zaykar logo

The Difference Between a Trait and a Habit


A “Habit” is a usual way of behaving. It is the starting point for all behaviors. All Traits, at conception, are habits. Habits are usually born out of necessity (we have to obtain a goal), or a desire (We wish to obtain a goal).

Most of the times, negative traits come as a result of necessity, not desire. Sometimes, however, using a negative trait when approaching a desire itself becomes a negative trait.

As we grow up, we encounter situations and circumstances that are new to us. Since we have no point of reference (information we gathered from past experience which helps us deal with these events), we are left with two basic choices.

Choice A- We seek advice.

We turn to those around us for guidance. Preferably someone who encountered a similar situation and handled it before. Our goal at this point is to try to use their point of reference in order to handle our situation. When we decide to follow that advice, if successful, their point of reference becomes ours. After a while, a habit has been created. A way in which to handle future similar situations.

The one thing you have to keep in mind when using this option is the following quote…

“Insanity, doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

Albert Einstein

When this option is chosen, remember that you are, in essence, creating a habit that will, in time, become a trait. Make sure that your definition and the other person’s definition of “success “is the same one. Your goal is to solve the situation. Not avoid it.

Choice B- We use Trial and Error method.

This method involves searching and using different ways in order to handle the situation. There is, however, correct way and an incorrect way of using this option. The correct way to remain goal oriented. In Transformational Support, this method is commonly referred to as the “Focus, Research and Action” method (FRA).

What this enables you to do is to remain encouraged, focused and determined until the situation is resolved. The goal is not only to obtain a useful point of reference but also to keep you from creating negative habits such as..

A- Covering up the issue

B-Pretending the issue will go away by itself

C-Running away from the issue

D-A combination of two or more of these.

These habits have a great potential of becoming negative habits (a usual way of behaving that results in a negative outcome). Shortly after that, they can become negative traits (A quality that separates a person from another person and usually has a negative outcome).

The specific type of habit we create (negative or Positive), will mature into a Negative or Positive Trait. Once this happens, and a trait is created, the trait has to be broken down to a habit first before replacing it with a better habit.

That being said, I must tell you that changing habits is faster and simpler than changing traits. However, most people seem to be under the impression that changing a trait is much more difficult than it actually is. Changing a habit or a trait is not easy but it is not that difficult either.

Of course, depending on the nature of the habit or the trait, the amount of time it takes to change it may vary. But not the amount of effort. In other words, what changes is your consistency (the amount of time you stay dedicate to changing a trait or habit), not how hard you work at it.


Source by Gerardo Defendini

Leave a Comment