Your personality is ingrained in your being. It’s in the way you act, think, speak, and behave. As such, it can be hard to imagine it being any different, even if some of it is actively harming you.
But must you live forever by the personality traits you’ve had for years? What if that ends up being a negative point in your life? Here are three ways your personality is interfering with your life and how to fix it.
Three Ways Your Personality Is Interfering With Your Life
Are you doing any of these things?
1. You’re Self-Focused
A lot of the worst ways a personality can affect you are by making you selfish and self-centered. This can lead to many different problems related to your relationships, your career, and the way you experience life. Many people make the mistake of viewing selfishness as an undeniable trait, but being self-focused can be subtle. Here are some examples of self-focused behavior and how it may be affecting you:
Whenever bad things happen to you, you overemphasize them, thinking of them attacking you directly. While this makes sense for situations where you were genuinely treated poorly in a targeted way, it can be harmful to think of yourself this way in many other cases. A victim-focused mindset can prevent you from taking responsibility for your actions. It can even make you focus on yourself to the point of invalidating others, thus damaging your relationships.
· You Want Things To Go Your Way
You can’t control everything, and you certainly can’t control other people. But to demand everything to go your way all the time is to set yourself up for a constant state of dissatisfaction. The world doesn’t revolve around you, and spending energy trying to make it do so is only going to waste your time and make you unpleasant to be around.
· You Define Life By Your Views
The world around you is filled with different people. There are diverse cultures, religions, opinions, world views, and philosophies held by everyone. To define all of the worlds by the way you see them and insist that others should see things your way means narrowing your worldview, stunting your growth, and alienating others.
2. You Define Yourself By Your Traits
If you define yourself by specific personality traits, you may find it difficult to break free from them and explore new ones. This goes all the way back to childhood, too, according to research. The terms we’ve learned to associate with ourselves, even the most positive ones, begin to dictate how we view ourselves, trapping us in a mindset that these terms are set in stone.
But your personality, your beliefs, your capabilities, and your habits are all malleable. While there are parts of you that will remain integral to who you are, there are many things that you can shift. For example, you’ve been called reliable all your life, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t learn to be spontaneous, too. You define yourself as an introvert, but that doesn’t mean you can’t better your social skills. You’ve been an angry person for decades, but you don’t have to be. Unfortunately, if you stick by these definitions, you’ll never know what else you could be.
3. You Don’t Grow
Without personal growth, you’ll never reach your full potential. Often, certain personality traits get in the way of your ability to grow. Here are some ways this may happen:
· You Feel Like You Need Always To Be Right
No one human being is capable of being right all the time. Your desire to fill this role, often to avoid criticism, will prevent you from learning from your mistakes and correcting yourself after you’ve been wrong. You will never succeed in being right all the time, so why not embrace your wrongs and learn from them?
· You Don’t Leave Your Comfort Zone
Feeling anxious about leaving the space you’re familiar with is reasonable, but it’s relatively apparent how that stunts your growth. That kind of fear makes it hard for you to expand beyond the reaches of what you know, keeping you trapped.
· You Focus On The Negative
Bad things happen, and yes, they suck! But focusing too much on these things will rob you of positive thinking, making you a complaining pessimist – and it’s optimists who do well in life. Optimists find ways to learn from bad things while pessimists get stuck in a “woe is me” attitude.
How To Fix A Personality That Is Interfering With Your Life
If you are engaging in any harmful behaviors, here are a few ways to move forward.
1. Set Goals For Your Personality
Goal-setting is one of the most positive ways to begin enacting any significant change in your life. Your personality is a huge thing to work on changing, and without goals, you may become overwhelmed or lack any sense of direction when it comes to getting your efforts going. Here are some tips for setting these goals:
· Imagine What Your Ideal Self Would Be Like
Think about the traits you would want to have to make yourself the best version of yourself. This will help you see what qualities you’d like to learn to incorporate as you set your goals.
· Seek Inspiration
Think about people that you look up to and admire and ask yourself why you admire them. What traits of theirs do you like, and how many of them would you like to cultivate? This can be related to people you know personally, but it can also be celebrities, athletes, or even ordinary individuals who you’ve heard of in passing. You can watch videos about inspiring people or read autobiographies and biographies to find more reasons to be inspired!
· Make Plans
How exactly do you plan to achieve your personality goals? What steps can you take to get there? Do some brainstorming and determine individual actions you can regularly perform that bring you closer to your goals.
· Start With One Or Two
Trying to overhaul your entire personality at once is unlikely to be beneficial or productive in any way. Instead, choose one or two traits that you want to devote your attention to first and improve or create those traits as your first goal. Don’t overwhelm yourself with too much to change at once. Ideally, it would be best to start with a quality that will help you improve future traits.
Many aspects of personality are influenced by what you believe in. So changing the way you think and feel about the world, the ideals you hold, and the source of your motivation can be a significant and more effective way to tackle traits and habits that stem from those beliefs. Or so say studies.
Broader personality traits, such as your natural temperament and the main few descriptions someone may give of you, are harder to change and work on. But in-between types of qualities, meaning personality traits relating to your beliefs, are ones that most experts agree can be altered.
Of course, it’s not easy to change your beliefs, but it’s an excellent place to start. Think about it!
Your beliefs dictate virtually most things about you, such as:
- How you view the world and its many circumstances.
- What mechanisms help you function throughout the day and respond to challenges.
- How you look at yourself and other people.
- How you choose friends and people to bond with.
- What you dedicate yourself to.
Learning to change your beliefs will help you correct aspects of your personality that you’re unhappy with. For example, you may believe that only unintelligent people lack conscientiousness. This can, and this can cause you to become anxious when you don’t feel prepared enough, and it may stop you from being able to think on your feet. It may even make you angry at those who don’t prepare as well as you do and think of them as dumb.
But you can then shift your beliefs to the knowledge that intelligence isn’t defined by a single trait, and it’s impossible to be prepared for everything in life and isn’t a poor reflection on you when you’re not always ready. This will reduce the chances that you would get angry at someone for not being prepared, and it’ll prevent anxious behaviors and responses due to lack of preparation.
3. Shift Your Habits
Your habits can lend to your personality. The way you behave is often a reflection of your personality, but you can influence yourself the other way around because it’s easier to change your actions than your personality. When you start to alter certain habits, you’ll find that they contribute to your greater efforts of developing a more positive character overall.
On top of that, experts discovered that those with positive traits in their personality develop those traits alongside developing good habitual responses they retained. Habits can be learned, and this can help you immensely on your quest for a better character, though it’s not always that easy. Here are some tips for shifting your habits:
· Develop Stronger Awareness
It’s hard to change habits and behavior when you don’t notice how you act or behave. Many people run on autopilot as far as their reactions go, and it can be hard to stop things that you’ve been doing habitually without actively trying to take notice of them. You can start by tracing your expression of unwanted personality traits. First, what are some examples of the traits that you dislike? Next, what tends to trigger them? Finally, what situations are they most prevalent in? From there, you can come up with a plan to combat these behaviors and be prepared for their triggers.
· Shift Negative Traits Into Positive Ones
Many of the habits you perform are born out of a negative manifestation of a personality trait that could go either way. In most cases, personality traits have good and bad sides to them, and the ability to shift negative aspects towards positive ones can make for an easier way to rewrite your habits.
You can’t change habits without practicing them. Changing your personality through habits means repeatedly performing corrected behavior over and over until they become natural. This can take a fair amount of time, but use your positive thinking and seek opportunities to practice your habits. Seek support groups, put yourself in situations where you have no choice but to either practice your positive changes or revert to what you dislike, and ask those you trust to help keep you in check.
Your personality is unique and special, but it doesn’t have to be stagnant. When you dislike something about your character, and if it gets in the way of your life, you have the power to fix those aspects and improve yourself!