DO PEOPLE EVER REALLY CHANGE?

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September 25, 2018
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October 10, 2018

This is a question I get a lot. And one that fascinates me because it links to our personalities. You’ve probably heard the saying: People don’t ever change. Well yes, there’s no magic pill or recipe that changes your DNA. But this doesn’t mean you don’t have the power to grow. 

While I agree, people don’t fundamentally change, they do evolve. Heck, if we don’t grow, one of today’s biggest industries wouldn’t even exist. That is, self-development. While it’s difficult, people do change. It is possible, but it’s a slow process. 

A discussion about change delves into personal habits and the kind of things we do, and have done, since childhood. Scientists believe that we are the way we are, usually for the rest of our lives, before we reach 20. But we can morph our behaviours and facilitate change. 

A change of perception. 

Sure, there are parts of yourself that you’d probably like to change. Maybe you wish you were a better public speaker, my sweet Dove. You’ll probably find it harder than an enthusiastic Peacock, but it doesn’t mean you can’t captivate an audience. It’s important to recognise how your personality affects the things you do. This is why we recommend everyone know which bird type they are. It’ll help you connect the dots and not only life to your strengths, but also focus on developing the things that don’t come naturally to you. 

Your personal evolution should continue throughout your life. This is where we get into self-actualisation territory and reach the best version of ourselves. We all have traits that make us unique but equally, there will be things that we need to improve. 

Changing vs. evolving. 

When we talk about changing, we’re referring to becoming a different person or moulding a significant characteristic. For example, changing from an introvert to an extrovert. Doing so conflicts with the person you are. It would ultimately lead to unhappiness and underperformance. In time, they would fall back into their natural style. 

Evolving is another story. To evolve is to make simple adjustments that improve something about you. Instead of ‘changing’ from a Dove to Eagle, introvert to extravert, you can simply focus on becoming a more comfortable presenter. See the difference? It’s a slight adjustment that allows for growth vs. a major personality shift. Shifts aren’t easy and they will take effort. Continuous, daily effort. 

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The stages of transition. 

Evolving takes patience. There are eight stages of transition; disengagement, disidentification, disorientation, letting go, reengagement, discovery, clarity and integration. 

You know what people say about patience: it’s a virtue. But, in today’s instant gratification world, this is harder than ever. So, give your evolution the time it needs, to see that inner shift. Being flexible and pivoting along the way is important, too. Constantly adjust, adapt and realign to help you stay on path. 

Be honest with yourself and get clear about how you want to grow (and why). This will help keep yourself accountable and continue taking steps forward. 

Attachment to an identity. 

This is another essential factor we can’t skip over. Change and growth is linked to our sense of identity. We tend to find comfort in familiarity, while creating new versions of ourselves can threaten this (even without us realising). It’s easier to build our identity around the things that have happened to us (our external world) rather than out of the core of who we are. Let go of that ‘little story’ a little, so you can reinvent yourself. 

Don’t be afraid of change because this is where the magic happens. Start small. Learn about your personality so you can connect your growth goals to it and set realistic expectations.  

So, friends, don’t look to change. Aim for personal evolution instead. Always look to create better versions of yourself but accept the personality your genes ‘gave you.’ That is something you shouldn’t change. 

To be able to evolve, spend time learning more about your strengths and weaknesses. Start by completing a complementary personality profile test to find out which bird type you are. From there, things will make much more sense. Fill out the form and we’ll send you a sample.

This is the beginning of your personal evolution. Enjoy the journey. 

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