I was twenty-two when I began working at Leo Burnett, a prestigious advertising agency located in Chicago, Illinois. It was my first corporate job, a prize I had earned as a college graduate. I still remember getting dressed each day, proudly tying my power tie, and then catching the green and white bus that motored past Lake Superior and down Michigan Avenue. Being a native Californian, it was quite a shift in my life: new job, new city, and new friends. Life was vibrant and rich.
I was in the account executive training program with fifty or so other new college graduates from around the country. We worked ourselves to the bone in either the media or research department before getting promoted to the job of assistant account executive. It was a very competitive environment as you can imagine, with all of us doing our best to deliver on the bold promises we made during our job interviews. It was during one of many meetings we attended that I heard a senior executive make a statement that I have never forgotten.
As aspiring executive wannabes, we were trying to create a dynamic new media campaign for one of our clients. We had changed one core component that had delivered very well for the past 5 years. We were asked about this change to the plan and didn’t have much of an answer, other than to say, we wanted to try something different. The senior executive then stated what now seems like a fairly obvious truth. “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” I now look back on that statement as a profound truth because there is something inside us that wants to fix things, even when they are not broken. Let’s call that certain something The Fixer, a unique aspect of ourselves that we can use to our benefit or detriment.
Let me tell you about The Fixer. First of all, he is a very determined fellow. No matter what, he wants to fix. The Fixer loves a good problem. The harder the problem, the happier The Fixer! Without a problem, The Fixer tends to fade into the background. However, make no mistake; The Fixer is not going to give up. If there is no problem, The Fixer will more often than not create a problem just to keep himself occupied. One target that The Fixer places a big bull’s-eye is on a woman. Many men have a strong desire to fix their woman in a misguided attempt to make their own lives better. I hear it all the time. “She is too emotional.” “She is not passionate enough.” “She is too independent.” “I wish she would have more of a life outside of our relationship.” The blame game is alive and well.
The pertinent question here is – Why does she have to be anything different than she it? She is not broken, so… why do you want to fix her? I suggest to you that if you are trying to fix your woman, you have not fully settled into your masculine core. Whatever dissatisfaction you are feeling about your woman is your dissatisfaction. Rather than trying to fix something that is already complete and whole, begin to work on that part of you that doesn’t feel complete and whole, with or without a woman.
A man who is fully settled into his masculine essence realizes that his woman, among many things, is in part a brilliant reflection of himself. She is your mirror. And if you don’t like the image you are getting back, the answer does not lie in breaking the mirror and then trying to glue all the pieces back together. Instead, going deep within yourself is the place to put your focus. Anytime we look to external sources for our gratification, we are in trouble. We can’t change or fix most external forces. For the most part, life is loose and out of control. When it is time for your transmission to break, it will break. Time for the flu, so be it. Life throws us all kinds of curve balls. As men, we have a choice to observe and respond to what is happening all around us and marvel at the mysterious and magical nature of it all, or, we can get frustrated and angry and place blame. Are you a man or a child?
At this point, you may be screaming at me “She really is a bitch and I can’t stand her!” OK, OK, I do understand that not all matches are made in heaven. But if that is the case and she really is horrid, why are you with a woman who brings out such virulent feelings? Fish or cut bait. There is no point in straddling the fence. You have a choice. Choose her as your woman, exactly as she is, or leave her and wish her well. If you are in that place of evaluating your options, and there doesn’t seem to be a clear answer, you are probably with the right woman for you for now. She is challenging you, reflecting your deepest truths and wounds, and whether you realize it or not, you honor the internal growth she fosters in you. Painful? Sure. You get angry? Of course. But ultimately, you chose each other for just that reason. The relationship serves you both by exposing those dark issues of yourselves that you probably would not have seen without sharing a life together. Out of the darkness comes those crystalline moments of clarity and bliss and transformation.
I know men that have been with the same women for ten to fifteen years, pecking at their own chests, suffering while waiting for their women to change. At some point, the suffering becomes so great, that a stark realization takes hold. “Why am I doing this to myself?” “She isn’t going to change.” And in that moment of realization, you may choose her exactly as she is. This was my experience. It was like a breath of fresh air. Once I made the choice to accept a woman as is, she transformed as if by miracle. But in “reality” she didn’t change. I changed. And in that moment, the whole world changed as well.
Don’t expect your woman to change. She won’t. It is a sure formula for thwarted feelings and frustration. She isn’t broken. And she doesn’t deserve your judgment nor condemnation. She certainly does not deserve the self-righteous feeling coming from you that she isn’t good enough as she is. You would have to be as thick as a plank not to see how this is your story and not her story. It is time to be responsible for your own feelings of self-worth, and stop projecting them upon the world and specifically upon your intimate partner.
How can we expect women to blossom into their full radiance when they are being told, directly and indirectly, that they aren’t good enough? Constant pressuring to become a new and improved version of themselves only leads to resistance and despondency and retraction. Don’t look out. Look within. And after many sessions of deep introspection, you may realize that The Fixer is just the Trickster in disguise. The truth is, you don’t need to be fixed either. It is all just a ruse to challenge you and keep you distracted and off purpose. The Fixer is just one of many tests. When you realize he doesn’t need to exist, you pass. When you take responsibility for your own experience, life begins to show up as a synchronistic symphony of glorious moments. You will wonder where you have been hiding all this time. And the woman who has patiently been waiting for you to appear, will show up again as the goddess she has always been.
About the Author
Jay Cradeur is an author, blogger, internet marketer, world traveler, and coach. Jay has helped thousands to achieve their dreams of financial independence. As an internet marketing coach with a focus on personal development, Jay may be able to assist you in reaching your goals. You can work with Jay for a 100% refundable fee of $49 by clicking on this link and committing to your future. Work with Coach Jay.
YES, let us talk! As we talk out our problems we come up with solutions ourselves. If we ask you, “What should I do?” Then please put on the Mr. Fix it Hat and help. 🙂 Love the post!
Great post today Jay! Thank you for sharing this….it is true that we need to find true happiness within ourselves. 🙂
Words of wisdom here Jay. This is applicable in the reverse roles also. Great reminder that only we can make ourselves happy, nobody else. When we change our attitude, we change our altitude!
Reminds me of a video I seen on YouTube were the woman had a nail in her head and the guy just kept trying to fix it. So true I often have to remind my self that its not about the nail because as a guy I want to fix it. Trying to find more ways to be empathetic has been much better for my relationship with my wife.
Here is the video Erik.
This is a powerful message. I appreciate the male perspective on this topic. Very well written. Thank you for sharing your knowledge, Jay. 🙂
Great post!! Thank you for sharing!!
This post is so true for both sexes. Being with someone in hopes of changing him or her is fighting a losing battle. Self-growth is the key.