I’ve spent a lot of my life thinking about change – whether I, others or indeed anyone can really change; what that even means i.e. if we’re talking about changing behaviour, thought patterns, feelings, perspectives or if we’re actually talking about changing core personality traits; and whether change is even necessary and beneficial.
Transformation has always been an obsession of mine. Weight loss makeovers, style makeovers, home makeovers, life makeovers – these shows are my bread and butter. To see someone with a problem; someone who seems utterly defeated and hopeless; someone who desperately longs for things to be different – to see a person like this make positive changes in their life and gain some self-belief back is just wonderful to me.
I’m aware, by the way, that some of my own confirmation bias is at work here. I need to believe that people can change because I’ve always wanted to change myself; to be ‘better’ today than I was yesterday.
I’m not naive. I know that post-makeover, in many cases, the salads and gym habits don’t last much longer than the tackier decor (Get that F@cking MDF light feature out of my front room!) But I do believe that if they’re motivated and committed enough; if they’re clever in their approach; people can change their behaviour.
And I do believe that if said behaviour is repeated enough, then its’ bound to seep a little deeper and impact thoughts/feelings/beliefs.
Moreover, I feel like my perception of change has changed itself.
I used to see it as something going from A to B – an apple becoming an orange – metamorphosis, if you will. And whilst obviously there’s still a sense of transformation here; of things appearing and even being different; I view this now as more of an uncovering of what’s already there.
Again, I think back to that story of the authentic self and the idea that we’re all diamonds, who get covered in the horseshit of life and then plaster nail-polish on top to make ourselves appear ‘better’ to others.
So to answer my own question – yes, I do believe that people can change… at least in the sense that we can wash off the polish and crap, and really see what’s been there all along.