At any point of our lives we may feel like downright failures, whether it be financially, mentally, socially, or in any other sphere. Pretty much a big loser. Not excelling at this “adulting life” thing.
Recently, I was feeling very overwhelmed with my life as a mother of three small children, part-time income-maker and with all of life’s other demands. I wasn’t meeting goals that I had set for myself and I felt very frustrated that I couldn’t fix things the way they should be. In short, I began feeling like a failure and soon I became very sad and despondent.
One evening, I decided to type in my journal on my phone about all my worries and let all my thoughts and emotions run free. I heard before that it is helpful to use journal-writing as a healthy way to deal with your problems.
Admittedly, what I was writing about myself wasn’t kind. I was listing all of my failures and why I was failing and why I wasn’t good enough and that sort of stuff. What I was writing I thought was true, although very harsh.
When I had completed the journal entry, I looked over it and felt very satisfied in my justified self-pity.
Then, with my phone in my hand, not even moving a muscle – the app suddenly experienced a “glitch”.
My journal entry disappeared before my eyes.
I could not believe it. I can tell you for certain that I hadn’t even touched a button to delete my entry, nor has this type of glitch ever happened to me before. This even made me want to cry some more.
Of all the times this could have happened, why now? That entry took me a good 15 minutes to type up, plus a lot of emotion went into it.
As I processed what had happened, I began to question the truthfulness of what I had just written. Was there a reason that it disappeared? Some people may say it could have been just a coincidence, but the odds were incredibly small of that specific journal entry getting erased by itself. The things I was saying about myself were ugly, harsh and irrational. I was expecting impossible things of myself and comparing myself to others.
I then began to realize that there may have been a higher power at play.
I do believe that God organised some how the removal of that hurtful journal entry. It was almost as if He was telling me, It’s not true!
The feeling of His love and comfort was soothing and soon I didn’t feel like such a failure anymore. I felt that Heavenly Father was showing that He was mindful of me because He loves me. I resolved then to be more kind to myself and find proactive ways to cope with my feelings of failure.
Although feeling like a failure is normal, it really stinks. You feel alone and like a waste of space. What’s more is that the black hole of self-pity and depression may suck you in, like it did with me.
My advice to you is to do all you can to build yourself up again. The scar of failure may remain, but it can be the source of strength you need to resurface to try again.
Here are some life-saving methods you can start doing today that will help you to regain perspective and to keep trying:
Daily Words of Affirmation to Yourself
Affirmations are power statements that you say with confidence to help you make changes in your life. Examples are, “I am the architect of my life”, “I am superior to negative thoughts and low actions”, “Happiness is a choice”, and “Today, I abandon my old habits and take up new, more positive ones”. There are many, many different affirmations you can say to yourself every day. Think carefully about the kind of person you want to become and draw up a list of affirmations that you love. Here is a list that may give you some good ideas. It is best to try to smile as you say your affirmations and perhaps even look at yourself in the eye in front of the mirror.
Count Your Successes, Not Your Failures
As adults, we seem to never give ourselves enough credit for all that we achieve, especially the small things. Count your successes (big or small) instead of your failures and you may surprise yourself how many you do have. If you are currently carrying the burden and stress of failure, mentally dump those failures into an incinerator in your thoughts. They’re only holding you back and making you feel bad about yourself. Get rid of them. As you practice these kinds of thought processes, you will be able to move forward in your life.
Failure is Part of Success
We tend to think that failure is the opposite of success. Actually, in the grand scheme of things it is part of success. When you think of Thomas Edison in his pursuit to invent the light bulb and how often he failed, who isn’t so inspired by his determination? In his famous quote he said, “I haven’t failed. I just found 10 000 ways that won’t work”. And in the wise words of Yoda, “The greatest teacher failure is”.
Speak to Somebody
This is a really effective way to help you feel better about your failures. Somehow, other people’s perspective puts your failures into, well, perspective. Speak to someone who you trust and love and they will show their love and wisdom with you about your challenge. Maybe you just need a listening ear, that’s okay too, but then let the person know that you just want them to listen and not try to solve your problems. If you need more professional help, schedule an appointment with a counselor or psychologist. They know a lot about people’s problems and they know how to help, maybe even with medication if necessary. The best “somebody” to also speak to is God, even if He feels distant in your life.
Write in a Journal
My sister told me that if you keep your unhappy emotions bottled inside of you, they becomes toxic to you and you become emotionally sick. They need to be expressed in some constructive way, and that can be done through writing and even drawing about your problems and emotions in a journal. Make sure what you write is true, kind and constructive (unlike what I did!) You can have a special journal just for this. But whatever you do, make sure that those unhappy feelings come out and deal with them properly. If they don’t, your relationships will suffer and everything else in your life. Don’t let that happen.
Think critically about your failure. Analyse the extent of the effect of your failure and how this failure happened. As you think carefully about it, you may realize (1) the failure wasn’t really a failure, or (2) the failure occurred due to circumstances completely out of your control, (3) the valuable lessons you needed to learn, or (4) the things you can do differently next time to be successful. As we think carefully, we will regain perspective and wisdom we need to press forward in our efforts next time.
All That Matters is that You Keep Trying
After all is said and done, we are really only failures if we totally stop trying. If you give up in a worthy and wise cause, then that is true failure. After all, mistakes are proof that you are trying.
Life does carry on, tomorrow is always a new day, and life can be joyful just as it has been sorrowful. It is up to you to never stop trying, one small step at a time.
I love the song Through Heaven’s Eyes from the movie, “Prince of Egypt”. I have thought of the words frequently and it has helped me feel better about my life at many times. (I have paraphrased some of the song):
Daily words of affirmation, counting your successes, viewing your failures as hidden blessings, speaking to someone you can trust, keeping proper perspective and never giving up are all ways that will help to bear you up in times of failure.
Just as I had felt God’s love and mindfulness of me when I felt like a complete failure, I also know that He really is aware of you and loves you. I hope you will come to know that.
And remember – life does carry on, tomorrow is always a new day, and life can be joyful just as it has been sorrowful. It is up to you to never stop trying, one small step at a time.