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Are Personality Tests Ruining Your Life?

In this new series about the personality, we explore the Personality (Jungian “Persona”) and how the conscious personality is developed and interferes with your free will. In this episode, we explore Personality Tests and what they really mean about you. 

  • The major personality tests like Meyers-Briggs, Big Five, Enneagram and what they actually measure;
  • What Jung really believed about his “personality types;”
  • How misunderstanding the results can limit your life and ruin your potential;
  • How understanding your ego personality is not the whole key to transforming your life.

Watch the next Soul Session in this series on our YouTube Channel.

Are Personality Tests Ruining Your Life?

Transcript

Debra Maldonado  00:01

Hello, welcome to another episode of Soul Sessions. Happy Friday. I’m excited because now we are embarking on a new series on personality. We’re going to be talking about personality tests, we’re going to be talking about what happens if there’s a big movement, we’re going to talk about trauma all the time. We’re going to do an episode on how to overcome trauma and what that does with the personality and ego and how that works in Jungian coaching. We’re also going to talk about being a good person, and what that means to us, and how we define ourselves as a good person, and how that limits us in a lot of ways. Lastly, we’re going to talk about just who the true personality is, who we really are. We’re going to, of course, talk about it in every class, from a Jung perspective. But today the topic is are personality tests ruining your life? Are they? We’ll answer that today.

Robert Maldonado  01:08

Let’s begin with a little background because people might know us as Jungian coaches, but they might not know our background. I spent years doing assessment, psychological evaluations. My background, my academic training was heavy into psychological testing. Personality testing is a big part of assessment. We’ll talk about that. There are different models. There is a course a whole slew of pop psychology tests that are out there.

Debra Maldonado  02:06

You just scroll through Facebook, find out what your animal Totem is, or what archetype your dog is, all these fine tests — your love personality and your success personality, all those things. And, of course, the big five, Myers Briggs, a lot of the bigger ones that have been around for a long time.

Robert Maldonado  02:31

Some of the big five has a lot of good research behind it. Our purpose is not to dissuade people from using those things, but to deepen the understanding, so that they are able to use the information gleaned from those personality tests, so that they can improve their mental wellness.

Debra Maldonado  02:56

Just to answer the question, they’re not ruining your life, but they could if you’re not using them what they’re intended for and understanding the intention, because they can end up limiting you. We’ll talk about that. What is a personality? Let’s define that term. What is personality?

Robert Maldonado  03:18

We go back in history, back to Freud, Jung, Adler, William James in the US. They started the whole idea of this personality and a way of, first of all, conceptualizing it, what is it that’s going on when we say that person has a character or personality, or a defect in their personality. A lot of those terms were around at that time, but they hadn’t really been understood or studied psychologically. Freud was really at the forefront of that, saying, let’s develop a scientific theory that we can use to study personality and develop testing and therapies and models with that.

Debra Maldonado  04:13

So their basic definition would be how a person interacts with the world on this conscious level. Is the personality something they can create or something that’s default?

Robert Maldonado  04:35

It’s still debatable, it’s an ongoing discussion in psychology. You go to any psychology department in any big university, and the conversation around personality is still going on. How do we define this thing called personality? What is it, does it really exist? Is it part of our ego? Is it part of consciousness? Is just an illusion? Maybe it doesn’t exist at all. All those are viable responses to that question.

Debra Maldonado  05:08

You can go down a rabbit hole just thinking about what is personality, because it is like an ego from Eastern philosophy. It’s an aspect of the ego which is not actually solid. From an Eastern perspective, locking down into a personality just seems sort of counter spiritual in a way, but also this idea that everyone has a judgement or a label of what that means. What does it mean to be a good person? What does it mean to be kind? What does it mean to be mean? They have a mean personality, or they’re angry, it can be very subjective.

Robert Maldonado  05:49

There are different schools, and the big schools we can identify are some of these. First of all, Freud, Jung, Adler all fall into what’s called the psychodynamic school. Psychodynamics was really interesting because they say the personality is not the center of yourself. It is one of the elements, one of the factors that are dynamically moving around your psyche, jostling for position, for control in a sense, but it’s certainly not the totality of who you are. They talk about the unconscious mind, of course, and in different ways the different psychodynamic school have different ways of formulating it. But from the Jungian perspective, it’s an interesting part because he saw the personality as the mask, meaning the persona. It’s like a construct that we create, an app if you will, like an application on your phone, that functions to interface with the world, especially the social settings as human beings. But that is not the true intelligence in the phone.

Debra Maldonado  07:16

So would you say the personality is more of our conditioning in a way?

Robert Maldonado  07:23

In part. The way our mind constructs it is based in large part on conditioning, but it also comes from inheritance, of course, from your own self concept.

Debra Maldonado  07:35

I didn’t realize that when you told me that our genes actually have personality traits and tendencies, and we can turn them on and off. And growing up with our parents, our family, our culture, we learn how to be and what fits in. Then of course, there’s always the black sheep, there’s always the person who doesn’t fit into the family, they have a completely different personality, like “Where did they come from?” There’s that aspect of nurture versus nature. The personality, I would say, is how people see us and how we see ourselves in the world in a social setting, what we’re capable of, like I have a outgoing personality, or I’m an introvert, how you function in the world. But we make it like that’s who we are. We forget that we’re not the mask, and we end up just over identifying with the personality versus our true nature. That’s really the whole idea of individuation. But I digress, continue.

Robert Maldonado  08:42

We’ll come back to the psychodynamic model, because for us it’s one of the most interesting ones. The other model is a cognitive model. Again, there are different schools as well within that bigger umbrella, but cognitive models essentially look at our mind, our brain is an information processing unit. It’s designed to process information, linguistic information, symbolic information, cultural information, the cognitive function of the brain is to do that. In its doing that it creates this self concept, which we call personality. Essentially, the cognitive scientists would say it’s a cognitive construct.

Debra Maldonado  09:36

So it’s really about your thoughts, the narrative.

Robert Maldonado  09:39

Yes, the story that we have, these schemas we construct in our mind from experience, from learning. They would say that accounts for what we see and what we see as a personality in an individual. This learning past experiences where they might take into account some genetics, some cultural history.

Debra Maldonado  10:08

It’s more behavior, would you say the more cognitive behavioral falls into that?

Robert Maldonado  10:13

Cognitive behavioral, I would say, is one of the cognitive schools. They look at behavior as the output. The input is all that learning and information. The output is the behavior.

Debra Maldonado  10:29

They’re not really taking into account the spirituality of a person or their soul. They’re basically looking at the mechanisms of how they’re functioning in the world from a conscious experience. Do they go into the unconscious? Or they just stay on the conscious level and more behavior, what they can see and experience?

Robert Maldonado  10:49

They don’t talk about the unconscious per se, but we can say there’s some correlation between what the psychodynamic schools call the unconscious and what the cognitive scientists call schemas. Because in the schema, it’s more like the big program, or our worldview perhaps. It’s in there but we don’t think about it continuously. But the mind is using it as a reference point to make sense of new information that’s coming in.

Debra Maldonado  11:32

And also make decisions. If you have a schema of the world is never there for me, you have that pattern, an idea or narrative. What you end up doing, anything that happens, you’ll interpret as that from that point of view, but then where’s the personality in that?

Robert Maldonado  11:57

The personality would be the schema of the self concept. Who am I?

Debra Maldonado  12:04

Not a label as much as the person looks at the whole picture of the schema, of the whole pattern?

Robert Maldonado  12:11

Yes. The cognitive schools would put more emphasis on our awareness, our conscious life than on the unconscious.

Debra Maldonado  12:22

Versus the spiritual aspects.

Robert Maldonado  12:28

Those would be maybe considered part of the worldview perhaps, that there’s something beyond the physical realm. Of course, I’m simplifying. There are some great ideas in cognitive sciences. A lot of people haven’t studied or thought about behaviorism. But Skinner, who was a main proponent of behaviorism, was a brilliant mind, one of the most brilliant minds since Freud and Jung, who contributed to psychology except that his ideas were very much about looking at behavior. Only observable behavior was considered to be valid information in his view. He got to the point where he was denying that there was even a mind there, there was no personality.

Debra Maldonado  13:32

It’s just a robot reacting. Some people treat themselves as “If I just changed my programming, I could change my answer.” They treat themselves as a machine. That would be behaviorism. If I shift my emotions and reactions to things or withhold pleasure from myself. Are addictions based on the behavioral model?

Robert Maldonado  13:56

You can account for addiction through the behavioral models, certainly, because it has to do with rewards and punishment, operant conditioning. Everything we do, every action that we take gives us a certain result. Depending on how we interpret that result, it conditions us. If I take an action and sense that I failed, this gave me a negative result, I’m conditioning myself by taking that action and thinking about what it gave me. If I interpret it as a negative, I tend to decrease that behavior, if I interpret it as a positive, that behavior tends to increase. Imagine all the actions that we’re taking every day, Skinner said, we’re really locked in by the environment and the actions that we take in that environment.

Debra Maldonado  14:52

So there’s no concept of locus of control, personality or anything in that.

Robert Maldonado  14:58

His conclusion was that we’re trapped, the only thing that we can do is rearrange the contingencies in the environment to help us get a better result in the conditioning that is going on.

Debra Maldonado  15:14

That’s what he believed, but we don’t believe it. Just to be clear. Then the neuroscientific model is really the brain, how we work. We’re going through this because you see, a lot of people take pieces of these. When you’re doing self development, you’re hearing these different terms: rewiring the brain, changing your behavior, thinking positive, limiting beliefs, unconscious. Where do these all fall in? They’re actually different schools, how do they fit?

Robert Maldonado  15:48

Neuroscientific thinking and the neuroscience of the brain is huge. Some people would say it’s the dominant school of thought right now, because so much information is coming through about what the brain is, how it functions from neuro imaging, from neuro psychology, just from understanding the physical structure of the brain, its computational power, that people say, this is the way to go. Why do we need all these other schools when this is giving us so much data and so much information? There is some point to that, of course, this school would say that personality’s essentially created by brain functioning, all these billions of neurons firing at once, create a sense of me experiencing the world. Neuroscience gives us some interesting information because it says, you’re not really perceiving a reality out there. The sensory data is collected by the brain. Then the brain creates a three dimensional virtual reality that you experience. When you look at the world, what you’re experiencing is your brain processing this information and creating this world for you, not just you looking out at the world and observing what’s out there. It’s fascinating. It’s giving us a very different perspective on what’s going on and what the brain is doing.

Debra Maldonado  17:50

All of these things we’re talking about, how does that relate to personality testing? What can we take from what you’re talking about right now?

Robert Maldonado  18:10

At the end of the day, if we look at the history of personality theories and the way testing has evolved, it’s important to look, first of all, a little bit of the history. The way I was trained, and I haven’t done assessments in about 10 years, I’m sure there’s been evolution. But the way I was trained is that no matter what the tests say, what scores you get from testing somebody, especially around personality, the well trained clinician, or assessor has to make the call as to what is going on with the individual. In other words, the information doesn’t come from the test itself.

Debra Maldonado  19:04

A lot of people are taking personality tests, even these bigger, the more popular ones, they take that one test and make a decision about who they are from that one test, which is inaccurate, you’re saying. It’s part of the picture, but not the whole picture.

Robert Maldonado  19:21

Part of the picture. That’s another factor — assessment is never one test. You never make a call from one test. It’s a battery of tests. The more the better, the more information you have the better. Of course, there’s a clinical interview, a history of consideration of family, culture, environment.

Debra Maldonado  19:48

There’s a lot of factors and then also the timing when they take the test. If you take a test when you’re in a high stress situation where you just got divorced or lost a family member, you’re taking a test or lost a job, you’re in a different state of mind, you’re going to answer those questions much differently. This idea of states or trades that we have, our personality isn’t so fixed even on the programming and our self concept. There’s room for evolution even just on a conscious level, based on the environment we can change. I know this for a fact for me, I can be really outgoing and extroverted with my family. But when I’m with new people, sometimes I can be more shy. How do you answer that question? Am I an introvert or an extrovert? I think what happens is that people, especially pop psychology theories out there, they’re all saying I’m this type or that type. What happens is that a person just takes one test, and they start living their whole life around the test and that definition, which I find limiting because we evolve, we are always evolving. If we say I’m an introvert, and that’s just how I am, you actually are limiting yourself. Jung says that when he came up with the personality types, he said what he realized was that he’s not one type, but that he can be introverted. I see individually, your personality changes. I think the bottom line is understanding where they come from, and then understanding that if you think of yourself as just that mask, just that persona, you’re going to be very limiting because it limits you and puts a label on you, and then you’re done.

Robert Maldonado  21:57

Another part of this is some of the diagnostic labels that are used in clinical psychology are thrown around in popular culture, like narcissism, without proper assessment and proper testing. That’s not only unethical but it’s really not humanistic to think in terms of labeling people with these very harsh judgments and diagnoses.

Debra Maldonado  22:36

It’s very heavy. We all can be narcissistic in certain ways but to say that you are narcissistic, that’s all that person is.

Robert Maldonado  22:45

And even if the person has been tested and found to be, diagnosed narcissistic, that means there’s a mental health problem, not so much that they’re evil or bad, trying to hurt you. It’s more that we should be compassionate and try to help them find ways for them to deal with these personality disorders.

Debra Maldonado  23:08

I have a good example of that, in a lighter way to talk about personality. Maybe this is the cognitive part, maybe you can help me what school this is in. When I first started reading personal development when I was in the 80s, there was not much out there, there wasn’t the internet, so you went to the bookstore the old fashioned way. You were reading books by therapists, there wasn’t coaches really back then. It was based on this dysfunction, you have some kind of dysfunction if your life isn’t working. I bought the book “Codependent No More” because I read somewhere that when you’re needy, you’re insecure, and you need love — because I was trying to figure out why I was single and why no man would love me. I was like “I’m codependent, I got a label now. I now know what’s wrong with me.” But the problem was, I thought that was a death sentence, that I’m always going to be codependent and I’m gonna have to cope with that. I’m going to have to be careful, I have to keep stronger boundaries. I really felt like this label on me kept me limited and broken in a way. So what school is codependency? Is that another one or is that cognitive?

Robert Maldonado  24:28

It’s hard to say, several different schools use it. But I would say it’s more of a therapy model. In clinical psychology, counseling psychology, people are working with clients, they use different models and most people are eclectic in the sense that they will use often different models that they think would fit the situation. The idea of codependency or family systems are often used to help people through relationship problems.

Debra Maldonado  25:08

It just seemed like everyone had codependency in the 80s. It’s like they have this pop theory that everyone starts to feel like everyone has this now, that’s how I felt. No one really talks about codependency anymore, maybe in a meeting or something. But it just seems like it’s not in the ethos of popular culture anymore. It’s just kind of old school. So I’m showing my age, everyone. But at first it was good, because it helped me to identify behavior, what that was. I do think that there is value to understanding your personality in a way from these different systems, because it really shows where you’re at, you get a better understanding. One of the things that we do in our Jungian training is we do have a personality— it’s not a personality test, we call it the persona test because it’s really not about your personality, but more about the mask that you wear, the role you play, more the character that you are, much deeper than just traits, but more of the system they’re embodying. Tony Wolfe took it from Carl Jung’s idea of the personality types. She said “Women have a thinking mind or a feeling, we’re intuitive.” She brought the four archetypes which is what we do in our coach training, we have the mother, the lover, the professional, and the mystic, so we have the intuitive, the thinker, the emotional one, and the nurturing, a family person. But she really saw that, and a lot of our clients say “Now I know where I am and what my patterns are. Now I can know where I want to go.” It gives you a starting point, but it never should be the life sentence, it never should be “I’m a mother type, so I’m always gonna be pleasing, I’m never gonna keep boundaries, and I’m always gonna feel responsible for everyone.” But to know that that’s your tendency and then to step outside of it, that’s really the key.

Robert Maldonado  27:11

That’s definitely one of the dangers of the uncontrolled, or pop psychology testing. Often people don’t understand what the information is telling them, that it is just a surface reflection of certain traits or certain aspects of their behavior.

Debra Maldonado  27:35

Not even your whole conscious mind. It’s just a very small sliver. To make a huge assumption of your whole being based on that test really does you a disservice in a way.

Robert Maldonado  27:49

The other way around, people often will point at somebody and say they are a certain label, they’re narcissistic, or even depressed or anxious. Often those labels stick to people. They’re always seen in this light, instead of seeing them as a human being before anything else. We know that’s a powerful thing. I used to do a lot of testing with kids with learning disabilities, different developmental problems. Often it impacted their lives in every possible way. The diagnosis meant to help them receive the services that they need. But socially, the kid has to go out there and compete or exist with other kids who are doing good, they don’t have those labels on them. They always tend to see themselves as broken, deficient, somehow disabled. If we apply that principle to the labels that are thrown around, like narcissist, or borderline, or any of those personality disorders without proper testing and assessment, we’re labeling people in a very harsh way. Some of these labels could stick and then the person feels broken or dysfunctional throughout their life, because of the social stigmas that go along with it.

Debra Maldonado  29:43

Not to say these things don’t exist because there are people who have mental illness and we want to help identify them. It’s the way the system works. I remember when I was a hypnotherapist and did insurance, in order to get my sessions through insurance, we had to give them a diagnosis. It was always generalized anxiety disorder. I always felt bad even writing that down because it was just coming to quit smoking or lose weight. They didn’t have a disorder. It just felt so heavy to me, it just felt wrong. But it was the system and how we worked it. I talked to my supervisor about it all the time, I said I feel bad. They’re not disordered, but if someone read that on their form, it’s on their medical record. I think we over diagnose people, and then there’s also under undiagnosed people, people that don’t seek help, that do have serious illnesses. The thing is not to make fun of them, or make them wrong for who they are because they don’t have the capacity. Actually, anyone, even people without mental illness, just people be in general acting out of their conditioning. Most people don’t act out of their conscious, higher self, most people are just reacting and acting out of their programming. It’s about bringing more compassion, but also possibility to people, even if they do get a label or a diagnosis, that you can see them out of it. That story, The Beautiful Mind, he didn’t know what was wrong. When they labeled him schizophrenic, he was “Now I know what I have to deal with.” He tried to find a way to work with it. He found a way to integrate it into his life and have his regular life and still have his diagnosis. Other people would just lock him up and overmedicate him. It’s a true story, he fought to create a new way of working with it and managing it. He attributed it to his wife and said love was really the key to moving it from trying to figure it out logically to the heart. That extreme case can show us a possibility for people, if you have a little insecurity, or if you’re codependent, you don’t have to be married to that label for the rest of your life. You want to give you some information, make sure you get it, not just self assessing, and then trying to diagnose yourself and block yourself in an image, but get a coach to help you understand who you are, or a therapist if you’re dealing with something more serious.

Robert Maldonado  32:38

In that respect, I think psychology as a profession has failed society by not providing more information to the public, not making it part of psychologist’s agenda to teach people what is the mind and how does it work, what do these labels mean? Often people are left to their own devices. If you look on the internet, you’re going to get all kinds of weird information, some good, some bad, most of it in between. That’s not a good way for the public to educate themselves.

Debra Maldonado  33:18

I see a lot of people self diagnosing other people, they’re reading online Wikipedia or Web MD. That person has this or that. When we talk about empowerment and Jungian coaching, which is our baby, our sweet spot, how does the personality assessment — we have the persona assessment — how can those tests be a part of individuation? And what’s possible beyond that?

Robert Maldonado  33:50

I think just understanding that any test, first of all, is not giving you an X ray, showing you something that’s true and valid in your mind and your psyche and who you are. It’s essentially a tool that can provide some information, but it’s only a starting point. In that regard, some of these Myers Briggs and the big five, or some of the tests that we developed in years, they’re entry points into a deeper discussion of what’s going on in your life and how can you work with these traits.

Debra Maldonado  34:35

Where are your tendencies right now, but it’s not who you are. With a personality test, you’re really thinking that’s who you are. It’s just what your conditioning is expressing. If we separate it, in Jungian coaching, we call it a true personality, which is our true self, which is much different than our surface behaviors. Don’t you want to find out what that is versus just that condition personality that we’ve learned to do, that can change with the wind and based on circumstances and environments?

Robert Maldonado  35:15

I doubt that the true personality could be assessed through testing. Maybe in the future, through neuroscience and neuroimaging, we might be able to see big changes in the brain when people undergo this transformation of the cell.

Debra Maldonado  35:34

People that have gone through the Shadow Work and individuation process that we teach, our students look younger, their faces glow, they’re just relaxed. They just feel so much more energy, there’s so many changes that they know, something has changed. I think one of the main things is their self concept changes, they stop believing they’re this personality, they start believing and understanding from a deeper place of who they really are and what’s possible in their life and what they can create. I don’t think personality tests are ruining your life but they can, if you just believe that’s all you are. I think that’s the message we want to send.

Robert Maldonado  36:22

Like any power, it’s how you use it. If you misuse it, or misunderstand it, and apply it in a general way where you’re believing that it’s telling you something true about yourself and something permanent, then it could ruin your life. We project that onto people and label people and we think or define by those labels, that’s the danger right there.

Debra Maldonado  36:55

We do that all the time, we’re social creatures, we’re always trying to define other people by their behavior. We make that their personality. Someone’s behavior isn’t necessarily their personality because we’ve all had that yelling or unhappy conversation with a customer service representative, or getting a rude customer service person talking to us. We’ve had that or someone cutting us in line, road rage a little bit, we’ve all had a little bit of that. But if someone took that snapshot of us in that one little sliver of time and said that’s who that person is, can you imagine, you had a bad day, you just lost your job, you’re going into Starbucks, and you didn’t realize the line was there, and someone yells at you, and you yell back. They think that angry woman is full of anger, that angry personality, just from that five minute interaction. That’s a lot of times what we do. When we work with the shadow, you’re actually looking at your own projection of what you’re pushing away, you see in other people personality traits that you don’t accept about yourself. When you start doing Shadow Work you really start to cultivate more compassion and really notice, then you’re softening your own self judgement of yourself. When you have a bad day, when you act out, you’re not defined by “I’m a bad person now because I did this or that.” We’re going to talk about that in a future episode, how being a good person can be a bad thing. That personality is not, like we say, the life sentence. It’s just a very fluid part of our floaty surface self.

Robert Maldonado  38:54

The bottom line is we want to definitely encourage people to take the reins of their own mental wellness by learning as much as they can about the mind. That includes taking tests if they wish to. But to be aware of what these things are telling you, and what is the proper use of these things.

Debra Maldonado  39:17

Also, question “Does this feel right?” In our tests, we always tell our coaches, when they administer the test, that we have to check with the client, how they feel, let them look at the different models, “This feels more like me.” You always let the client decide. “What are your views on ADHD? Is it a product of conditioning? Is that something to do with neurological makeup of the brain?”

Robert Maldonado  39:44

It depends on what model you use to look at it. The current thinking is that it is a neurologically based problem. Language centers in the brain are very new. If you think about our evolution, we’ve only recently started to speak and use languages to communicate. When anything goes awry in development, in the uterus when the baby’s forming, or during the birthing process, one of the first things that goes is those language centers. There might be just a little alteration in the hormones or the neurotransmitters at a certain time, or some slight injury, and the child may have problems, ADHD, attention, hyperactivity, those kinds of things.

Debra Maldonado  40:49

That’s a great question because a lot of people think “I have ADHD or ADD, that’s just who I am.” No, you can work with it, you can learn to. When I was doing hypnosis, I did a lot of working with kids. We would have them focus on their third eye, just stimulating the frontal lobe of the brain, giving them focus. There’s treatments for it, to help them focus. Of course, there’s medication too, but there’s non medication ways to treat ADD and ADHD.

Robert Maldonado  41:28

The whole question of medication, of course, is another podcast that we should do because it’s a big topic. Kids often don’t have choices in the way they’re treated. The adults often make the choices. Parents, because they don’t have access to a lot of options, will often go with the medication option.

Debra Maldonado  42:03

It’s probably less expensive than taking them to treatment or having one on one behavioral training to help them. But there are definitely some non medication ways to work with it. I really love this idea of personality because we tend to think we are a personality, we tend to think I’m funny, or I’m this way. We lock ourselves into these limiting ideas of ourselves. The test can actually reinforce those ideas or give us new ideas that we didn’t think of. I really liked the idea that sometimes they can help us. For me understanding codependency, there’s a word for this, trying to figure out my whole idea. It gives you a framework to start with. I felt like I was just unlovable, and I’m like “There’s this pattern.” But then it just became “That’s me, I can’t do anything about it. This is what you do. This is how you behave.” There was no answer how to change it. It was more like diagnosing without an ability to change. We definitely want to have the personality tests but what are we going to do to transcend that personality, create the true personality, be who we want to be versus who we’ve been conditioned to be?

Robert Maldonado  43:37

If we look at the Eastern philosophy, which goes at the spiritual level, where we are not our individual mind, the ultimate teaching of the wisdom traditions is that we can transform our own mind by working on it, by paying attention to it, by self inquiry, meditation, looking inward. We can transform our personality, regardless of any diagnosis or any past history, any situation. If somebody is asking about ADHD, there’s pretty good research that meditation, even the practice of yoga helps with attention. It helps focus the mind and it helps in overall functioning.

Debra Maldonado  44:39

“I think when we are searching, we are desperate for an answer.” And then we think “I got an answer.” But then we think that’s the end. The personality test should be the beginning, not the end. Not “This is who I am, I have a label.” It’s like “This is who I’ve been. Who do I want to become?” We’re not limited by our personality, whether it’s genetic, whether it’s conditioned, we can become whoever we want to be. I am an introvert. I am doing a podcast on a video on YouTube. If I can do it, you can do it. I’m not an introvert. I’m a recovering introvert, I guess.

Robert Maldonado  45:22

From our perspective, there’s been an over medicalization of everything. Everything is medicalized and seen through the lens of disorder, medication, fixing, trauma. To some extent that’s okay because people do need to develop those systems to help people that do have trauma or some kind of disorder. But often those labels translate into the culture. The whole culture becomes about over medicalizing everything, when it’s just human nature, it’s just things that we can deal with in a creative positive way.

Debra Maldonado  46:11

It feels like everyone wants to be a therapist, and everyone wants to think they need therapy. There’s a reason therapy exists, it’s to help mental illness. Just being human is challenging. But the challenge doesn’t mean we have an illness and a disorder. Especially with life coaching, it’s unregulated, there’s no one watching the shop to make sure that people aren’t— and the internet is Wild West. Anything goes. We all hope that our podcast brings that intellectualization, theory, and research into what we teach and give you the real stuff.

Robert Maldonado  47:02

Thanks for tuning in. Thanks for watching. We’ll see you next time where we’ll continue our series on personality.

Debra Maldonado  47:10

We’re going to talk about trauma next week. That also has been big, it seems it’s everywhere now, everyone has trauma, everyone talks about it. We’re going to talk about what it is, what it isn’t, and how to work with it, since it’s in the conversation right now. The last question “Is this looking for an external fix rather than looking inward?” I don’t know what you mean by “this”, but most people are conditioned to look for something outside of us instead of looking in and knowing that we have the inner resources to do it. In coaching, we’re really not fixing anyone, we’re not healing anyone. We’re empowering the client to find their own answers, to guide them to their own answers, actually help them understand how to navigate that inward journey versus “I’m going to do something to you and fix you.” Because we don’t see our clients as broken. We see you all with potential. Even if you have a mental illness, there is potential, there’s no limit to the human potential.

Robert Maldonado  48:20

Thanks for watching.

Debra Maldonado  48:21

Take care, everyone. Have a wonderful rest of your day. Bye bye.

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