Can you change your personality based on your genes?

Written by Youssef Merhi | Last updated:

Has your boss ever challenged your entire personality?

But, in a good way?

About a month ago, Joe wrote something that made me look at myself, and the person I want be, in a totally different lens.


He wrote an article discussing his journey with the Personality Summary Report, and how he used it to take action and become more extroverted.

I was mind blown when I read that article because I never thought about looking at it that way.

Initially, I used the report as a fun insight into my genetic makeup – discovering that I’m more “this” or less “that” was amusing and I shared these insights with my friends, but that was it.

I never really thought to shift the perspective towards actively “changing” my personality.

So when I read the email, I decided to take action.

One of the things that has always frustrated me is my cautious attitude towards everything. Being cautious is good, but too much can be limiting.

Change is scary to me, and it’s hard to step out of my comfort zone.

My genes tend to agree with me.

I always try and push myself to try new things, but more times than not I end up subconsciously sidestepping change and rationalizing the reasons why I did so.

And I’m not even talking about big, dramatic changes like moving countries. Even something as small as changing the coffee shop I go to work at was a big deal.

In regards to my cautiousness, it wasn’t nature versus nurture – no, they were both happily teaming up to make me an EXTREMELY cautious person.

My parents raised me in a way that definitely pushed risk aversion, so that combined with my genetics – which makes up to 20% of the differences in openness to new experiences – made me the person that I am today.

I know that being cautious is a common trait for introverted people as they’re more thoughtful and introspective.

I also know that anxiety plays a big role in the “freeze” response that is often what causes someone to be so scared of change.

So the first thing I did was look at genes that were linked to both introversion and anxiety, and the gene at the top of my list was the HTR1A gene.

I have what I like to call the “anxiety-inducing” variant for the HTR1A gene.

This gene codes for a serotonin receptor. The negative variant is linked to lower levels of the receptor, which makes me more vulnerable to anxiety.

My top supplement recommendation? Lavender.

I also looked at some recommendations that help deal with trauma.

The risk aversion that was engrained into my personality growing up wouldn’t be considered what some call “big-T trauma” but moreso the “small-T trauma” – minor events that had a significant impact on you growing up without you really realizing it.

The top recommendation for me there was Omega-3 Fatty Acids.

When adding these two into my supplement routine – alongside 5-HTP which helps me deal with stressful situations – I felt more ready to take on new experiences.

The real test was to actually see whether I would sidestep these opportunities when they came, but in this past month I’ve actually found myself seeking out these opportunities.

In my personal life, I’ve done things I never would have before.

I signed up to open mic events and shared my thoughts, participated in workshops to improve my writing, started networking and inserting myself in social events, and I’ve even started rock climbing!

My openness to new experiences has been night and day, and the answers that helped me get there were right under my nose this whole time.

Discover Yourself With SelfDecode

I’ll wrap up the same way Joe finished his article, because this is what really inspired me to make a change – and I hope my own story will help you do the same.

Imagine gaining a deeper understanding of why you do the things you do.

By looking at your DNA, you can discover the deeper roots of your feelings and behaviors. It’s like having a roadmap to yourself, a guide to help you navigate your emotions and relationships.

With SelfDecode’s Personality Summary DNA Report, you can discover what makes you, YOU. And every SelfDecode plan comes with this report!

Using the knowledge of your genetics and combining it with your understanding of your environment and lifestyle can help you become the person you want to be.


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