How To Stop Feeling Like a Failure
Updated on November 10, 2022 by Team ShineSheets
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So you’ve landed on this article. In fact, it should be called a letter to every sad little soul who feels like a failure right now – I might have something to lift you out of this dark cloud you’re in.
I can’t even express how easy it is to be brought down in this world right now. These high demands everywhere (work, family, relationships, looks, achievements) can feel overwhelming already, and just in case you fail at something important, it can take a split second to feel like a failure. If you’re prone to anxiety or gloomy moods, it only adds up.
I know this so well because I’ve been in this dark cloud numerous times. I have tried, I have failed, I tried again, I failed again. But here I am – alive, safe, moving forward, and not going to stop. Here’s how I overcame feeling like a failure – and you can too.
How To Stop Feeling Like a Failure
1. Understand That You Are Not What You Do Or Have
This is the first thing to remember when you’re feeling like a failure: what you do, what your job is, what you own, how you look is NOT who you are. These are just your life situations, things, or surroundings. The amount of your achievements is also not who you are.
Think about it – if you wiped out everything from your memory – would you be… nothing? You wouldn’t. You would still be You, just not affected by the things that happened in your life.
Being able to disidentify from your life situation can be an extremely liberating thing. Did you fail? So what – “wipe it out” and don’t let it destroy the real You, which is the only thing that really matters. YOU. Not your career, relationships, possessions, or achievements.
“So should I just stop trying to advance in life? Should I stop chasing my dreams?”
Hell, no! You should go for it with all of your heart, but NOT because you have to, NOT because you’re useless without it, but because it is something you want to do, something that can improve your life situation – NOT something that can complete you. You already are complete. Goals, careers, relationships & success are just the cherries on the cake, and chasing them should be an entertaining game, not just fighting and feeling like a failure.
2. Feeling Like a Failure? Good For You!
Yes, believe it or not, failures can be good for you. When you stop letting failure define you, it actually becomes beneficial.
Every failure is a lesson, even if it’s painful.
Can you ride a bike? Remember how you were learning to do it. You’ve probably fallen a few times, probably cried looking at that scraped knee, and thought that “it’s just impossible to ride a thing with only two narrow wheels!”. But you tried again, learned to avoid those bumpy rocks on the road, strived to keep that balance – until you’ve learned to ride like a little queen of Tour De France.
Every painful experience teaches you a valuable lesson. If you feel like a failure right now, think about everything that led you to this thought and look for a deeper meaning. What have you learned? What information have you gathered?
It doesn’t matter how long your life has been going in the downward spiral – it’s never too late to look back, appreciate what you’ve learned, accept the pain, accept that you’re feeling like a failure right now, and move up.
3. You Can Change, Even If It Takes Multiple Tries
If people gave up on their dreams as soon as they felt like a failure, this world wouldn’t be as it is right now. Heck, we wouldn’t even have electricity if Nikola decided that he’s a failure and it’s not worth trying anymore.
Even if you feel like you or your life is a mess, especially if you already tried changing it several times and failed, it’s not an end yet. You can push through this dark cloud, try again, and work on your dreams until you succeed. You should not stay feeling like a failure for long!
My own life experience taught me that those “never give up” quotes are true. There were times when I was depressed, broke, completely unmotivated, and anxious to the sky, but I always focused on NOT abandoning my goals. If I needed a pause, I took a pause. If I needed to realign myself, I did that for a while (mindfulness, meditation, and journaling work great for this). If I wanted to cry, I cried until I looked like a dragon with bloodshot eyes.
And after that, I went straight back to my goal planners and pushed through.
I don’t say that my life is perfect now – it isn’t. But I learned that failing and trying again, even multiple times is NOT wrong. Feeling like a failure is just a phase and for some people is just a way to go forward. You might be one of those people and it’s fine.
4. How To Stop Giving Caring Too Much
If you’re feeling like a failure right now, here’s what you should do:
- Rethink everything that causes these thoughts.
- Accept every failure and thank it for the lessons it taught you.
- Agree that your failures, achievements, possessions, and looks are NOT YOU.
- Let everything go. Scream, cry if you need it. Set yourself free.
- Decide to not give a single thought about your failures.
- Set new goals.
- Accept the fact that you might fail again and be OK with this.
- Give a genuine effort to change what it is you don’t like in your life.
- And if you ever need to – do these steps again. Just don’t settle with this feeling of failure.
Most importantly – stop caring about what others think about you or the way you live your life. Wear your failures like a crown and if anyone ever tries to tell you how you should live, refer back to your goals and ask yourself – is it them, or you who set those goals? Is it your life, or their life?
Here’s more on that:
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