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When Fixers Can’t Fix

April 23, 2013

Following on from my post on Motivational Speakers, Self-Made Gurus etc. Let’s cut them just a little slack:

A lovely friend of mine is a coach. He is VERY good at what he does, helping men to achieve their health, wealth and career goals. His way of working is precise, calculated (as in planned), motivational and inspiring. When his clients hit rock bottom he shouts at them until they grab back hold of the rope – he then yanks them back up again.

Fantastic. And yes, I DO mean fantastic. Helping people in this way can be very effective. Compassion does sometimes involve shouting really loud so that someone in need can be helped.

You already know this don’t you? You already have that niggle that I am about to scream:


haha – the thing is, often, we CAN be fixed which is why coaches, motivational speakers etc. are so successful – they inspire us to reach for the stars and thus sometimes we actually do. Great. But here’s the but:

Sometimes, people just can’t do whatever is required of them to get the hell out of the shit.

Now using myself as an example – because that is what I do – my coaching friend was fantastic when I hit rock bottom*, he popped round with food, listened to me, gave me a strategy for recovery – result.


The situation continued. It didn’t change. I was so depressed, suicidal and terrified that I couldn’t see straight – let alone actually hear what he was saying to me down the phone (if you have ever experienced anxiety/overload, you will know that sometimes, the ability to hear properly does literally go). There was a problem: The fixer couldn’t fix.

Now have you ever noticed? Motivational speakers etc. never really entertain ‘negativity’. They skip over it, change the subject or come up with a ‘solution’.


So the fixers can’t fix. OH NOOOOO! And here is where I cut them some slack – They are fixers because they really, really want to help you. This really wanting to help comes from their own need to be fixed.

My coaching friend… and I so hope he doesn’t mind me using this experience as an example, I know he reads my blog, but it’s too much of a goody to ignore… was one of the friends I casually mentioned who had ‘Disappeared, Gone…’ and whilst this hurt, I knew that it was simply because he couldn’t fix me. The situation was impossible to fix quickly because there were practical steps to be followed to do with psychiatric recovery as well as waiting to be rehoused with a housing association.


It’s a rare human being who can truly sit in the darkness with another. Sometimes we are so desperate to switch a light on that in the rush for the switch we blind ourselves to the other’s need.

Needs and wants are different.

I needed to recover slowly, my body needed rest and medicine, my mind needed solace, my emotions needed to be heard – my wounds needed to bleed.

How many fixers can facilitate this?

In a world of wants the drive towards fast-track enlightenment is ever present in our interactions. I can’t do anything about this – we are all on the path we are on. But what I can do is share my experiences with you: I can tell you that I learn more when I slow down, I get my needs met by someone sitting with me, I feel more secure being in the moment rather than running away from it.

And so it is.

Matt xx

* No idea what I’m talking about? You will find the info here and here.

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