Is Your Personality Permanent?
It has long been believed that our personality does not change. But what if that isn’t true?
I love personality quizzes. I find it absolutely fascinating to see the uniqueness to each person’s individual makeup, and to hear about how their experiences have helped to shape who they are.
I recently read a book called, “Personality Isn’t Permanent” by Benjamin Hardy. In it, the author claimed that researchers are coming to see that personality is not, in fact, permanent, and that we can shape who we become through intentional choices and behaviors.
Now, I’ve always said that no one personality quiz is ever going to be able to 100% accurately describe who you are.
What I know to be true, however, is that, by taking a handful of these quizzes and then looking for the patterns among your results, you are able to get a pretty clear picture of who you are — or, at least, who you are right now.
► Don’t believe me? Check out the “My Unique Blueprint” mini-course, and test this for yourself!
I have discovered, throughout my years of inquiry and self-study, that our personality can shift and change. And my belief is that the trigger for this is our own personal growth (our environment probably plays a part, as well). Allow me to explain.
When I was younger, my personality tests would say I was a mix of INFP (Myers-Briggs) and Enneagram 9 (Had the Sparketest been around then, it might have said my primary type was Maker and my secondary was Maven).
Between 2011 and now, however, I have done a lot of personal growth work. And my quiz results now say that I am an INFJ (Myers-Briggs), and an Enneagram 5-wing-4. My Sparketypes are Maven & Advisor.
Truth be told, this change makes sense to me.
Growing up, my siblings and I lived with my mom, who is an Enneagram 9 (the peacekeeper). I also lived a very “sheltered” upbringing, and didn’t get a lot of exposure to elements of the world at large. I existed in a sort of “bubble” that consisted of family, friends, and acquaintances who all basically believed the same things, attended the same church & schools, and spoke and thought alike. As such, I feel that I displayed the personality that fit my surroundings and that I saw exemplified by my mom.
From my twenties and onward, however, I broke out of that “echo chamber”. I began to question what I’d been taught and what I believed, and I started developing my own unique perspective on the world. I also was exposed to new environments (eg. workplaces, the online sphere, entrepreneurship, etc.). And, throughout that process, I believe my personality began to shift, as well.
But here’s the interesting thing: I am starting to wonder if perhaps it isn’t so much that our personality changes. What if, more so, we aren’t getting an accurate picture of our true personality in the first place? What if, as we learn and grow over time, and as we gain more exposure to parts of the world around us, we simply become more of who we were meant to be, at our core?
The reason for my questions is that I believe God created us to be who He intended us to be. And yet, one of the goals of this life on earth is to grow… to become. So, if both of these things are true, wouldn’t it stand to reason that we only become more of who we actually are?
It would certainly make sense of why we can see a shift in a lot of our behaviors, but why certain aspects of how we behave never seem to change.
This is my theory, anyway.
What are YOUR thoughts on this? I’d love to discuss the topic with you in the comments!