Can a leopard change it spots?
Can you teach an old dog new tricks? I’m not really talking about animals, I want to talk about us humans, and can we change? I believe we can, I have personally experienced this, along with having worked with many clients who have achieved change in their thoughts, feelings and behaviours.
However, it takes time for us to change aspects of who we are, and unfortunately it can take even longer for others to recognise that change. Think about when we visit our parents or old friends, they often see us in specific limited ways, based on how they perceived us in the past. Even if we have changed they may try to move us back to what they know best, what we once were, as when someone changes it may not suit the other person.
Drake, the hip-hop artists, struggled with this challenge. He saw this vision of himself as a rapper, but for many years he was a child actor, he spent time on a popular Canadian series where he played a young sensitive character, the total opposite of a rap star. Of course being on television was helpful as a stepping stone, but he faced a real perception challenge, because it was difficult for people to accept him as this brash and confident rap star when only a couple of years earlier they had known him as a very different person. Drake was extremely patient and deliberate in projecting a specific persona to the world and over time people came round.
In a similar way it will take time for a person who was a full time solicitor to convince others their career change to stand up comedy. It will take time for a recovered addict to convince others that they are clean, and it will take time for someone who has had a series of failures to believe that there is a success within him or her to prove to others what he or she is made of.
It is up to the individual to hold strong the vision of who we are or who we want to become, trusting that eventually that others will come around to see that person too. Our personal transformation can be held back by how others see us, so we have to be careful not to allow others to stifle our growth.
As Virginia Satir said “we must not allow others limited perceptions to define us”. We must remain patient; we must remain strong with our conviction throughout our personal transformation. If we do it’s almost guaranteed that others will come to seeing us in a clear new light.
New York Times
Brain Works Neurotherapy