Your Personality Isn’t Permanent
Recently, Dr. Benjamin Hardy released a book titled Personality Isn’t Permanent. Hardy is a psychologist who specializes in how personalities change overtime. While this is an excellent book that’s definitely worth the read to anyone out there trying to overcome an addiction, understanding the basics of his studies and findings is crucial. Not only is this an important subject for anyone working on their recovery, but it’s just as important for anyone who is hoping to become a better person.
The Myth of Personality
For many years, psychologists, neuroscientists and the like thought that personality was fixed. While it’s true that there are many biological factors such as genetics that play a role in personality, it was later found that environment also shapes your personality. In fact, environment can also change your genetics. Epigenetics is the field of study that looks at genes that are dormant until a life-changing event. For example, someone who is the victim of trauma can develop an addiction due to epigenetics.
Eventually, scientists discovered how one’s environment can shape personality, but they still believed it was fixed. It was a long-held belief that by the time you reached early adulthood, you had experienced all of the major life events that would solidify your personality for the rest of your life. This idea may not seem like a big deal to some, but it actually is. When you think your personality is fixed and no longer changing, what’s that mean for people who want to overcome an addiction or depression? This way of thinking can make you give up and not try to change into the person you want to become. Thankfully, new scientific evidence shows that you can change no matter how old you are.
What is Neuroplasticity?
Contrary to the old scientific belief that your personality is fixed, we now know about something called neuroplasticity. This is the science of how the brain adapts and changes. The brain isn’t a fixed organism. You have billions of neurons interacting, and they change with every new experience you have. They first learned about neuroplasticity when studying people who lost their eyesight later in life. Over time, they saw how different brain regions started to strengthen as the person adapted to their new way of living without the ability to see.
Therapy and Addiction Recovery
The most important findings of neuroplasticity in relation to addiction and mental health is all of the work that’s been done in the realm of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). CBT and other forms of holistic treatment are scientifically proven to change how your brain functions and works. Whether you’re going through therapy or simply working a 12-step program, as you learn, address different internal issues, and change your behaviors, your brain changes as well.
So, whether you’re in long-term recovery or just starting on the path of sobriety, know that your personality isn’t permanent. Science has proven you can change. As you continue to stay sober and develop new thoughts and behaviors, you become a new, better person. And you don’t have to take our word for it. Just take a look at the Enlightened Solutions alumni as well as other people in long-term recovery. They are completely different people than when they were in their active addiction or when they first got sober, which is living proof that your personality can change.
If you’d like to learn more about how you can change your life for the better through treatment at Enlightened Solutions, call us today at 833-801-LIVE.