For this activity, the following forms will provide you an opportunity to identify, define, and prove your own strengths and weaknesses. Remember, the 80% represents all the positive character strengths you have, while the 20% represents your personal weaknesses.
Begin the 80% side with a collection of your personal strengths. Once you have a good list underway, begin your 20% column by listing your weaknesses. Make sure to write in pencil so you can make adjustments later if needed.
While studying yourself, you will likely change your mind about which words best describe your personality. As you list your qualities, use a dictionary or thesaurus to check your understanding of the meaning of each word. To begin the process of change, you must make sure your understanding of the definition is accurate. Definitions become watered down over time. In some instances, they change in our understanding of the word all altogether.
Your list should reflect an honest assessment and not merely parrot the observations of others. It can be tempting to want to take ownership of what your mother, father, spouse, or friend has told you about yourself. Avoid that impulse. It’s important that these qualities are truthfully stated and proven in your life, both through your actions and through your words. Turn to actual events or circumstances in your life and relationships to verify where you see either a strength or a weakness show up.
Once these columns are full, you can figure out which side is dominating your actions, reactions, functions, and dysfunctions. We often see after this exercise that we are not tapping into the 80%, and the 20% has taken over. The proof always lies in the facts. How you respond to people, circumstances, stress, and change are all derived from a strength or a weakness.
Any time we trust our weaknesses to do the talking, they will. If you are not in the moment with your strength, you are in the moment with your weakness. Rest assured, it will be evident through your circumstance. You can’t have both a strength and a weakness in the same moment.