My life is a mess.
I’ve spoken these words more times than I can count.
I’ve heard other people speak these words as well.
Trust me, I’ve been there many times…
… but, I’ve figured it out.
And the answer is simple. If you feel like your life is a mess, and you want to fix it, there is only one person who can do so.
My life was once a wreck. I was once a powerless mess of a man who had no control over anything going on in my life.
But I learned how to turn it around.
And you can too.
But you’re going to have to work at it.
Here’s how to make it happen.
How Do I Fix My Messed Up Life?
Life is hard when it feels like it’s constantly trying to beat you to death.
It does, after all, have a tendency to do that.
Life can be really good… but make no mistake. More often than not, it is brutal, dark, and violent.
But even so, we are not stuck with that as our only option.
Our destiny can be more than getting beat up and kicked around by the chaos of life.
Maybe you’re behind on bills. Maybe your relationship life is a mess. Maybe you feel like you can’t keep up with a life that is spiraling out of control. Maybe you have an addiction problem. Maybe your family life is a wreck.
Maybe your job sucks, your life is unhappy, and you are struggling to hold onto a reason to keep going.
Maybe you feel like every move you make just puts you further and further behind.
Maybe you feel like there’s no hope left anymore.
Trust Me, I’ve Been There
I’ve felt all of these things.
But now, my life is much, much different.
I make a lot more money than I used to. I run my own business, and it keeps growing bigger and better every year.
I don’t drink as much as I used to. And trust me, that’s a good thing!
I’ve been in a happy relationship for almost 3 years now. My dating life has never been better.
The broken relationships that exist between the rest of my family and I are slowly rebuilding and getting better.
My emotions are stable. My home life is stable. I bought my first house a year ago, and drive the newest, nicest car I’ve ever driven.
I’m on top of my bills, I have great friends… and I have bright hope for my future.
I have a long list of goals that I want to accomplish in my life. And every single day, I know that I’m moving closer to achieving those goals.
This fulfills me, and gives my life purpose and meaning.
I wake up excited and energized to start my days. Monday morning is truly my favorite day of the week, because I can’t wait to get to work and get started.
In short, life is good… and it isn’t a mess. Life holds promise. I believe that I’m headed in a good direction, and I believe that my future will be a happy one.
But how did I do it? And how can you turn your life around and adopt a similar sense of hope and optimism?
Well, you are not me, so your problems may require slightly different solutions.
We all have different demons and burdens, and I’m not going to pretend that I have some kind of a ‘magic bullet’ that will solve all of your problems.
But let me share one vital principle with you… a principle that completely turned my life around and helped me to take back control of my out-of-control life.
It’s not a magic bullet. It’s not a magic spell. And believe it or not, even though it is simple… it’s not easy.
I just worked really, really, REALLY hard.
Let me explain.
How Do I Stop Being A Mess?
Nobody wants to be told that they need to work harder to make their life better.
It doesn’t sound fair, and it doesn’t sound like the kind of destiny the typical person imagines for his or her self.
Most people actually prefer the idea of sitting around and not doing anything. Or, they would at least rather sit around, and comfortably pursue activities that they enjoy.
The idea of straining yourself, pushing yourself, and leaving your comfort zone to toil and labor… struggling to pull yourself up by your bootstraps just to achieve forward momentum… probably isn’t number-one on many people’s list of fun-sounding things to do.
But this is exactly the mentality you need to have to fix a messed up life.
When our lives get out of control, we often enter a negative spiral where the bad things that happen cause us to react emotionally and negatively to our circumstances. And as a result, we sink further into the pit of chaos that our lives have become.
I used to get depressed because I didn’t make as much money as my friends. So to ease my mental suffering, I would distract myself with video games.
But this actually added to the problem. Because instead of working harder to make more money and grow my business, I would sink countless hours into games, distracting myself and wasting time.
As a result, I would make even less money. Then, I would get even more depressed…
And the cycle would continue, and continue, and continue.
Unfortunately, at some point, we all get into these types of cycles in our lives.
We get into them with our work, with our relationships, with our housework, with our money, with our productivity, with our health, in our spiritual lives, etc.
The good news is that these cycles can be fixed.
The bad news?
Only you can fix them.
How Do I Get My Life On Track?
To get your life on track, you need to follow a few simple steps.
Step 1 – You Need To Take Stock Of Where You Are
Try to figure out where the ship is taking on water.
Examine your life and look at the damage that has been done.
Figure out which parts are wounded, how badly they are bleeding, and what it will take to fix them.
This isn’t a fun process. It isn’t fun to look at the holes in your ship, and watch as water flows in to capsize it.
It is sobering, depressing, shocking, and scary to take an honest look at your life and assess the damage.
But, this is a necessary step. And it is the first step to fixing your problems.
Step 2 – You Need To Stop The Bleeding
Do damage control and figure out where the biggest holes in your boat are.
Are you paying exorbitant interest on your credit cards? You may need to get those paid off first!
Is your unhealthy partner sapping all of your positivity away from you, resulting in wasted time and effort? You may need to separate yourself so that you can start to rebuild.
Is your ignorant boss continually making your life hell at work? If so, it might be time to start working on an exit strategy.
Figure out what needs to change right now to stem the tide and get yourself to a solid place to build from.
For me, when my life hit-rock bottom after my ex wife and I split up, this meant moving out of the house we had spent a decade in together.
For a little while, I tried to continue to live with her to save up some money… but I quickly realized that this situation was not sustainable, healthy, or good for me.
My days were getting ruined more and more often by drama and hurt feelings. There were no healthy boundaries, and neither of us were treating the other with any sort of respect.
If I had stayed in that house with her, I might have lost my business, my income, and everything else due to my extremely depressed and manic emotional state.
I was literally so depressed and anxious that I couldn’t function.
So, I left.
I packed up, put down a deposit on an apartment, moved out, got alone, and then started slowly rebuilding myself emotionally.
This wasn’t easy. But before I could even start the process, I had to get away from the fire, and bandage the wounds.
There was no way I could heal and rebuild my life while I was subjecting myself to the high stress, high drama, and high emotional state of that house and living with her.
Once I moved out, I started catching up on work, healing, and growing. I was able to catch up on bills, get a grip on my emotions, and start planning my future.
I did damage control. I figured out where the damn was broken, and I did my best to stem the biggest flow of water possible so that I wouldn’t drown before I could help myself to shore.
Figure out where your boat is taking on water, and do what you need to do to plug up the hole.
You may need to go to counseling. You may need to get therapy. Maybe you need to go to rehab. Maybe you need to take a break from dating, or even from sex, to heal and rebuild yourself.
You may need to fix yourself and your surroundings.
That’s ok! There is no shame in getting help.
Once you do that, you’ll be ready to start rebuilding.
Step 3 – Make A Plan And Fix The Problems
This part takes a lot of work. Actually, this entire process takes a lot of work.
But it’s worth it.
No matter how big of a mess your life is, it is important to understand that you are going to need to buckle-down and make a plan to start fixing it.
Then, you just need to get to work, taking one step at a time until you start making noticeable progress.
For me, this meant working on my mind, body, and spirit. It meant learning how to focus on my work, learning how to undo all of the anger and bitterness inside of me, and learning how to become a better, stronger, more effective man and leader for my family and tribe.
I became a strong, alpha man who now understood that you need to work hard to get anywhere in this life.
And to this day, that understanding has never failed me.
The Climb Out Of The Hole Wasn’t Easy
When my marriage ended, I needed to reset my entire life.
I had no home. I had no money. I had very little property.
I had my work, I had my wits, and I had my grit… and that was pretty much it.
But I kept at it. I saved up $100… then $500. Eventually I met my girlfriend, and we started working together to rebuild our lives side-by-side.
We saved up money and got our own place. I started building up savings.
Then, the divorce hit… and my savings were wiped out yet again.
It felt like square one all over again!
I was so mad and so frustrated. I wanted to give up so badly. It felt like this problem would never end. I was afraid I would never escape the black hole of my past.
But I kept on climbing. Eventually, I got my lawyer paid. I got past the divorce.
I’ll never forget the day it was all finished. I was so happy. I almost didn’t have words to describe the feeling. I just sat, staring at the paper. It felt like I was looking at a fresh start and a new future.
I started saving up money again.
I bought a house. My business started to grow.
Life has continued to get better.
But it wasn’t easy.
During my divorce, I literally had to work twice as much, just to keep up with the bills. I would work during the day and at night.
I barely slept.
That was such a hard part of my life.
But I knew that if I kept climbing, kept working, and kept believing, that one day I would get control of my life again.
And thankfully, I was right.
How Do I Start My Life Over And Fix The Mess?
The answer to this is actually really simple.
You get to work.
You put one foot in front of the other, and you start walking.
You stop looking at the mountain in front of you, and you just start climbing it.
Brick by brick, the castle is built.
It might mean working two jobs. It might mean quitting dating for a while and learning to validate yourself instead of finding your validation in a partner.
It might mean letting go of a lot of unhealthy parts of your old life, and striking out on your own to journey into the great unknown of the future.
But all of that is better than staying in the mess. All of that is better than staying at the bottom of the pit, in a life filled with chaos and suffering.
How Do You Rebuild Yourself?
Rebuilding yourself takes time and effort.
Chaos can creep into our lives slowly… or it can come in all at once. But either way, you can bet that it’s coming for you eventually.
Entropy is a brutal force. There is no stopping it.
But we can work hard every day to maintain order and stability in our lives, and fight the chaos.
If we learn to fight it well enough, our lives will improve. We will move forward. We will progress.
But if we don’t work hard enough to beat the chaos, we will slip back into it.
Getting pulled back into that chaos is so easy. All you need to do to get pulled back into the mess is to sit down and rest a little bit.
There truly is no rest for the weary. If we want to stay on top of our lives and escape the mess, we need to work.
You need to work on…
- Your job
- Your money
- Your goals
- Your body
- Your mind
- Your spirit
- Your family
- Your craft
- Your passions
- Your purpose
- Your household
- Your mental health
You need to take the burdens in your life, and carry them. If you do this enough, your life will start to get better. You’ll start to take better care of yourself, and you’ll start to grow strong enough to stand on your own two feet.
Then, you can start to help other people. You can start to help a family member or a friend. You can start to build a tribe, hopefully to make life a little better for the people around you as well.
As you grow and mature, you’ll become a bulwark against chaos. You’ll become a shield against entropy, and a beacon of hope for others who are lost.
My Life Is A Mess – But I Refuse To Give Up
At the end of the day, you need to ask yourself if you’re willing to leave your ‘safe place’ and get to work… climbing out of the chaos to take back control of your life.
If you say yes… then you need to go ahead and start.
Start by showing up to work on time.
Start by treating your family with a greater sense of kindness.
Start by drawing healthy boundaries.
Start by paying your bills on-time, building up some savings, and going to bed a little bit earlier every night.
In fact, you can even start with something more basic than that. In the words of the great Jordan Peterson, one of my foremost thought mentors… If you want to organize your psyche, you can start by organizing your room!
Because, as Jordan explains in the video, “at the highest level of psychological integration, there’s no difference between you and what you experience.”
So if you want to fix the mess, set your life in order, and start rebuilding a life that is happy, functional, and stable… you’re going to need to roll up your sleeves and get to work.
I hope that this post spoke to you. I also hope that you understand that you have the ability to get out of whatever mess you are in.
All you need to do is follow this simple plan.
- Take stock of your situation
- Plug the biggest hole so that you don’t drown in it
- Get help if you need it
- Make a plan and get to work fixing it
If you need someone to discuss these things with further, please do not hesitate to message me.
Go with grace, my friends, and never give up your power.
Until next time…
Joshua K. Sigafus