There tends to be some confusion around personality, character and temperament. This is because these terms are very close in meaning, but not identical. For this reason it’s important to explain what we mean by strong personality.
According to Hall & Lindzey in their book Theories of Personality (1957, p. 262), personality is “the dynamic organization within the individual of those psychophysical systems that determine characteristic behavior and thought”. In other words, it’s the configuration of the systems responsible for behavior that are developed as a result of a person’s history.
What does it mean to have a strong personality?
Some people outside of psychology theory would say that it means having character.
There tends to be a heated debate around defining “character”among theorists. However, in the context of personality, we can say that it is a person with resilience.
Resilience is a person’s ability to adapt positively to difficult situations and overcome adversity.
It’s a lot like Kintsugi.
In Japanese culture, we find Kintsugi, the traditional art of repairing broken ceramics with strong glue and gold powder. At the end of the process, the restored pottery is stronger and more valuable than it was to start with.
Don’t you think Kintsugi is a wonderful example of the beauty of resilience?
Signs of a strong personality
How can you know if someone is resilient or not? Here are some of the key characteristics.
Being optimistic is the tendency to face difficulties with a good attitude, perseverance and hope. Overall, it’s an approach that enables us to find solutions, advantages or possibilities when going through difficulties.
If we’re positive and optimistic, it’s easier to accept responsibility for our actions. Plus, it’s easier make good use of time to improve ourselves.
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2. Tolerance towards frustration
Next, developing tolerance to frustration enables greater emotional stability.
It’s important to be tolerant when someone, including yourself, makes a mistake. Remember that nobody in the world is perfect. We all make mistakes. Keeping this in mind will help us to be more flexible with others and ourselves.
However, there are intervention programs that highlight the important of proposing alternative behavior strategies in order to create new actions instead of repeating our mistakes.
3. Emotional intelligence
Emotional intelligence is a sign of maturity and intelligence. It enables us to learn to regulate our emotional responses. Overall, it’s the ability to recognize and handle our own feelings and those of others, enabling interpersonal behavior.
According to a considerable amount of research on the subject, emotional intelligence is related to success. Actually, this ability provides the basis of social and emotional competencies that are important for success in almost any job.
Thus, emotional intelligence can be used in your favor to improve your productivity and psychological well-being.
In his book This has got to change!, Alfredo Culebro, an entrepreneur and businessman specialized in strengthening people and businesses to achieve success, defines passion as the inexhaustible energy that pushes people to continue no matter what the limits or difficulties.
Passion is very helpful because it enables us to feel fulfilled and to enjoy our work, even without recognition.
On the other hand, research has found that positive (harmonious) passion has a positive influence. After all, it makes us experience higher levels of positive emotions, concentration and the desire to do a task well.
This favors the empowerment of the person and their ability to face the challenges that arise, independently of external help. Although it’s not an innate ability of humans, we can develop it.
5. Commitment and motivation
Commitment is an obligation that requires full awareness.
It happens when a person believes in what they’re doing and it’s important to them. Thus, this motivates them and keeps their behavior firm. As a result, the individual doesn’t stop until they’ve achieved all the goals they set.
For its part, motivation is a feeling that arises from a high level of involvement in achieving a goal. It’s not just about satisfying our basic needs, but also those related to self-realization (like achieving success in different areas of life). The desire to achieve efficiency and quality is also included in this range.
Isaac Garrido Gutiérrez states that “research in psychology confirms […] that the subject acts following exercising their free will, creating a strong sense of personal responsibility”.
In other words, motivation can be self-determined, initiated and regulated by personal choice. This gives rise to the achievement of set goals.
It is in this way that motivation becomes the inner motor that connects mind, will and interest to achieve goals positively, happily and hopefully.
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When we go through difficulties, it’s tough to stay in our center, even if we’re very aware of ourselves.
However, accepting the circumstances and being flexible will enable us to focus. It’ll help us work on what we can change, accept what we can’t, and to see changes as new opportunities for growth.
According to Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), psychological acceptance and flexibility helps people to let go of past negative experience to find a way of living fully. Then, they can focus on what’s truly important.
Resilience is not an ability. Rather, it’s a learning process.
Generally, humans learn through trial and error. We therefore cannot do what we haven’t learned.
However, experiences are a great source of personal knowledge. This serves to create strategies when it comes to facing difficult events in life and overcoming them with happiness.