Fixer mentality: do you find yourself trying to fix others and have fixer syndrome? Do you know why? Learn tips to release the need to fix.

Don’t forget to check out the first part of this blog last week. I talk about why you might have a need to want to fix everything.

How to Stop Fixing

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It’s exhausting trying to fix everything. You may not realize how much energy you are wasting.  Sometimes you may be making it worse for others. I had to draw a really strong boundary with a client.  She was becoming dependent on me to fix her. That wasn’t my job. She was disempowering herself by asking me to make it all better.  She had to take ownership of her life.  

Breathe. I am a huge fan of this.  When my hubs forgot to get time off, my mind started to go into fix-it mode. I simply started to breathe and took a step back.  That brought me present and allowed me to say you are a grown man and I know you will take care of it.

Learn about another’s perspective. Sometimes we get stuck thinking we need to fix something because it is wrong. The other person may not see the situation as wrong and in need of repair. Have open lines of communication. My hubs didn’t get the personal day he wanted. He wasn’t as concerned with it as I was. Guess what? It worked itself out and he was able to get the day off.

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Einstein insanity.  Doing the same thing again and again. Have you fallen into this rut?  This sometimes happens when people enable someone who has a drug habit. They say they will change or take drugs away or whatever and that doesn’t provide the change or solution you are looking for.

One of my life goals is to read Sue Grafton’s Kinsey Millhone alphabet series mysteries. These take place in the 80s and she is an old-school detective. In the book I was reading at the time of working on this blog, the brothers complained that their father would always lay down the law then never go through with it and the kid continued to be the wild child.

Ask questions. Instead of assuming, ask how the person would like to get support.  What you might see as helpful they see as meddling. Share the ways you liked to be supported as well as when you feel like someone is trying to fix you and you don’t like it.

Protect from life’s disappointment.  This may seem like a good idea.  I knew a woman in high school whose mother always tried to shield her from disappointment.  She did a pretty good job except when the daughter went to college she didn’t make it into a sorority and had a total meltdown. The reality is we will all face disappointment. If you try to stop this now it could harm them more in the long run.

Change your perspective.  Not allowing others to learn lessons or make mistakes doesn’t help them. We all came here to grow and experience life.  Instead of seeing yourself as supporting or protecting someone, see that you may be hindering their growth and learning.  More often than not people are more capable than we think, including ourselves. Say a little prayer, send a little love, and trust they will handle or learn their lesson.

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Understand you can’t make anyone happy.  Happiness is an inside job. By you trying to fix something doesn’t necessarily mean it will result in their happiness. What people choose to think, do say, and act is totally up to them. When I figured this out I met my husband. I also believe it helps our marriage because I don’t burden him with unrealistic expectations.

You can’t save anyone.  Not your place or job. When I worked at the local YWCA we won a grant for improving health.  The director of the program was worried as we weren’t meeting our goals. Sometimes, you have to let people fail or you have to fail to find out what will work.  It’s hard, but in the long run, you do them and yourself a favor.

Listen but don’t offer advice.  Instead of automatically offering a solution, simply tune in. Many times we aren’t good listeners. Practice active listening.  Don’t make suggestions.  When they have finished ask if they would like to hear your thoughts. Respect it if they say no.

I have to share I was reminded of the power of listening. I have a friend going through a bitter custody battle. Gaslighting at its finest. So I posted on my Facebook group looking for suggestions to help her.  One woman said you are listening to her.  I was.  And that she could unburden herself. I couldn’t change her ex or the system, but I could listen to the pain she was in.

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Put the energy into fixing yourself. This is probably the best solution in my honest opinion. We all have ways we can improve. Bring your focus back on yourself and put your time and talents here.

Take actions from the two clutter free living blogs on releasing the fixer mentality:

  • Acknowledge who you try to fix
  • Be aware when you are attempting to fix a situation
  • Practice self-reflection and why you feel the need to fix
  • Become present. Are there any fears you can address?
  • Create a plan to stop fixing
  • Put energy into improving your life

How can you stop trying to fix everything? What can you do to become more aware when you start trying to fix something? What in your life can you work on improving? What one step can you take right now to try and improve your life?

DIY Options to Declutter Your Life

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