How to Become the Exceptional YOU: The Strengths Ascension Model (Part 2 of a 4-part series)

"When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change." -Dr. Wayne Dyer, American Self-Help Author & Motivational Speaker

This is part 2 or a 4-part series on becoming and living an exceptional life. As I developed the 4 stages of personal strengths development last week, I will touch on all of them now. I will give special attention to Stage 1 at this time.

I pointed out:

"An individual must become intentional in pursing and assessing their strengths in order to ascend the stages of strengths development. These phases can be worked through to gain mastery. I titled my theory, “The Personal Strengths Ascension Model ©”.

Stage 1-Strengths identification- illumination/assessment

During this stage, a recognition of betterment leads to self-exploration. 

Stage 2-Strengths activation- preparation/development

Here, the individual begins their strengths development journey of self-discovery.

Stage 3- Strengths acceleration- application/engagement

At this point, strengths are knowingly engaged and applied, producing consistent results.

Stage 4-Strengths actualization- transformation/enactment

Finally, strengths mastery is attained producing a personal paradigm shift into a new dimension of becoming and purpose. Understanding and pursuing these personal strengths stages produces a personal paradigm shift!"

Now, let's take a look at  

Stage 1-Strengths identification- illumination/assessment

 Strengths identification (SI) is the origination point for recognizing your intrinsic gifts and traits. Personal strengths are developed, however idiosyncratic qualities and not effective unless they are utilized. Some people go their entire lives and don't uncover what they are gifted with inside themselves. 

Have you ever worked at a job that just earned you money? You might not have liked it, but you needed the income. Well, now amplify that over years and this is where many individuals are in their lives.

Question:  Where do you get the impetus or motivation to pursue more in your life?

As I have worked with hundreds of people over the years I have discovered a few of the ways people are motivated to move toward a paradigm shift, or in this case, a strengths discovery shift.


This area is where many decide to shift their thinking and explore new possibilities. Someone once said, "When the pain of remaining the same becomes greater than the pain of change, a person will move toward change."

Pain is a tough, but powerful motivator. Some people are motivated by positive incentives, however others move away from suffering loss. I have people that I know that don't set goals, but they avoid pain. There's something about know you will suffer loss if you don't pay your bills, keep up your relationships, or you will lose something or someone.

I could expound more here, but suffice to say, many practice "pain avoidance".


Now, when I say enlightenment, I'm speaking of some encounter or intervention that suddenly shifts a person's thinking or belief system; especially about themselves.

You may call it an epiphany, vision, shocking event, realization, or any impact that shakes a person into another reality. For some it is spiritual or emotional, others it's an opening of their mind's eyes, or maybe a happening that hits them deeply causing them to look more introspectively. 


Now, we get into self-imposed motivation (extrinsic, or outward stimuli, in most cases) that create a "mental push" to change. Have you ever planned and paid to run in a road race, scheduled a cruise, or set a date for a speech, and imposed change urgency deadlines? I have!

When I ran my first Boston Marathon, we paid for it and have about 4 months to train! Yes, it was a hard-and-fast deadline and I "forced" myself to be prepared, or I would either have to back out or fail. So, I determined that the later two options were not choices, so I determined to train and succeed, and succeed I did! 

What an electrical, life-changing event it was! I pushed myself to new limits and did something I had never done before. Since that first BM race, I ran two more along with several other marathons and half-marathons!

Which motivator will be your impetus for change? Take a few minutes and reflect on how you have changed in the past and what factors played a part in your previous paradigm shifts. Will it take an intrinsic or extrinsic shift to transport you to a deeper personal strengths exploration in your life?

Next week, we'll discuss part 3 of becoming exceptional and your personal paradigm shift!


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