The word personality has become a very common currency in our day to day life and in the current social discourse. It is that tangible-yet-somewhat-unfathomable feature the employers look for among job aspirants and something that people look for in prospective partners. But the billion dollar question is: what is personality, after all, and can we set its boundaries clearly by defining it?
Before we begin talking about personality, let’s try to get it: Personality is not about being a well-dressed, smart-looking person, though it can help. Rather, it is the typical ways in which you perceive the world, think about it and act – all these things make you a unique personality.
Personality goes much beyond superficialities. When we label someone a good personality, we are, in effect, saying that they are interesting and pleasant people to be with. We all would love to look attractive and pleasing and to this end, having a good personality is vitally important: in fact, much more than having just good looks. Of course, we need to work on figuring it out and developing it further.
Since personality is the sum total of your qualities, quirks, characteristics, beliefs, attitudes and psychological traits, personality development would involve an enhancement in all areas of your life. A clutch of factors pertaining to heredity, environment, family and societal conditions play an important role in influencing and shaping personality. Therefore, one would need to work in all these areas to bring about a well-rounded development.
Mercifully, there is ample research to suggest that we can certainly change our personality traits provided we want to do so. You can become the best version of yourself. – confident, enthusiastic and serene, if you really want to. A personality that makes you stand out and help you get what you want from life.
The process may take considerable effort, but you can start with these easy and effective techniques and see a perceptible transformation in your whole personality. For those serious about bringing a positive holistic change in their life, personality development may become the most rewarding enterprise one could have ever undertaken.
Based on my experiences as a life coach, here is my To-Do List for having a great personality:
Personality Development Counselling
Be kind (towards yourself!)
A feeling of self-compassion brings optimism, extroversion, wisdom, happiness, positivity and resilience. Self-compassion involves three steps:
- Recognizing that you deserve care and concern and for that to happen, you must be kind and understanding towards yourself.
- Accepting that making mistakes and facing failures are part and parcel of life. So, do not be hard on yourself when you commit a mistake or face a failure and try to avoid self-criticism.
- Trying to become self-aware in terms of your emotions and feelings. Of course, self-compassion does not mean imply lack of accountability and recklessness. Rather, it means taking corrective action without getting too self-critical.
Celebrate your uniqueness
As a life coach, if I have discovered the biggest myth people have about themselves, it is this: they mostly wish they were someone else. Feel confident in your own skin by not comparing yourself with others as the constant comparisons blocks our own strengths from our views. The other person tends to assume more strength in our mind. But the truth is: you’re unique and incomparable and this uniqueness must be celebrated.
There was a time when you were required on this planet and that’s why you were sent here. In the history of the universe, there has been nobody like you and for an infinite time to come, there won’t be anyone else like you. Existence loved you so much that it broke the mould after making you, so none of your kind will never get born again. That way, you are original, rare, a wonder and a masterpiece. Celebrate your uniqueness.
Some of us are very tall, others quite puny, some obese, others lanky. If we compare ourselves with the currently popular media standards of physical appeal, our imperfections often agitate and trouble us. So much so that getting agitated becomes a habit and our grumpiness becomes a personality trait with age. But remember, people who are relaxed or chilled out, live happier and healthier and can charm people with their relaxed vibes. To feel cooler, give room to imperfections as those around you, the situations and your own personality don’t always have to be the way you want them.
Be a good listener
- A Kannada couplet says that words can create laughter and can also create enmity. A skillful communicator can easily win over people and adverse situations. So, bring clarity in your communication with practice. Learn how you can be an excellent communicator using the resources available online and offline.
- Good communication is the time-tested key to good interpersonal relationships. With clear communication, you can navigate through adverse situations and resolve conflicts that might seem unsurpassable at first. So, clear your thoughts and make sure to communicate whatever has to be said.
- Besides having good speaking skills, it’s important to develop good listening skills too. Listening to someone keenly and carefully makes them feel pampered like nothing else can. It implies giving utmost importance and respect to the speaker and makes you an instantly likeable person.
- While listening, look the speaker in the eye, hang on to every word said, and make them feel important. Convey your involvement during listening with an occasional hmm of yours and a nod of your head.
- As for me, I have learnt a lot by becoming a careful listener. Of course, it is essential in my profession as a counselor and life coach in order to draw the other person out fully, but it’s equally important in life, in general.
- Good speaking skills warrant that you call your audience by name. They will just love it! So, ask them their names and while responding to them, address them by their name. I do so frequently in my seminars to build a personal rapport and make them feel comfortable and connected. Calling by name conveys that you consider the other one a living, thriving entity that you really recognize and respect.
In this context, I recall Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, one of the most charming women thanks to her listening skills. She was known for the way she would look a person in the eyes, catch every word said, and make them feel important. There is nothing more appealing than having someone listen to you intently making you feel like you’re the only person in the world.
Diversify your interactions
The more you interact with different kinds of people, the more confident and comfortable you will become. It will expose to a vast range of divergent ideas on different issues and help you develop a holistic and balanced perspective on so many things. As a result, your communication skills improve, and your personality dazzles.
Expand your interests
- The secret to becoming an interesting personality is learning – by reading and developing new interests. In this manner, you can share your knowledge and views with others to benefit them. It can make you a good talker as the conversational quality depends on how much you know.
- Remember, no one is a know-all; so it’s quite refreshing to learn new things from other people.
- Develop effective speaking habits to convey your message well. There are plenty of online resources can to help you learn listening, networking and persuasion skills.
Being light in mind and heart reflects in your behavior with others. People also feel light in your company. A good way to do so is to avoid over thinking and over analysis. Don’t let shame, anger, jealousy or greed stay with you for too long. So, learn to take it easy, forgive quickly and let go of grudges against people as soon as they pop up. Once you’re done with a task, let go of your attachment with the results and when you do so, you become free, calm and relaxed – which all are attributes of a strong personality? You will also feel happy from within. And who does not like happy people?
We don’t really get the qualities we like among our peers with jealousy or insecurity. In fact, that thing only makes us mentally weak. A much healthier way is to applaud the qualities you like among others and recognize that these qualities are within you too like a seed, which you can cultivate with attention and practice. If you are able to foster it, it would be a growth mindset, the kind of attitude designed for success.
We all like people with whom we can easily mingle and talk. No one likes to meet a person who responds with a straight face. So be warm and enthusiastic. Flash that smile more often, be friendly and be always ready to share and help others. Your smile is the best add-on to your personality. Put it on when you look at yourself in the mirror, while having a good day, and also on a bad one!
Everyone loves to meet enthusiastic people. Having enthusiasm helps you by making your everyday tasks more enjoyable and by pulling others people towards you. Meditation can help you feel enthusiastic, calm and composed at the same time.
Get out of comfort zone
As soon as you push yourself out of your personal comfort zone, you realize many new qualities and potential you never knew about. So, if you are comfortable doing 10 pages of writing a day, try to improve your capacity by a certain ratio. Getting out of a comfort zone can help you polish your problem-solving skills. You may be surprised at the results! Try it!
- No one would like to be surrounded by a complaint box or those with nothing good to say.
- Be an upbeat person, who lights up a room with personal energy and positivity.
- A warm smile, cheer, and enlivening presence can create wonders.
Laugh it off
- Ever heard of black humour – finding humour even in tragic situations, like in the movie Pipli Live? Everyone enjoys being with those people who make us laugh or smile. Try to develop the habit of finding the humorous, quirky side to every situation, however bad it may be. Comic relief is a much welcome and needed diversion at times.
- Adding fun and lightheartedness to a dull setting naturally attracts others and makes them grateful to you.
- Reading gives you knowledge, which leads to opinions. It is extremely boring to talk to someone with no opinions.
- Remember, a conversation doesn’t go anywhere if you have nothing to say.
- Having an uncommon or out-of-the-box opinion makes you more stimulating.
- If you are not comfortable to put forth your opinion and disagree on something, try doing that albeit calmly and maturely. You will be surprised at what comes out of you.
- Make a conscious effort to interact with more people, especially those unlike you.
- You get exposed you to different cultures, alternative thoughts, which expands horizons, besides making you more tolerant.
- Try to be yourself as trying to be someone you’re not is boring and can’t stay forever.
- Remember, your being unique makes you interesting.
Giving a shoulder
- Help out and support others. It endears you very quickly.
- We all love cheerleaders, who encourage us and pick us up while we’re down.
Integrity and respect
- Be truthful and honest to your word to earn others’ admiration and respect.
- Integrity and respect for others makes you impressive.
Think like a leader
A leader is not just by position; They are people who take responsibilities without waiting for someone else to give them. Just thinking like one can nurture the leadership traits in you. Take responsibilities and live up to them. It can help you bring change and influence on others.
Leadership qualities that help you to achieve greater success:
Stay away from negativity
When you feel good inside, it is reflected on the outside also. And the ideal way to save your mind from negativity is to not resist it but to observe it dissolve itself on a daily basis. Meditation is one way of achieving it.
With regular meditation, letting go and feeling relaxed becomes quite easy. Daily meditation will also make you more focused and happier, beside yielding many other health benefits.
Be a lion
Don’t cave into outside pressures and try to face all challenges confidently. Either you will overcome adversity or learn something precious. It’s a win-win situation, either way! Being calm strengthens one’s personality. However, staying calm may be difficult when you have a terrible headache and arte having an urgent deadline to meet. In such a situation, tap the power of breathing. An awareness of your breathing can help you find calmness amidst any kind of situation.
You’re a proton
A proton never loses its positivity. Nor can you. Stress may affect us often on the outside but your inner core keeps radiating positivity like a proton does by being unaffected, happy and peaceful. Tune into this part of yourself with the help of meditation to energize yourself and bring out positive traits like enthusiasm.
Be Optimistic and grateful
Positivity is the key to a healthy and peaceful life. So expelling negativity from your life will certainly improve your mental stability. Studies show that positive thoughts reduce depression and anxiety to a substantial level.
Remember to practice gratitude and be thankful for all the small and big things that you take for granted. You may not wear the best shoes, but look at those without feet and you will start feeling grateful for your incredible feet that can take you anywhere, anytime. There are many who lack even such basic human luxuries.
Cultivating confidence is the first step towards personality enhancement. Confidence gives rise to self-motivation and makes one aware of their inner capabilities. Science shows that when people feel confident, the chemical changes happening in their brain lead them to a point when they actually start believing it. So, have confidence and know, whatever happens, you can handle it successfully and you, actually, will.
When people lose hope, they feel like quitting. Quitting is one of the worst things you can do while building self-confidence or while improving the quality of life. Remember, you owe it to yourself to take a second chance and achieve the dream that keeps you up at night. And whenever you feel like quitting, think about why you started in the first place.
Everyone has their own story. No two people are identical. However, we have a common tendency to focus on what others achieve instead of seeing how far they have reached.
To achieve success, assess ‘your’ abilities, analyze ‘your’ situation and develop a plan that works for “your” goals.
Don’t chase perfection
No one in this world is perfect. Every person has flaws. So when faced with criticism, accept it if it’s positive and let it go if it’s not. Have a habit of looking at your flaws objectively and work on them to eliminate them one step at a time.
By developing focus, you can channelize your personal energy to the most critical aspects of your life. Decide your priorities and focus on them. Try to know what matters most to you and avoid distractions that derail you on the way.
Everyone has bodily flaws and feels incompetent from time to time. But dressing in what one feels comfortable and confident, can help you tide over tough situations.
Rome wasn’t built in a day
Many traits like the ability to let go, feeling light, enthusiasm and so on can’t be made a part of personality overnight. You need time, effort and a change from within to achieve such transformation. Breathing awareness and meditation can bring out this inner change by removing deep-rooted stress, which results in a calmer, stronger, and happier person.