If you Google the term ‘personality development’ you will come across pages and pages of websites offering personality development courses. While we would presume that you are looking for this information because you want to bring some positive change in your life, it is natural to be a little doubtful and wonder whether is it possible to change something so intrinsic as one’s personality. A clear cut Yes or No answer is not correct in this case – you can’t change a person’s entire way of functioning and thinking through a training programme, BUT you CAN undoubtedly set them on the path to bring about vital transformation in some key areas. With CBT-backed (cognitive behavioural therapy) sessions, you can also introduce a new manner of thinking, analysing, and processing information and interacting with the world.
At SoaringEagles, we have conducted personality development sessions with thousands of youngsters and professionals, and we ALWAYS begin with an in-depth module to create SELF AWARENESS. Because we believe – and we have seen this approach work wonders – that you can only bring change to your life and personality when you KNOW yourself. What motivates you, what scares you, what you like, and how you think – once you know who you are, then you can use that knowledge to change.
A vital aspect of this approach is to understand the factors that make us who we are –
This is the first and the most fixed determinant of an individual’s personality. It includes factors such as heredity, physique, physical appearance, brain functioning, nervous system, and intelligence. All these can affect how we develop and behave since our childhood. For example, a child who matures ahead of his peers and grows taller will be treated differently than his peers who are more immature looking. He will be respected on the playground, expected to behave more maturely by adults and might be left alone by bullies due to his size. All these experiences will shape his personality.
While a person’s initial personality owns a lot to his/her mother, studies cite that a father’s love contributes as much to a child’s development.
Ronald Rohner of the University of Connecticut and his colleague Abdul Khaleque examined 36 studies (with over 10,000 participants) from around the world. They found children feel more anxious and insecure, or act more hostile and aggressive toward others, in response to rejection by their parents. And findings from 500+ studies that oftentimes the impact of a father’s rejection can be much greater than the mother’s.
Child-rearing practices and approach also play an important part as the child grows older. For example, an authoritative upbringing tends to inculcate a quite and socially unassertive personality, whereas parents who are less restrictive have children who are more spontaneous and confident.
Of course, with time, peers, friends, and other social factors also seep into the mix and contribute to the formation of an individual’s personality.
Your background, your social environment, even your socio-economic background have a significant impact on your personality. Every culture has a specific mindset, norms, expectation, and patterns of parenting that is unique. It is so deeply imbibed in our everyday life that unknowingly it controls almost every aspect of our lives and influences our personality.
And lastly, your experiences and situations also impact how you approach problems and react to situations. Living in a certain environment or repeatedly dealing with a particular scenario, changes personality traits subtly.
So what does this mean to an individual looking for a change?
Personality is intrinsic and deep-rooted; you cannot really change your personality type or the core of your thought process. It is almost like your default setting. Every time you do something that is not natural to your personality, chances are you will snap back to your default setting as soon as you get the chance.
But this doesn’t mean that everything is written in stone! Far from it. If there are certain parts of your personality that you are unhappy with, then you should certainly take steps to change them. The process is almost like rewiring your brain to think or react differently, AND with constant practice, it is possible.
At SoaringEagles, we routinely help people become better communicators; think, react, and act positively; understand the negative beliefs they are holding on to and cut them lose and so much more. Some changes are easier to achieve (such as improving body language and communication), some require more long term effort (such as becoming assertive) – but change is always attainable.