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In this ~personal~ video, Chelsea gives us a behind-the-scenes look at how she changed her personality type from chaotic and disorganized to Type A and reliable.

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Type A traits: https://www.healthline.com/health/what-is-a-type-a-personality#traits
https://www.psychalive.org/accidental-identity/

Dopamine: https://liveinnovation.org/dopamine-more-than-pleasure-the-secret-is-the-anticipation-of-a-reward/

Sharing goals: https://www.dataquest.io/blog/does-sharing-goals-help-or-hurt-your-chances-of-success/

Chelsea tweet: https://twitter.com/Chelsea_Fagan/status/1449757979629268995

Successful reminders: https://www.hackingyouradhd.com/podcast/how-to-create-more-effective-reminders

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Hey, guys.

It's Chelsea from The Financial Diet. And this week's video is sponsored by digit.

And if you're looking to spend less time worrying about your finances while also working toward your big savings and investing goals this year, you should check out digit. Digit just partnered with MetaBank to build a bank account called direct, making it the first all in one financial app that intelligently banks, budgets, saves, and invests for you, no spreadsheet required. After signing up, you'll tell digit your bills and savings goals.

And you can even set up investing in retirement. Digit will help guide your money into separate dedicated accounts, little by little each day, so you can make progress on each of your own specific goals without having to think about it. Best of all, you'll always know what's safe to spend, no more mental math in the grocery store checkout line.

Download digit today and start organizing your finances effortlessly, so you can feel more secure about your finances without being more hands on. Just click the link in our description to get signed up in just five minutes. And today, I am in my luxurious sweater that-- I'm sorry, this is a total digression.

But I got it at TJ Maxx. It's an Elie Tahari sweater. It was originally $360 and I got it for $85.

I could not be happier with this purchase. I'm sorry. I had a gift card too, so I only spent like $20 out of pocket.

And it is glorious. I don't know if it reads on camera. But anyway, I love it.

Anyway, today I'm talking about how I changed my personality type. So this is a video that is very important to me, not only because I think that it's something that doesn't often get talked about in terms of psychology and in terms of self-improvement-- and especially in terms of finances-- but it's also very personal to me and something that, as someone who just bought a home and went through the whole process, to the extent that the home was basically done except for our renovations within like a few weeks of moving in, and that required obviously quite a lot of prep work. And I did a whole video about my home buying experience, which I'll link you to in the description.

It's really been something that's been on my mind lately, and something I want to share with you guys. And that is, specifically, how we can change our personality types very actively, that we are not sort of set in stone as the person we are from minute one to minute done, as Big Joel once recently said on this channel. We're allowed to change and evolve.

And we deserve to sort of update our self-perception, as we make those changes. For those who don't know, I initially started TFD years ago because I had an incredibly toxic relationship to money. And that toxic relationship to money was really an extension of my overall personality type, which at the time was unorganized, avoidant, procrastinating, irresponsible, and unreliable.

I was fired from basically every job I had. I was in debt and dodging collectors. I had a completely decimated credit score.

I was the most untrustworthy person possible when it came to money, because I was also the most untrustworthy person possible when it came to basically everything else in my life. I was extremely lazy. I dropped out of school.

I got arrested. In every way a person could have been a hot mess, that was me. And really, up until quite recently, I still always sort of thought of myself that way, even as I have, in every visible metric, really transitioned myself into what would more classically be described as a type A personality.

And this is something I manifest in basically every aspect of my day to day life, like my travel spreadsheets, and my excessive use of Google Calendar, or my 2000 plus word emails to people when I'm planning some sort of group event. Now, I should be clear, there is much debate around the whole concept of type A versus type B personality. And essentially, any categorization used to sort of slot people into different personality types is going to have its fair share of dissenters.

But to me, it doesn't really matter how you say it. I would say type A, but what really matters is the underlying personality traits. And generally speaking, people with a type A personality are often characterized as being driven, hardworking, determined to succeed, and often quick and decisive with a tendency to multitask.

They may also experience high levels of stress-- true. And I remember having a conversation recently where I was describing myself as being a type B and, you know, kind of a mess. And everyone at the table was like girl, are you [MUTED] high?

Like, you're the most type A person any of us know. You're so obsessive. You probably used like 15 different spreadsheets to plan for this dinner.

Like, enough. And I think that is really what is the most underrated and under-discussed aspect of this phenomenon, is just how long we can hold on to outdated self perceptions, even against all available evidence. I now am sort of training myself to think of myself in a different way, and therefore change my self-worth and my overall perception of what I'm capable of.

But it is an ongoing process. And as I recently mentioned in a video about growing up poor and the effects that can have on us psychologically through the rest of our lives, even if we, for example, might ascend to a different socioeconomic class, we still will have a tendency to think of ourselves through the prism of that underprivileged kid. The same is true for all kinds of personality traits.

And as one article in PsychAlive put it, "Growing up, certain individuals may have been labeled as 'loud, intrusive' or 'shy and reclusive' yet these labels were inherently faulty, as the behaviors that led to them were based on adaptations to their social environment. As children, people form defensive behaviors to cope with the emotional climate in their home. Unfortunately, these defenses, which may have felt adaptive in childhood, can go on to limit a person because they are no longer adaptive in adulthood." "Once these definitions are laid down for a child, he or she often goes on to live out that self-concept.

They 'know' and believe that they are just that way, and then act in ways that support this belief. But this is not their authentic self or an accurate picture of who they are. It's what the author's father calls an 'accident of experience' which creates an 'accidental identity.' The child is misperceived based on the parent's own defense systems, which impairs the ability to attune or relate sensitively to the child.

The child then develops a false sense of their own identity and defenses that support it." But even if the previous version of your personality, or specific traits about it really were authentic and true to your core, that does not mean that they're unchangeable. And I feel like somewhat living proof of that. But in order to really change my personality type, both in terms of my day to day habits as well as how I think about and move through the world, I needed key tools to help me get there.

So in the interest of being practical, as we like TFD videos to be whenever they can, here are the five tools I used to change my personality type. Number one is our queen, the almighty spreadsheet. So when it comes to tools that I use on my computer or phone to help organize and structure my life, none has been more important than my spreadsheets, my beloved queen spreadsheets.

And really, the most important things that spreadsheets do for me-- and I use them very heavily in both my personal and professional life-- is to break down what can feel like very overwhelming and unmanageable tasks into little manageable, bit-sized pieces. I used to be a chronic avoider and procrastinator, which I always felt was a defining and unchangeable part of my personality. But I now understand that being avoidant is often just a question of getting into vicious cycles.

You put off doing something, and it becomes more overwhelming and scarier, and there's more work backed up. And the prospect of now taking that task on becomes all the more something you want to avoid. And studies clearly demonstrate that having bit-sized victories, that you can celebrate and feel good about along the way, are helpful to reaching basically any larger goal.

And yes, this also applies very heavily to things like large savings goals, especially for things like retirement or long-term purchases, which can be very difficult to visualize and therefore prioritize. Just a few things that I use spreadsheets for-- planning or packing for travel, managing work projects, overseeing large logistical projects like my recent home purchase, cleaning, organizing and de-cluttering my home, changing over my seasonal wardrobe, and prioritizing goals or tasks. I'm not saying you have to become as obsessive about using spreadsheets as I am.

But I am saying that if you are someone who, like I used to, finds themselves overwhelmed and avoidant about larger tasks, spreadsheets are an excellent way to make them something that you can tackle. Number two is IRL and digital mood boards. Now, this is something I'm excited to show, because it's been such a part of my life.

And now, I'm reopening it because I'm in the early stages of planning the renovations in my home I bought. So basically, this is a little notebook that, during the lead up process to buying my home-- which was really a six month period total-- I carried it around with me everywhere, along with some pens and watercolors and stuff, to just keep working through. This is like the overall floor plan of the place, which I used to place furniture.

I have all of my art sorted out and kind of labeled by where I want to place it. Then, I would do every room. This is the room I'm currently sitting in.

We also have pages where I'm breaking for just like inspiration boards and things that I like. These are my paint colors that I would cut out the chips, so I could go and hold them up to the walls when I was doing different walk-throughs and things like that, because you don't get a ton of them when you're buying a home. This is my lighting story, just all kinds of stuff.

We got some more paint. We got some more mood boarding. Anyway, as you can see, mood boarding was a huge part of the process for me, and really what allowed me to have everything as prepared as it was when it came time to move in.

Also, I should be clear that the spreadsheet that I had going at the same time, where a lot of these finalized ideas were being transferred, was a beast. And I couldn't have done it without both of those things. But during the period of buying a home, which many of you may have experienced, there's a lot of it that is just hurrying up to wait, and where you have very little control over the process.

And you're just sort of sitting around, hoping that the lawyers and the management and the building and the sellers and everyone just gets their [MUTED] together and gets the train moving. But there's really not much you can do. So doing that during that time gave me a huge sense of control.

And I love the fact that it was tangible and in person. So I could cut out of magazines and feel like it was something tactile, when I had very little to be tactile about because I didn't have the keys to the apartment. But even for things that are a little bit less significant than buying my first home, I am a huge mood boarder.

I do it all the time. I do it on Pinterest, although I have switched to a very private, anonymous Pinterest because I just want it to be my personal space. And it's where I like futz around.

I also do little mood burning on Instagram, because you can now bookmark things and collect them. I am all about mood boarding. And this has actually been enormously helpful in curbing what used to be one of my biggest financial problems, which was compulsive spending and specifically spending with the interest of increasing my self-worth or feeling accepted, or essentially giving myself the value that I didn't feel that I inherently had.

This is obviously something that is hugely reinforced in the way products, especially things like fashion, beauty decor, et cetera are marketed to women. We're essentially told that in order to be this aspirational version of ourselves, we simply have to buy a certain product. And I fell victim to that, especially as someone who had massive insecurities around not having as much as people around me.

But mood boarding became a way to kind of visualize myself, imagine that level of aspiration, curate this sort of imagined version of my life without having to spend the money. And for a long time, I had a real sort of-- not hard and fast, because the amount would vary depending on the item and my financial situation at that time-- but I had a rule that before I could make certain purchases, I had to do a whole mood board around that item. And I often found that just the act of creating that mood board not only relieved the desire to go out and make that purchase, it also made me want to be more creative and thoughtful about the things I already did have.

Because once you're in the process of mood boarding, you kind of want to start touching stuff and putting outfits together, and changing throw pillow covers and all that stuff. And you can only do that with what you have around you. But as someone who used to be incredibly impulsive, probably the biggest thing it did was force me to be more patient and focus more on the anticipation of something than the gratification of it actually happening, which has been psychologically demonstrated to be a huge part of the joy process, sometimes often eclipsing the actual joy of when you get the item itself. "Our brains have a few structures which are triggered to reward us for behaviors associated with evolutionary forces, such as survival and reproduction.

Thus we tend to think that dopamine production is simply related to receiving a reward. However, instead it is not simply produced when a reward is received." "For example, as described by Robert Sapolsky, author of 'Behave', imagine the following experiment with a monkey in a laboratory." There is a light or signal in a cage where the monkey is, which at times comes on. Once it's on, the monkey should press a lever, i.e. the work or task, and when he does so, he receives food, the reward.

As the graph here shows, dopamine is not produced at the end when the monkey receives the reward, but rather when he anticipates or expects the reward. And yes, a bunch of pictures of powder rooms with really ornate wallpaper are my pellets. Tool number three is accountability buddies.

We have stressed before on this channel the enormous importance of having people who can hold you accountable when it comes to reaching goals that can feel out of reach. One of the things I used to hate the most about my own personality was how little I was accountable to myself. It took me a long time to understand that certain people are just not as intrinsically motivated, and tend to be more reliable when someone else is counting on them or supporting them along the way.

Figuring out what actually motivates you and leaning into that is the key. Yours may not be accountability buddies. But for someone like me, that was a crucial step in making sure I actually followed through on the things I wanted to do.

TFD itself actually started as a little Tumblr that I was writing to keep myself accountable to even just the small group of people following me, because I knew I was going to be much more likely to stay the course on my money goals and reshaping my relationship with money if there were people who were following along the way and maybe even modeling their own changes after what I was doing. As many of you might know, my current big project over the past year has been learning Spanish. And the fact that I have regular classes with a Spanish teacher-- who is very much at a peer level, who I've actually like now been on a little vacation with and stuff, who's just cool [MUTED]---- has been a really, really huge factor in keeping me motivated.

Because not only do I want to learn more to be able to have more authentic conversations with her, I also really care what she thinks and care that I'm not letting her down. Because while accountability can be a huge factor in people staying the course on their goals, especially if they're more extrinsically motivated like I am, what really matters is having the right type of person and the right type of reinforcement along the way. "Conventional wisdom says that sharing is a good idea, because having someone to hold you accountable can help you accomplish your goals. And research suggests that this is true, but only under certain conditions." "A meta analysis of a variety of goal-tracking and sharing studies shows that the impact of accountability can vary pretty significantly depending on who is holding you accountable and what kind of accountability we're talking about.

As far as the who goes, your accountability buddy should probably be a friend. Studies like this one suggests that it can actually be de-motivating when your progress is monitored by a stranger. "Moreover, sharing with a friend may be correlated with higher success rates. [One] recent study by Dr. Gail Matthews found that subjects who told a friend about their commitment to a goal were more likely to achieve it than those who didn't.

And it shouldn't just be any friend." One study "suggests that getting feedback from someone who will give you process praise, i.e. Praise based on your effort and what you've actually done, will lead to better outcomes for you than reporting to someone who gives you person praise, praise based on your innate abilities or identity." Essentially, finding not just accountability, but the right kind of accountability, has been night and day in transforming my ability to follow through on a goal, which eventually becomes a kind of self-fulfilling prophecy. Because you now think of yourself as someone who's able to follow through on goals, and therefore feel more confident about following through on the next one, as opposed to always entering into them with that sort of lingering feeling in the back of your head that you're just going to bail out anyway.

Tool number four was therapy, baby. Shout out to therapy, big ups to therapy. We love that therapy, don't we folks.

Love it. Now listen, listen, I'm starting this point clear and open about the fact that therapy can be prohibitively expensive for many people. For many people, it's not reimbursable through insurance.

They're having a hard time finding qualified people in their area, or someone who can work with their schedule or their budget, et cetera. I totally understand. As I've mentioned before on this channel, a dear, dear friend of mine created a living Google Doc that's all about collecting affordable therapy options in your geographic area.

We'll link you to that in the description. But even with that being said, it is not easy for everyone to get over that initial barrier to entry to get in therapy. I understand that.

But that being said, if it is something that is possible for you to do, I think for most people, there is some benefit in doing it at least once. Because I mean, listen, I don't know how many of you have just like a squeaky clean brain out there. I actually do know certain people, that when I think about what's going on in their head, that it's just like that SpongeBob like, (SINGING) living in the sunlight, love it in the moonlight, having a wonderful time.

Anyway, there are certain people who are just like, no bad vibes allowed in their brain. And I'm really happy for them. But most of us could probably use therapy at least once in our lives.

And quite frankly, therapy for me was, more than anything, just an opportunity to really reframe how I thought about myself. My time in therapy, my most recent time in therapy, really coincided with making a lot of personal life changes and kind of coming to terms with some changes in my life generally. And what therapy really allowed me to do was change the way, above all, that I thought about myself.

Your mileage is going to vary. But for me, three of the most foundational things that I learned from therapy that really allowed me to not only truly change my personality type, but accept my new personality type, were the following. Ultimately, you can only ever control yourself and your own reactions or behavior.

And many times, people will be led to therapy by external factors slash other people. Cue that famous quote about, people go to therapy for the people in their lives who won't go to therapy, which is like oversimplified but sometimes true. And one of the most initially frustrating, but ultimately liberating, things that you'll learn is that those circumstances are people may never change, but you can change the way that you respond to them.

And this also means giving yourself permission to emotionally release anything that is not under your control. Because worrying about it or obsessing over it are only going to cost you, while doing basically nothing to help the situation. The second thing was that the most valuable and powerful forms of self-esteem and self-worth are going to come from demonstrating progress, consistency, and determination to yourself.

What you do when no one's looking is going to be what ultimately builds your confidence with others. There is a lot of talk, I feel like especially in the Instagram therapy sort of self-care discourse online that's just like, it's all about just having self-esteem. Just like go to the store and pick a can of self-esteem off the shelf.

And you're like, now you got it, just sort of treating self-worth and self-esteem as something that you can just magically switch on. And for me, anyway, what I really learned is that you can't. You have to earn these things by doing things that are worthy of your own esteem.

The good news is, that's accessible to basically everyone. The third thing that I learned, that I think was really foundational, was that what we often treat as "hardware" or innate aspects of ourselves are ultimately "software," or things that can and often do change with time and effort. So having an outdated self-perception or an insistence that something is just "the way you are" isn't just limiting, it's often totally inaccurate.

And there are sometimes things that are very difficult to change because they might, for example, have a biological component. For example, I'll probably never be a true morning person, because I do have a delayed sleep cycle. And listen, [MUTED] you introverts, because you guys are constantly taking up the mantle of most oppressed.

No, it is, us night owls. We are the most oppressed. There's actual studies out there that show that life is like, way harder.

We're like, disrespected in the professional workspace. It is hard out here for night owls. And we're constantly treated like something's wrong with us, or we're really lazy just because we like to go to bed at like one or two in the morning and naturally would get up between 9 and 10.

Suffice to say, there are certain things, like being a night owl, that may have a biological component, but most things are just a combination of response to environment and habit and are totally subject to reassessment or improvement. So separating out your hardware and your software, which sometimes does require trial and error, can be very powerful, especially as it allows you to become much more value neutral about the things that are less changeable, like me accepting the fact that I'm a night owl and I'm still worthy. Now, that being said, some people-- and I feel like all these people are on Twitter-- can get into the pitfall of like just going to therapy forever, and there's no like goal in mind.

You're not trying to work on something specific. You're just like always in there, circling the same drain. And I think that can also be a little bit dangerous too, especially because it can give the false impression that you're like doing something about a problem.

Like, you can easily conflate talking about a problem or acknowledging something about yourself with actually changing it or improving in some way. So be goal-oriented with your therapy. And don't just like go in it forever, if you can afford to do that.

But yeah, therapy, big ups to therapy. Lastly, tool number five is constant reminders. And this one is a little bit more meta than it may seem on its face.

Yes, I use the hell out of Google Calendar, plus my alarm, plus my little stopwatch app, plus my little-- I have post-its-- I-- there's nothing I'm not constantly reminding myself about. But this actually has the underlying reality of accepting the fact that just because something does not come naturally to you does not mean that it can't be authentic. Making effort, preempting yourself, figuring out ways to make sure you do the thing you want to do is also, in its way, authentic.

Got to pimp my own tweet here. I was right, just because something doesn't come effortlessly doesn't mean it can't be authentic. My authentic self, the self that I feel most actualized and excited about, does take a lot of effort.

And it also doesn't mean just because it wasn't natural, quote unquote, that you can't get a lot of self-fulfillment and self-worth out of achieving it. So doing things like remembering birthdays, making appointments, following up on emails, sending cards, being on time, et cetera-- which are all things that I consider to be foundational to my now personality. Because let's be honest, being considerate and conscientious has kind of like fallen out of favor with millennials.

Everyone just prefers to bail at the last minute and watch Lord of the Rings again while eating edibles. And listen, who doesn't love that? But schedule it.

Anyway, these are all things that I consider to be very conscious aspects of my personality, important aspects of my personality. But they don't come naturally to me. But it is still very much authentic.

In fact, I would argue, in some capacities even more so, because I make a dedicated effort to prioritize it. So for me and for many people who are naturally a bit more forgetful or tend to lose focus on things, using reminders-- maybe to excess-- can be a great way to preempt yourself. But something to remember here is that if you are going to use reminders-- which have been total game changers for me-- the type of reminder you're using is crucial.

For reminders to be successful, they need to be easily actionable. That means that when we're creating our reminders, we want them to share the simple parts of our task first. If instead of getting a message that says go for a run, I just got a message that said put on your running shoes, that's a hell of a lot easier for me to get behind and might actually get me to pound the pavement for a little bit.

As one author put it, "I mean, if it wasn't raining and cold out, but hey, at least it's a step in the right direction." This also means that we don't want to have reminders like do your taxes. This is a terrible reminder for several reasons. First off, it's just too difficult of a task for you to just go pick up because you got reminded of it.

You see that reminder and go, nope, not doing that right now, because you're never going to be in the mood to do your taxes. Instead, you should have a reminder like schedule time to do taxes, because doing your taxes is going to take some dedicated time. And since you're never going to be in the mood for it, you actually need to carve out time when that is going to happen.

But when used correctly, this sort of manual self-retraining is incredibly important to remembering that overall, none of the aspects of your personality, save maybe for a very limited few, are set in stone and not subject to change. One thing that I have learned in my life, especially in the past several years, is that you can create the person that you want to be and that often, the most difficult part is having your mental impression of yourself catch up with reality. From one self-made type A to whoever the hell you are watching this, you can do it too.

As always guys, thanks for watching. And don't forget to hit the Subscribe button and come back every Monday, Tuesday and Thursday for new and awesome videos. Goodbye.