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In this post: Learn how to get started with your own projects, build DIY confidence, and find new empowerment and independence.
When I bought my house, the term fixer-upper was an understatement. One repair person told me that my home had “lived a maintenance free life.” Finding thrifty ways to fix it up became my passion.
Honestly, I had to learn how to do a lot of projects on my own, because I couldn’t afford to hire professionals. It was my mission to save money and create a beautiful home at the same time.
Not only did a learn a lot about DIY, I also developed a confidence that I could take on new things, and learned how to be more independent.
As I read somewhere recently:
“In the DIY economy, saving money is the by-product of empowerment.”
So, now we’re here to build your DIY confidence, and empower you to achieve your goals.
Let’s get started.
BUILD YOUR DIY CONFIDENCE: EMPOWERMENT THROUGH DIY
Shift Your Mindset
My officemate walked in one day holding two halves of a hinged plastic storage box. She told me, “Sylvia and I couldn’t figure out how to put this together, so we’re going to wait for John to do it.”
I simply asked, “Why, because you need a man to do it?”
She didn’t reply, but within less than a minute she had that box correctly assembled.
Here’s a secret. Men are not born with any more DIY skills than anyone else. They may be given more opportunities to learn some of these skills, but they still have to learn them.
And trust me, if they can do it, you can do it.
Start by shifting your mindset. Maybe you subconsciously believe that some tasks are typically “Man-Stuff”, like what you might learn in shop class, and that you can’t do them.
Actually, they’re just things that you haven’t learned how to do yet. But you are a capable and courageous person. You can do this.
Face Your Fears
During one of my early home improvement projects, I needed to replace my rotting front porch. As I started prying off the old deck boards, carpenter ants came pouring out of the support beam.
After letting out a cry, I slapped that board back in place as fast as I could, hoping to keep them contained. I felt like I was in way over my head.
Honestly, I have a lot of “ant incidents.” Unexpected problems pop up during my DIY projects that leave me feeling overwhelmed. It’s so easy to think:
“I have no idea what I’m doing. Why did I think I could do this alone?”
“This isn’t fair. I shouldn’t have to deal with this.”
But what are you going to do? You can’t just share your house with carpenter ants.
I’ve learned that it’s OK to take a moment to acknowledge feeling overwhelmed and under prepared. But then, you have to face your fears and take the next step.
Slap that board back on top of the ants, take a moment to breathe, and then go figure out what to do about them.
Be Open to Learning
As we get older, it’s easier and easier to let ourselves out of doing things by telling ourselves, “I can’t do that, because I don’t know how.”
It may feel vulnerable to admit that you don’t know how to do something. Maybe it feels safer to just get someone else to do it for you, rather than opening yourself up to being teased, or facing the chance of failure.
Just because you’re not in school anymore doesn’t mean you’ve lost the ability to learn new things. Instead of “I don’t know how to do that,” try telling yourself “I’d like to learn how to do that.”
There are so many great ways available to us to learn new things these days.
Do some research online. Even my mom can find how-to videos on YouTube.
Ask for guidance at your local hardware store. (Intimidated by the hardware store? Stay tuned for more on that topic coming soon!)
Ask a handy friend for advice or help. I do this all the time! Just because it’s a DIY project, that doesn’t mean you have to do it all by yourself.
Start Small & Give DIY a Try
If you’re new to DIY, I wouldn’t jump in with a major kitchen remodel as your first project. Instead, pick a few small tasks that need to be done around the house, and tackle those.
Maybe you can figure out how to hang that picture that’s been leaning against the wall since you moved in. Or, patch up some old nail holes in the drywall.
Not only will you finally get some of those lingering tasks crossed off your to-do list, you’ll feel successful. These smaller accomplishments will build your confidence and help you develop your skills, so you can gradually take on bigger projects.
For tackling some of the basic projects around the house, pick up your free copy of our beginners DIY guide, You Can Do This: Five DIY Tasks Every Single Girl Should Know How to Do.
Share Your Success
You have what it takes. With each new project you accomplish, you will build your DIY confidence.
Inspire us all by sharing in the comments about the DIY challenge that you are most proud of conquering. Or, share your best tips that will help empower others.
Because you don’t need someone else to do it for you!