Personality Isn’t Permanent | Benjamin P. Hardy

Summary of: Personality Isn’t Permanent: Break Free from Self-Limiting Beliefs and Rewrite Your Story
By: Benjamin P. Hardy


Embark on a journey to dispel the myths surrounding personality and unlock your true potential with Benjamin P. Hardy’s book, ‘Personality Isn’t Permanent.’ This summary challenges the idea of fixed personalities, highlights the pseudoscience behind personality tests, and showcases how we can change our personalities over time. Gain insights on how to alter your perspective on your past and take control of your narrative, leading to personal growth and freedom from self-limiting beliefs.

The Pseudoscience of Personality Testing

Personality tests are not grounded in science, but rather a way for test designers to make money. The lack of scientific evidence allows for a wide range of arbitrary testing results. The origins of tests like Myers-Briggs were based solely on personal experiences rather than scientific evidence. The idea that personalities are innate and unchangeable is not supported by science, and realizing this can be liberating.

Personality Changes Over Time

A long-term study conducted in Scotland showed that personalities are not fixed and can change over time, despite the common perception that they remain stable. This challenges the myth at the heart of personality testing. The reason for this myth’s longevity is due to the difficulty of carrying out research for several decades, limited resources for follow-up tests, and the end-of-history illusion, where people assume that due to past changes, they will remain the same in the future. However, we can plan and anticipate future changes.

The False Promise of Authenticity

Across the United States, students are advocating for exemption from classroom presentations, citing anxiety as their reason. While many teachers sympathize, this response may have detrimental consequences, especially when it comes to students’ long-term personal growth. The core idea behind this reluctance to present is the fallacious belief in an authentic self. Abbreviating one’s actions to what feels “natural” or comfortable hinders progress and limits potential for growth. Psychology professor Adam Grant’s personal triumph over fear of public speaking is just one example of how pushing beyond one’s comfort zone can lead to substantial growth. Overall, the willingness to put oneself in uncomfortable situations and learn from them is the key to personal development.

Redefining Personality

Personality is not a fixed trait but rather shaped by our actions and goals. Understanding our goals is the first step towards redefining our personality. We don’t need a personality test but rather to become more mindful about the goals that drive our behavior and shape our personality. This exercise helps us identify outcomes we don’t actually want to pursue, which is the first step towards pursuing better goals.

Want to read the full book summary?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Fill out this field
Fill out this field
Please enter a valid email address.
You need to agree with the terms to proceed