How To Stop Feeling Like a Failure: 17 Healthy Strategies

Today you’re going to learn how to stop feeling like a failure.

Experiencing a persistent sense of failure can have detrimental effects on your overall health and well-being. However, it’s important to note that overcoming these feelings doesn’t necessarily mean instant success in all aspects of life.

Instead, you can work on mastering your thoughts in order to stop feeling like a failure. This can be achieved by eliminating negative thought patterns, shifting your focus, and taking action to enhance your physical and mental health.

Here are some steps to help you in this process:

How To Stop Feeling Like a Failure:

1. Identify the root of your feelings:

Take some time to reflect on why you perceive yourself as a failure, aiming for specific details. Perhaps it’s due to a low test score or failing to return a friend’s phone call.

Assess if there are actionable steps you can take to change these feelings. Additionally, question the accuracy of this self-narrative; does it truly represent who you are at present?

2. Take immediate action:

Sometimes, feelings of failure arise from being overwhelmed by a daunting task. When faced with a seemingly insurmountable workload, try to pinpoint one simple action you can complete within the next three minutes. Once you identify this action, get started.

For instance, if your room is in disarray, start by picking up the dirty clothes from the floor. Starting with small steps and gradually progressing to bigger ones can have a positive impact on your emotions, as action has the power to uplift your spirits.

3. Discard negative thoughts:

Write down the negative thoughts that are plaguing your mind on a piece of paper, being as specific as possible. Once you’ve documented these thoughts, crumple up the paper and throw it in the trash.

This exercise serves to free you from the grip of negative thoughts. Putting your thoughts into words helps you view them more objectively, enabling you to detach from them.

4. Interrupt negative thoughts:

When negative thoughts start creeping into your mind, introduce the word “stop” to disrupt them. Avoid allowing these thoughts to run their course, as doing so empowers them. Instead, command yourself to “stop” and shift your focus to something else.

While it may feel like you’re constantly reminding yourself to “stop” at first, with time, this will become less frequent. Engage in activities that distract you from these negative thoughts, such as solving a crossword puzzle, listening to music, or preparing a meal.

5. Redirect your thoughts positively:

When you’ve made a mistake and are tempted to be self-critical, it’s easy to fall into a cycle of negative self-talk. Instead, reframe these thoughts in a more positive and realistic light.

For example, replace “I always get this problem wrong” with “In the past, I’ve been wrong about this.” By changing “always” to “in the past,” you open up the possibility for personal growth and change, allowing for a different outcome in your next attempt. Try to balance every event or thought that makes you feel like a failure with an equally valid instance where you succeeded.

6. Recast “failure” as “mistake”:

Consciously redefine your actions as mistakes rather than failures. The term “mistake” carries a less permanent and less harsh connotation than “failure.” Viewing situations in this light can make you feel better about them.

Additionally, when you label something as a mistake, you recognize it as a chance for learning and growth. Mistakes provide you with an opportunity to learn from your experiences and gather valuable insights for the future.

7. Embrace the bigger picture:

Many people have aspects of their lives they wish to improve, but sometimes, a sense of failure arises from fixating on minor details rather than considering the broader context. Step back and assess the overall picture (1).

Is your life truly as challenging as it might seem, or are you overly preoccupied with insignificant matters? By gaining perspective, you can avoid getting bogged down by minor issues.

For instance, worrying about a brief interaction with a crush or an unfinished to-do list may not be significant enough to warrant feeling bad. To help shift your focus, you can watch videos of space or visit a high vantage point in your area to observe the vastness of the world, reminding yourself of how small your problems are in comparison.

8. Reevaluate your notion of success:

If you find yourself holding onto childhood notions of success, it may be time to reconsider your definition. Striving for wealth or an idealized family image might not be achievable or relevant to your current circumstances. Instead, create a new and more realistic definition of success that can improve your self-perception.

Sit down and compile a list of what you consider success to be, not just in material terms but also in terms of personality traits and characteristics. Reflect on whether this list aligns with your present reality.If it doesn’t, adjust your definition to include the strengths and qualities you possess right now.

For example, pursuing education or holding a job can be seen as forms of success. Having good health, a roof over your head, and the support of loved ones are also markers of success. If necessary, seek input from others about your strengths and achievements, and jot them down for moments when you need a self-esteem boost.

9. Connect with a supportive friend or family member:

When thoughts of failure begin to weigh on your mind, reaching out to a close friend or family member can be a helpful distraction. Choose someone who possesses a lighthearted nature and can bring laughter or smiles into your life.

You can call them or pay a visit, saying something like, “I’m feeling down. Can you help lift my spirits?” Additionally, you may find solace in diverting your focus from your own concerns by assisting this person with their needs or tasks.

10. Engage in visualization:

Visualization is an effective technique for redirecting your thoughts away from feelings of failure and enhancing your mood. For instance, imagine the arrangement of items in a familiar setting, like a grocery store aisle. Picture the different items on the shelves in great detail.

Alternatively, transport your mind to a place you find enjoyable, such as a beach. Close your eyes and vividly visualize the sensation of the wind on your skin and the sounds of the waves. You can also apply this technique to visualize the order of songs on an album or the arrangement of items in your bedroom.

11. Enjoy a comforting treat:

Negative thoughts can make you feel emotionally cold and isolated. Counteract these feelings by indulging in something warm and soothing.

Sip a cup of hot tea or take a relaxing hot shower or bath to warm yourself emotionally. To enhance this experience, consider trying exotic tea flavors or adding scents to your bath for an extra layer of comfort and relaxation.

12. Immerse yourself in a positive activity:

A constructive way to overcome feelings of failure is to engage in an activity that captures your interest. When you participate in such activities, you naturally shift away from negative thoughts and enter a state of flow and positivity.

Distract yourself by involving in various activities such as exercising, tending to a garden, reading, watching a movie, making a to-do list, or practicing a sport.

13. Prioritize your well-being:

Negative thoughts can have detrimental effects on your health and overall wellness. They can weaken your immune system, making you more susceptible to illness. Moreover, a defeatist mindset can lead to unhealthy lifestyle choices such as skipping workouts and indulging in junk food.

To counteract these adverse effects, make healthy choices that support your physical health. Strive to engage in at least 30 minutes of exercise on most days of the week. Consume a balanced diet consisting of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean sources of protein, and low-fat dairy products. Ensure you get an adequate amount of sleep each night, aiming for 7 to 9 hours.

14. Steer clear of alcohol and drugs:

Negative thinking may tempt you to turn to substances like drugs and alcohol as a temporary escape from emotional pain. However, these substances can exacerbate the problem in the long run. Instead of relying on them, opt for relaxation exercises and self-care activities (2) to address your emotional needs.

15. Seek support from loved ones:

Low self-esteem can strain your relationships as you may inadvertently project your negativity onto others, blaming them for your emotional state. Counteract this by communicating openly with those closest to you and expressing your needs.

Sharing your feelings can help your loved ones understand that the issue lies within you, not with them. For example, you can say, “I recognize that I sometimes struggle with self-doubt. I truly appreciate your efforts to uplift me. Right now, I need the positivity you bring into my life.”

Avoid isolating yourself, as it can exacerbate the situation. Maintain connections with your loved ones and seek their support when needed.

16. Prioritize self-care:

Incorporate a daily routine of self-care into your life. Dedicate time to engage in positive activities that uplift your spirits. By focusing on tasks that bring you joy, you can disrupt the cycle of negative thoughts and use this time to build yourself up rather than tearing yourself down.

If you notice signs of potential burnout, such as heightened irritability, it’s essential to address them. To practice self-care, you can go for a leisurely walk, engage in meditation, read a book, visit the gym, or partake in any activity that genuinely brings you happiness. By purposefully engaging in these acts of self-compassion, you can cultivate a sense of self-worth and reduce the feelings of failure.

To stop feeling like a failure, consider the following steps:

  1. Identify the Source of Feelings: Reflect on the specific reasons behind your feelings of failure, and determine if you can take action to address them. Question the accuracy of your self-narrative.
  2. Take Immediate Action: When faced with overwhelming tasks, break them down into manageable steps and initiate one within the next few minutes. Gradually work your way up from small actions to larger ones.
  3. Disrupt Negative Thoughts: Whenever negative thoughts arise, intervene by telling yourself to “stop” and shift your focus to more positive activities or distractions.
  4. Reframe Negative Self-Talk: Replace negative self-talk with positive and realistic alternatives. Consider past successes and strengths when dealing with moments of self-doubt.
  5. Change “Failure” to “Mistake”: Recast situations as mistakes rather than failures, which promotes a growth mindset and the opportunity to learn from them.
  6. Focus on the Bigger Picture: Avoid fixating on minor details and assess your life from a broader perspective. Recognize the significance of small successes and the support of loved ones.
  7. Reevaluate Your Definition of Success: Update your childhood notions of success to align with your current circumstances and create a more realistic definition. Acknowledge personal strengths and achievements.
  8. Connect with Supportive Individuals: Reach out to friends or family members who can provide positive distractions and emotional support during moments of self-doubt.
  9. Practice Visualization: Engage in visualization exercises to divert your thoughts away from feelings of failure. Picture familiar environments or calming scenes to ease negative emotions.
  10. Indulge in Comforting Treats: Combat emotional coldness and loneliness caused by negative thoughts with comforting rituals, such as sipping hot tea or enjoying a warm bath.
  11. Engage in Positive Activities: Participate in engaging and positive activities to exercise your mind and improve your mood. These activities can include exercising, reading, or pursuing hobbies.
  12. Prioritize Physical Health: Negative thoughts can affect your physical health. Counteract this by making healthy choices, including regular exercise, a balanced diet, and sufficient sleep.
  13. Avoid Substance Use: Resist the urge to turn to drugs and alcohol as a means of temporary escape from negative thoughts, as these substances may worsen the problem.
  14. Seek Support: Openly communicate your needs with loved ones and avoid isolating yourself, as it can exacerbate feelings of failure.
  15. Practice Self-Care: Incorporate a daily routine of self-care by engaging in activities that make you feel good, breaking up negative thought patterns and boosting your self-esteem.

By following these steps, you can actively work to reduce feelings of failure and enhance your overall well-being.

Thank you for reading this article about how to stop feeling like a failure and I really hope that you take action my advice.

I wish you good luck and I hope its contents have been a good help to you.

Przemkas Mosky
Przemkas Mosky started Perfect 24 Hours in 2017. He is a Personal Productivity Specialist, blogger and entrepreneur. He also works as a coach assisting people to increase their motivation, social skills or leadership abilities. Read more here