Every personality type has its strengths and development areas; we naturally behave in specific ways most comfortable to us. Although there are no ideal personality types, I can almost guarantee that you have said, "I wish I had a different personality" at some point in your life. You may want to be more social, assertive, or more organised; you may be making a conscious effort to listen more. So it's not surprising our clients often ask, 'can my personality type change?'
Can You Change Your Personality Type
Unfortunately, the answer is not that straightforward. According to most personality theories, aspects of your personality are fluid and easy to modify. In contrast, other aspects are an innate part of your personality that can be difficult to adjust. One of these aspects of your personality is behaviour. The consensus is that your behaviour is shaped during your experiences early in life and tends to stay stable over time.
I'm sure right now, you are thinking of a person who has traits and habits that differ from or even directly contradict their behavioural style. Why does that happen? Imagine trying to walk through your house at night without turning any lights on. You may be able to navigate your way around using touch or any other sense apart from vision, your preferred sense. However, as soon as you turn the lights back on, you will automatically switch back to using your sight again, as it is much easier to navigate around your home.
The way your behaviour operates is very similar. You learn to modify your behaviour to suit different environments. To be successful in a different environment, you adapt your behaviour to suit the situation's needs. For example, if you are naturally a reserved and systematic person (steadiness), but your work schedule is sporadic, and your workplace is very social, your behavioural traits are likely to change. However, you will most likely switch back to being a Steady individual as soon as you leave that environment.
How To Change My Personality
Although we can adapt our behaviour to specific situations, we are more likely to feel lacking in energy, exhausted and burnt out if we adjust our behaviour for extended periods. This is because we are flexing from our most comfortable and easy behavioural styles. However, you can (and should!) develop the aspects of your behaviour that you are unhappy with. We recommend attempting this in short periods. By gradually shaping your behaviour, you will strengthen your non-natural traits and find your interactions with other styles are easier. Such a change can be triggered by your environment or through a conscious adjustment of behaviour by your own will.
Do Personality Types Change Over Time?
Occasionally your natural personality type may change over time. Usually, these changes do not happen due to conscious adjustment but significant events in your life, such as a serious illness or event. These changes are very rare. You may notice your adjusted Extended DISC profile (profile II) changes significantly each time you complete the questionnaire. Your profile II is more susceptible to changes as it identifies the adjustment you were making to your personality type when you answered the questionnaire. You could have been in the middle of a large project at work and having to behave in a particular way to deliver the project. When you are removed from that environment, you will likely revert to your natural personality type.
To conclude, aspects of your basic personality type can change, whereas others can be harder to modify, including your behavioural style. While small conscious adjustments to your behaviour can strengthen your non-natural traits, making a constant full-time adjustment can cause you to burn out. Each behavioural style is unique and has its own strengths and development areas. You can take the time to learn more about DISC profiles types as a way to analyse your own behaviour and how you interact with others. Learning to embrace and utilise your strengths will help you recognise why you are stressed and can also help you exceed in your current environment.