What to do when you’re feeling like a failure

October 7, 2020

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Prefer to read? The transcript is below!

Hey, it’s Iris helping you to find your passion and make it your work.

In today’s video, I want us to have a real and honest one-to-one chat, just you and me, about what to do when you’re feeling like a failure.

Because believe it or not, I am very, very familiar with this feeling. I think it’s fair to say that feeling like a failure is kind of like my not-so-welcome company in life, honestly.

But fortunately I have learnt a ton of it, and I am learning how to deal with this.

So my hope is that this video will not only make you feel less alone, but also that it will arm you with some tools to help you overcome that feeling.

But before I go there, as always, if you like this video, please hit that thumbs up button, and if you like my videos, you can subscribe to my channel by hitting that subscribe button.

All right, let’s get to it, shall we?

So first things first: feeling like a failure is essentially self-criticism in disguise.

It often happens when you are scrolling through social media, and you see other people landing a new job, achieving their goals, travelling to far away places, or simply just doing really cool, fun, interesting and impressive things, and realising that you haven’t done or achieved nearly as much.

It can also happen when you put yourself out there. When you try something new, when you take a risk, when you challenge yourself, and things didn’t go as planned.

Now here’s your reality check, here’s the thing that I want to share with you, the thing that I tell myself when I feel like a failure, and is that all that failure is, is simply that you did not do something that you were meant to do, or that you did not achieve something that you wanted to achieve.

It is not a statement about who you are.

So, let me repeat that.

Failure is not a statement about who you are.

Failure is inevitable, an inevitable part of life. No one is immune from it.

Now, sadly, no one has a final solution that works for everyone or stops everyone from feeling like a failure. But having said that, the following three tips are my favourite ways to combat that feeling.

Tip #1: focus on effort

Now this is my personal favourite, and it really works for myself when I focus much more on the actions that I’m taking and the effort that I put into the things I do, and the seeds I’m planting, because ultimately I know, that if I plant enough seeds and I tend to them, that the fruit of all that hard work, the fruit of that labour will come.

It’s just not always clear when that’s gonna come, but I know that it will come.

So it tremendously helps to focus much more on planting those seeds and the effort that I’m putting in.

Let me give you a little bit of a story on how I apply this in real life. I’m going to use my son Blake for that. When he was 12 months old and he started to learn how to walk, I would praise him for all the effort that he put into it.

So if he really tried to take that next step, but he fell back on his bum, would I then be disappointed? No, obviously not.

I would praise him for trying, and falling, and then getting up again. I would praise him for that.

And I think this is a really healthy approach to take with ourselves as well, to focus much more on the input, the effort that we’re putting in, the seeds that we’re planting.

And to not so much focus on the outcome what we’re getting when we’re getting it, if it’s all lining up to how we’d expected things to happen, none of that!

So that’s tip number one.

Tip #2: let it out!

Because here’s the thing: when you are feeling like a failure, and you crop it all up inside you, those feelings don’t only linger but they start to grow inside you, they start to take a life of itself and you start believing it more and more.

So you might start collecting or searching for evidence to prove that you are indeed a failure.

So next time when you are feeling like that failure, release it, let it out.

There are so many different ways you can do that.

A really good way is to chat with someone that could be a friend, someone that you really trust, it could be a coach, could be a therapist.

Or another way to do it would be to go boxing. That really helps for me! Hitting a heavy bag, I tell you, that is massively helpful when I’m feeling frustrated and inadequate.

Or you could try EFT, which is emotional freedom technique. If you don’t know what EFT is, Google EFT, and you can learn anything and everything that you need to know about it, it’s helped me massively.

And obviously these are just three ways to release it, to let it out.

There are tons of other ways, but it’s important to find something that helps you to release those thoughts and emotions.

All right, moving on to my final tip.

Tip #3: break the cycle of negative self-talk

Make it a habit to talk more positively about yourself.

So take a second to answer the following question: “What are traits that you value within yourself?”

What are traits that you perhaps might even praise yourself for, or might even be a little bit proud of?

Now I want you to start doing this during non-crisis times.

What I mean with that: this is a time when you’re feeling good about yourself. When you’re not full of self-doubts, when you’re not feeling inadequate, where you’re not feeling like a failure. Because it will be much easier when you start that positive self-talk, when you’re feeling good about yourself, to then apply it when you’re feeling full of doubt, when you’re feeling inadequate, when you’re feeling like a failure.

Now remember, feeling like a failure is nothing but self-criticism in disguise.

And one of the best ways, I think, to break this is to start to change that narrative that you tell yourself in your head, and to start focusing more on the things that you value within yourself than the things that you don’t value within yourself, the things that you feel like you’re doing wrong, or the things that you’re lacking.

So let me give you an example here.

In the first few years after I left my corporate job, I felt like a huge huge, huge, huge, huge failure.

But there were a couple of things that I valued within myself. And one of those things was the courage, the courage to leave the beaten path, and wander off into the unknown.

And the second thing was my integrity to follow my heart, follow my desires, and ambitions.

So I focused much more on that, and changed that narrative in my head, where I focus on that more than all the things I believed I was lacking.

All right, there you have it: my three ways to help you stop feeling like a failure.

Now, obviously none of these are magic pills, so take what resonates with you and leave what doesn’t. And remember it takes time and practise to make these things work.

So let me know in the comments which one you are going to try. I’d love to know.

And thank you so much for watching. If you’ve watched it up until here, then please leave a like, it would mean the world to me.

Thank you so much for watching, and I’ll see you again next week. Bye!

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