What is the science of Tiltology?

Tiltology is a theory of personality and character development that goes way beyond "Typology". Pam Boney, author of the Tilt Theory, teaches that thinking of oneself in terms of "a personality type" imposes self-limiting beliefs on the development of a whole and complete self-concept. Her research, which spans across two decades, introduces a premise that expands self-concept to a whole-person, whole-brain approach to development of identity from the inside-out. Tiltology is the study of 12 sets of Tilt Personas or "character tilts" that live within us all and "want to come alive" through the journey of our psychological development. The exact trajectory of this journey is completely unique to each person and can be chronicled and measured through a new "live" web app called Tilt 365. Supported by a worldwide coaching network, Tilt Practitioners are there to help people along this personal development journey to expand positive influence and help people become "Contributors" instead of "Takers". Most of us are unaware of the ways we "take" from others to fulfill unconscious unmet needs that often shape our behavior. A common quote you'll hear in Tilt classes is "Do you have your personality?....or does IT have you?"

Tiltology: A New Personality Theory for a New Age of Wisdom

Yes, we all start with certain personality preferences that become our life script for much of our life if we stay unconscious to the patterns we project into the world. These patterns can become a self-fulfilling prophecy and produce a life and outcomes that mirror the early beliefs we record about ourselves. Yet if we take charge and choose to become conscious of these patterns and learn about the four Tilting Patterns that exists in all of us to varying extremes, we have a chance to align with our true self, become more balanced and self-directed and can change the course of our life in exponential ways. This requires an intentional choice by each of us as individuals. To become balanced, conscious, creative and inspired by our own life purpose can be the single most important game changer in life.

In order to actualize our full potential, it helps to engage others to become a "witness to our lives" and invite them to be the mirror of "who we are being in the world" so our blind spots are revealed to us one by one. Tilt 365 gives us a way to accelerate that development and catalyze change more quickly. As we invite people we trust to become observers of our patterns, we can learn about what we are projecting into the world. Then we can change in a more focused and intentional way. Not to please others but to fulfill our own most important development goal...to achieve a sense of wholeness and fulfillment that allows us to be our real selves no matter where we are and no matter what happens around us. This kind of character and sense of self does not happen by accident. It happens by personal choice and tenacity acquired through a commitment to daily practices that anchor our sense of self in four important identity development objectives: self-aceptance, self-respect, self-value and self-regard. And when we feel good about ourselves from the inside-out, we are able to interact better with others on the outside. We become contributors to those around us and they are inspired to be themselves too.

Self-Fulfilling Prophecy & Self-Awareness & Openness to Continuous Learning

Our emotional and mental capacity for being balanced is key to the Tilt 365 system and theory of personality development & character. Why? Because we know that the brain looks for what will protect us and creates synapses in our brain that are called heuristics. These rules of thumb may accurately reflect reality OR THEY MAY NOT in which case, our mental capacity to expand our learning is critical to development of more expansive potential. For example, if my first three experiences of interacting with men with a mustache are all negative experiences, then my brain may record this data and hence forward will look for validation of this rule of thumb that is designed to keep me safe and I may recoil or withdraw whenever I encounter a man with a mustache. Yet, three pieces of data in the real world, do not equate to a trend that can be trusted or relied upon statistically, right? After all, it could simply have been a coincidence that I had these three experiences early in my life.

In order to stay open to a larger set of data to form conclusions, my brain would do better to remain open to new learnings that might dispute the first heuristic recorded in my neural networks. They key is to grow our intellectual capacity over time to allow for openness to learning what may benefit us, despite our first experiences. This ability to form quick hueristics is very valuable to rapid learning. We are like a huge sponge when we are young, learning exponentially to navigate a complex world. Indeed, touching a hot stove will hurt us and it's good to be able to learn this the first time. Other situations are not so back and white and require us to grow in discernment over time, while staying open to being wrong at times.

Self-Awareness is the Key

Yet, this capacity can also limit our potential if we don't learn about how the brain patterns in our subconscious memory work. About 88% of what we learn becomes subconscious memory because we can only keep so much information in our conscious awareness at any given time. Therefore the brain is simply being efficient when it records our experiences for future reference in our long term memory, pulling it back out only when patterns emerge that call for application. This is why continuous learning is so crucial to developing beyond your originally recorded belief systems. We ask others to support our self-awareness only because so much of what we do is old programming and we are unaware of it. Having trusted observers is essential to our growth and untapped potential.

The Continuous Learning Loop

Our growth is dependent on our ability to stay open to learning versus reliance on a system of beliefs that may be antiquated as the external world around us evolves and changes over time. Our old beliefs may have helped us survive our family of origin, but they may do quite the opposite in new systems we encounter that have very different dynamics. For example, if I had a bad experience in my teens with a good friend who betrayed a trust, then I may carry a deeply ingrained belief that good friends cannot be trusted. This would be an overgeneralization (a distorted thinking pattern) that may not be true for ALL good friends in my future. If I were to rely on this emotionally distorted belief for life, I might never be capable of forming deep friendships with those than I can generally trust and this would be life-limited in an important way. Just because one friend, or even two appear to have betrayed my trust, this is not sound reasoning to apply to everyone I meet in my future. Yet, the emotional centers of the brain have recorded an emotional record (memory) of this experience that is emotionally charged, so it becomes a trigger for me to withdraw and withhold trust. If someone behaves in similar ways, even remotely, the trigger of warning will go off in my brain and stimulate a fear-response. Yet, as you my guess, this fear-response might not be called for in every circumstance. Every person on the planet is unique, so applying such rules of thumb to ALL friends is not in our service. For this reason, we should NOTICE the trigger and inner response we have to some friends, but be alert to finding out if our old experience applies to this new experience. Some call this the Self-Imposed Glass Ceiling (see visual below). We can unwittingly limit our experiences and potential by giving too much credence to our old self-limiting beliefs. Therefore, we must keep a continuous learning loop open all the time for new experiences and learn not to shut down all systems when we encounter a trigger event.

The Self-Imposed Glass Ceiling

Some might call this phenomenon the fear of success. Others call it the Upper Limit Problem (Gay Hendricks). This phenomenon presents when things are going so well that your psyche intuits that you are going to have to break some old barriers and move beyond them. You are ready to grow, your mind is reaching a capacity beyond your current performance and yet, there are underlying warning triggers telling your gut to be careful. The brain likes to rely on heuristics, or rules of thumb that have been recorded concerning your old environment that were recorded based on your own limited experiences. So, if your outer world did not change, these warning mechanisms might be very accurate warning systems. However, when you are ready to grow beyond them, your thinking and intuitions must operate from higher levels of thinking than those that were recorded if you are to break through to new levels of potential. The key is to stay alert and know what those warnings are trying to tell you, while boldly moving forward to test their theories against a new environment, new encounters and new lessons. The only way to achieve transcending growth to actualize your full potential is to break these old self-limiting beliefs and form new ones. Trusting the ever-increasing wisdom inside you can help you move beyond the emotive reactions to the past.

The Polarities of the Creative Whole-Brain Mind

So, what is the link between character strengths and creativity? In our research, documented over the last four years, we have found that when a person develops balance in their personality (accomplished through a balanced set of character strengths in the Tilt model), there is a direct link to creating a team climate where everyone can perform at their most productive, creative and innovative best. A score of 3.5 or better in all four quadrants of Tilt predicts a climate for creative collaboration. We used a control instrument called the Situational Outlook Questionaire to measure this phenomenon. The SOQ measures nine dimensions of team-level climate for creativity and innovation and there was a strong correlation in subjects who took both the Tilt assessment and the SOQ. Our hypothesis about why this might be true is fascinating. In essence, it was our theory that when a person operates from strength instead of fear-based self-protection or self-davancing behavior, others feel safe around them. Scoring a 3.5 or better on the Tilt measures is an indicator for higher level consciousness in behavior. In short, the person with higher scores on Tilt is behaving in ways that are more conscious and evolved (higher self). When this happens, others follow by example and are able to spend their energy focused on the creative work they are doing together, rather on defending self-protective or self-advancing motives. When the drama, stress, chaos and politics of lower level behaviors are not present, the group can move their energy to productive and creative work together. What is actually happening is everyone is able to think in polarities, using non-dualistic thinking, so everyone's preferences are considered in the process. Note: See Polarity Thinking.

The Tilt system encourages what we call polarity-thinking. Instead of hard and fast rules that are black and white (the simplest form of decision making in the brain), our actualization required a more complex level of reasoning. This higher level of thinking goes beyond "either-or" thinking (dualistic) to "both-and" thinking (non-dualistic) which requires a broader range of analysis in decisions.

Example of Polarity-Thinking in the Tilt System:

Resilience + Wisdom

Philosophical Character Strengths are about mental or psychological resilience that helps us to operate from an optimistic bias contained in a belief system that looks for positive signs in the world (versus looking for negative signs in the world). Philosophical character strengths can be self-fulfilling in that our brain is trained to learn a lesson and then look for signs to validate that lesson. So if we learn something negative, our brain may begin to search for evidence to validate the learning. Likewise, if we learn something positive, our brain will search for evidence to validate that learning as well. Since we benefit from learning either way, both are necessary, but they need to be balanced. Too much optimism in our bias, and we become naive and subject to danger. Too much pessimism in our bias, and we become skeptical and untrusting which renders us rigid to what might be positive. The character strengths in Resilience are important to our ability get back up after a challenge and keep faith that we can still create a positive outcome despite negative experiences. Our ability to adapt to an ever-changing environment is captured in this important set of character strengths. Especially in a technological age, change is so inherent in our lives, that resilience is becoming more and more important to our survival skills.

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Authored by Pam BoneyQuestions for the Author? Ask them Here.