Bookish Strength: Restorative

Photo by Heather Ford on Unsplash

We are on to the next strength in my 34 list of Clifton Strengths*: Restorative! This one was definitely a surprise when I first saw it in my Strengths. It has been consistent across every result I have received, but I have seen this come out in a lot of personal and individual ways. I have embraced Restorative more these last few years and am proud to lean in to it in times of challenge.

In a nutshell, this is what Restorative is all about:

You are adept at dealing with problems. You are good at figuring out what is wrong and resolving it.

I feel this comes about in logistics, like event planning and scheduling. My former job, I loved being able to get down to the root of the problem and craft several possible solutions. Don’t get me wrong, it can be super stressful, but I get such a high when I use that much energy, and it yields a result that alleviates the issue. On the flip side, I rarely give up so that can lead to lots of time potentially wasted. In the book world, when there is conflict in a story, I love trying to figure out how the character(s) will figure it out and move forward. Figuring out other ways for my blog and corresponding social media channels to gain awareness is another form troubleshooting I enjoy – more of a longer term problem solving then others.

Others might think that all you see are their flaws and shortcomings. Remember that there are times when people need you to see their successes and give them praise.

You tend to focus on processes, not people, and you might automatically rush to solve every problem. Sometimes others need to solve their own problems, so try to give people space to experiment and find their own solutions.

These come out and can look a little judgy…. especially if I don’t know the person. In books I read and movies I watch, I pick out the problems quickly. I feel that I can be quite the negative Nancy…. :-/. I want to help EVERYONE and help them through whatever it is they are facing! I have to bite my tongue from providing a solution because they can figure it out on themselves, and who knows if my answer will work for them? Maybe for me, but they know themselves better than me. I remember a meeting I had with someone I supervised where they came to me with a problem, and I immediately went into problem solver mode. I stopped mid-way through my response and hit rewind to say, thank you for sharing. What do you need from me? They honestly just wanted someone to listen and empathize. Not everyone is looking for a solution, or for others to fix their problems.

I think of Restorative in terms of self-improvement as well.

Give yourself a break. You might be overly self-critical and your own toughest critic. Try to redirect your energy toward things about yourself that you know you can fix or toward external, tangible problems.

I’m always looking to better myself: blogging, writing, reading challenges, running, vertical in volleyball – you name it. I crave feedback, even if it isn’t great to hear it – it’s how I become better and someone I am proud of. I feel that I can be realistic about what I can accomplish, but it doesn’t mean I still won’t try – for example, publishing a book (how many times have I tried NaNoWriMo?! 🙂 ). The process most of the times is not easy and I get nervous and anxious that I can’t sleep, however the other side is worth it.

If you want to get me motivated, in any kind of way, this is how you do it and what to tell me:

Remember that every problem has a solution. Find the answers.

Before I go to bed every night, I think back on the day and personal pride points and how I’ve grown from them. I then look at my calendar for the next day and think What am I nervous about? How can I make sure ‘x’ goes well? I’m constantly thinking of how I am going to tackle each problem – planned or not!

Next time, we will tackle my #5 strength – Consistency.


What are your (bookish) strengths?

*To learn more and to take the assessment yourself, check out the Clifton Strengths site (This is not meant to be an advertisement! As you read about Input, you can see that I love to share resources and information 🙂 )


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