This phrase also tells me that somebody knows his or her actions were bad, but that this person has no plans or desires to change. So, I would just have to accept how things are.
Let me tell you that who you are is what you have chosen to be. What you do comes from pure free will choice. What you say comes from your heart. Everything you say and do boils down to one thing: your own design of your life.
Whether you want to believe it or not, you have designed yourself to be who you are. Nobody was born being positive, or being negative, or being very loving, or being very hateful. From the time you were born to today, you have made a series of choices that have designed you to be the way you are now. So whenever you say, "That's just how I am," you are really saying, "This is who I CHOOSE to be and I am not changing it for anybody."
Another phrase I can't stand is, "I just can't help it," and it really doesn't help that modern society promotes this idea. Really, what you are saying to me is, "I really don't care to change my poor actions."
Imagine that you are writing a story. How would it end? What characters would there be? Who's the hero? Who's the villain? What actions would they take? Well, it's all up to you. Just as a story doesn't write itself, YOU don't become who you are by random. And when you finish a story, you have the power to change anything that you've written. In the same way, YOU have the power to change whatever you have made yourself to be.
Do not doom yourself with the attitude of "That's just the way I am." No, it is who you have chosen to be. If you could choose to be it, then you could choose to NOT be it.
Whenever you feel that "I can't help it" or "It's just who I am," then you have already set your own death sentence. If your poor actions or poor attitude is getting you in trouble (or will get you in trouble), then you disabled your ability to make things right. Unless you decide to change "who you are," then life for you could go downhill very fast.
One time at church, I asked the kids, "Is it hard to do the right thing?" Everybody said "No." So, why is it that I would occasionally have kids who would talk over me or misbehave in class? Because while it isn't hard to do the right thing, it is not always PLEASANT to do the right thing. Maybe at their school, there were things they could get away with and they tried to do it with me, and then they learn really fast that I have my limits. I will yell at you, make you feel bad, and kick you out of class if you disrespect me. For me, you are the child and I am the adult. You need to obey me or go to your parents.
Doing what the teacher says isn't pleasant, but it is easy to do what the teacher says. (Notice that I didn't say "Asks." I said "Says." As a teacher, I don't "ask" you to do anything. I "tell" you what to do.) Simply not talking over the teacher, treating your classmates with respect, and doing the class activity are all easy to do. If a kid decides to do otherwise, then it's not that he or she couldn't help it. It's because the kid DECIDED to go against the teacher's orders.
In the same way, YOU DECIDE how you're going to live, how you're going to act, what you're going to say, how you're going to treat others, and what goals in life you will pursue. You DECIDE the path of your life.
You DECIDE what kind of person you will be.
Most things we do in life are by choice. Where you are today or where you are NOT today was determined by a series of choices that you made. How you feel about things was determined by what you have fed your mind throughout the years. How you treat others was determined by what you think of others and what you think of yourself. What you THINK is determined by what you feed your mind.
Whether you're going down the right path or the wrong path in life, it's all because of the choices we have made. It feels better to believe that we had nothing to do with who we are or where we're going in life. Unfortunately (yet fortunately), we have the power to make ourselves into different people. All we have to do is to DECIDE to change.
If you don't like who you are, then change it. Don't let doctors, psychologists, teachers, or talk show hosts tell you that you're powerless to change yourself. Prove them wrong! Don't let society tell you that "you're just born that way." Prove it wrong! Don't let the media tell you that you just can't help it. Prove it wrong.
In fact, prove YOURSELF wrong if you believe that you don't have the power to change yourself. Get away from the attitude of "It's just the way I am." Start saying, "This is who I choose to be" and if you don't like who are you, then you could say, "I will choose to be something different." Then go out there and make the right choices so you could be somebody that you're well pleased with.