THAT IS THE WAY I AM

The following excerpt is from the self help
psychology book, Be Your Own Therapist.


This phrase is widespread and is used to justify all sorts of behavior and ideas. And it probably is true today, but there is usually no thinking room available to those who say it. Just because I am presently one way does not imply that I will be or have to be that way this afternoon. Unfortunately, the possibility of change is usually not even considered by those voicing the phrase, "That is the way I am" and its close relative, "That's the way we've always done it." The most important question that needs to follow that phrase is, "Do I want to continue to be that way?" Do I want to continue to be stuck with that unhappiness, that addiction, that low self-esteem, that depression, that loneliness, etc.? All too frequently we deny the possibility for change. Because we attempt no changes, stuckness becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.


Our emotional responses are caused by our thinking about the situation, not the situation itself. Most of us erroneously believe otherwise.

The possibilities for change are much greater than we typically envision. If your spiritual/ religious systems of beliefs cause you distress, then consider changing them! If you respond emotionally in unhappy ways, then you can always change your emotional responses if you are willing to really look at yourself. (Remember the sledgehammer earlier in this chapter?)


Consider adopting the following ultimate belief in self-responsibility: if I am unhappy, then I need to change myself. There are things which are usually not possible to change (i.e., some physical characteristics, one's sexual orientation and one's general personality characteristics). On the other hand, it is always possible to change one's actions and one's emotions.


If you hear the phrase, "That is the way I am," be on the lookout for frozen thinking and stuckness. Such rigidity is often evidence of Stage I denial of problem or Stage II blaming others for the way I am.

Next Excerpt  

More than 90% of the work in effective therapy is done OUTSIDE the therapy hour.

More Excerpts This Chapter
   LET ME HIT YOU WITH A SLEDGEHAMMER
   THE TYRANNY OF JUDGMENTS
   THAT IS THE WAY I AM
   YOU MAKE ME UNHAPPY
   YOU HURT MY FEELINGS- THEREFORE YOU SHOULD CHANGE
   STICKS AND STONES
   WE DIG THINKING RUTS
   SIZE AND CONTENTS OF THE UNCONSCIOUS
   NATURE VS. NURTURE VS. LIFEPLAN
   THE PERFECTION THAT YOU ARE NOW
   BE HAPPY GETTING WHAT YOU DON'T WANT
   YOU'LL SEE IT WHEN YOU BELIEVE IT
   YOU GET WHAT YOU BELIEVE IN
   HOW CLOSE CAN WE COME TO "HAPPILY EVER AFTER"?

Thinking Quiz - Cognitive Psychology Test - Behavioral Therapy Selfhelp
Book Table of Contents  
Psychology of Sex Education - Psychological Sexual Health Care

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