What are personal strengths and how do we identify them

What are personal strengths and how do we identify them
Jobstreet content teamupdated on 28 February, 2024

Your personal strengths are your unique qualities, personal skills, personality traits, and attributes.  

Personal strengths shape your identity. They affect how you deal with different aspects of your life.  

Using your strengths in the workplace can make you more productive and satisfied with your job. Identifying your unique qualities can help you with your career and personal development. 

No matter if you're in Malaysia or in another country, knowing and using your personal strengths are the foundation for success. This can help you do a great job and make a positive difference where you work. 

Understanding your strengths and personal weaknesses empowers you to make better career decisions. It creates a positive work environment where you can thrive.  

Read on to discover the importance of personal strengths, their characteristics, and how to identify them:

What are personal strengths? 

Strengths are unique qualities that help you to succeed in life. It's helpful to recognise your transferable skills so you can use them to do well. Knowing your strengths can help you feel good about yourself. It can also help you set goals and build good relationships. There are three types of strengths: personal, professional, and character. 

Personal strengths come from a person's personality. They can help you excel in your personal life. Examples of personality strengths include being happy, kind, patient, and having a good sense of humour.  

Professional strengths are skills that help you succeed in your work. Examples of professional strengths include technology knowledge, leadership, time management, and problem-solving skills.  

Character strengths are unique. They are positive traits that show a person's good character. Some character strengths are honesty, bravery, humility, gratitude, and empathy. 

Importance of recognising personal strengths 

Understanding your personal strengths is a key part of success for any Malaysian professional. By recognizing your skills, you can have the confidence to face many challenges. These range from job interviews to work duties. 

You're more likely to positively impact your community and workplace. You'll have the opportunity to build happy and meaningful relationships. Knowing what you're good at can make a big difference in how you handle projects at a workplace. 

Here's why this is important: 

Having more confidence and feeling good about yourself 

Knowing what you're good at helps you feel more confident. It also boosts your self-esteem. It means you can face problems with a positive attitude because you know you can overcome them.  

Doing well in your personal and work life 

When you know your strengths, you can use them to improve your personal and work life. Using your strengths helps you achieve success and happiness. This applies to your relationships, school life, or job. 

Improving and growing as a person 

Recognising your strengths is a big part of becoming a better person and developing positive psychology as it helps you focus on what you're good at to keep improving and growing. Self-awareness allows you to set and reach important goals. 

Being happier at work and doing more 

You'll likely enjoy your job more if you use your strengths. This enjoyment makes you more motivated and helps you be productive. When you're happy at work, it creates a positive environment. 

Having better relationships and communication with others 

Knowing your personal and professional strengths helps you have better relationships with others. You can bring your best qualities to your friendships and family connections. It also lets you talk to others more easily and understand their feelings. 

Feeling less stress and being stronger 

Your strengths and weaknesses act like a shield against stress and challenging times. They can help you avoid job burnout, which is an increasingly common problem among employees in Malaysia. You can use your strengths to cope with problems when things are hard. This makes you stronger and helps you stay positive. 

Making smart choices 

Knowing what you're good at is essential when making decisions. It can help you make informed career and life choices. Your strengths can guide you to pick the options that best match what you're naturally good at. 

Setting goals that make sense 

When you know your skills, you can set goals that you're more likely to achieve. Using your strengths helps you create a plan for success. It ensures your goals fit with what you're good at. 

Examples of personal strengths 

Three employees celebrating a work win with a high five

Personal strengths are positive qualities that make you unique and help you stand out in any Malaysian workplace. You're more likely to build positive relationships if you have these strengths.  

For instance, speaking both Bahasa Malaysia and English well is a big strength in our country. It helps you talk to more.  

Some examples of personal strengths are:

  • Resilience: Helps you bounce back after something challenging happens.
  • Empathy: With empathy, you will understand and feel what others are going through.
  • Decisiveness: Able to make choices quickly and confidently.
  • Creativity: Allows you to develop new and original ideas or solutions.
  • Adaptability: Ensures you can navigate change effectively.
  • Self-motivation: Drives individuals towards achieving their objectives. 

Additionally, there are many other examples of personal strengths, such as:

  • Kindness
  • Honesty
  • Helpfulness
  • Optimism
  • Patience
  • Open-mindedness
  • Gratitude
  • Curiosity
  • Courage
  • Self-improvement
  • Self-awareness
  • Time management 

How to identify your strengths? 

You may wonder, “What is my strength?” Discovering your personal strength involves looking within yourself and seeking feedback from others. It's an ongoing, valuable process that may continue throughout your life. Keep exploring and be open to learning more about yourself.

  • Ask others for feedback: Get input from your close circles, such as family, friends, colleagues, or mentors. Ask them about situations where they've seen you do well and what they perceive as your strengths.
  • Take strengths assessment quizzes: Explore online tools or quizzes that can uncover your natural abilities. These can provide insights into your unique strengths.
  • Look at patterns in your life: Reflect on recurring patterns in your life, achievements, and moments of fulfilment. Identify activities where you consistently perform well or feel a sense of accomplishment.
  • Consider your passions: Examine the activities or subjects that genuinely interest and engage you. Your strengths are likely to emerge where your passions lie.
  • Reflect on praise and recognition: Consider instances where you've received praise or recognition. Recognising patterns in positive feedback can reveal your strengths.
  • Analyse your achievements: Review your past accomplishments and successes. Identify the transferable skills and qualities that contributed to these achievements.
  • Pay attention to activities that energise you: Take note of activities that leave you feeling energised and fulfilled. Tasks that bring you joy and satisfaction likely involve your strengths.
  • Seek professional guidance: Consult with career counsellors, coaches, or mentors specialising in identifying strengths. They can provide structured assessments and guidance. With this information, you can recognise and leverage your strengths.
  • Keep a journal and practice self-reflection: Write about your experiences, achievements, and moments of satisfaction. Journaling your thoughts can give insight into your innate strengths.
  • Experiment and explore: Try new activities or projects to discover what comes naturally. Experimenting in different areas can help you identify strengths you might not have been aware of before.   

Developing and enhancing personal strengths 

Improving your strengths is a process that needs regular practice. Here are some tips to help you develop your qualities:

  • Think about yourself: Think about what you're good at, what you value, and how you behave. Knowing your strengths is the first step toward improving them.
  • Ask for feedback: Ask your friends, teachers, or co-workers for feedback. Constructive criticism gives you helpful information. It also helps you focus on areas for self-improvement.
  • Practise your strengths: Find ways to use your strengths in your daily life. The more you practise, the better you become. Practice helps you gain confidence and reinforces positive behaviour.
  • Set goals: Make specific goals to improve your strengths. Break down larger goals into smaller, manageable tasks. This helps you measure your progress and celebrate achievements.
  • Do what you're good at: Choose activities or projects that use your strengths. When you do things you're good at, you'll get better and feel more satisfied.
  • Explore new avenues: You could join a club at school or uni, like the robotics club, art class or student association club, to get even better at what you're good at. 

Stories of famed Malaysians who use their strength for success 

Consider reading stories of Malaysians who did really well in things like sports, science, art, and helping others. These stories can teach you. They show how having different good traits can help you succeed in many ways. 

For instance, look at Datuk Lee Chong Wei. His name is synonymous with badminton excellence in Malaysia and the world. His journey made him one of the top badminton players in the world. It shows his resilience and dedication.  

Lee Chong Wei had to play against strong players, deal with injuries, and endure tough times. His story shows us that if we keep trying and don't give up on what we want, we can reach our dreams. This teaches us how being strong and committed can help us succeed. 

Just like that, consider Dr. Mazlan Othman, Malaysia's first astrophysicist. She worked in a male-dominated field, but she didn't let that stop her. She loved science, was really smart, and always wanted to learn more. Her journey reminds us that anyone can reach the stars with hard work and a thirst for knowledge. Seeing how she solved problems and came up with new ideas in her field is really inspiring. 

Another inspiring example is a Malaysian-born actress Tan Sri Michelle Yeoh. She is incredibly versatile and committed to her craft. This has seen her perform many roles on the global stage.  

She's done exciting action movies and serious dramas. Her skill in adapting and doing well in different roles shows us that we can try new things and be good at them too. 

Reading about heroes like Datuk Lee Chong Wei, Dr. Mazlan Othman, and Tan Sri Michelle Yeoh can teach us a lot. They show us that knowing what we're good at and using those skills can help us succeed. Their stories are about hard work, wanting to learn, and being creative. They show us how powerful our strengths can be in reaching our goals. 

As you learn about these notable Malaysians, consider what makes you unique. What are your strengths? How can you use them to overcome challenges and achieve your version of success? Remember, we all have different things we're good at. Pay attention to your special skills. You can use them for good in your community. You might even change the world. 


Man in suit looking out the window at work

Personal strengths are important qualities that distinguish you from other professionals or job seekers in Malaysia. They include kindness, resilience, and empathy. They can help you build positive relationships and increase your confidence. Using your personal and professional strengths can lead to success in many aspects of your life. 

Take some time to think about your strengths. Discover what makes you stand out and work on improving those qualities. Remember, with effort and practice, your personal strengths may change over time. 

By getting better at what you know and using it as a strength, you can make your life better and also help others in a good way. 

Personal development is a lifelong journey. Take small steps to enhance your skills daily. Embrace your core strengths and cultivate them. Let them guide you toward a more fulfilling and meaningful life. 


  1. What are personal strengths? 
    ⁠Personal strengths are the good things about a person. These may include being kind, strong, and caring. It also means having good communication skills, self-awareness, and adaptability. Personal development is a process that can make you feel good and help you succeed. 
  2. What are professional strengths? 
    ⁠Professional strengths are the qualities that make you good at your jobs. This could include being a good leader or team player, knowing how to do a job well, being a good timekeeper, or working well with others. These skills help you be a good colleague and advance in your career. 
  3. What are the three greatest personal strengths? 
    ⁠Everyone's three greatest strengths are different. Some might be robust, adaptable, and communicate well. Others may be creative, determined, and patient. To find your strengths, reflect on your natural talents and what motivates you to do well. 
  4. How do your personal strengths affect your career? 
    ⁠Knowing your strengths helps you do well in any job in Malaysia. Using them can make you happy and work well with others. For example, good communication skills help your teammates work well together. 
    ⁠Being assertive helps you face problems and keep going. Knowing and using your strengths at work enables you to do better, grow, and feel good about your actions. 

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