Last Updated on April 4, 2022.
Failure is an event, not a person. This is hard to remember sometimes especially when we experience a string of losses. When nothing seems to ever go right for us, it’s very easy to feel like a failure. If you feel like a complete screwup, then here are 6 tips to help you stop feeling like a failure.
When You Feel Like A Failure
1. Understand Failure is Okay
The first thing you must do to stop feeling like a failure is to change your perspective on failure. Contrary to what we are conditioned to think, failure can be a good thing. You learn and grow in failure much more than you do when you experience success. The key is to look for the lesson. Start seeing your losses as valuable. Ask yourself, “What can I learn?” Or, “How can I get better?” Or, “What can I do differently next time?” By answering these questions you gain wisdom, become better, and become stronger.
Look at some of the most successful people in their fields. Michael Jordan, Steve Jobs, and Oprah for example. They have all failed way more times than the average person and went on to experience tremendous success. Colonel Harland Sanders was turned down over 1,000 times before making KFC the success it is today. Realize that failure can lead to success if you let it.
2. Stop Focusing On Your Shortcomings to Stop Feeling Like a Failure
Don’t spend time obsessing on the things you feel are wrong with you. People who feel like a failure spend most of their time and energy focusing on the negative. Stop doing this. Instead, focus on your strengths and positive traits. Spend time each day recognizing the amazing things you bring to this world. If you do not know what your strengths are, sit down and brainstorm. Make a list of anything and everything that you do right, no matter how small. Whittle this list to your top 10 strengths and carry these around with you. Be deliberate in focusing more on your positive traits instead of your shortcomings and in time you will stop feeling like a failure.
3. Fight Back
Fight back against the negative thoughts and feelings you have about yourself. Stop feeling like a failure once and for all by taking a stand. When self-defeating thoughts enter your mind, say enough is enough. When you think, “I can never do anything right,” you say, “I may not have all the answers but there are things I am good at.” When you think, “I’m a complete failure,” you say, “I am not a complete failure and I will succeed.” When your thoughts tell you that there is no way you can do it, you say, “I am creative, talented, and confident.”
Find some good affirmations to repeat when you need to overcome failure and self-doubt. There is a war going on with our thoughts and emotions, especially when we are down in the dumps. People who feel like a failure tend to give in immediately and do not even think to question or fight back against these thoughts. Fight back. Take a stand against them and affirm the opposite of this negative thinking. By doing this, you shift your mindset to think more like a victor, rather than a victim.
4. Stop Feeling Like a Failure by Focusing on Personal Improvement
When you constantly work to improve yourself, you stave off feelings of inferiority and self-doubt. Personal improvement should be a lifelong process. Invest in yourself by improving in various areas of your life. Start with your weaknesses. Are you unhealthy and out of shape? Then focus on improving your health. Do you struggle financially? Then get better at money management or learn to increase your income. Do you have issues in relationships? Then work to improve that area. Whatever you struggle with, work to improve it. It’s also important to keep improving in areas where you do not struggle. Progress can always be made so make personal growth a priority.
5. Visualize Success
When we feel like a failure, it can be difficult picturing ourselves as anything other than that. You can change this by visualizing success. Close your eyes and visualize yourself as a winner. See yourself succeeding at something and having things work out. Stop feeling like a failure and see yourself as a success story. Visualize a healthier body, a successful relationship, a thriving business, etc. Every night before bed, I like to visualize myself accomplishing my goals. I visualize inspiring more and more people. I see myself succeeding in my new business ventures. This keeps me motivated, and hopeful. It also increases my confidence and belief that I will get there. Do the same. Visualizing success will decrease your tendency to see yourself as a failure and squash the belief that nothing ever works out.
6. Be Kind to Yourself
When you do fail and when you do make a mistake, be kind to yourself. No one is perfect. A great way to do this is to treat yourself like a good friend. When a good friend makes a mistake, you wouldn’t beat them up about it. You would encourage them and lift them up. If a good friend was down and out on themselves, you would point out their strengths and make them feel good about who they are. Treat yourself this way. Stop feeling like a failure by treating yourself with kindness.
We all make mistakes and we all fail. You just have to remember that failure is an event, not a person. Stop feeling like a failure by first understanding that failure is okay. The key is to learn from it. You can also stop focusing on your shortcomings, and fighting back when you have negative thoughts and feelings about yourself. Be sure to focus on personal improvement, visualize your success, and be kind to yourself.
How has seeing yourself as a failure served you so far in your life? How can seeing yourself as a winner serve you? Let me know the answers to these questions in the comments below.