We are fortunate to be humans. I say this because we are the only species on this beautiful planet that has ‘free will.’ This makes us unique in the respect that we have the ability to design, adjust, or change aspects of our lives so they can become the way we want them to be. So when you ask “Can You Change Your Personality,” I have to answer yes…. And I know this because, in the past, I have done so for myself.
The other life forms, the animals, trees, water, etc. have no option but to conform to their program and become what they are designed to be. However, the choice to change our mental, emotional, and physical states of being is ours, if we know how.
Our current personality is composed of the repeated habits of our mental, emotional, and physical selves. And when we change any one, or a combination of these aspects, our personality is effectively changed.
This is good news for us as it means the results, conditions, and circumstances that we manifest into our lives will also change. So, if we plan with foresight, we can make changes to ensure our lives become better….. we can create better relationships, greater success, improved self-esteem, more peace, etc.
Have you seriously asked yourself “What is my personality and why do I want to change my personality?”
What is a Personality?
So, something is happening, and we respond with thoughts, feelings, and actions….. Then something else happens and we respond…… and on and on it goes.
Our responses, for the vast majority of the time, tend to conform to and be within a limited framework of options…. and it is our responses and behaviors, our distinctive characteristics, which we refer to as our ‘personalities.’
Our personalities are built over time by repeatedly returning to similar thoughts, emotions, and behaviors…. In other words, our personalities are made up of our most ‘habitual’ thoughts patterns, which lead us to feel specific ways, and then we have what could be considered predictable actions.
However, our personalities are never ‘fixed.’ They are always being shaped and molded, little by little, by all the new information and experiences we are exposed to each day. And this means that people who are open and adventurous in life, (the ones who are having more experiences) are more likely to change their personalities….. because it is slowly and surely happening anyway.
What traits are our personalities made up of?
According to a commonly accepted model of personality traits, the five main trait dimensions are:
- Open-mindedness: how receptive you are to embrace new ideas and experiences.
- Conscientiousness: how self-disciplined, organized, and ambitious.
- Extroversion: how sociable and drawn to reward you are.
- Agreeableness: how friendly, trusting, and empathetic you are.
- Neuroticism: how anxious, depressed, and emotionally sensitive you are.
Neuroscientist and author of “Be Who You Want To Be,” Dr. Christian Jarrett, explains in a Sciencefocus.com article:
“Together these are known as the ‘Big Five’ traits. Your scores on them are incredibly consequential, predicting your career success, happiness and even your longevity. For instance, strong extroverts tend to live shorter, happier lives. Highly conscientious people tend to do better at work. And people who are highly open-minded are less vulnerable to dementia.”
He then goes on to say that about 30 to 50 % of the variation in people stems from differences in the genes they inherited from their parents.
I don’t necessarily agree with this, and instead, follow Dr. Bruce Lipton’s research. Dr. Lipton has proved that 95% of the life outcomes we achieve are due to ‘epigenetic’ factors, or factors beyond our genes…. And by this, he is inferring that it is our responses to our environment that have the greatest influence on who we are and the quality of life we are living.
Regardless of who you want to believe, our personality traits are changeable. Prime examples are when we experience different defining life events which leave a distinct mark on us.
Marriage, divorce, parenthood, bereavement, peer pressure, and job choices, all have the potential to ‘allow us’ to change our personalities, be it gladly or reluctantly.
Can You Change Your Personality?
Too many people have an assumption that their personality is something fixed and unchangeable. I often hear people making excuses for the things they do (that they don’t particularly like) say things similar to, “well that’s just the way I am!”
And it’s a cop-out really…. It’s just an excuse for their ‘poor personality traits.’
It’s common that personalities tend to stabilize as people age. However, this is not because they are somehow fixed or that the people are even happy with their personalities. It’s more due to the choice of the individuals to settle into stable and routine lifestyles. And therefore, not being exposed to anything new doesn’t give them any options to respond to life differently.
In contrast, those people who don’t settle, who have a wide range of different life experiences are more likely to experience changes in their personalities as they go through life. And there is no reason why YOU cannot choose your life experiences so you too can deliberately alter your personality traits.
For example, instead of being ‘fixed’ in your habits, why not make some simple changes to your life to stimulate your thoughts and feelings in different ways. Simple changes could include trying new restaurants, driving a new route to work, visiting a new holiday destination.
Other options may include learning to play an instrument, taking a dance class, or trying a new sport. And meeting and socializing with new people can stimulate us to think, feel and act in different and better ways.
Why do you want to change your personality?
Is it to create a better life for yourself?
If so, that’s awesome! It also means that change will be easy to achieve. I say this because the hard work is already understood and done.
You already understand who you are, what it is you don’t like and wish to change, and you already know what traits you wish to become part of your new improved personality.
So now it is just a matter of following a process that will eliminate the undesirable traits from your personality and establish the ones you wish to have. Read more about how to achieve this in my post: 5 Steps to Change Your Life for the Better: (And Why They Will Help You Create Your Desired Future)
Or, are you wanting to change some aspects of your personality because you don’t particularly like yourself when this aspect rears its ‘ugly head’…..
Maybe your dominant personality traits include being overly anxious, shy, aggressive, submissive and overly agreeable, or narcissistic? There are lots of so-called ‘negative traits’ to choose from. However, it does become a little complicated because we are never just ‘one thing or the other,’
We all possess multiple traits and these traits are present within us and evident to the world in varying degrees at different times. The traits we are displaying at any given moment are dependent on what is happening within our environment and what we are thinking, feeling, and acting.
This means that we can all exhibit behaviors at times that we wish we didn’t possess. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean they are deeply embedded into our personalities. The degree and frequency they come to the forefront are dependent on many factors…… And stress is a prime factor that tends to bring out the worst in people.
You can read more about the negative effects of stress in my post “How Does Stress Affect Me? And What’s the Best Way to Eliminate it?”
What new characteristics or traits do you want to be part of your new personality?
It’s important to realize that there are no definitive ‘best personality types,’ just as there are no ‘ideal humans’ walking the planet. We are all unique and it is our differences that greatly enhance our life experiences. If we were all the same, it would be a very dull and depressing ‘game of life!’
Different personality traits have their advantages and disadvantages in different situations. Therefore, if we are exhibiting the needed trait for our circumstances, there’s no need to change.
For example, a good employer needs to be an extrovert at times, as well as optimistic, and conscientious. A health care worker is best when they are empathetic, considerate, and kind. Someone in the armed forces needs to be able to follow orders without questioning them.
When questioned, most people who exhibit a desire to change their personalities want to adopt more success-orientated traits. These include traits like less neuroticism, more conscientiousness, and more extroverted.
For ways to change your personality, you can check out some of my other posts including:
I wish you all the best in your quest for a better life,