YES! People can change!
Simple answer! Right? ....
Are we done?
Oh you mean can people 'really' change?
I'm not sure what the difference is!? any degree of change is change. Yes?
What I See are the Real Questions You're Asking
Can people change on their own?
Can people change for someone else?
Can people change for me?
Can people change and stay changed?
First off I would like to raise my hand and honor the old adages or cliches, "A tiger never changes their stripes" and/or "A leopard never changes their spots"
That is true. Why would a tiger want to change their stripes? They are a tiger. Spots are what make a leopard a leopard.
These comments are used mostly as a metaphor in human language to demonstrate that some realities are not changeable. These have no literal truth for people who are wanting to shift their own behaviors, personae or physicality.
My perspective goes as this.
What I Noticed and How I Changed
I remember taking the LUMINA Spark questionnaire the first time and reading through my portrait and seeing that my strength in exhibiting a Measured quality versus a Demonstrative quality was much higher in the Measured. I immediately noticed a dissonance inside me. I didn't want to be someone who hid all my excitement within, I wanted and really desired to be someone who exhibited my excitement outside myself.
I always love being around the happiness and excitement of others and I wanted to share mine.
I took on the task of making that shift from being a more Measured person with my expressions to being more Demonstrative, someone who is open and obvious with positivity and excitement.
13 months later I needed to take the SPARK questionnaire for advancing through the LUMINA LEARNING practitioner program and the results of my portrait, though 92% the same as my first portrait, showed an increase in my Demonstrative quality.
At first I didn't even notice. I wasn't looking for a marked difference between those two qualities. I had forgotten after all that time that I was looking for a measurement of my change.
It was after a conversation with a colleague about being intentional with changing our behaviors that I was reminded about desiring to be more demonstrative in my personal and business life.
There it was....plain as day! My SPARK portrait revealed my shift!
I had proof that seeding my idea and desire to be more outward with my positive emotions and intentional on my actions resulted in a measured difference on my portrait.
In fact, if I'm honest, through those previous months and even today, people express to me how they really enjoy my company and the positive energy I bring.
The proof was in the portrait.
In reflection of the previous year to determine what it took for me to make the change happen. I took on these tasks.
1.) I got clear on a vision of who I wanted to be in the area of Demonstrative.
2.) I searched and researched activities that expressed the quality of demonstrative behaviors, like public speaking, comedy acts, Ted talks, children. I took mental note of what felt right for me and what did not.
3.) I listened to speakers from the perspective of their effectiveness, tone and body language.
4.) I payed attention to how I was being when I was around friends and family
5.) I practiced how I wanted to show up for others. Voice, Body posture, Presence.
What I came to notice was that I really enjoyed putting myself out there, in a way that encouraged laughter and engagement. I practiced self expression and outward celebration. It feels great!
Practicing is the key. Snapping fingers and long hopeful wishing will not allow change for yourself or from others. Real change, real sustainable change takes practice and commitment to yourself.
The 'Other' Change
The other change can happen fast from a deep emotional place. An example you may have heard is that someone had to reach 'rock bottom' before they changed. Rock bottom is a deep emotional place. Another example is the immediate shifts that can happen from meeting a person who touches you deeply, with inspiration or connection. I have seen people shift and make massive life changes from experiencing the love, connection and inspiration from another.
Mentors and Coaches can be a great contribution to assisting a positive change in peoples lives.
At any time you feel discomfort within yourself, continuously or in the moment, know that change is possible. You have the absolute ability to change yourself.
So? Is there an aspect or quality in you that you would like to change?
A Business Relationship Trainer, Virtual Team Coach & Facilitator who loves all things related to business strategy, growth and innovation through the power of people in relationship.