Strengths-Based Resilience

How to identify your personal strengths and apply them to actions that cause wellbeing of oneself and others.

POSITIVE PSYCHOLOGY is a scientific approach to studying human thoughts, feelings, and behavior, with a focus on strengths instead of weaknesses, building the good in life instead of repairing the bad, and taking the lives of average people up to “great” instead of focusing solely on moving those who are struggling up to “normal” (Peterson, 2008).


Within positive psychology, personal strengths are character traits associated with the six virtues of positive psychology theory (Seligman 2002):

  1. Wisdom
    1. Creativity
    2. Curiosity
    3. Love of learning
    4. Open-mindedness
    5. Perspective
  2. Courage
    1. Authenticity
    2. Bravery
    3. Persistence
    4. Zest
  3. Humanity
    1. Kindness
    2. Love
    3. Social intelligence
  4. Justice
    1. Fairness
    2. Leadership
    3. Teamwork
  5. Temperance
    1. Forgiveness
    2. Modesty/Humility
    3. Prudence
    4. Self-regulation
  6. Transcendence
    1. Appreciation of beauty and excellence
    2. Gratitude
    3. Hope
    4. Humor
    5. Religiousness/Spirituality
  • These 24 strengths are evident across human history and world cultures.
  • Each of the 24 strengths exists in all of us to varying degrees.


Positive psychology helps us to discover our personal strengths and acknowledge that we may be stronger in some areas and weaker in others, and that’s okay. The point is to identify your pattern of strengths, focus on them, and see how they may facilitate the cultivation of pleasure, engagement, and meaning.

In the further step, you try to apply them to actions that cause the well-being of oneself and others. So, you become more self-confident and more resilient against the life’s adversities.

E.g., if one of your personal strengths is GRATITUDE, you may be inspired to develop this quality further:

You never take things for granted and appreciate the good things in your life. When someone does a good thing for you, you just don’t say „thank you,“ but also take time to express your heartfelt thanks through words and action. You recognize that it is important to sit down and regularly count your blessings. Therefore, you savor looking at the pictures and other memorabilia of the pleasant memories of the past. You share your joys and pleasant experiences with others with enthusiasm. (


Be welcome to assess your signature strengths in a free questionnaire: Signature Strength Questionnaire (SSQ-72)

Useful links:

Author: Kristina Höschlová

Oct 13, 2023