After some deliberation I have come to the conclusion that metaphorically speaking, although it would be amazing to think that leopards could change their spots, tigers their stripes, and Ethiopians the colour of their skin, fundamental change will only happen if the leopard/tiger/Ethiopian really wants to change their ways. There has to be huge effort on their part to achieve change and no amount of persuasion, comfort or reassurance by others can overcome a lack of desire to change permanently if comfort can still be found in the normality of sadness, frustration, anxiety or depression.
Do some people “chose” to be sad, depressed, or anxious? Consciously I think not. Who would go through the misery and upset that negative and low mood brings to a person, their friends and family? Subconsciously however, it may be a little more tricky to be so sure. There is often some comfort to be found in retreating into familiar negative territory of low mood, anxiety, depression and general malaise. It feels normal. It’s a good excuse to “duck out” of certain situations and there is always the back-up of “some people just don’t get IT” when you need to justify anti-social behaviour.
Can people change? Really change?
Depression, anxiety and fluctuating moods can be overcome and yes, I believe that once you come to terms with this and believe that you can change, it can happen. It takes a lot of hard work. It takes courage and it takes humility and trust in others.
You may need to change your lifestyle choices, your attitude and your routine.
You will certainly need the help of your family, friends and colleagues so don’t be afraid to ask.
Be yourself. Even if at heart you are a leopard with no spots to change.