In this article I will answer the question, is it possible to change your personality? Firstly, I would like to introduce you to one of the most dangerous human delusions. The fatal mistake is thinking that it’s impossible to change ourselves. The delusion is based on belief that our personality is something constant, everlasting, given to us from birth and will remain the same until our last days.
We can talk about ourselves in this way: “I am irritable, I am shy, or I am cruel. Whether it is good or bad – I don’t know. But these are my individual traits, my personality. I am what I am and nothing can change me”.
I strongly disagree with it. Let me tell you why. Let’s answer the questions: “how is our personality formed”, “what are the roots of our individuality”. Of course, we have something inherent in our identity. But the majority of it is determined by our life, mostly by our childhood (early education, relationship between parents, our relationship with friends and so on). Some behavior and emotional patterns were born under some external influence, for example, habits.
This is how our traits were developed. And I’d like to mention that our traits ARE habits, some chronic and deep habits, which were formed because of properties of our life. And every habit can be destroyed.
Someone is lazy, not because he was born under the Sloth star, but because he or his parents didn’t make him be organized or self-disciplined, thus, he acquired a habit of being lazy. Everyone has the power of habit breaking. You may argue: “ I’ve been lazy since I remember myself, since I was a child. How am I supposed to change myself now?”
Being lazy from childhood doesn’t mean to be lazy from birth. Being lazy for 20 years does not present a problem. You still have time and opportunity to change yourself.
The Dangerous Delusion
When you believe that personal change is an impossible thing, you lose the brilliant opportunity of personal growth. You “get hung up on” the idea that “I am what I am” and you don’t even try to perform some positive activity towards positive changes in yourself and in your life. That’s why thinking this way manifests a dangerous mistake.
How can you know, that your personality is unchangeable even before you try to change it? Do not ruin your opportunity!
The Opportunity to Change Yourself
Of course, sometimes you can’t perform a total change and become some kind of Einstein, because you are limited by inherent individual features. But don’t overestimate the role of those features! They are not as significant as many people are used to think.
The power of self-change lies in your hands, you have to stop wailing that “you are what you are” and start using your power. You can give your individuality any shape you wish, like a skillful sculptor.
There are many examples of people who have totally changed their lifestyle, their habits, their perception and their temper.
Changing My Personality
And I am one of those people! Sometimes ago I was a very nervous, depressive, lazy, unsociable, unorganized and selfish person. And it took me a lot of work to become more disciplined, communicative and peaceful man. I’ve changed dramatically.
Because of positive metamorphosis my personal life has improved, my social circle has expanded and my financial situation has improved as well. But the main changes are connected with my inner being: my depression and displeasure have gone away and I became a happy person! My attitude towards life has changed from negative to positive.
And these changes I appreciate the most!
Several years ago I also believed in a constant and unchangeable personality. I thought that nervousness, melancholy, infirmity and sensitivity were ineradicable features of my individuality. I was sure that there was nothing I could do with myself.
But the growing anxiety, depression and troubles in my life made me take some actions, because for me it was very difficult to live that way further. I started meditating. That time I didn’t expect any serious change in my personality due to meditation practice. I expected just some reduction of depression and panic disorder symptoms.
Through practice I improved my awareness. I began to perceive my character flaws as something of transient nature, as habits of my mental and emotional world of which I can get rid. From that time I began working on myself. My depression and panic attacks went away. My intelligence, willpower, level of self-control and self-discipline developed.
I expanded my interest area. I found a lot of fun and pleasure in those activities I hated in childhood and in relation to which, as I thought, I had no capabilities – such as playing chess or going in for sports or reading science literature.
Right now I am far from the ideal model, but I know my weaknesses and I do my best to develop my best qualities. Self-development is an endless process. And through my work I made a lot of conclusions based on my own experience of self-improvement, and I share the information on this site, because I want to help people achieve happiness and wealth.
I got much more than I expected from meditation practice. Meditation opens doors for self-development. It helps you boost your potential.
If a positive self-changing experience is possible for me, why would it be impossible for you? Everyone can change: the great adaptation potential lies within human nature! Every representative of a human kind has the ability to change according to some external environmental conditions or inner will and knowledge. The ability increases the vitality of our species.
If you want to change you have to stop putting labels on yourself. Break the habit of thinking “I am melancholic, I am introvert, I am Gemini …”. Such Labeling make you believe in some meta-personal and invariable types of individuality to which you belong.
This belief is a mistake and it limits your personality to the borders of label and stereotype, because by labeling you get a psychological or metaphysical proof of personal change inability. Labeling connects you to a certain set of identity parameters preventing your passing through the limits.
But your personality is much more complicated and wider than any stereotype. Saying that someone is choleric or leader-type means that you oversimplify the whole stuff.
The great majority of psychological tests, which are designed to reveal your personal type, actually indicate your condition in the moment of test passing! Because our identity is not static, it flows and changes. Of course, if you don’t perform any actions towards self-changing, you can stay in the same condition till the end of your life! And what a great excuse for your personal flows it will be!
Instead of saying honestly that you are infirmed, unable to control your emotions, shy and dull and you are not going to do anything about it, – you say that you are a melancholic-type person. That is one of the reasons why people believe in psychological types or zodiac signs which are supposed to determine someone’s personal character. The belief helps them remove any responsibility for their weaknesses. They think: “I am weak and depressed, but it’s not something of my fault, that is the way my psychotype/zodiac sign makes me behave”.
Take Full Responsibility for Yourself
If you want to change yourself you have to take the full responsibility for your personal traits: it is you who determine what your personality will be. The least enjoyable part of the action is to acknowledge that your disadvantages develop because of your own fault, not of your parents, not of your friends, not of some life circumstances – only yours! This vital breakthrough is not directed at lowering your self-esteem; it opens the door of a wonderful conclusion instead!
Now you understand that you are responsible for your individuality, therefore you have the power to build your personality as you like! This is the most pleasant part of the whole conclusion.
With this comprehension you can develop your best qualities, intelligence, willpower, self-discipline, sense of humor, wellness, charm and taste. You will be able to get rid of fear, anxiety, depression, greed, envy and bad habits. You will become a new different person.
Through positive metamorphosis you will discover how silly the attempts of labeling are. You are not what you are, but you are what you want to be!
Is positive self-change so unnatural?
Is Changing of Personality a Natural Way?
Once, a person argued with me. He said: Isn’t self-change and self-development something against the nature? You are what you are and the change attempts manifest some violence against your own personality.
My counter questions were: What made you be yourself? What were the factors that determined your character? There were parents, education, some genetic factors and so on. This influence is something of a random nature: you can’t choose your parents or adjust your DNA. Are you sure that your individuality development against your will and consciousness is natural?
I don’t think so. The most natural way is to make a conscious choice of what you will become (of course, under reasonable restrictions)! It is the way of freedom, not the chance circumstance”.
Why to Aim Personal Changes at All?
If you ask me – why do I need positive changes? – I will answer: to become happy, healthy, peaceful and wealthy. So, the answer is very simple.
Even if your attempts of self-changing will lead to a less successful result than you expected, it will still be of a great value! Because, if you try to change yourself, you have to struggle with your weaknesses and fight against inner resistance of your habits. Your willpower and character are being developed through the struggle. You gain better control of yourself, because you get used to fight and to resist.
It is much more effective than to be passively led by your weakness and to obey the commands of your instincts and habits. Thus, the self-improvement attempts can be also valuable with no regard to the direct result achievement.
I think that every person has the opportunity to improve him/herself. Self-development is an infinite process: you always have something to work at and to improve. Thus, if you find the post useful and want to begin the process of positive change, read the articles provided in my blog. Here you will find a plenty of valuable information, which will help you while following your way of self-development!