What Can I Do About Persistent Character Defects?

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All people have character traits they don’t like about themselves. Those who do their best to avoid these traits from coming through will find themselves feeling this way most often. There’s a lot to be said for those who are self-aware enough to feel these traits may be affecting them negatively, but what can you do to change persistent character defects? 

Don’t Give Up!

A common character defect that many don’t like is their willingness to give up when life gets hard. Everyone has their reason for giving up, but when it comes to creating positive change, don’t give up. 

For many who have found success in a challenge through perseverance, they’ll say that they found those little successes to be profound in their ability to not give up. One success would turn to two, snowballing into three, four, or more, and ultimately helping the person to crave more successes and see that they’ve always been capable of their goals. 

Find Resilience

When a person hits a roadblock on their way to success, it can feel daunting. This halt in their progress to success may make a person falter, or feel like they’ll never recover from this. One way to stay vigilant and persevere through anything is by finding resilience. Resilience means to “bounce back” or recover from something unpleasant. For some, resilience can mean taking deep breaths, staying in the present moment to react accordingly, focusing on the positives and what one can control, or it can mean asking for help or advice. Resilience is how you recover from a setback or problem, and as you improve your problem-solving skills and reactions in recovery, you’ll notice your resilience skills are faster and feeling more natural. You’ll find that owning your resilience skills will become a success in itself and you’ll find it easier to change the character trait you’re working on. 

Don’t Get Discouraged

Feeling discouraged when facing a challenge or roadblock is normal. It’s okay to feel discouraged sometimes. Finding resilience when life gets you down is important, but the feeling of a positive result from your hard work can build up into something extraordinary. Remembering that there are still good times ahead — and success to be found — is important when you’re feeling drained and discouraged. 

When you’re working on yourself and your personality traits, try to remember that you are a whole person as you are. You get to have feelings and own your quirks. You also get to improve your interactions with others and break the bad habits that hold you back.

Keep Working 

You may find when you’re working toward something, you tend to focus on all the work, time, and effort toward a project that needs to be done, overwhelming and possibly stopping you from trying. It’s okay to look ahead at things, but in order to try, you’ll need to stay in the present moments. Think, “What can I do right now?” to define how you’ll get to your goal. There is no shame in starting at square one, and you’ll get where you need to go with time. Think of all tasks the same way you think of a long drive. To get there, you need to get in the car and go, stop when you need to, then get right back in the car until you’ve arrived. Keep working at your goals, and you’ll reach your destination. 

Trust the Process

Roadblocks, setbacks, timing, and resilience skills are all part of the process of reaching any goal. As hard as it can be, trust that with time and perseverance, things will work out. Trusting the process can feel scary, uncertain, or near-impossible for those who struggle with anxiety, depression, control issues, and other mental health issues. Defining “the process” can be especially difficult for those who struggle to trust in general. It’s okay to be nervous about the future, and it’s okay to question things that don’t make sense to you. What’s important is that you stay in the present moment and do what you can do. This can mean starting a task over, apologizing to someone and asking for forgiveness, or even doing some form of self-care to help yourself feel better. 

Trust Your Higher Power’s Timing

It’s undoubtedly hard to trust, but as time goes by you may see that there was a plan in place all along. You were born with unique personality traits and a skill set that got you this far. Your timing is really your higher power’s timing. Your traits are yours, and you’re still a whole person despite whatever character traits you don’t like. Trust that your higher power gives you what you can handle, even if you need a little help. Timing is everything.

Here at Jaywalker Lodge, we know that you’re constantly looking to improve and be a better person than you were the day before. This could mean that you’re starting all over at square one, or building on your successes. We know that your potential will shine through as you make your recovery your priority. Our staff here at Jaywalker Lodge is made up of alumni — we’ve been in your shoes, and we know what it’s like to be forced to buckle down, find resilience, and trust in ourselves and our higher power to make the changes in our lives we needed to make. With those changes, we found purpose in helping others get to recovery and helping to coach others on how to form traits that can set them up for success in recovery. Call us today at (866) 529-9255. Recovery is not a consequence of our past, but a promise of our future.

author avatar
Stefan Bate, MA, LAC, CCTP Chief Clinical Officer
Stefan Bate, BA, MA, LAC holds a Master's Degree in Applied Psychology from Regis University and is a Licensed Addiction Counselor in the state of Colorado. Stefan has wide-ranging experience in the field of addiction recovery including: working as a recovery coach, therapist, and program director.

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