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What are your Wellbeing Strengths?

Mar 09, 2021

As women & fitness professionals we give…a lot. We give support, energy, motivation, focus & time and it drains our tanks, now more than ever. To continue at this pace, we must give some energy back to ourselves. In the short term that energy can come in the form of a great workout or a good book, but as a long-term investment in our happiness we might need to look deeper. 

The brilliant Martin Seligman pioneered the discipline of Positive Psychology, developing the PERMA Model of Happiness. We can utilize the pieces of the PERMA Model to discover our Wellbeing Strengths. What are Wellbeing Strengths? They are our superpower! They are the strengths we can bring to every endeavor to keep our tanks full and our passion high.  

Let’s begin by taking a look at the Positive Psychology PERMA Model of Happiness

Positive Emotions – Beyond the ability to always smile and think happy thoughts, Positive Emotions speaks to our ability to remain optimistic even when faced with adversity. To evaluate the past and the present constructively and look to the future with optimism and positivity. The first step to increasing positive emotions is taking a future thinking view – learning from the past to make a positive impact on our future selves. 

Engagement – What were you doing the last time you felt fully absorbed in the moment? Whether it was pushing through the challenge of a hard workout, writing a blog post for your favorite women’s organization or in the flow of listening to a great song, engagement gives us the joy of total immersion in the passion of life. If we can create a short list of “engagement activities” then we can work to include more of these in our daily lives, boosting our wellbeing. 

Relationships – We are hard wired for connection. It is in our DNA. We must feel connected to others to thrive. In fact, feelings of isolation trigger pain receptors in our bodies. We feel physical pain when we are not connected! So, it is time to accept that we cannot do it alone. We encourage our clients to build a healthy support system. It is time to do the same for ourselves. 

Meaning - Do you know your Why? But wait…is your Why based on the idea of what you give to others? As a female and a fitness professional the chances are pretty high that your Why resembles “to help others reach their fitness potential”. Mine too! But maybe we need a giving why and a wellbeing why. What fills my tank? What feeds my soul? What builds my meaning? This is different than “how do I give meaning to others”. 

Accomplishment – Calling all box checkers out there! How much do we love a completed to-do list?! But of course, we have to think bigger. Goals are power. Perhaps it is time to take a leap and create a goal outside our comfort zone. Perhaps it is time to tackle that great big dream or maybe it is time to create goals in areas we never have…like our personal wellbeing.  

Now how does positive emotions, engagement, relationships, meaning and accomplishment translate to our personal Wellbeing Strengths? Well, different people place different amounts of value on different areas of the PERMA Model. We understand that each area is important however they are not all equal to everyone. Therefore, if we can pinpoint the factors that hold the most weight for us, we can work to further develop those areas and they can become our Wellbeing Strengths. 

How do we discover what factors we value most? Well, I hope you are up for a little bit of homework. Grab your favorite journal or notebook and write down the answer to the following two questions…

  1. What am I grateful for today?
  2. What strengths did I display today? 

For the next 2 weeks I challenge you to keep a gratitude and strengths journal. At the end of each day write down the answers to these two questions, specific to that day. 

At the end of the two weeks sit down with all your journal entries and take inventory. Was there a common theme that was repeated? For example, did you comment more on the social connections you made or did you focus more on personal accomplishments? Were you more often grateful for the connection you experienced to a single moment or where you inspired by a positive glimpse of the future? Did you display strengths in building teams or setting goals? And what energy were you able to give to yourself? 

Once you recognize a gratitude and strength trend link them back to the 5 focuses of PERMA – positive emotions, engagement, relationships, meaning and accomplishment. If you had to narrow down your gratitude and strengths to two or three categories where would they land? These are your Wellbeing Strengths! What you love, are grateful for, and good at are what will continue to give you energy and ignite your passion. And once you identify these strengths you can devise a plan to create more opportunities to express them and give them to others. A long-term investment well worth making!

For more information on Wellbeing Strengths or to connect with me, please find me on LinkedIn at Jill Drummond. I look forward to hearing from you!

Author: Jill Drummond