There comes a point where nothing seems to be going your way. Like in the Friends song, “Your job’s a joke, you’re broke, your love life’s DOA.” But knowing how to get your life together may seem like such a huge task that only successful people will accomplish. It’s intimidating when you take those first steps, but it pays off tenfold.
I know what it feels like to go on a downward spiral of low confidence, passivity and failure. Once you get stuck in this pattern, it can be very hard to break out of it.
A downward spiral is usually met with self-criticism that propels people even further down. Your mind starts spinning 24/7 reminding you of all your past failures, why you will never be good enough and how others are just much better than you are.
Here is the thing, You can’t pull yourself up when you are beating yourself down with your own thoughts.
When you are trying to get your life together you are going to face self-doubt, fear, anxiety, shame and low confidence. That is normal. But if you can push through this uncomfortable phase and start collecting some wins, your thoughts will naturally shift from self-defeating to empowering.
If you have had no success in the last year because you’ve been sitting around, dwelling in negativity, then you are going to have a harder time taking action. Your brain is just picking up more reasons to tell you why you can’t do it.
Whereas if you collect 10 small wins this month, despite whatever you might be feeling or thinking, you will be more likely to keep taking action. The law of momentum has shifted in your favor.
How to Get Your Life Together If You’re Struggling
No matter how challenging life can get, we can always turn things around. There are actionable steps you can take to help you get your life together. I am going to share some of the best strategies for getting your life together when you are overwhelmed. But before I do, there are some key mindsets we need to adapt.
Having a growth mindset will get your life together
Over 10 years ago, I was trying to figure out how to get my life together. I had no career, no girlfriend, toxic friends and I was struggling to find a reason to get out of bed in the morning.
At the time, I didn’t even believe I could change who I was. I thought “this is just me, I better accept it.” What was the point in trying to improve when I was destined for failure? This is known as a fixed mindset.
The very first step in making that big leap out of a downward spiral is to adapt to a growth mindset. This is a concept developed by psychologist Carol Dweck. To adapt a growth mindset, you need to believe two things;
- Your abilities can be improved through dedication and hard work rather than remain limited by genes, your background or current situation.
- Failures and setbacks are opportunities to learn and grow.
A growth mindset gives you the resilience and tenacity to push through the inevitable obstacles you will face when you are getting your life together. Studies show that almost all high achievers have a growth mindset and consistently outperform those with fixed mindsets.
Confidence comes through competence
You don’t get confident by repeating positive affirmations or visualizations. Confidence is built through demonstrated performance. The more times you successfully navigate a situation, the more confident you will be next time you are in a similar situation.
So the only way to gain real confidence is to develop skills and demonstrate performance of those skills.
You won’t be confident in all areas of life so you need to be clear in what specific areas you want to feel more confident in. You might be confident performing your work tasks but then completely unconfident when it comes to talking to the beautiful woman serving you coffee.
A general sense of confidence that you have your shit together in life comes from learning more skills, mastering more domains, cultivating your character and proving to yourself that you have pushed past the low confidence barrier many times.
How to get your life together when you are stuck in your comfort zone
Developing confidence requires that you go through anxiety. Trying something new always creates a sense of anxiety and you will feel like you are not ready. You’ve got to go through the valley of low confidence before you can reach high confidence.
As I am writing this, I am going through this valley of low confidence in a specific domain. Recently I started Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and I feel nervous before each class. I worry if I will ever get good at it, if I will look like an idiot, get beat up, etc.
At around 5 p.m. every day, just as I am getting ready for class, my mind will start coming up with all sorts of excuses as to why I shouldn’t go training. I will start feeling tired and the temptation to just chill and waste the evening becomes stronger.
I acknowledge that this is my fear coming to the surface and my mind is trying to keep me safe in my comfort zone. But I also know that is never going to give me a purposeful or fulfilling life. I embrace the uncomfortable feeling. I embrace being a beginner. I know I am going to make mistakes but that’s the only way I will develop confidence.
I am breaking the cycle of passivity and complacency and opening myself to new growth and potential. My martial arts teacher reminds me that there is no losing in practice, only winning and learning. The only way to lose is to not show up to practice.
It’s the same when it comes to getting your life together, the only way to lose is to not show up. So let’s develop your game plan on how to get your life together even if you feel like you are not ready to leave your comfort zone.
How to Get a Life… A Fulfilling One
Everyone has “off days” when we feel like doing nothing. It’s normal to feel tired, irritable or sad as a response to emotionally challenging life events. But sometimes these feelings can stick around and put you into a low mood “funk”.
Here’s how to get your life together and snap out of a funk:
Get your head in the game
But what is happiness except the simple harmony between a man and the life he leads? - Albert Camus
When you are enjoying life, everything is easier. Women are more attracted to you, employers are more likely to hire you and getting stuff done is easier. Happiness simply means getting enjoyment from your daily routine.
It’s not about having materialistic things but appreciating the presence of a beautiful woman in your life, enjoying the taste of the food you are eating or engaging in your favorite activity.
One of the most potent ways to boost your mood is to get more sunshine. This produces more vitamin D in your body, which acts as an antidepressant and health booster. Getting 30 minutes of sunshine per day will boost your mood and motivation to get a life you can be proud of.
If you think you are struggling with mental illness or an emotionally traumatizing event then getting a good therapist could be a good idea. A good therapist can teach you how to get your life together and construct an identity that empowers you.
Create a challenge bucket list
We need to get clear on which areas of our lives we want to be more confident in because confidence in one area doesn’t always transfer to confidence in another. Most of the men I have coached have been very successful and confident in their jobs but completely lack confidence and self-belief when it comes to meeting women.
Creating a bucket list of challenges that will push you out of your comfort zone is a good idea. It will help you build your confidence and get your life together. You can create a list that challenges you in all areas of life including your career, physical fitness, social skills, etc. or you can focus all your effort on one particular area.
Right now, my challenges include waking up at 7 a.m., drinking 4 L of water, training in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and practicing meditation.
Get in shape
Being in shape will pay huge dividends in all other areas of your life. When Richard Branson was asked about his secret to success, he said, “work out”. This will not only improve your productivity and mental performance but will also significantly increase your chances of meeting women. What woman doesn’t like a man who is energetic and in good shape?
You don’t need to be jacked like a bodybuilder or have six-pack abs. You just want to go from being in bad shape to good shape. You don’t need to attain pro-athlete shape to improve your productivity and success with women.
Build your social network
People tend to turn into the average of the five people they spend the most time around. If your closest friends are depressed, you will start moving towards depression yourself. Whereas, if they are upbeat and confident, you’ll raise your game just by being around them. Spend time around people you respect and want to be like.
Spending time with shitty people will drag you to the ground and soon enough, you will feel shitty about yourself too. It’s that critical to your life.
Building a circle of positive friends can be tough because all the cool people are already doing cool stuff. But if you open yourself up to new people, you’ll likely come across some whom you can genuinely admire.
Without discipline, you will not achieve your goals. Self-discipline is what helps you get your shit together. When you have discipline you do what you say you are going to do. You follow through despite setbacks and challenges. You never give up. I always ask my clients a powerful coaching question: “What would you do today if you really cared about your future self?”
Discipline is simply about resisting the desire to do something that feels good but is actually bad for you. It's like a muscle: the more you use it the stronger it gets. One of the best ways to work is to set goals and accomplish them.
Getting your life together can be very challenging but only for the first few weeks. When you focus on the “small wins”, you will start feeling good about yourself and eventually, you have more energy and motivation to do more. So take small steps, acknowledge what needs to be done and put yourself in an “I can do this” mindset. In a few months, your life will be so much better.