How Do Your Personality Traits Affect Your Life?

How Do Your Personality Traits Affect Your Life?
Gema Sánchez Cuevas

Written and verified by the psychologist Gema Sánchez Cuevas.

Last update: 20 October, 2022

All of us know, or can at least intuit, that our personality influences how we face obstacles, treat others, or celebrate the objectives we achieve. However, what few people know is that their personality is a series of immutable or permanent traits that define each of us. It’s true that there’s an important genetic burden in our personality, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t mold it in many ways.

Each one of our personality traits makes us different, unique, and special. But when these same traits work as setbacks to acquire a job, keep a relationship going, or make friends…they propose a challenge. We must try to modify our personality traits, so they can begin to work in our favor.

Man looking into a mirror in a desert.

Our personalities influence us, but they can’t sentence our fate

One of the best tools we have in order to make changes to our personality is self-knowledge. By being aware of our limitations and strengths, it’s easier to manage good results in our personal and professional lives. Thus, we can work on the skills we have difficulties with more exhaustively. Also, we can boost others, which will give us with an advantage.

I often run into people who make comments about how hard it is for them to express themselves to others. Or, to claim their place at work, for example, because “due to their personality, they just can’t manage it”. This happens to all of us at some point in our lives. 

Nevertheless, the turning point comes when you reach the conclusion that “people never change”. Yes and no. We all have natural innate tendencies when it comes to how we carry ourselves on a daily basis. A child who is either shy or extroverted will probably become an adult who is shy or extroverted. This is called temperament. Take a look at this interesting documentary that explains a lot about the correlations between genetics and one’s personality.

Your temperament and character make up your personality

Nevertheless, culture, experiences, and our surroundings will modulate our temperament. It will do so by constructing and reconstructing what we call our character. These two aspects are what make up our personality.

Therefore, the statement that “people don’t change” is partially true. It’s true in the sense that each of us is more comfortable in a certain type of setting and uncomfortable in others. This is due to our personality. However, the capacity to optimally adapt to each of these situations without ceasing to be “yourself”, can be modulated.

How can you modulate your personality?

How? It’s not as easy or as hard for all of us to acquire this “chameleonic” trait. That’s why it’s easier for some people to plunge into new things and enjoy them while the same tasks could become an odyssey for others. Here lies the importance of self-knowledge, it’ll tell you how to get the most out of your abilities without suffering excessively over your limitations.

A simple exercise you can perform to reach this self-knowledge, in general terms, is to answer the following questions. What do you like? What’s good for you?  What you like and does you good is no problem. The hard part comes from the things you don’t like or represent obstacles but are still good for you, since you could be missing out on a chance to get something beneficial.

On the other hand, there are activities or challenges that you like or which are easier or more accessible for you, but which aren’t good for you if they turn into a habit. These activities tend to be called “vices” and can have a positive side when they are satisfied occasionally. Nevertheless, when this vice, for example, leads to a romantic relationship that we cling to despite the harm it causes, that’s when we have a problem.

Woman with a giant key looking at the sky.

How to get results…

Now we have a starting point. How can you get closer to the things that are good for you and keep your distance from the things that harm you? At this point, you have to identify why it’s hard for you to get close to certain activities, people, and even objects that are beneficial for you. Shyness? Lack of communication skills? Pride? And what is keeping you from getting rid of the things that harm you? Fear? Insecurity? Conformism?

After taking a few steps towards a new and more secure you, one supported by self-knowledge and a strengthened self-esteem, you’re prepared to grab the world by the horns. Be more aware of your strengths and limitations, more chameleonic, and a whole lot harder to knock down.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.