Using Character Strengths to Boost Confidence in Yourself and Your Clients

Dec 2, 2019

By Robin Olson, Senior MCS Student

How many times have you said to yourself, “I cannot believe I just did that? What is wrong with me?” Now, consider this: Have you ever said to yourself, “I cannot believe I just did that? What is right with me?”

My first class at the Mindfulness Coaching School was S-T-R-E-T-C-H! Becoming the Incredible Coach You Truly Are. Before the first session, we were asked to complete the VIA Survey of Character Strengths from the University of Pennsylvania. My top two character strengths were listed as Curiosity and Appreciation of Beauty and Excellence.

After getting my results, I thought, “Now what do I do?” However, when my personal coach brought my strengths into a couple of coaching sessions, they began to take meaning. I found purpose by utilizing them to create antidotes when my inner critic or gremlin is taking over. When I am hesitant about something, I put on my trusty Curiosity Shoes and take a walk one step at a time. When I am feeling down, I unpack my Appreciation of Beauty and Excellence and am uplifted by sudden shift in perspective.

Now realizing the major impact my unique character strengths have had on my life, I began using the character strengths concept more frequently with my own clients. For incoming clients, I ask them to complete the survey and then we discuss the results during our first session. Many times the results are not a surprise, but occasionally they are. I keep each client’s strengths handy in subsequent sessions, and, depending on the client’s agenda, we can focus on and extrapolate on a particular strength. For a relationship issue, maybe honesty is needed. If change is occurring, we might do a body scan around bravery, discovering where the client feels it and seeing what insights may arise.

In my own story, I called upon bravery to talk with my supervisor about job satisfaction. We discussed my need to continue to learn new tasks and she was responsive to adapting my job duties. Have fun with your strengths! These strengths help us understand ourselves more fully, which increases our self-confidence as we work toward our goals.

When we embrace what we do right, not only do we more quickly recognize our strengths, but we begin to see the strengths in others. We begin to see what is right in others. And, by seeing what is right in others, we cultivate greater positivity and interconnection in the world.


More Posts


Skillful Means is a great class that teaches the basics on how a to conduct a coaching session. You dive right into learning and practicing coaching. This helped me get out of my own way and start doing what I was learning. I often find myself learning new skills and then never putting them into action, but in this class I got the best of both worlds, learning and doing!
Mindy AndersonStudent CoachRice Lake, WI
Probably the single best course I’ve taken in a decade. The somatic templates and in-course use of them were shared from a place of deep knowing and wisdom. Amazing. The reading and sharing of new practices (for me) has made this whole course one of tapping into an ancient wisdom with simple and real practical use. Thank you!
Gaynor QuilterStudent CoachLeicestershire, United Kingdom
“What is pulling on your sleeve?” was a question presented in [The Art of Engaged Mindfulness]. How often does someone actually ask you that or how often do you stop to really be mindful of what is present in you and pulling at you in the moment? I learned how to really dive into this feeling and capture the present in The Art of Engaged Mindfulness.
Nicole DupuisStudent CoachWhite Plains, NY
This class (Right Speech) was incredibly valuable for my coaching skills, and for my life. There was so much applicable information presented in an embodied and pragmatic way. Our instructor, Meg Hess, has an ability to evoke wisdom from everyone.
Jasmin BristowStudent CoachCalifornia
This class [Skillful Means] has been such a great growing experience. I’ve developed confidence using skills that had previously just been academic for me. I have especially enjoyed working with other students of such diverse backgrounds, and being able to see them use the same skill through their own unique perspectives. I hope to carry forward the creative and challenging energy I found here.
Ilse ThompsonStudent CoachAuburn, ME
[Right Speech] highly resonated with me and my current needs for growth. I cannot be more thankful for the support of this community, and our instructor Meg…With the guidance and support of the Mindfulness Coaching School I can see that I am closer to a life of purpose and meaning. Thank you Ann-Marie, instructors and fellow coaching students for creating this wonderful community.
Ruby OrcuttStudent CoachDerby, NY
Ann-Marie is a master of opening people’s minds to seeing the benefits of the use of positive language to better deal with real life situations at work and at home.
Viola Naust
I had a superb experience in this class [Where Mind Goes, Qi Goes: Somatic Coaching with Qigong]. There is a universe to be explored when it comes to understanding somatic work. I just got more and more curious.
Ruby OrcuttNCC, LMHC, CASACDerby, NY
I love the capacity to be “unique and whole.” In this course, amidst the trauma of coronavirus, I found it was still possible to listen deeply in the moment. So thank you to this class and the life-giving experiences it offered. The course gave me fresh air for both my mind and body.
PCC, MWSC, MCS AlumnaVerona, Italy
Right Speech is about listening with our whole beings. This class is about more than communication… it is about being in the world fully alive! Thank you!  
Christy Endicott, MSW, LICSWPsychotherapist, Wellness/Mindfulness Life Coach