Inside each and every one of us lies multiple personalities. Not in a ‘dissociative order’ kind of way, rather different personalities in different areas of our lives, and each of these areas have different characteristics, in effect multiple personalities.
These personalities fight among themselves for superiority and we tend to favour one type depending on how we feel.
Let me give you an example here:
The two personalities most of us have experienced.
We’ve all been in the place when we want to get fitter in our lives. So the two types of personalities we’ll call them Mr(s) Fit and Mr(s) Unfit.
We might have gone through most of our lives being relatively fit, we played sports at school, we carried that on and played with a local team, or we went out jogging after work. Then life kinda got in the way. We got married, had kids, got a job working all hours and Mr(s) Fit pretty much faded away and Mr(s) Unfit took over.
Then one day we look in the mirror and let out a little squeal ‘Jesus, when did I develop that stomach?’ or ‘When the hell did I get so much cellulite?’ or ‘When did the bingo wings happen?’ and Mr(s) Fit comes shooting up from the grave and says ‘I’m here, and it’s time to get fit again. Now, get your lardy ass back to the gym, we’re going on a fitness regime.’ Dutifully, you join the gym and get all pumped up, and for two weeks you’re going great guns. You’ve lost a few pounds, which keeps you motivated, you’re going out jogging at 6am, and going to the gym 3 nights per week. Then life happens again, you’ve got to work late and miss the gym one night, it’s raining at 6am when you’re going for a jog and Mr(s) Unfit says, ‘come on, you can miss it one morning, it’s not going to kill you.’ Pretty soon, Mr(s) Unfit has taken over again and you’re back to square one.
This fight goes on for years, with Mr(s) Fit coming to the fore every now and again, but Mr(s) Unfit just waits in the wings ready to come back harder and stronger than ever before ‘You’re too old for all this.’; ‘You shouldn”t have to work so hard at this, take a break.’; ‘Go on, one cake isn’t going to harm you is it?’. You get the picture. And that’s one of two types of personalities we have inside of us, each fighting for superiority.
We have multiple personalities fighting inside us all the time: Mr(s) Lazy Ass vs Mr(s) Productive, Mr(s) Manager vs Mr(s) Entrpreneur, Mr(s) Procrastinator vs Mr(s) Get Things Done, Mr(s) Disorganised vs Mr(s) Organised, along with 10s of others.
The Dichotomy of life
It’s easy to spot the different personalities in each of us in every thing we do in life. Sometimes I go into work and I’m super productive and can get my work done in half the time it normally takes, and then other days I just can’t be bothered and tell myself I’ll be able to do it tomorrow. Same with being a good parent, sometimes I go out a throw a rugby ball about with my sons, and other days I have too much work to do.
So there are always two types of personalities inside of us, in each area of our lives, and there are many different areas.
So what do we do to be the person we really want to be?
Knowing who you want to be
When I do coaching and I ask the question ‘Who do you want to be?’, it totally stumps my clients; ‘Well I’d like to be…er….well….um….mm…I don’t really know.’
A lot of the time we are unconscious of the dominant personalities in our lives. So we have to become aware of the dominant personalities. We do this by asking ourselves questions:
Am I generally a productive person?
Am I a good parent?
Am I organised?
Am I a good manager?
Am I assertive?
Think just now about some of the areas where you wished you were better. I am sure you’ve said to yourself ‘I wish I am was more like them, they are so organised.’ or ‘I wish I could be as assertive as them, they are so much more respected.’ So go ahead just now and think about some of the areas you’d like to do better in.
Now that you’ve gotten some of the different personalities in mind and know which personality you’d like to dominate your thinking, it’s time to take some action.
As an example, say you want to be more organised in life but Mr(s) Disorganised is the dominant personality, you have to fight Mr(s) Disorganised and do something every single day that will frustrate them: Tidy the house for half hour each day instead of leaving it for one particular day of the week, get your birthday calendar organised every month so you never miss a birthday again (one of my previous downfalls), Organise a to do list at work that you must complete to stop you feeling overwhelmed, tidy you work space every day, organise the desktop on your computer so you’re not constantly trying to find files and programs. You see what I mean here.
After a few weeks of doing something every day to bring forth the dominant personality you want in your life, the other personality will fade into the background. But beware, they are just waiting in the wings ready for an opportunity to pounce and snatch dominance again. You’ve got to be strongest in your weakest moments, when you can do that you will quickly become the person you really want to be.
Small moves Ellie, small moves
In the movie ‘Contact’ starring Jodie Foster as Ellie Arroway her father Ted Arroway, played by David Morse, is helping his young daughter find a signal on a short wave radio. She complains that she’s not picking up any signal as she turns the dial in wide arcs, searching desperately for someone out there who’s listening.
“Small moves, Ellie. Small moves.” he tells her.
She turns the dial more slowly, carefully, click by click, and picks up a signal in Pensacola, Florida. Ellie is overjoyed.
So it is with life; Small moves. I wouldn’t try and get all the dominant personalities you want in your life straight away. I would pick 3 of the most important type of personality you would like to have and focus on them solely for a few months. Once you’ve mastered a few, you can then start to pick up the pace and focus on other areas of your life you’d like to change and bring foirth new dominant personalites in your life.
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