Fascinating article detailing research which shows that our personality traits can change, and are not as fixed as we like to believe.
Personality – Key things to take away:
- The study got participants to try and change their personality by practising certain behaviours associated with certain character traits. So for example, introverts were tasked with performing a behavioural task associated with extrovertism over a period of time.
- The research found that practising behaviours led to a change in adopting these traits. So the act of behaving as an extrovert would eventually lead to participants actually becoming more extrovert.
- Practising behaviours therefore can actually change our personality.
- Learning about brain plasticity (something that Cognitive Hypnotherapists often champion) may be enough to reduce feelings of anxiety and depression.
- We can, ultimately, change ourselves – we don’t have to put up with behaviours we dislike.
Personality – How this research supports ideas in Cognitive Hypnotherapy
The results of the studies aligns with principles in Cognitive Hypnotherapy – the idea that we can change things. Often, it’s a matter of changing our perception first. If we perceive ourselves to be resilient, our behaviour will reflect this, meaning that we usually get the outcome we expect. By the same token, if we tell ourselves we are stupid we’ll behave in ways which reinforce this and again, we’ll normally ‘prove’ our hypothesis.
This is why the ideas we have about ouselves are so important as they are essentially a filter through which we see the world and our relation to it. Any limiting beliefs we have will be a closed loop that keep us in a state of protection, not growth.
Habits & Behaviour
We can change our behaviours. Even behaviours such as smoking, drinking, addiction, bad habits and so forth – they are behaviours like any others.
We can change behaviours through forming habits. New habits can be established quite easily if we approach them in the right way and coaching can help with this.