FIX IT FRIDAYS!
Let’s talk about the origins of Mama Fixer shall we? A good friend of mine would always tell me that I was the type of person who was not happy until I could “fix” a situation, things or even people. You can imagine the problems I have had because of this. Every other person knows that trying to be the fixer of all things eventually lands you in trouble but not me. I had to learn the hard way. When I was younger I also had an insane need to please people. Again this did not end well. I held a lot of things in at the detriment of myself and my own happiness. Growth is a wonderful thing and the minute I hit my mid twenties things changed.A combination of people pleaser and fixer of all things? A mess.
By the time I was 30 there were some “friends” side eyeing me because it wasn’t as easy to get me to do things I would normally have done without blinking. These days I intentionally choose myself and choose when and where to apply my desire for fixing. Or so I thought. In my personal life, my desire to fix has been tempered but my professional life? It’s on steroids LOL. I can’t stand seeing people not flourish because of minor social media issues, lack of access, lack of knowledge or the time to implement strategies. Generally, this has worked out for me in one HUGE way. My clients know that I go above and beyond to deliver. Not only do they get what they paid for but more than they bargained for. Consistently. Happily. 90% of recipients understand this about me and appreciate it. Sometimes because of work I have put in, clients will refer me to other people or ensure I am included in projects that go beyond any dreams that I have ever had. This unsaid reciprocal relationship is what I have come to know but not necessarily expect.
Then there’s the 10%. The 10% that like to milk a cow dry. Pump a well till there is nothing left. Drink water from the jug and never fill it up again. Always taking and never giving. I used to blame the 10% a lot until I was consistently reminded that if I don’t put boundaries there will be people in the 10% who will always take advantage of what is on offer. Normally this might not be a big deal in the grand scheme of things but when the 90% who appreciate you or even reciprocate, need you, they find you are tapped out. On negative. Struggling on E for empty. That’s a problem.
The last fortnight this hit home harder than I thought it would. On three separate instances a 90 percenter approached me to do work or ask for advice and normally I would have done it willingly and with so much joy. I snapped at one. Ghosted the second and nearly sent the third a snarky email along the lines of “their poor planning would not be my emergency”. YIKES!
That’s when I KNEW I needed a time out. I had to look back at what had lead me to be so depleted. I was able to pinpoint five instances where I had poured time and effort into 10 percenters without placing boundaries on their asks and on my time and energy. Ultimately I was feeling how I was feeling because *DJ Khaled voice* “Congratulations you played yourself”!
So what am I meant to do? Refuse to help everybody and charge everybody? Laughable, if you know me, you know me. I chatted with another friend about my self inflicted problem and without missing a beat he simply said, ” Fix it Jesus! Woman, make sure that of the 30/31 days in a month you work, that only a certain number of those days are days where you set aside time to work for free.”
Simple, right? Let’s be reminded that this lesson had been drilled into me at various points over the last few weeks and years but I have either ignored it, refused to listen or half-assed the execution of it. The purpose of the blog post is to make myself accountable, a PSA to 10 percenters and hopefully a lesson to those who are like me.
That’s where Fix It Fridays come in. Every Friday I’ll reserve time to answer/highlight digital media questions, snafus and the like. That’s the boundary I am creating. Fridays are the days for when I will be open to “Freebies”. If I am fully booked, try next Friday or even the next. Monday to Thursday are for days where I need to set aside for paying clients.
P.s Self assessment is a wonderful thing. I had to look at how I was a 10 percenter in other situations because not every day “I’ve been wronged” but some days you acknowledge the behaviour you see in others is also present in you. Then you fix it. Was I taking up the time of someone during their peak hours or days and using their services for free? If I was I had to go about rectifying it by either paying for their time or being upfront about my inability to pay/afford their services but asking when the best time for them was to assist me for a period they were comfortable with.
I hope like me, you have learned something about yourself and that you are making changes to make yourself accountable but also to choose yourself by placing healthy boundaries (personally and professionally).
Have a lovely week Fixers!