Wishing You Were Someone Else

The desire to be someone else, and change your personality and behavior is something everybody experiences in their lifetime. Even though Sigmund Freud the famous psychoanalyst suggests that the personality is set in stone by the age of 5, we find ourselves wanting to change and trying to change.

Someone who is shy may want to be like one of those who love being at the center of attention, leading conversations with strangers confidently. Someone who is quick to ignite and spontaneous may wish to be more calm and focused and think before they act.

Modern psychology suggests that this is all possible because a personality is shaped by experiences throughout life. This means our behavior and personality can indeed to guided towards a direction of our preference with patience and persistence.

Sometimes the desire to be someone else originates from society and its expectations for us. You may want to change your personality and behavior to please the people around you or to fit into some standards you may believe to matter. 

Grab your pen and paper and write down a list of behaviors or personality traits you would want to change. Instead of focusing on actual skill or ability, focus on the effort that should be put into achieving that ability or skill

I want to be smart -> I want to read more books to gain more knowledge

I want to be more outgoing -> I want to have experiences where I feel confident in the center of attention

Evaluate each of them on a scale of 1 to 10 based on where you think you stand right now. Choose 2-3 of the ones that got the lowest scores but matter the most to you.

Of those 2-3 personality traits or behaviors, ask yourself:

  • Does this align with what I value in life?
  • Do I want to change because it’s something I believe would contribute towards the goals I have in life?
  • Or do I want to change for the approval of someone or the whole society?

Any change can be tough. But sometimes the change can feel like swimming against the current because you’re not doing it for the right reasons and you’re going against your core values. For a change to bring you joy and a sense of accomplishment, it has to originate from yourself, not others. If you are sure about the reasons behind your wish, ask about each change – How can I improve? These will become the action plan for you, should you decide to proceed.