The world has changed a lot over the last month or two. Plans have been put on hold, we’re not completely sure what the future will look like, and most of us aren’t sure what day it is! It might be tempting to focus on the things you don’t have and the things you can’t do. Taking an Advantaged Thinking approach instead will help you continue to thrive, build your resilience, and find positive ways to navigate this strange new world.
The 7 Tests of Advantaged Thinking are reworked here as a seven-day journey, based on an idea from Colin Falconer, founder of InspireChilli. It’ll not only help you remember whether it’s Wednesday or Saturday, but to recognise what good you can do even now, both as part of your personal journey and reaching out into the world. Take the challenge and see what you can achieve with Advantaged Thinking!
Start the week by getting to know yourself a little better.
- What are your strengths and best qualities?
- What skills do you have that you’re proud of?
- What values matter most to you?
- What skills and experiences could you brag about to an employer?
- What would someone close to you say you’re great at?
Knowing what your strengths are means you can use them to your advantage in the week ahead, and beyond.
Believe in yourself, in your strengths, and that you can achieve the things you want out of life. What can you do this week to help you get there?
Set yourself three positive goals for the rest of the week, with one that’s a quick win to give you momentum and one that’s more of a challenge. Make sure they’re things you can control. Put them up somewhere you can see them and keep checking in on them to see how you’re progressing.
Focusing on positives can help you to stay away from getting into a negativity spiral, especially when the world around you is challenging.
Make a point of noticing positive things today, no matter how big or small they seem. This might be the progress you’re making with a goal, a good news story, someone doing something nice for you or vice versa, a tasty meal, or anything else that makes you smile or feel positive. Share these happy things with someone and spread the good vibes.
You are your greatest asset, and you are worth investing in.
Spend time on one of your existing strengths to make it even better, or pick something you want to work on and invest in making it stronger. You could look for a free course online, ask someone you know to give you tips on something they’re good at, or spend some time practising the thing you want to work on.
What’s something you’ve wanted to learn or improve? How could you start that today? You might have to use problem-solving skills and work with what you’ve got to hand!
Social distancing is about being physically separate, and maintaining social connections is important. Keeping connected with others, with friends and with your social worker will help to boost your mental health. When you reach out to someone, you’ll likely be helping them to stay happy and healthy too. What are some different ways you could reach out to someone today? Pick one, and challenge yourself to do it.
Use your strengths to make a difference in your community by volunteering your time.
Search online for groups that are focused on helping people locally and offer up your skills, or ask people you know what you can do to help them. Thinking even bigger, you could research how young people are getting involved in activism on subjects like climate change and mental health. What might you be able to do to make a positive change in the world?
The end of the week is a good time to check-in and challenge yourself about how positive and active you’ve been over the last six days. Here are a few questions to reflect on:
- Have you stayed focused on your strengths?
- Did you keep working on your goals?
- How much did you stick to positives and avoid negativity?
- How did you invest in your strengths and new skills?
- Have you connected with anyone else?
- Have you taken action to open up your strengths and talents to the world?
At The Foyer Federation, our challenge to the world is to see young people’s potential, focus on their strengths and invest in them. We call it Advantaged Thinking, and it starts with you. Keep challenging yourself and reflecting on your progress, and celebrate the positive changes!