Some days at work can be really challenging. And sometimes those days turn into weeks and the weeks into months. Next thing you know, you find yourself looking around overwhelmed and saying, “I don’t know how to fix this…”
If we stay in this place long enough, we inevitably slip into “this can’t be fixed” without even being aware of it.
Here’s something I heard this week that really struck me (and by “heard” I mean I saw it on a DIY TikTok, so it must be true.)
No one knows how to fix stuff until they do.
Now granted, they were talking about fixing up shabby things in your home but the same holds true for work.
Truth #1: “I don’t know how to fix it” DOES NOT EQUAL “it can’t be fixed.”
…and yes, I am shouting.
Truth #2: It’s not a problem if something needs to be fixed because we can figure it out.
Think about it, what are things that you didn’t know how to do until you did.
-how to read a rhythm strip
-how to run a code (even if the outcome is bad, it doesn’t mean you did it wrong)
-how to troubleshoot an IV pump, again and again and again
-how to pass the boards
-how to listen with compassion and still hold a patient accountable
Or what about other things in life?
-how to navigate your health insurance
-how to be a mom or how to be a mom of college students (ok, I am still working on this one)
-how to be a caregiver to a parent
-how to rectify an issue when you miss a deadline or a signup for something.
-how to manage a house and family and still get to work on time
No, it’s not always pretty.
No, the first time doesn’t always work.
No, it’s not a problem.
Take a deep breath. It’s not a problem. Say it with me, “it’s not a problem”.
Here’s the entire strategy you need.
Remember that everything has the potential to be fixed.
Try something, anything. Evaluate if it worked, or even kind of worked (don’t skip this part). Continue if it’s working or change something and try again.
Learn from someone else (maybe a coworker, maybe a guru, maybe TikTok)
Do all of the above until you know how to do it.
I know it sounds too simple but that is literally how it is done: trial and error.
Let me give you an example.
My husband is an elementary school music teacher, and he is great at it. What doesn’t come quite as naturally is fixing things. Mechanics and carpentry are not included in the curriculum for music educators. Weird.
Is it a problem?
Nope, not since the creation of YouTube it isn’t.
He’s a visual learner and if YouTube gave degrees, he would have multiple PhDs. He has fixed the ride-on mower, the pool pump, and the ceiling fans. He has built a coffee table for the living room and shelves for the basement.
It hasn’t always gone smoothly (and I’ve come to expect a certain amount of cursing during the process) but ultimately, it gets done. There are even times that he doubts that he can do it, but I have 100% faith, because it always works eventually.
If he can do these things, we can definitely figure out how to fix things too: things like work, or taking care of ourselves, or balancing our priorities.
It’s ok that we don’t inherently know how to do it. Most of us haven’t had any education in this at all so why would we expect to know how to fix our experiences? The first step is a backwards one. It is stepping away from “this can’t be fixed” and then towards “I don’t know how to fix this…YET”.
Just by adding on the YET we open the doors of opportunity, of possibility, of change.
Reading things like this blog is taking that step. Believing there is a way is taking that step. Turning off Netflix and getting enough sleep the night before work is taking that step.
See if you can make a list of little things that would make your day better. Include the realistic and the spectacular, the likely and the ridiculous.
And then try something.
You can’t do it wrong…and it’s ok if some cursing slips out along the way.
Every great creation starts with some kind of mess.
Do you have one thing that you really just can’t figure out how to fix? For some end of the summer fun, I am offering a free coaching session to 10 individuals. No strings attached. Just you and me and some obstacle smashing. I still have a few of these free sessions left. Message me if you want in.