5 Things to Remember When You Feel Like a Failure | Lynne McLean Brown Life Coaching
When life knocks us sideways and things feel incredibly difficult we can start to question ourselves. I think we all feel like a failure at some point. To some degree, we have all struggled, messed up or fallen short of expectations. Whether it’s struggling and hustling and feeling like we are never quite enough, that challenge we can’t overcome or that goal that feels distant and out of reach.
On days like this, it is hard to remember to show ourselves compassion. To know that we have options, that we are not helpless. It is hard to believe that we will get through the situation. All of the drama of social distancing and having 4 individuals working and schooling at home has created some tough days. Juggling everything without all the usual freedom and self-care that would normally keep me feeling calm has made things that little bit harder.
As usual my high expectation of going with the flow, and making it all work left me feeling like I was failing. Not being able to stay calm when the kids didn’t want to focus on their school work. Getting frustrated because I was interrupted for the sixth time. I found myself inventing work meetings just so I could lock the door and create some solitude. The idea of going with the flow seemed like some crazy unrealistic dream.
As we start to move back out into the world again here in Norway. I am reminded of what really matters on days like these. Where everything is going wrong and you just can’t quite catch a break. Where you start to feel like it’s you like you are failing.
You have Options
When everything is going wrong you feel like you are stuck with your situation. You can feel totally helpless and the stress of it all can rob you of the ability to see your choices. It can help to share what is going on with a supportive person, whether that is family, a friend, life-coach or other professional. Find someone who will help you offload and remind you that you have options. Knowing that you are able to make changes or focus on what you can do to support yourself is empowering. It may take time before things improve but you are not stuck and destined to a life of doom.
you are not the only one who feels this way
It is so easy to look at other people and assume that they have everything figured out. We see others and think that they are succeeding, and thriving while we are simply trying to get through the day. You cannot know the struggles a person is dealing with. People who are struggling do not carry a sign around. All of us at one point or another, we will all feel like a failure. Some of us will feel this way more often especially if we struggle with our mental health or self-confidence. Nevertheless, you are not the only person who feels like a failure or feels like they don’t measure up. Remember that how you feel is a sign that you are up against the wall and feeling the pressure. It’s not about you as a person.
Don't Take it Personally
Don’t beat yourself for the things that are going wrong. Beating yourself up mentally doesn’t motivate or fix anything. Instead, it compounds those feelings making you feel more and more like a loser. Giving yourself a hard time makes you give up and lose faith. The challenges you face are not proof of your inadequacy. We turn the tables on ourselves we blame us rather than our situation. we make ourselves wrong for how we feel.
When life is knocking me off my feet it can feel really personal. I wonder why me, why am I such a failure? What am I lacking or doing wrong? The thing is it is not all about you. Feeling overwhelmed is not a sign you are doing everything wrong. You do not need to get your shit together or be more organised. I find that it makes such a difference when I realise that my feelings are about my situation and a genuine reaction to that. When I feel like I am not enough it is because the situation is hard rather than me being weak.
There are no Straight Roads
We tend to think that success is a slow and steady progression, where we consistently and steadily rise up to our goal. In reality, success and overcoming obstacles is a long and bumpy road. Instead of the straight lines that we imagine there are actually peaks and troughs. When you feel like a failure this does not have to be the final destination. It means you find your situation hard and that it is causing you to doubt yourself. You failing doesn’t have to be the end of the story. You can give up for a while and have another go tomorrow.
You Are Allowed to pause
It is ok to slow down and take a break when life gets hard. If we need to focus on making baby steps rather than big strides. We can tread water and just get by if we need to. We get to choose the pace when life gets hard. If you are feeling like you are failing it is ok to step away and try again another day. When we feel like a failure its seems like our only options are to carry on or give up. We do do not need to Power through or slay the day 24/7. It is ok to choose softness, compassion and rest when you feel weak.
You are Not A failure
When life gets hard it is natural to have feelings about that. When you feel like a failure remember that this is a natural reaction to your struggle. At the same time remember that this does not make it the truth about who you are. When we make our mistakes and challenges personal we make it harder to overcome them. We feel alone, we give up or we push through in a bid to prove ourselves wrong. We can feel like there are no choices in our situation. Succeed or fail, win or lose.
You do not need to be holding everything together right now or at any other time. It is ok to not be ok. there is no shame in feeling how you feel. You are allowed to feel you can honour your emotions. They are not a sign of your failings but they are also not the whole story of who you are.
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Originally published at https://www.lynnemcleanbrown.com on May 22, 2020.