Our inner desire to label ourselves into personality categorizations is strong. In the quest to understand one’s self, we find solace in labels and fixed ideations. However, focusing on labels alone can lead to a belief that we are who we are and as such, are incapable of change. Our guest today, Dr. Benjamin Hardy, is keenly aware of our propensity toward self-labeling. Through his research and work as an Organizational Psychologist, Dr. Hardy reveals that our inner makeup is not fixed, that we are in fact capable of learning and growing into new patterns of behaviors and beliefs. He encourages us to be aware and choose the meaning we give things.
Dr. Hardy has authored two books, the bestseller Willpower Doesn’t Work: Discover the Hidden Keys to Success (2018) and his latest, Personality Isn’t Permanent: Break Free from Self-Limiting Beliefs and Rewrite Your Story (2020). He is a #1 rated writer on Medium.com for three years with blogs featured on Forbes, Fortune, CNBC, Cheddar, Big Think and countless others.
Dr. Hardy shares his own personal journey of forgiving his past self and explains how your future self is more important than who you are today. To quote his grandfather, “…always remember it is not who you are today that matters, it is who you want in your heart to become.”
Dr. Hardy carries this wisdom with him as he works to help us learn how to view our past trauma in a different light.
Listen to the episode in the player below or download and enjoy it on Apple Podcasts. If you are so inclined, please leave us a review!
- Identity is our self-concept; it is how we describe ourselves. Personality is your consistent patterns and behaviors over time. Your behavior signals back to you the kind person you think you are. Dr. Hardy discourages the myth that your personality is locked in and encourages us to consider the contextual nature of our makeup. We talk all the time about growth mindset, yet over adopting labels especially in personality evaluation, is succumbing to a fixed mindset. Labeling can influence the way you view your past as well as what you expect of yourself in the future.
- We can ascribe new meaning to past trauma. This is a huge takeaway for anyone struggling with this reality. Whether the trauma is self-inflicted or perpetuated upon us, we often struggle with reframing our past narrative. It is part of our story and we, are the sole tellers of our story. Tell your story, actively choose better meaning, and redirect your attention toward the future.
“If you are going to create a new future self, you actually interestingly have to have a new past self.”
- We can make decisions today that reflect who we want to be rather than who we are today. Even if you are unsure what the future holds, you likely have an idea of where you want to go as a person. What steps need to be taken for you to actualize who you want to be? What must you do to show up for yourself? First understand that commitment is a state of what is. It is incredibly important to clarify who your future self is and view them as a different person. Intentionally and deliberately allow the future to shape the present.
Willpower Doesn’t Work: Discover the Hidden Keys to Success by Benjamin Hardy
“How can we help our future selves?” | Hal Hershfield at TEDxEast
Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol S. Dweck Ph.D.
Tiny Habits: The Small Changes That Change Everything by BJ Fogg, Ph.D.