You’ve been told a million times that if you want to succeed in love, life, and work, you need a great personality. But what if you don’t like yours? If you feel like your personality is holding you back from the life you want, you can change it.
What defines your personality?
A personality is the pattern of thoughts, feelings, and behaviours that make you unique. Unfortunately, for many guys, how they want to act or feel doesn’t match up with what they actually do.
You wish you were more outgoing, could stay calm in stressful situations, and stand up for yourself at work. So why don’t you?
There are lots of reasons why you develop a personality you don’t like–from being bullied, to growing up in an abusive household or suffering from depression or anxiety. However, your personality isn’t set in stone. With a little work, you can become the person you want to be.
1. Write your story
To become the person you want to be, you need to be honest about who you are today.
As psychologist Carl Rogers wrote, “The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change.”
Write down the qualities you see the most in yourself. Are you outgoing or quiet? Do you crave adventure or stability? What do you value the most in life?
2. Find your personality ‘archetype’
The qualities you listed make you unique. But they’re grounded in what psychologist Carl Jung calls archetypes.
According to Jung’s archetype theory, rather than being born with a blank slate, there are universal behavioural models that influence our personality. These archetypes give you a framework for understanding your personality and can help you identify the patterns you want to change.
Here are a few of the most common ones:
- The Jester lives for the moment. They want to enjoy life and avoid serious situations.
- The Lover is drawn to deep relationships. They’re committed to pleasing others even if it means losing themselves along the way.
- The Caregiver looks after others. They’re compassionate and generous but can become martyrs.
- The Hero is the master of their craft. They’re courageous but can’t help always looking for a new battle to fight.
- The Explorer wants to experience everything life has to offer. They’re rugged and ambitious to the point of not being able to sit still.
These are just a few of Jung’s archetypes, but you can probably already see hints of yourself in one (or more) of them.
3. Decide what kind of person you want to become
Archetypes represent two sides of a coin. What drives you can just as easily hold you back from building the personality you want.
My personality falls mainly under the Artist archetype. This means I’m driven to create and put things out in the world, but that I can also be a perfectionist and stress over even the smallest projects.
Think about your archetype’s defining characteristics. What behaviours do you see in yourself that you want to change?
4. Get help making the change
Changing your personality takes time. But a therapist can help you identify the thoughts and beliefs that are holding you back.
At Manifest, we’ve created a counselling program specifically for men. We help you understand the experiences and emotions that influence your personality and then help you develop one that’s more aligned with who you want to be.