Self-Actualization through a better understanding of your temperament and habits.
Before we jump into the subject of habits, let’s take a quick look at the core foundation we all have in common, temperament. There are 16 known temperaments, and we are born with 1! Our temperament doesn’t change throughout our lives, and we don’t get to choose which one we get.
Often I hear individuals share that when they take a temperament assessment (also known as a personality test), they don’t always receive the same results. There are a couple reasons for this.
One reason falls under the category of self-awareness. When was the last time someone asked you your preferences? When is the last time your boss or significant other stood in front of you and said “How do you prefer to work today”? Every time I ask this I get a very long silence followed by an “I don’t remember the last time, if ever”. Because of this, our preferences and self-awareness of them get hidden behind these things called habits.
Secondly, not all assessment are equal. There are a myriad of free assessments out there today, and many of those don’t have reliable results sending people in wrong directions. This is a story for another day. 😉
Think of temperament as being your core foundation, your innate tendencies and preferences. Your habits sit on top of these preferences. The combination of our temperament and our habits and experiences (Character) make us the one unique person in the world that no one else is!
How then do habits play such a big part in happiness in our lives and careers? It’s quite simple, yet extremely important. We form our habits when we repeat certain behaviors enough times that they become automatic and most often we get them from others around us!
There is no guarantee that we have the same temperament as a parent or sibling, in fact there is no genetic correlation. So as we grow up and hear the “should do’s” and “Should not do’s” from our parent figures, siblings, teachers and friends of other temperaments, we’re adding habits on top of our temperament.
As we become more self-actualized, we can begin observing those things that are innate (temperament) to us, and become self-aware of those things we have developed as habits. The decision now becomes yours. Which habits do you “like” and want to hold on to? Which habits do you no longer like (or quite frankly have never liked) that you held onto to please and fit in with others around you?
When you begin to purge habits that don’t fit with who you are to your core and where you want to be in life, you open the space to fill them with new habits. This is self-actualization at its best, self-actualization on steroids! When you begin choosing your habits and align them with your goals, your happiness and success factors increase significantly because it becomes effortless to do what is natural to you, versus what was natural for someone who helped you form those habits.
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If you’re interested in learning more about temperament and habits, you can find additional articles and resources on my website.
For over a decade, Jeanne Patti has trained and coached people around the globe in temperament. Her teachings and coaching are bringing life changing solutions to people in their lives and careers.