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Tuesday, June 2, 2009

What You Don't Know You're Good At

Check out Realise2, a new online test from the Centre of Applied Positive Psychology that identifies your strengths (what you love to do), your learned behaviors (what you do well), and your weaknesses (what you're bad at).
It turns out most of us don't know what our personal strengths are. We're not particularly good at recognizing what we're good at. The cool thing about Realise2 is that it highlights not only your "realized" strengths—the things you'd probably say you do well—but also your "unrealized" strengths, the ones you're not yet marshaling to their full potential. "For those people interested in self-growth, it is interesting to look at the unrealized strengths category ... those that are energizing, but which you use far too seldom." says Robert Biswas-Diener, a positive psychologist and CAPP's program director.
By contrast, "learned behaviors" are skills we're good at, but don't enjoy. We have to watch out for these, the researchers say, because people will often ask us to use these good skills, which drains us over time. Learning how to moderate these behaviors will keep us from burning out, they say, and lead to a happier, more fulfilling life.
Realise2 is a sophisticated test, with 180 questions, so it takes a while to get through, but the payoff is an in-depth feedback report and program that helps you chart personal growth and manage your weaknesses. It costs about 25 dollars to take, but a portion of the fee goes to The Strengths Project, CAPP's positive psychology charitable mission in Kolkata, India. —Heather Wax