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Measuring Your Strength of Character

Updated on May 14, 2014

What is Strength of Character

“Strength of character isn’t always about how much you can handle before your break, it’s also about how much you can handle after you’ve broken”

Character defines who a person is, their true essence and core part.

As we know, our character strengths are stable but can and do change based on lifestyle changes such as starting a family, or unpredictable events such as trauma.

To strengthen your character is to have control over your instincts, the ability to cope with setbacks, the courage to know and admit your weaknesses, to keep going in the face of adversity. To be kind and have respect for both others and yourself, to favour reason and fact rather than emotion and have To have the desire to be an honest, productive person within your sphere of influence.

Although it may be difficult, it’s doing the right thing in the ‘dark,' even though no one else is there to see.

All 24 strengths that make up your Character
All 24 strengths that make up your Character | Source

Did You Know?

That the parts of you character which incorporates hope, kindness, sociability, self-control, and perspective have been found to be protective against the negative effects of stress and trauma.

Recognising your own strengths and using them in your daily life can help to build a happier, more meaningful life.

For well being and happiness, the necessary character strengths are gratitude, optimism, enthusiasm, curiosity, and love.

Character is made of many different strengths and everyone’s profile is different, although each strength can be built on and developed to be used to achieve greater academic, professional, and of course personal success and happiness.

The six core virtues are:

  • Wisdom – Understanding and insight, curiosity and love of learning.
  • Courage – integrity, emotional strength, perseverance, and vitality.
  • Humanity – kindness and concern,
  • Justice – equality and fairness.
  • Temperance – self-control, forgiveness and restraint.
  • Transcendence – gratitude, spirituality, and hope.

You can find out your strengths at the link below.

Take the test to help you understand your core strengths character profile here:

VIA Institute of Character

The Science of Character Video

The video, "The Science of Character" by Tiffany Schlain, explores the neuroscience and social science behind character development and the fact that we can recreate our reality and shape the strengths we have.

The research behind this film verifies the positive power of perception and that if we focus on the strengths we have, along with growing and expanding specific strengths we may not have; will create a lasting effect on our happiness and sense of well being.

I think we all are aware of the following :

"Watch your thoughts, they become your words.

Watch your words, they become your actions.

Watch your actions, they become your habits.

Watch your habits, they become your character.

Watch your character, it becomes your destiny."

The video leads us to discover and be more aware of our talents and how they affect our lives and what it has to offer.

8 Min Video on Science of Character

What the New Research has Revealed

We now know that the most important aspect of character is not whether or not that particular strength is present in someone, it is a question of how strong or weak the alignment with the task at hand it is. We all flounder at different times, what matters though is how a person’s strengths of talent and character match with others and the situation.

The measurement is dimensional so it's not that we either have a character strength such as creativity or not, but rather the degrees of creativity, zest, courage, etc., that we have. The degree of the trait, let’s say kindness, expressed at any time may differ depending on the personality and the situation of the other person present, e.g. happy mother at a fun fair, or supportive friend at a funeral.

With any situation, you will express a combination of character strengths such as it will be difficult to be creative without involving a level of curiosity.

If we apply this to business or team work, you could ask each member of the team to complete the VIA Survey, a free online personality test that measure a person’s character strengths, and after assessing each person individually think about how these profiles can complement and support one another to make a more productive, cohesive and efficient business environment.

Rosie the Riviter Poster from WWII

They certainly had strength of character
They certainly had strength of character

The 24 Character Strengths present in each one of us

  • Appreciation of Beauty and Excellence
  • Bravery,
  • Curiosity
  • Creativity
  • Fairness
  • Forgiveness
  • Gratitude
  • Honesty
  • Hope
  • Humility
  • Humour,
  • Judgment
  • Kindness
  • Leadership
  • Love
  • Love of learning
  • Perseverance
  • Perspective
  • Prudence
  • Self-regulation
  • Social intelligence
  • Spirituality
  • Team Work
  • Zest

How to Strengthen your weaker areas

People can learn to be more curious, more grateful, more open-minded, or fairer. The key is to practice breaking the old habits and form new ones.

Two things I think would bring someone to willingly ask a coach or other specialist for help in this area, it’s either desperation, (e.g. for quick results) or passion. These states of mind transcend the ego and open the heart and mind to other options.

To assist yourself, think up new and different ways of using your most powerful strengths every day, for instance if you are kind, smile at everyone you see, if you are courageous set yourself a challenge such as completing a 10 km run.

List in your mind, all the good things that happened during your day, no matter how small.

The specific interventions that effect the greatest change are journaling, emulating a person who displays the specific character strengths, and goal-oriented planning.

Bear in mind that balance is also important, as there can be too much of a good thing, e.g. creativity can be used to create computer bugs, curiosity leading to a dangerous part of the city.

Future Research

As the research continues, they will reveal the consequence of each character strength, such as perseverance, which appears to be linked to achievement more than most other character strengths. Gratitude appears to be linked to your happiness quotient.

What is amazing is that these character strengths are found in the most remote cultures and shared by people with differing beliefs, religions and political affiliations.

So working on our strengths is just gathering what is best in us and then bridging and growing the parts we would like to strengthen.


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    • CyberShelley profile imageAUTHOR

      Shelley Watson 

      4 years ago

      MartieCoetser, Martie thanks for the visit and your comments. I am glad you took the test, it is interesting and mostly tells you what you already know about yourself. Shelley

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 

      4 years ago from South Africa

      CyberShelley, this is an extraordinary informative and encouraging hub about the strength of character. Your presentation is clear and comprehensible. I have done the test and I'm quite impressed :)

    • CyberShelley profile imageAUTHOR

      Shelley Watson 

      4 years ago

      MsDora, Nice to see your name again, thank you for visiting and for your comments, which are much appreciated.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      4 years ago from The Caribbean

      Thank you for this valuable presentation. Knowing our strengths is an asset to our self-worth. I'm very interested in this topic. Will follow-up on the link you provided. Voted up.

    • CyberShelley profile imageAUTHOR

      Shelley Watson 

      4 years ago

      DDE, Thank you Devika for visiting and your kind words.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      4 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Great write here and so true your valuable points are clear and well approached. The strengths are connected to ones character.

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      Interesting and I liked the "Did You Know"...These are words to go by...unbend-able and unbreakable am I...cheers

    • CyberShelley profile imageAUTHOR

      Shelley Watson 

      4 years ago

      billylbuc, thank you for reading, I always appreciate your take and yes, there must be a willingness to strengthen a trait.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      A very interesting read. Of course, in order to strengthen those good character traits, one has to be willing to do so. :)

    • CyberShelley profile imageAUTHOR

      Shelley Watson 

      4 years ago

      goodnews11, Thank you for dropping in, I appreciate your visit.

      celestinawaters = Hello, thank you for commenting so creatively

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      These word jumblez usually get on my nerves, but this one rocks the landslide! It is a chocolate chip cookie of creativity

    • goodnews11 profile image


      4 years ago from CHENNAI

      Nice article.. Voted.. Interesting


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