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Personality Isn't Permanent: Break Free from Self-Limiting Beliefs and Rewrite Your Story

Personality Isn't Permanent: Break Free from Self-Limiting Beliefs and Rewrite Your Story

by Benjamin Hardy


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Psychologist and bestselling author Benjamin Hardy, PhD, debunks the pervasive myths about personality that prevent us from learning—and provides bold strategies for personal transformation
In Personality Isn’t Permanent, Dr. Benjamin Hardy draws on psychological research to demolish the popular misconception that personality—a person’s consistent attitudes and behaviors—is innate and unchanging. Hardy liberates us from the limiting belief that our “true selves” are to be discovered, and shows how we can intentionally create our desired selves and achieve amazing goals instead. He offers practical, science-based advice to for personal-reinvention, including:

   • Why personality tests such as Myers-Briggs and Enneagram are not only psychologically destructive but are no more scientific than horoscopes
   • 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
   • How to design your current identity based on your desired future self and make decisions here-and-now through your new identity
   • How to reframe traumatic and painful experiences into a fresh narrative supporting your future success
   • How to become confident enough to define your own life’s purpose
   • How to create a network of “empathetic witnesses” who actively encourage you through the highs and lows of extreme growth
   • How to enhance your subconscious to overcome addictions and limiting patterns
   • How redesign your environment to pull you toward your future, rather than keep you stuck in the past
   • How to tap into what psychologists call “pull motivation” by narrowing your focus on a single, definable, and compelling outcome
The book includes true stories of intentional self-transformation—such as Vanessa O’Brien, who quit her corporate job and set the Guinness World Record for a woman climbing the highest peak on every continent in the fastest time; Andre Norman, who became a Harvard fellow after serving a fourteen-year prison sentence; Ken Arlen, who instantly quit smoking by changing his identity narrative; and Hardy himself, who transcended his childhood in a broken home, surrounded by issues of addiction and mental illness, to earn his PhD and build a happy family.

Filled with strategies for reframing your past and designing your future, Personality Isn’t Permanent is a guide to breaking free from the past and becoming the person you want to be.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780593083314
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 06/16/2020
Pages: 272
Sales rank: 142,525
Product dimensions: 8.20(w) x 5.60(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Dr. Benjamin Hardy is an organizational psychologist and bestselling author of Willpower Doesn’t Work. His blog is read monthly by millions of people and has been featured on Forbes, Fortune, CNBC, Cheddar, Big Think, and many others. From 2015-2018, he was the #1 writer in the world on and is a regular contributor to Inc. and Psychology. He and his wife Lauren adopted three children through the foster system in February 2018 and, one month later, Lauren became pregnant with twins, who were born in December of 2018. They live in Orlando.

Read an Excerpt

Myth #3: Personality Comes from Your Past

"Because sometimes the past deserves a second chance."
—Malcolm Gladwell

A common scientific premise of many theories is known as “causal determinism”—the idea that everything that happens or exists is caused by antecedent conditions or events. From this view, people are determined—not influenced—by prior events, like one domino in a toppling chain.

In looking at human behavior, psychologists have come to agree that the best way to predict future behavior is by looking at past behavior. And for the most part, that perspective is validated over and over. Indeed, people seem quite predictable over time. The important question is, Why?

A dominant view of predictable behavior is that “personality” is a stable “trait” that is for the most part unchangeable. However, as will be shown throughout this book, this explanation is a gross and curate oversimplification, which ultimately leads to mindlessness, justification, and a lack of radical progress and intentional living.

Yes, people’s behavior can appear to be, and often is, predictable and consistent over time. But the reason for that consistency is not a fixed and unalterable personality. Instead, there are four far deeper reasons, which keep people stuck in patterns:

• They continue to be defined by past traumas that haven’t been reframed.
• They have an identity narrative based on the past, not the future.
• Their subconscious keeps them consistent with their former self and emotions.
• They have an environment supporting their current rather than their future identity.

These are the levers that drive personality—and whether you realize it or not, you can control them. When you change, reframe, or manage these levers, your personality and life can change in intentional and remarkable ways.

Table of Contents

Introduction: A Personality Test Almost Ruined My Life 1

1 The Myths of Personality 17

2 The Truth of Personality 65

3 Transform Your Trauma 111

4 Shift Your Story 139

5 Enhance Your Subconscious 177

6 Redesign Your Environment 197

Conclusion: Embrace Your Future to Change Your Past 223

Acknowledgments 231

Notes 237

Index 249

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