I here this saying every so often. I actually had a client say it to me yesterday in reference to their manager and it got me thinking about whether this is true. Of course, when we say, “Can a leopard change its spots?”, we are really saying we don’t think people can change, or at least not their basic nature.
I suppose I disagree with the premise here. Is our behaviour all genetically predetermined? I don’t think so. I see people in my practice who make significant changes based on increased self awareness and shifts in perspective. The latest research on neuroplasticity (adaptability of our brains) indicates that we can make significant changes even as we get older. (Can an old dog…)
So, can we change the hand we are dealt? Not presently, although science is working on this? I do believe we can make significant changes in our behaviour and outlook on the world though.
Side note: I didn’t know where this saying came from so I looked it up. It comes for the Old Testament, Jeremiah (13:23). Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil.