The Reason You Are The Way You Are

Do you know what made you the way you are?

Do you know why you’re shy/insecure/needy/lack confidence? Do you know what caused it?

Can you pinpoint the specific moment?

– Maybe it was at school…
– Maybe it was at home with your parents…
– Maybe it was that time you were picked last at sport…

Do you know who was involved?

– Maybe it was your mum…
– Maybe it was your dad (or lack of one)…
– Maybe it was that cute girl in 4th grade who laughed at you when you gave her a flower…

I know it’s tempting to try and dig back through your past and try and find the exact moment when things all went wrong, but all you’re doing is hurting your progress.

It’s a waste of time at best, and completely counterproductive at worst.

Here’s why:

It’s a waste of your time because trying to find the cause of your problems in your past is completely unproductive because your problems aren’t rooted in your past.

Your problems are rooted in the present moment.

And not in the present moment that happened 5 minutes or an hour ago, but what’s happening in this present moment.

Your problems exist because of the way you choose to live your life in THIS present moment.

Sure, you might have been laughed at as a child. Sure, you might have been scolded for speaking your mind. But all those incidents do is inform the real and present moment decisions you’re making about your life. They don’t control the decisions you make and they don’t dictate which one you go with.

You decide which one is right and you choose which path you take.

It’s not your upbringing or history or age or height or ethnicity that’s making you weak and insecure. It’s how you’re choosing to live your life, right now.

(There’s a full discussion of this here: Why you’ll never be a man)

You’re choosing to give in to fear. You’re choosing to lose focus on your dreams and visions. You’re choosing to be weak. And then you’re feeling anxious, powerless, and alone because of it.

Trying to find the cause in your distant past is completely unproductive. Your pain isn’t caused by your past so the solution can never be found in the past.

Your lack of courage and confidence is caused by how you’re choosing to live your life right now.

But more than just looking in the wrong spot for a solution, looking into the past is preventing you from finding a solution.

How can you ever hope to change the way you live your life, right now, if every time you’re put in a challenging situation and you let yourself down, you ask yourself ‘I wonder why I’m like this?’ rather than ‘How can I change this?’

How can you ever hope to push through fear is all you’re ever focussing on is ‘why am I like this?’

How can you ever hope to radiate strength and confidence is all you’re ever thinking about is ‘what made me the way I am?’

If you’re looking at the past, you’re looking in the wrong spot.

This is why trying to work out why you are the way you is a waste of your time.

But worse than just being unproductive, trying to find the reason you are the way you are can actually take you further away from your goals.

If you’re looking into the past to try and find a cause, what are you doing on a subconscious level? You’re trying to find something, other than yourself, to assign responsibility for the problems you face in life.

Instead of manning up, taking the responsibility for your life and the decisions you’ve made about how you live your life, you’re taking the responsibility for your anxiety, insecurity, and nervousness and you’re trying to put it on someone else’s shoulders.

You’re trying to pass the buck.

You’re trying to shift the blame.

You’re trying to absolve yourself of responsibility for the problems you face.

This might make you feel good for a short while but it’s the fastest way to make sure you never become the Man you deserve to be.

Yes, there might have been external influences in your past that helped shape your decision. Yes, you might have had an abnormally tough childhood. But at the end of the day, all they ever did was influence the decisions that you made.

You’re the one who ran from fear. You’re the one who gave in to anxiety. You’re the one let others dictate how he lived his life. And you’re the one who suffered the lack of confidence because of it.

This is very important for you to understand.

If you just blame someone/something else for the decisions you make in life, then you will always be a victim. You will never be able to change your life circumstances because you didn’t create them.

But if you take responsibility for how you’ve been living your life, the decisions you’ve made in your life, and the consequent outcomes you’ve experienced, then all of a sudden, the power is in your hands.

When the problem is external to you, all you can ever hope to do is manage the symptoms.

When you’re the problem, you’re also the solution.

You can decide to take action. You can decide to push through fear. You can work out the kind of life that you’ve always wanted to live and move towards it with courage and determination. And you can experience the confidence and power that come with that. But only if you take responsibility for the decisions you’ve made in your past.

So, if you’re trying to work out why you are the way you are, stop it now. It’s never going to help you become the kind of Man you want to be.

There’s a much simpler question you can ask that will get you there:

“What am I afraid of happening if I take action, and how can I deal with it, right now?”

That’s it. That’s all you need to ask.

As you watch that cute blonde in aisle 13 come round the corner and smile at you and you still don’t have the balls to approach, ask yourself: “What am I afraid of happening if I approach her, and what can I do to overcome it?”

As the flirty brunette takes your coffee order and accidentally fumbles with the change for the third consecutive day and you still can’t bring yourself to tease her about being a klutz, ask yourself “What am I afraid of happening if I tease her and what can I do to overcome it, right now?”

Don’t focus on the past because you can’t change it.

Don’t focus on the future because it hasn’t happened yet.

Direct your attention towards what’s going on in this very moment and how you can deal with the challenges in front of you, right now.


10 thoughts on “The Reason You Are The Way You Are”

  1. This is fucking amazing Leigh, really one of the most helpful, straight to the point, bullshit free articles I’ve ever read on the topic. Human psychology really is amazing, we really are our own worst enemies. Helped by an ever increasing awareness the points you have made were starting to become clear in my own mind, if you allow yourself the time to listen to yourself you already know all the answers. Just like the fear of success, we also fear our own greatness, but the fact that you almost don’t even need to try to access it makes it all the more harder for people to comprehend. It’s like our minds are on autopilot but when we start thinking too much we start messing with the controls and go off course. It’s such a great paradox, ‘Cogito ergo sum’ (“I think, therefore I am”).

  2. I love this website. I’ve been in a horrible spot for a while now. 17 year old on lockdown because he smoked pot a 2nd time. Lost trust on a whole other level. And I was starting to fall because I kept thinking of why I kept making these mistakes and disrespecting my moms house rules. However, this post, came rigt after a lot of deep thought and relaxation. Listen to Lil B “I hate myself” then read this. And read the article Tom put up there. And you will always be reminded that YOU are the maker of your life. You are in control of your insecurties and response to them.

    Responsibility has taken a whole new meaning to me now and will be one of the most profound things to have found in my life. I take responsibility for smoking pot and losing my moms trust, I take responsibility for taking a lot of effort out of my life, I take responsibility for entering depression and entertaining suicidal thoughts.

    I will now respond with my OWN ability. And I have found that on my own and am so proud of myself.

    Habit is all and that is what I’m working on right now. Not tomorrow, not next week. Now. Now I will be the man I deserve to be. Thank you everyone for this. Thanks leigh.

  3. Haha yes!

    This article really makes a very important point.

    You see, the reason I’ve been experiencing anxiety and not taken action before is because even though I’ve been in a more “AI” mindset, it’s because I’m still trying to predict the future, something I simply can’t do.

    By focusing on the very moment, and not in the next 5, 10-20 seconds after I’ve taken the action I’m afraid of, I’ll probably be less focussed on fear and more on the nerves and excitement that’s going on.

    Cheers Leigh, you’re a legend!

  4. Keep them coming Leigh, amazing posts!
    It is good to have a reminder that keeps me focused and on track like these post do. That one could be a great topic “How to keep focus” or something like that.
    Thank you so much man. God bless you, or Buda, or the universe or all of them.

  5. Hey,

    ok this is my first comment… so first of all i wana say i am huge fan… ur doing a great job man! that being said…. i can come to the discussion here…. i do believe being in the moment is important how ever i have been reading about this new thing….. its sort of like what they talk about in ”the secret”…. The main philosophy is that when ever ur mind wanders off into day dreams of the past or future… consciously direct it towards imagining the future want and that will create it for you….. whats ur take on this ?

    • Great to hear you’re enjoying the site.

      I agree that having a very solid picture of the future you want to create is very important. In fact, it’s so important, that it forms a big part of Endgame, Get Real, and Be Powerful. But there is a trap in it.

      If you focus on the future you want to create because you believe you’ll be happy when you get there, then you’re going to be eternally unfulfilled.

      But, if you’re focusing on your future as a means of giving the present moment context and direction and helping you decide how to find fulfillment living now, then you’re going to live a very rewarding life.

      Like everything, it’s not what you’re doing that’s important, it’s why you’re doing it.


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