Can character be changed and how?

Specific character traits can be successfully trained. That kind of training can be achieved if a person becomes braver, more creative, more tolerant and so on. According to the latest psychological and neurobiological researches, one truly can change his/her own character. Character is not fixed. On the contrary, the characteristics of a human being such as persistence, honesty, curiosity, humor, enthusiasm, creativity or integrity may be learned regardless of one’s age. 

Character foundations

Researches led by Seligman developed comprehensive tests that reveal the basic characteristics of a person. The results reveal that character is built by genes, upbringing, and experience. Furthermore, Dr. Mathias Jung, a gestalt therapist, claims that the first obstacle which has to be mastered in changing one’s own character is self-consciousness. We should therefore be aware of the characteristics which we have so we can continue to retrain our own personality [1]. 

Assesment of character

The best way of identifying your own personality is through the assessment of the friends and family members. The best evaluation of character can be provided by a partner if we request feedback on ourselves. However, to what extent can a person’s character be changed? Personality is genetically determined to a great extent. A large part of it is formed during the first years of life in our family and social environment. 

Building new neurons and systems

However and luckily, the brain has a long-term role in shaping our character. Neuroscientists consider that plastic neurons have the ability for reflection of our system and that they can build new neurons and whole system networks by acquiring new experiences or by learning. It affects synaptic decisions and how we will behave in similar situations in the future.

Chose the person you want to be

All in all, it is obvious that our character can, to a certain extent, be shaped the way we want. This means that, although a lot of our character traits are inherited, i.e. given by birth, we can still choose to be who we want to be. We can therefore choose to be more brave, more confident, more powerful, successful, etc.

[1] Mathias Jung. Mut zum Ich. 2014.