Personality Isn’t Permanent shouldn’t be a radical statement, but it is. It flies in the face of the fixed mindset our culture has and the things psychology professors have taught for decades. But when you think about it, you realize that it can be true. People can change different things about themselves. We can choose who to be.
I love this book and the statement it makes, and I’m including it on my recommended books page. For years, I wanted to know “where I fit” but never fell into any of the allowed boxes of the personality types. Maybe you can relate. Not everyone fits in a box, or the round hole.
People can change because personality isn’t permanent
I finally came to the conclusion that the tests would not give me what I was looking for, and that I get to decide who I am and what my personality is, and, just as Dr. Benjamin Hardy demonstrates in this book, that has changed over time. Personality isn’t permanent. The author says, “When you decide who you’ll be and the life you’ll live, you can have anything you truly want. You can become an outlier. You can have experiences that not only shock other people, but shock yourself. ‘Is this really happening to me?’ will become your common experience.”
Another great statement in this book is “The world is viewed through the lens of your identity.” Benjamin Hardy mentions that Jeff Goins began writing once he labeled himself as a writer. Our identity—who we see ourselves as being—affects everything. Labels should be used rarely and only when they help us achieve our goals.
He doesn’t sugarcoat it. While personality isn’t permanent, intentional change is emotionally rigorous—it doesn’t exactly feel good and can even be shockingly painful. But change is possible. To say, “That’s just the way I am because of my past” is to declare you’re emotionally stuck in your past.
He gives examples of decisions regretted and attributes it to the people changing. I think in most of those cases, it’s not because we are different people now; it’s because we didn’t know the entirety of the situation when we made the decision. Divorcing someone and quitting a job we were desperate to get are the perfect examples. Perhaps a personality change is the cause, but perhaps it’s just a case of changing our mind based on new information.
Benjamin Hardy asks some really good questions in this book, such as “How would your life be if you never again blamed or limited yourself and your future based on the past?”
Be who you want to be
In short, your personality is an effect, not a cause. The primary causes shaping your personality are your goals and the identity and behavior that flow from those goals. For most people, personality is reaction to life events, circumstances, and social pressures. It isn’t intentionally designed. Personality isn’t questioned. It isn’t chosen.
When you’re intentional about where you’re going, then you can become who you want to be. You can let go of who you’ve been. Your past doesn’t need to be the ultimate predictor of who you are. Your behavior doesn’t need to be consistent with who you’ve been. You can change—and radically so. This book will help. Just click the image below (an affiliate link) to check it out. Remember, personality isn’t permanent. You get to choose.