How DIY taught me a valuable lesson

There’s a misconception that anyone in the therapy field has their shit together and sails through life with rose tinted sunglasses.  Yeah well, I wish.  The truth is, we are humans with some decent knowledge and tools in our work belt that most of the time we use in our own lives but occasionally, we lose the belt and spit the dummy out.  As professionals however, we are always seeking out valuable lessons in our day to day experiences.

I am no exception to this.  I recently posted that due to an unreliable trades person, I decided to put my big girl knickers on and tackle the task myself.  Armed with advice and screws from the local DIY store I grabbed a drill recently given to me and excitedly started the task.

Then I epically screwed up – yup, literally.  As I did a final check with the spirit level, my screws were so misaligned that my first shelf was more akin to a slide than a sturdy book holder.

Now I can blame my ensuing blubber on hormones but the truth was, I was well and truly pissed off, choosing to see the whole thing as a failure.  I won’t even go there with the self-talk but, I was not kind to myself.

Half a box of tissues later, I knew I needed to change my attitude.  Not just for me but also for my children.  I am pretty self-sufficient and raise my kids to be.  Clearly, DIY was an area I was lacking experience in and needed to learn more so I could in turn teach my kids.  So, I picked up my coaching toolbelt and chose my tools and tweaked my mindset.

A phone call later and I had enlisted the help of a wise and more informed DIY’er.  A few days later, I am the proud owner of 5 floating shelves, all perfectly butted up in a row, no gaps and near perfectly aligned.  And all by my own hands.  Job done.

Having never used a drill in my life and being guilty of banging a nail in a wall when I should use a better fixing, I am bloody proud of myself.  But more importantly, I learnt a lot from this exercise.  As I say to my kids, it’s okay to make mistakes if you learn from them.

Key things to remember when tackling new tasks.

  1. If you stuff up, it’s ok. There’s not much that cannot be fixed.
  2. Ask for help, it does not mean you are weak, useless (name your perceived crime here) but that you are being resourceful by seeking information, solutions and results.
  3. It’s fine to have a paddy, so long as it’s over and done with quickly. Then get over yourself, move on and find a way to figure it out (see no.2).
  4. Acknowledge yourself and celebrate like a teen in Ibiza for trying something new. Actually, drop the ‘like a teen in Ibiza’ bit or you’ll be too hangover to do the job!
  5. Remember, it’s not difficult. It’s just unfamiliar.
  6. Persistence is what gets you results.
  7. We gave birth so everything else is a breeze, right?


So, who needs help hanging some shelves…………?



Photo by Todd Quackenbush on Unsplash



One Comment on “How DIY taught me a valuable lesson

  1. What a great post! It can be empowering to have someone show you the ropes. My car is an utter mystery to me. A much more gifted friend helped me investigate a fault – and I felt so much less helpless afterwards – and was able to show my husband some nifty tricks he hadn’t known either.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *