7/30 Your Personality Isn’t Permanent

Your Personality Isn’t Permanent

One of the members of the Women’s Leadership Lab shared a habit this week.

Having always worked in ‘startup’ culture, she’s accustomed to logging 14 hour days, and ordering pizza for sustenance at 10:30pm.

At her new job, a different dynamic is at play: EVERYONE is out the door by 5pm. 

The new job isn’t asking for the ‘facetime’ either. Rather, they are results focused. Work wherever. Work whenever. But produce the results. Have balance.

Despite this ethos, she remains working, until at least 6:30pm.

I asked her, “What’s the resistance? Why not leave at 5 too?”

“It’s the way I’ve always shown up. Hardworking. Committed. Long hours.That’s startup culture” she replied.

Thought leader Dorie Clark shared a story related to this: A woman was making Thanksgiving dinner. She had a new boyfriend. Really wanting to impress him, she set about cutting off the sides of the turkey. 

“Why are you cutting off the sides of the turkey?” he curiously asked. 

“Oh because that’s the way my mom always did it.”

It sparked her curiosity. She put in a call to her mother. “Mom, why do you cut off the sides of the turkey?”

“Oh because that’s the way my mom always did it.”

Another phone call. The mother called her mother.

“Mom, why did you always cut the sides off the turkey?”

“Oh, because we didn’t have a big enough pan back then!”

There is value in questioning, ‘That’s the way we always did it.”  Doing it the way ‘we’ve always done it’ may not be the prescription to a delicious Thanksgiving meal in 2023.

Probe. Question. Ask why.

Here is an exercise to help:

I often share this with members of my Samita Lab Mastermind. (Enrolling now here) It challenges a person to think about the traits of their old identity. Even give her a name.

Then it challenges a person to think about the new identity she or he would like to assume. Give him or her a name. 

Given this new lens, how would the new identity make decisions?

Dr. Ben Hardy wrote a great book on this topic, Personality isn’t Permanent. Why you should never be the “former” anything – because defining yourself by your past successes is just as damaging to growth as being haunted by past failures.

I learned this exercise from a Tony Robbins module. The graphic to help fill in the blanks are below.

Designing "Future You"

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