Can People Change (The TRUTH Revealed)
Yesterday I went out and had lunch with my mom since I don’t see her that often, and while talking she told me she believed that people don’t change. That there is an essence and that essence is unchangeable.
It is not the first time I hear those exact same words from her but this time it really annoyed me. But in second thought, I realized it was really not that much of her fault.
“People Cannot Change” – They Say
This belief is shared by many people in our culture. And they have a good point: At first sight, it seems that people can’t change because they tend to behave in a certain way over and over again. If someone “is” jealous, he or she will be jealous forever. Or if someone is hardworking and successful, we believe that he or she was always that hardworking and successful. “it in his or her essence.” Like her soul was born like that or whatever.
What really concerns me about this belief is not the fact that we believe that other people cannot change like, “uff, my boyfriend is incredibly possessive, and he will never change”, or “my husband is always working and never takes time to chill and have fun. He will never change.” By believing that people “don’t and cannot change” you are automatically discarding the possibility of change for you. If you believe that people don’t change, you believe that you cannot change. It is just the other side of the same coin.
How can you improve on yourself, be better, develop, if you believe that you and the people around you cannot change because they are fundamentally that way? IT IS IMPOSSIBLE! IT CONTRADICTS ITSELF.
Wait! Can People Change Then?
If we look closer that the notion of people don’t and cannot change, we realize that it falls apart entirely. Do you think you are the same person as 2 years ago? What about 4? And what about ten? Do you have the same beliefs, goals, desires, needs, and even circumstances? Probably not… In my case, two years ago I was living in Argentina with my family, now I’m in the US. 4 years ago the only thing that I did was to study and take naps of 3 hours. If you asked me if I’ve changed… Fuck yes dude. And you probably did too.
This Juan Cruz, this me, this self, this way of behaving, relating and being is something I’M DOING! Not something I’m being. It is not that “””I’m””” jealous, or hard-working, or that I get angry when they insult me, or that I’m incapable. That is not in my essence – it is not who I am fundamentally. It is something I’m doing. It is an activity. It is not that I’m an angry person in essence. In reality I generate this anger and then I say it’s me.
Being or Doing?
Your personality traits is not something you are being, it is something you are doing, whether you realize it or not. Are you grasping the importance of this statement? When you believe that you are something specific in essence, in your soul, now there is no way that you can change. Because, how could you change something that you believe is fundamental in you, that is essential in you.
For example, If I hold that I’m essentially not enough and not capable of solving my problems, where is the room to change? When you hold some trait you have as you, there is no way you could change it. BUT! What would happen if instead of believing that I’m a jealous person, I realize that I’m doing the jealousy. I’m creating it in my experience. Now is 100% my responsibility and now there is room for change! Since I’m the one doing it, I can stop it whenever I want.
So yeah, people can definitely change since it is not something they are being, but something they are doing.
You might be saying: Man, if I’m doing everything then I can stop doing it right now, right? Haha, I wish you could. I wish I could. But the truth is that conscious change and transformation is difficult, and it takes time and effort.
How Can I Change?
How are the ways you can promote change and personal transformation?:
- Inquire into yourself: This is a very deep and profound topic that will need further review but basically, each time you are behaving in a way you don’t like or find useful, ask yourself why are you doing that… Why are you getting angry, why are you getting jealous? Something interesting may pop up
- Reading and updating your models of reality
Obviously, to change, to become better, you will need to work on yourself and start doing personal development, it is the only way. It is not easy but the other road you can take is to believe that people don’t change, that you don’t change and continue doing what you have always done.
A quick note here. It is important to realize that you are responsible for your own change and development and nothing else. You are not responsible for the change of others, they have to work on themselves and obviously you can help them, but at the end they are solely responsible for their own lives. You cannot force change in people, you can help them and the best way to do that is to be the example.
Don’t get frustrated and angry with them though, I’ve fallen many times on this trap and I will continue to do so. But the best way to help them is with understanding and compassion, and realizing that they have the freedom to do whatever they want. So do you.
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