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You Are Not Your Personalityby Sopan Greene, M.A.
The #1 reason you usually only get a temporary fix from motivational programs, self help books and personal coaches is that they focus on your personality. This is the place where inner growth must begin, but it's also got it's limitations. After you become an observer of your personality then it's time to move on.
Is it that surprising to hear that you are not your personality? It shouldn't be. Think back to the difference in your personality every 5 years of your life. What did you like and dislike when you were 5 years old? How about when you were 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, etc.? Were your likes and dislikes the same at 10 years old as they are now? I doubt it. Maybe your favorite color still blue, but twinkies and bubble gum don't taste as good as they used to do they?
Sure, there are some cultural preferences that stay with you based on where you grew up and what generation your'e from. But most of the opinions you used to define yourself 20 years ago have been left in the dust or at least changed as you've grown up haven't they? When I was 13 I couldn't wait to drive and I wanted a Trans Am because my personality thought they were so cool. By the time was 16 you couldn't have paid me to drive a Trans Am because my personality thought they were so uncool.
It's kind of funny how most people define themselves by these temporary opinions that create limiting labels of who they are. If someone says they're a democrat or republican or rich or poor or an American does it tell you who they are?
At best it reflects how their personality views themselves and the world today. At worst they're labeling themsleves, cutting off options and creating separation between themselves and beings who they perceive to fall under lables different from them. It's arbitrary, limiting and hurtful to box yourself in like that.
If you have done psychological and/or spiritual work on yourself then this comes as no surprise. You may have had the priveledge of experiencing the being the you are. Many people have transpersonal (beyond the personal) experiences with their spirits in moments of crisis, near death experiences, car crashes, traumas, in nature, in meditation or under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
If you aren't consciously working on your inner self, what you need to learn generally shows up through the physical world. Unfortunately, in many cases these happen in extereme conditions which appear to be negative like the ones mentioned above.
Love your personality. Observe your personality. Care for it like the child of yours it is. Just remember that one doing the caring is your spirit. It's the adult who patiently parents the personality and sometimes needs to remember to not give in to the childish desires. It's a balancing act that takes conscious awareness to nurture, but you can do it.