Do you know anyone who explains their behavior by saying, “That’s just the way I am”? Let’s look more closely at this statement.
In an overheard conversation recently, one man said to another, “I suppose I shouldn’t be so suspicious, but that’s just how I am.” Now, what does it mean when someone explains their behavior by saying, “That’s just the way I am”? Does it seem like there is an implication – something left unsaid – like, “I’m not responsible for my behavior,” or, “I can’t really help it because I can’t change”?
When you hear, “That’s just the way I am,” for the careful listener it begs the question, “Why? Were you born that way?” Because you know, for the most part, we weren’t born “that way.” There is very little about ourselves that we can’t change if we want to. Every time we say, “That’s just the way I am,” we give up accountability and personal power.
Now, if you say, “This is how I want to be, this is what I choose to do,” you take responsibility, and when you take responsibility, you empower yourself. These statements come from a place where introspection and self-examination have taken place. A philosophy of life has been created, and self-knowledge reigns supreme.
As long as you believe that you are the way you are, and that’s that, you’ll stay that way. It’s a little like arguing for your right to keep your limitations. Of course, you do have a perfect right to keep them – but why in the world would you want to, when the possibilities for living a full, purposeful life are endless?