Personality Isn’t Permanent with Dr. Benjamin Hardy on Modern Wisdom with Chris Williamson

Check out the Episode Page and Show Notes

Key Takeaways

  • You should design your own personality
  • The biggest problem with identity is that it’s defined by what you’ve done, not what you’ll do
  • The Comfort Zone – people avoid difficult or challenging situations, so they don’t fail  
  • People default to their past – because it’s easier than imagining themselves in the future
  • 90% of people are dissatisfied with some aspect of their personality
  • Hold your current identity loosely- don’t let the now define you
  • The key to reframing your past: be open about it
    • Step I: choose better meanings for your past, view it positively – have more empathy for yourself
    • Step II: Don’t be defined by your past, be defined by your goals
  • Step III: Think about who your future self will be
  • Step IV: Change your identity narrative – tell people your goals!  

Book Discussed:

Intro

Dr. Benjamin Hardy (t: @BenjaminPHardy  ) is an organizational psychologist and bestselling author of Willpower Doesn’t Work and the new book Personality Isn’t Permanent.

Host: Chris Williamson

What is Personality?

  • Your consistent attitude and behaviors
  • The way you act

Biggest Personality Myths

  • That personality is hard-wired and can’t change
  • That the best way to look and understand your personality is to look at your past
  • That once you understand your personality, your life will fall in place

How Do We Understand Our Personality If It Isn’t Based on the Past?

  • You should design your own personality
  • It can be a choice
  • Over time, you’re going to change anyway

Identity vs Personality

  • Identity is how you describe yourself – it’s more important than personality
  • “Your self-concept drives your behavior and your behavior over time becomes your personality” – Dr. Benjamin Hardy
  • The biggest problem with identity is it’s defined by what you’ve done, not what you’ll do
  • Humans give a lot of weight to prior experiences and these experiences shape how we view the world

The Comfort Zone

  • You do what’s comfortable – people avoid difficult or challenging situations, so they don’t fail  
  • Humans don’t want to be uncomfortable
  • You define yourself more by your negative experiences – one bad math test = I’m stupid at math
  • So if you tell someone you’re bad at math, you’re going to defend that identity

The End of History Illusion

  • “Human beings are works in progress who mistakenly think they’re finished” – Dr. Benjamin Hardy
  • People default to their past – it’s easier to think about their past then imagine themselves in the future
  • View your future self as a different person with different perspectives
  • Ask: What does your future self want?

Deliberate Practice

  • 90% of people are dissatisfied with some aspect of their personality
  • Do something in a specific way to achieve a specific goal
  • Have an image of your future self-image
  • Habit change – is identity based changed

How Does Personality Relate to The True Self ?

  • Personality is a by-product from life or environment
  • Personality is how you show up every day

Personality Tests

  • Tests can show your weaknesses and make general claims
  • Other tests label you, give you a type – there’s no such thing as type!
  • Personality is situational – mom/worker/friend

Psychological Flexibility

  • Means you can handle different situations – it’s how you build confidence
  • Psychological rigidity – You can only deal with certain kind of people

Tools to Change your Personality

  • Meditation
  • Journaling – past and present – it gives you space to think and understand yourself
  • Set goals
  • Hold your current identity loosely- don’t let the now define you

Reframe the Past to Change Your Future

  • Your view of past events is not the only way to view them!
  • A better context lets you view situations differently
  • The more emotionally developed you are, the more you can shift the context
  • The key to reframing your past: be open about it
  • The past is just a memory and you can change the meaning and the emotions:
  • Step I: choose better meanings for your past, view it positively – have more empathy for yourself
  • Step II: Don’t be defined by your past, be defined by your goals
  • Step III: Think about who your future self will be – two to three years out is a good time frame
  • Step IV: Change your identity narrative – tell people your goals!  It compels you to do things in support of your new story

Future Self

  • Self-signaling -when you do things that starts aligning with your future self
  • Behavior solidifies identity and that’s how it gets shaped
  • Invest money in your future identity – it says that you believe in your future self – get committed on a personal level
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Notes By EWerbitsky

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