of things, at the same time be sensitive.
People say I am fun to have around. Whenever I deliver a training session or speech, people laugh even when I am serious or my message is serious. What can I do?
The Test: Being able to provide wise counsel to others; having ways of looking at the world that make sense to oneself/others.
Me: This is my thing. It is the reason why I started this blog! I have a lot of life experiences, lesson of which I know can use to mentor others and have an impact on people. I counsel people and have a way of making life be not taken too seriously unless of course, it is a life and death matter.
The Test: Regulating what one feels and does; being disciplined; controlling one’s appetites and emotions.
Me: Now this isn’t exactly me. This should be at the bottom of the list. I can be these things but it takes a lot of effort and intention to pull it off. I am surely disciplined but controlling emotions is something this is a serious work in progress.
These days, I eat. No more controlling of appetite. If there is food, I will surely eat it.
7. Love of learning
The Test: Mastering new skills, topics, and bodies of knowledge, whether on one’s own or formally; related to the strength of curiosity but goes beyond it to describe the tendency to add systematically to what one knows.
Me: Oh this is so me. Especially learning that is hands-on and on the job. I always want to learn something new and add to my existing knowledge.
Learning new things helps me create new content and products. It’s a win-win.
The Test: Doing favors and good deeds for others; helping them; taking care of them.
Me: Now with this, I often think I’m cursed to be forever kind and nice. I can be extremely nice and helpful even to people I have no rapport or relationship with. People say I love everyone – I don’t think I do. Is it possible to love everyone?
But I do care and intentionally do not bring harm or disrepute to people. I will do anything (sane and legal) for family and those I love.
I am also intentionally kind to children because children are innocent and never forget. I dom;t want to encounter them in adulthood and pray for the ground to open up and swalllow them when I’m in their presence🤣. I don’t want to feel that way. Ever!
The Test: Expecting the best in the future and working to achieve it; believing that a good future is something that can be brought about.
Me: Oh yes I do believe this. I have many testimonies that help me have hope. I do believe that the future can be better.
The Test: Letting one’s accomplishments speak for themselves; not regarding oneself as more special than one is.
Me: Definitely me. I struggle to write my bio and include all my accomplishments. I don’t think anyone is that special. I actually wrote a blog post on it.
Humility is important to me. Being simple in appearance is also important. I am often found in T-shirt and jean trousers. Sometimes I “dress up” but it is usually for good reason. Not because I want to hide something, but it’s just how I am comfortable.
The Test: Not shrinking from threat, challenge, difficulty, or pain; speaking up for what’s right even if there’s opposition; acting on convictions even if unpopular; includes physical bravery but is not limited to it.
Me: Oh yes! Some call it hostility, aggression or being emotional. I laugh. It is bravery. I stand my ground. I make my points known and clear. This is never acceptable in an office environment especially when it is from a Black woman.
I encourage people especially children to be brave and speak up even if they think they will be denied their request. Just speak up. Ask.
The Test: Being careful about one’s choices; not taking undue risks; not saying or doing things that might later be regretted.
Me: Partly true. I don’t take undue risks. I like to think things through and plan. I can say hurtful things but hardly regret them 😁
The Test: Treating all people the same according to notions of fairness and justice; not letting feelings bias decisions about others; giving everyone a fair chance.
Me: I try to live by this. I don’t think anyone is too special. I treat politicians and people in power same as I would treat an unpowerful person. The president’s or governor’s photo can never be found on the walls of my office.
You also will not come to my event and find yourself treated way better or getting too much recognition than an attendee just because you are a “dignatory”. What does that even means?!🙄Yes your presence will be acknowledged but that’s about it.
If you sponsored the event, then hell yeah! You will get lots of love and attention but it won’t make the non-sponsor feel uncomfortable or badly treated.
My wedding was a free for all to attend. No access card. No strictly by IV crap and certainly no high table. Caterers were given explicit instruction to feed everyone whether or not they were wearing the asoebi (the event’s attire usually sold by the celebrants to guests) or looked like mo gbo mo ya (I heard and I came🤣)
The Test: Finishing what one starts; persevering in a course of action in spite of obstacles; “getting it out the door”; taking pleasure in completing tasks.
Me: I take pleasure in finishing what I start. Sometimes I struggle, but I stay steadfast, killing my self to complete it. I rarely walk away from something, a project, a job etc, unless I feel my health and sanity is threatened.
The Test: Valuing close relations with others, in particular those in which sharing & caring are reciprocated; being close to people.
Me: I value my relationship with my immediate family – my siblings. I value my relationship with children and treat them kindly but firmly. I value real friends especially those I know value their friendship with me. I love my mother – I will do anything within my power for her. I value my husband and our relationship especially when he isn’t getting on my nerves 😀
The Test: Thinking things through and examining them from all sides; not jumping to conclusions; being able to change one’s mind in light of evidence; weighing all evidence fairly.
Me: I do jump into conclusions sometimes but one thing I am good at, is trying to weigh options, get information, verify stuff and then conclude or change my initial conclusion.
Making the right judgement may not be one of my strong strengths. As with all humans, I have made mistakes and listened to a side of a story and concluded and reacted without hearing from the other side.
Still a work in progress.
17. Social intelligence
The Test: Being aware of the motives/feelings of others and oneself; knowing what to do to fit into different social situations; knowing what makes other people tick.
Me: Not a strong point and possibly not a strength at all so I have to disagree. I sometimes don’t care about people feelings especially if I feel they have hurt me, have tried to frustrate me and my efforts, have told lies or gone against my values – I tend to react as badly or even worse than I have been treated. I know it’s not a good thing but I often don’t care.
I do a lot. I am highly sacrificial. This is one strength that wasn’t mentioned. So if you take my niceness or sacrifice for stupidity, then you will see a totally horrible side.
Should I not have mentioned this side of me to the world? Well, don’t care. 😝
18. Appreciation of Beauty & Excellence
The Test: Noticing and appreciating beauty, excellence, and/or skilled performance in various domains of life, from nature to art to mathematics to science to everyday experience.
Me: Oh I have learnt to observe more and notice more. I appreciate unique beauty like this picture of me. Not me at my finest. Just me about to run an errand but all I could see when I looked at it, was the clouds! Indescribable! Awesome! Shows how majestic, powerful, awesome and creative God is. So He made this? Wow!
The Test: Encouraging a group of which one is a member to get things done and at the same time maintain good relations within the group; organizing group activities and seeing that they happen.
Me: Leadership is surely not a strong strength . I get certainly get a group going, actioning and getting result. But my lack of social intelligence often makes it hard to maintain good relations with the slackers in the group. If you draw me back. Slow me done and are just as arse, then we surely won’t get along.
This is something I surely am working on. I need to be on my A game, as I am in the position now, where my next role should and will be a leadership role – possibly even senior leadership. I can’t be reacting the way I do if things are going downhill.
Work in progress and right to be close to bottom of the list.
The Test: Forgiving those who have done wrong; accepting others’ shortcomings; giving people a second chance; not being vengeful.
Me: I am certainly good at forgiving but I tend not to forgot easily. That makes me prevent giving a second chance especially when trust is lost. I am certainly not vengeful.
I let go often especially if it can’t be helped, and it isn’t;t a matter if life and death. My husband initially found this weird when we were dating. He thought I was pretending. How come someone always let go and avoid arguing? Well I am intentional about it.
Forgiveness should have been up the list.
The Test: Taking an interest in ongoing experience for its own sake; finding subjects and topics fascinating; exploring and discovering.
Me: Oh yes I can be curious but only about business, learning and the things that interest me. I am not curious enough to get myself into a dangerous situation.
Life has been quite tough so no, I don not find a lot of things fascinating. I fact I try not to dig or explore further.
It is right to be down the list.
The Test: Working well as a member of a group or team; being loyal to the group; doing one’s share.
Yes I laughed. Teamwork is right to be down the list. I LOVEEEEEEEE working alone. I am certainly loyal and always do my share and more, but…..
I love to work alone! Once it becomes a group, I no longer feel in control of my work. I feel I have to rely on others to get things going. It slows me down even mentally. Bad?
We are different. Our ways are different. Our beliefs are different.
I love people. I love to support people. I love to help where I can. I am happy to work indirectly with others and other teams especially where interaction is minimal but as a group, hell freaking no!
I love to teach people I work with (that is, employees) my ways and if they get on fine with it, then we are good. If they don’t, that’s the door folk.
I love to work alone. It isn’t something I am willing to change in this life time 😁
Who else is a lone ranger?
The Test: Approaching life with excitement and energy; not doing things halfway or halfheartedly; living life as an adventure; feeling alive and activated.
Me: I used to be full of zest. These days not so much. I have had so much life experiences that only succeeded in toughening me up. So I do not live life as an adventure or feel activated. I’m mostly tired these days. Sleep has become my best friend.
Although right to be at the bottom of the list, I surely do not do things halfway. I love to complete my work and get result. I may do it halfheartedly because I do no enjoy that particular piece of work, but I do it anyway.
The Test: Being aware of and thankful for the good things that happen; taking time to express thanks.
Me: Last? Seriously? Maybe the test was right. I am not the most grateful of people . Fact!
I say thank you, and that’s it. I don’t dwell on it or go crazy with it or repeatedly announce how grateful I am. I also don’t over-appreciate things. I say thank you and mean it, then I move on fast.
Maybe I need to slow down, notice more and reflect more? Just maybe I will appreciate things better 🙄.
Or maybe I should start a gratitude journal or jar or one of those fancy things people do these days?
Well not me. Maybe not now. I am not in the right headspace to commit to that. I have rued journaling but gave up after some days. Maybe when I feel happier, I would. But for now…..
I mentioned at the start that 2 strengths were missing from the list – INTEGRITY and SACRIFICE.
I believe integrity is my first strength as I always seek to be open, fair and honest even if it hurts me or others, or causes me lack. Sometimes, I have been accused to being too honest😂. Honesty sits at number 2, so let’s just say honesty and integrity mean the same thing? No?
Integrity has made me lose deals and possible contracts just because I wouldn’t bribe the middle man or follow their crude way of getting things done.
Sacrifice? No one kills themselves more than me, for the good of others. At least, in my circle.
A good example. For goodness sake, I spent close to N1.5million of my own money this year, to bring my safety gospel to schools and families in Nigeria. It isn’t alot of money for some but I didn’t steal the money or got given. It is also someone’s salary for a year, 2 or even 5 years. Some longer. So regardless of what the cost means to you, appreciate it.
Every year, I spend my own money for this cause, without blinking. Of course, I have my reasons.
Discover yours. Take the Test
Visit Via Character. Be true to yourself and do not choose answers because you think they are correct. There is no right or wrong. There is just truth. Your truth as we tend to say these days 🥰.
Please come back to share your own result – the top and least 5 will be fine. Also let us know if you agree with the results!