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.


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I really enjoyed taking The Dynamic Trio: EMDR, Positive Psychology & Somatic Coaching. The course provided me with new knowledge and applications of the material, not just to use in my personal life but also to integrate what I learned into my practice as a mental health therapist… I appreciate Ann-Marie setting the mood for the group and laying the foundation for safety, acceptance and openness from the beginning.
Graciela OlidMS, LMFTRancho Cucamonga, CA
I signed up with the Mindfulness Coaching School after speaking with Ann-Marie, and because of her experience as an EMDR Therapist. The readings and classes have helped me expand my therapy skills and opened up new perspectives with my clients. Ann-Marie’s style of teaching matches my needs so well. Her intuition, playfulness and sense of adventure are evident during class. I look forward to continuing this journey of personal growth that will lead me to my bliss and help others to do the same!!
Dawn ZivanovichMSW, RSW, Certified EMDR Therapist
[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
What seemed apparent in the course description [The Art of Engaged Mindfulness] cannot contain the experience of going on this journey with Ann-Marie and a class full of incredible people. Because of this course, I’m a better coach and a wiser human.
Sandy WrightM.A.Fayetteville, AR
I appreciated the online learning format for obtaining my EMDRIA credits and was glad to experience a taste of professional coaching. The class (The Dynamic Trio) made me curious about the process of transitioning from a clinical psychologist towards a professional coach. Thanks!    
Karen M. FahertyPh.D.
I went into Right Speech thinking it was a way to connect through words and discovered it was much more. Transforming beliefs and behaviors, courage, resilience, kindness, listening; the qualities of how and what we communicate, nonviolent communication, connecting to self, understanding our needs and feelings as a series of openings that help us coach our clients to self-awareness and the change they want to be.
Sandy WrightM.A.Fayetteville, AR
[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. [Meg Hess, PCC, D. Min.] has an ability to evoke wisdom from everyone.
Jasmin BristowStudent CoachHawthorne, CA
Simply put, when I was taught coaching by a popular institute, I learned to coach thoughts and feelings. When I was taught The Dynamic Trio: EMDR, Positive Psychology, and Somatic Coaching at MCS, I learned how to feel those feelings and release them. The mind and body connected; this was the missing link for me.
Moira ClearyStudent CoachJohns Creek, GA
Ann-Marie was so open and honest. She was extremely patient and I look forward to more classes with her. She embodies the true spirit of a coach as she pushes you towards your own personal goals, while managing to teach you to focus on the client’s goal as well. Kudos to her and her team!
Sparkle C. BuntyonStudent CoachHermitage, TN
My experience being an MCS student has been one of the most enriching in my entire life. It has brought me closer to my nature. I have more faith in the process of life, in the process of coaching, and in the process of being.
Ruby C. OrcuttNCC, MHC-P, CASACDerby, NY