To mark the final Friday 13th of the year, we thought we’d have a look into the relationship between personality and a belief in bad luck to see if some personality types believe they are more unlucky than others. We looked at personality data from 1,200 people who had taken our personality test and who had also answered the question: ‘How lucky would you say you are?’
There were some clear results…
It appears that people who say that they are unlucky differ from other people mainly by being more anxious. They are more likely to describe themselves as:
- less emotionally stable
- less socially confident
- less trusting of others
- more likely to worry about themselves
…than people who say that they are averagely, quite, or very lucky.
Although we haven’t looked into the reasons for these differences, we believe it could be due to three main reasons:
- People with these kinds of personality traits are less likely to create their own luck. If they lack trust in others, emotional resilience or confidence, then they are less likely to persist with things, more likely to give up on plans and ideas, and are less likely to establish networks with others. Persistence and networking are important in creating situations where luck and success are more likely; no matter how talented you are, sitting in your bedroom worrying is unlikely to bring you success and luck.
- People with the above kinds of personality are more likely to blame a lack of luck for times when things go wrong rather than to address their own failings. Which might be the root cause of their lack of luck. Confident people are more likely to think that they can shape the world; anxious people are more likely to think that the world is against them and is to blame for their lack of luck.
- People have come to feel less emotionally stable, less confident and less trusting of others because they genuinely have had a worse ride in life than others.
So what should unlucky people do?
There might be a rare few people to whom life really has dealt them a poor hand; however, belief in luck is more likely to be just that – a belief which is not grounded in reality. The best thing to do is to challenge that belief, realise that the harder you work, the luckier you are likely to become, and to take steps to shape your own future.