Is it?  Is it really?  People tend to excuse issues they have, struggles and reactions, hot buttons and behaviors, by saying that it’s just part of my character or that’s just the way I am or that’s just the way I’ve always been.  We don’t say this around the positive things such as intelligence, talent, or excellence, only around the things that are…um..problematic shall we say.  Things which trip us up, get in our way, or limit us in some fashion.

Now, like I’ve talked about before, sometimes these are a person’s character and the issue comes in trying to be different such as being a working dog when someone else needs you to be a duck.  Nothing wrong with a good working dog, but it ain’t gonna fly.  The problem lies in the request, not in the person not complying. Unfortunately, when people don’t get what they want it is common for them to kill the messenger or make the person saying no into the bad guy.  That’s a thing in and of itself. However, the other side of the coin is to excuse away a legitimate issue by saying, well that’s just part of my character. The excuse makes the issue seem like gravity or electromagnetics. It isn’t, but if you think it is then nothing can be done about it so everything else has to adjust.

So here’s an example: children growing up in “difficult” family or living situations where safety (emotional/physical/mental) is an issue become highly reactive to other people.  It’s a survival mechanism and it works amazingly well.  Once adults they can see this as a skill that needs to have an on/off switch and to come into right relationship with a life that isn’t a danger zone, or they can see their reactions to everyone else as oversensitivity and decide this is just their own nature.  Their character dictates that they are thin-skinned and need to compensate.  It’s not true, but this gives them an out allowing them to avoid having to dig too deep into issues they’d prefer to pretend they have left behind. Or another one is the workaholic. Using work and hyper focus to avoid seeing anything they don’t want to deal with seems like it’s just part of their character.  But that A-type personality always striving is avoidance and if they turned 1% of that attention onto things that might touch them emotionally they would heal exponentially, but that’s the exact thing they don’t want to do so work on!

There are many things we are bequeathed by our families, our childhoods, situations in life, but these aren’t our character, they are our experiences.  We can choose what we do with them, how we handle them, what we become.  It’s never too late to spin straw into gold.