April 8, 2011
The Evolutionary Glitch:
New Book Reveals How to Identify and Conquer the Persona that Holds You Back
Hundreds of self-help books are out there, some more useful than others, but all purporting to give you the answers that will help you to overcome the obstacles in your life so you can be, do, and have everything you want. “The Evolutionary Glitch,” however, is a new book that really gets at the root of our problems; it explores why we have those obstacles in the first place, and the importance not only of rising above obstacles, but how to remove those obstacles from our paths.
Beyond many self-help books that seek to inspire and motivate, “The Evolutionary Glitch” looks at the human condition from a psychological perspective, digging into the different personas humans create to protect themselves or to adapt to their conditions. Dr. Albert Garoli makes it very clear that the persona we create is not the person we truly are. Instead, that persona is a mask we wear, developed according to rejections we’ve experienced and how we’ve learned to adapt to what society wants. When we rid ourselves of our individual personas, we can succeed by letting our true nature shine forth.
Dr. Garoli gives a practical example of how we create such masks by asking us to consider how:
In our education, many of us have blindly memorized material in the hopes of obtaining a good grade. The aim was not the information, nor the topic, nor the grade. The aim was to obtain acknowledgement. Our innate human tendency is to seek acknowledgement as confirmation of our value to society. Anything we are praised for leads us to consider ourselves worthy. If rewarded for an action we will tend to perform it again, even if it is not our favorite action or our tendency.
That statement resonated with me specifically because I’ve always been an overachiever, often to the detriment of my personal happiness because I learned instead to be a people pleaser. Such examples helped to open my eyes and make me aware of the persona I had developed as a result of social conditioning, which has often been at odds with who I truly am or what I truly want.
Dr. Garoli’s information reminds me a lot of codependency and other dysfunctional behaviors we adapt as coping mechanisms, but he goes farther by breaking down and grouping dysfunctional behaviors into six distinct personas. Although Dr. Garoli uses the word “ego” sparingly, it’s apparent that the ego and a persona are basically the same thing, only the six personas he identifies are different manifestations of the ego. We know the havoc the ego can wreak in its efforts to control us and even more so to survive when we threaten it by embarking on self-help ventures. Dr. Garoli’s explanation of the personas, therefore, is not only helpful in identifying them, but in helping the reader to understand, once he knows what type of persona he has developed, what to expect of that persona and how to identify its sabotaging and controlling behaviors.
The six personas are the Ephemeral/Sanguine, Grinding/Lymphatic, Controlling/Nervous, Egocentric/Melancholic, Rebellious/Bilious, and Minimalist/Phlegmatic. I encourage readers to discover which persona describes who they are by reading this fascinating book. Beyond just helping us to identify our individual persona, “The Evolutionary Glitch” provides a series of exercises to help us realize when and how we individually created the persona. In one exercise, Dr. Garoli asks us to think of ten times in our lives when we experienced rejection, and how we’ve learned to protect ourselves as a result. He goes on to explain, in this exercise, how rejection is really not about the rejected person but the rejector, and he gives the example of how Edison rejected Tesla’s ideas not because Tesla’s ideas were faulty but because of Edison’s own moral and intellectual shortcomings. I heartily agree with Dr. Garoli when he says, “A lack of imagination is your mind’s worst limitation,” and in this case, Edison, who was otherwise a genius, displayed such a lack of imagination. How often have we experienced rejection from someone, yet later had others recognize and appreciate our value?
While “The Evolutionary Glitch” has a scientific basis and is more in-depth than many of the more popular self-help books pumped out by celebrities and other public figures, it is not difficult reading. In fact, I easily got through the book in a few days, although I have gone back to do the exercises, which Garoli suggests committing several weeks to so they sink into your brain.
Whether you’ve never read a self-help book before, or you are a practicing psychologist or scientist interested in the human psyche, “The Evolutionary Glitch” provides a great deal of food for thought and realistic applications to better your life in realistic and practical, but life-changing ways. Digging this deeply into the persona may be a bit frightening for some, and Garoli himself warns early on that this book is not really self-help but “self-challenge,” but reading this book will be a worthwhile experience for everyone who takes up its challenge.
For more information about Dr. Albert Garoli and “The Evolutionary Glitch,” visit www.TheEvolutionaryGlitch.com.
— Tyler R. Tichelaar, Ph.D., and author of the award-winning Narrow Lives
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