WHAT does it mean to be positively wired and WHY is it so important?
Let’s unpack it shall we?
Positively wired to me is essentially practicing positive psychology, reinforcing the positive aspects of self to boost confidence and self-belief.
Strengthening these aspects allows us to live our best version in life. This isn’t to say that we should ignore, negate or avoid focus on the in unfavourable or neutral traits we possess but to identify and develop ways to build these also.
This form of self-exploration has far-reaching benefits on all facets of our lives. As humans, it’s our primal nature that is registered for identifying the negative experiences, foods, and people as it was our forms of survival mechanisms.
We were wired this way to survive!
Certain foods, bitter and astringent, we would baulk at them and prefer tasty berries or wild caught fish, hunted animals as we had favourability for these foods.
Remember as kids disliking certain foods? Our taste bids develop as we age, however our psychology is still somewhat stuck as a 3 year baulking at broccoli. Time to overhaul!
This is where self-exploration and development though positive psychology and reinforcement, behaviour change and habit formation re-wires our neurological pathways to re-frame these old beliefs.
Dr. Martin Seligman the “father” of Positive Psychology along with author of Authentic Happiness and Flourish, Dr. Christopher Peterson, developed an online tool, the VIA character strengths survey.
Dr. Seligman theorizes that the 24 VIA character strengths are the pathways to each of the 5 areas of well-being (PERMA).
They underpin each element - utilizing your highest strengths leads to:
More positive emotion;
More meaning; and
1-5 Are your top strengths- what your best at, what skills you are already using
6-19 Are your middle strengths, create more opportunity to use
20-24 are your neutral/ less strengths- Do these appear accurate? Does it matter to you that these are rated less? What opportunities can you create to cultivate these in your daily life?
Having recently completed this survey myself, it sheds lights on certain aspects of self that are strong within my personality. There were some surprising characteristics that didn’t rate as highly as suspected, however this was explained to me that this can be due to this particular trait being a strong value that I already up hold.
I invite you to check it out and share with me your own feedback. https://www.viacharacter.org/www/character-strengths-survey
Developing our strengths, neutral and perceived ‘weak’ characteristics allows us to build on these required to find our ultimate happiness. Our strengths weren’t always our strengths, it require repetition.
People are attuned to noticing distressing feelings, not so positive feelings such as accomplishment, happiness, surprise and love. This is called negative bias. We can often spend a lot of time worrying about things we don’t like or doing things that don’t make us happy.
To cultivate genuine happiness and joy, we need to pay attention to what we enjoy, what we are good at. What are your strengths? What characteristics do you want to develop? Kindness, compassion, love? Finding ways, activities in our daily lives to practice these, will bring more of what you want.
What do you find rewarding? What makes you laugh and forget time? To have fun, be present?
Often when we are anxious, overwhelmed or depressed we withdraw, avoid and lull in our self-imposed mess.
Reinvesting your body, mind and spirit in positive experiences, relationships and activities repeatedly will ultimately create a habit.
Michelle McQuid, an Organisational Psychologist well versed on Positive Psychology, whom I meet and worked through my own strengths recently said;
“People using their innate strengths are 6 x more engaged, confident, less stressed and less likely to suffer depression.”
You will derive more meaning, satisfaction and energy when your innate values are aligned with your strengths.
What are your strengths?
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