It’s commonly perceived that the Clifton Strengthsfinder applies only to the world of business. Not so. Your Strengthsfinder results can be successfully applied to ANY area of your life – relationships, children, self-confidence, career choices, financial management, health. Even to figuring out your mission: why you are on this Earth?
This is because the Strengthsfinder identifies our most intuitive and preferred way of dealing with the world: our style; our make up.
Once this is clarified, you can take ANY goal or issue and figure out how to achieve it, using strategies that are naturally in line with who you are.
Let’s take one of the most common issues that I see as a coach: getting and staying fit. Most people approach this goal by obtaining information about a fitness strategy. They talk to their friends, read whatever media comes their way, observe what other people are doing and then try to do the same themselves.
The problem with this is that it is a random approach. Generally, what friends are doing and what is in the media are subject to short-term trends and may or may not suit a particular individual.
Aquarobics, jogging, step classes, boxercise, running machines, pilates, and a host of other options all hold great promise at the start, but whether they stick or not as strategies can be extremely variable.
A more considered approach, and one with far more likelihood of success, is to step back and ask: ‘What sort of person am I and what works for me fitness-wise, regardless of the current trends and what my friends are doing.’
Here are some examples. Let’s say you are a social person. Your Strengthsfinder results show high woo and high communication. Although you like your own company, being on your own for too long makes you antsy. This tells us that solitary activities such as swimming, long-distance running and gym programs are not going to inspire you. On the other hand, a walking or running club, a team sport like soccer or touch-footy, or a group activity such as dragon-boat racing are more likely to motivate and excite you. Especially if your friends show up at your door to pick you up.
Another example… People describe you as driven, and you know it’s true: you can feel it in the cells of your body. Your CSF shows high-achiever, maximizer and focus. Achieving goals turns you on and you don’t need anyone else to set them for you. Inclusive group activities such as relaxed walks ‘done for the fun of it’ leave you lacklustre. But structured activities such as gym programs, triathlons, or marathon training, where progress is clear and measured, energise you. You’re motivated by seeing clear progress in black and white (or digital).
One more example… Exercise bores you. You see it as mindless, repetitive and a chore. But you know you have to do something because the weight is creeping on. You have high learner, input and intellection. Your brain is active and needs feeding. Welcome to the world of podcasts and audiobooks. For you, almost any exercise will work, as long as you can listen to something that stimulates your mind while your body moves.
Here are some direct quotes from clients on the topic:
“I have high Positivity and hate exercise unless it’s fun, so I love my Zumba class.”
“My mind is always thinking about other people due to my high Empathy. My morning walk alone, helps me let go of all of that, and I return with a clear head.”
I could go on, but these examples are to help you think about you and the way you roll. So, put aside what you think you should be doing fitness-wise, and think about what you love to do.
We are most motivated and fulfilled when our natural talents are engaged. And we are most likely to stick with something if it fits who we are naturally, rather than who we think we should be. The exercise that you are drawn to, the one most appealing to you, is the exercise most likely to work for you long-term. So, look to your Strengthsfinder results. What fitness direction are they pointing you in?