Do You Feel Obligated To Fix Problems In Your Family, Friend Groups, Society, and At Work?

Updated: Apr 27

Feeling the need to fix workplace culture, to family problems and team environments.

Yesterday I was in fix it mode and falling back into anxious patterns. I felt anxious and I just wanted to solve a problem (that is NOT SIMPLE to solve) while involving others, which in this situation was not helpful and only increased the stress levels from one person to the next person.

I had no idea I was doing this until a lovely friend of mine wrote this to me “.... you can’t fix everything...”

BOOM! Mind blown and I became conscious of what I was doing. I was trying to fix problems from an anxious (fearful) state and all I was doing was spreading the problem. It was not helpful at all.

Do you ever feel the pressure to fix situations at work, family, with friends or in a team environments? You might be a manager or director of an organsiation so people look at you to fix problems. Maybe you feel a moral obligation to fix people in society who mistreat others.

This way of thinking means you care. It can have a remarkable impact on society and more people who want to make positive changes in this world the more positive changes will occur. For example, =inventions, changes in laws and changes in thinking.

Anxiety comes from trying to control an outcome, or predicting an outcome (unconsciously). The control comes from fear of something bad happening to us if we don't control the situation.

Impatience and high expectations can also result in anxiety when things are not going your way .

We think we can fix it or we "should" fix things. Whether that’s working in an organisation, within a team, family or friends. Maybe you feel obligated to fix problems as it's apart of your job description.

I’m all for creating solutions to problems in the world and more closely to our everyday lives. I’m also aware when it can causes suffering. It’s a fine line.

We can suffer when we take on a responsibility to fix things or provide a solution to something that is NOT SIMPLE.

Humans are layered with beliefs, fears, past experiences and life challenges. We all have stresses in our lives, and we all behave in ways that are deemed inappropriate.

We all see the world differently. From the natural world to how we should behave in society. For example, I look at the power of the natural environment and how we must protect it and treat it respectfully. I see its beauty and how it’s all connected to our health and to all the organisms living within it. Someone that works in the forestry industry would see the environment mainly from a resource perspective. Putting more value in the money they can make from it.

If I told this person they’re wrong for thinking that, yelled at them, was passive aggressive or treated them poorly;

1. They would tell me where to go

2. It wouldn’t work at all because no one changes their values or beliefs from being told what to do. It happens from wanting to change there lives for the better and in order to do that they reassess their beliefs and values to accommodate that change. Someone who is happy just the way they are will not feel the need to change.

Here are some questions that will help you see if you’re trying to fix problems and they are causing you to suffer.

  1. Are you approaching this problem with anxiety?

  2. Are you forcing your beliefs and opinions on someone? And expecting them to change theirs?

  3. Are you fighting a losing battle and maybe there’s another way you could approach it that could be more beneficial and healthier for you?

4 Steps to becoming less anxious and more strategic at solving problems.

  1. Take a break from it. Rather than trying to fix things from an anxious state, take a step back and do some work on yourself. You're more likely to find a solution when you're not anxious. This includes doing things that reduce your anxiety. For example, meditate, sleep, work-out, journal, walk in nature, create, talk to friends, go on a fun adventure. My go to is journal, self coaching and nature. Do anything healthy that makes you feel relaxed and brings you out of your anxious state. Your approach to this problem will be much more strategic, rather than coming from a place of, protection, defensiveness and resentment.

  2. Get to the root of the problem. Why does this cause you anxiety? Understanding the cause of this from a deeper sense enables you to see that it could be a trigger for you and if your environment is constantly triggering you it’s not a healthy environment for you to work in.

  3. Understand. See things from other people’s perspective. Ask yourself, what do they value? How can I come up with ideas that would suit all of our values?

  4. Know when to move on or let go. For example, when systems, polices and management have values that are not aligned with yours and the environment you're in feels wrong, it’s time to say goodbye. You don’t want to be that angry, resentful person in the workplace that bitches about others and has low tolerance. I have seen people go from being bullied to becoming the bullies. This can be avoided if you don’t force yourself to stay in an environment that’s unsupportive and if you work on yourself first.

Understand where your intentions are coming from so you can clearly identify whether you're trying to fix things from fear rather than from a place of compassion, empathy and connection.

“I define connection as the energy that exists between people when they feel seen, heard, and valued; when they can give and receive without judgment; and when they derive sustenance and strength from the relationship.” ― Brené Brown

Thelma Vlamis

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