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Why Do I Feel Like Such a Failure? Stop Now

Do you often ask yourself, “Why do I feel like such a failure?” Have you lost the ability to believe in yourself? If so, it’s time to stop!

The feeling of being a failure is a common struggle, so you are not alone. However, this overwhelming sense of failure can be paralyzing, whether it’s related to personal goals, career aspirations, relationships, or other aspects of life.

It’s not unusual to build up one’s shortcomings in one’s mind as something solid and unchangeable. But over time, this makes a person feel immune to self-improvement, creating a mindset that one is unable change for the better.

If this sounds like you, stick around and keep reading! In this post, we will explore the reasons behind this self-damaging mindset and examine effective strategies to overcome it.

Why Do I Feel Like Such a Failure?

You might lose faith in your abilities and strengths for several reasons. Often, it’s tied to long-term issues such as ruminating over past mistakes or experiencing a lack of nurturing and encouragement from a trusted adult. Or, maybe you experienced a helicopter parent or a controlling spouse.

The truth is, there are multiple reasons why you may be asking, “why do I feel like such a failure?” However, it’s essential to understand out why this is happening to you, then take action to solve the problem.

Here are some other contributing factors for feeling insufficient:

Understanding Feelings of Failure

One reason you may be feeling like a failure is that you’re not meeting the expectations you set for yourself. It’s important to set realistic goals and not be too hard on yourself if you don’t achieve your goals right away. Remember that success takes time and effort, and setbacks are a part of the process. Instead of dwelling on your failures, try to learn from them and use them as motivation to keep moving forward.

Another reason you may be feeling like a failure is that you’re comparing yourself to others. It’s easy to get caught up in what others are doing and feel like you’re not measuring up. But remember that everyone’s journey is different, and what works for one person may not work for another. Instead of comparing yourself to others, focus on your own progress and accomplishments. Celebrate your successes, no matter how small they may seem.

Low self-esteem causes people to experience feelings of failure.

It’s also important to consider the role of self-esteem in feeling like a failure. Low self-esteem can make it difficult to see your own worth and value. This can lead to negative self-talk, where you constantly criticize yourself and focus on your flaws and failures. Practicing self-compassion and self-acceptance can help you build a more positive self-image.

Finally, feeling like a failure can be a symptom of depression or anxiety. If you’re experiencing persistent feelings of worthlessness or hopelessness, it’s important to seek professional help. A mental health professional can help you identify the underlying causes of your feelings and provide you with tools and strategies to cope with them.

Psychological Reasons Behind Feeling Like A Failure

If you’re feeling like a failure, there could be several psychological reasons behind it. When you can identify the cause of your feelings, then you can begin to change your perception of them. Following are some of the most commons reasons causing people to wonder, “Why do I feel like a failure?”

Self-Esteem Issues

Low self-esteem can cause you to feel like a failure, regardless of your accomplishments. When you have low self-esteem, you may feel like you’re not good enough or that you don’t deserve success. This can lead to a negative self-image, which can be difficult to overcome.

One way to improve your self-esteem is to focus on your strengths. Make a list of your accomplishments and the things you’re good at. Celebrate your successes, no matter how small they may seem. By focusing on your strengths, you can build your confidence and overcome feelings of failure.

For example, you may have taught your children to have good manners, or to help others. You may have a certain skill or talent. Or you give of your time to volunteer.


Perfectionism can also contribute to feelings of failure. When you hold yourself to impossibly high standards, it’s easy to feel like you’re falling short. Perfectionism can also lead to procrastination, as you may be afraid to start a project if you can’t do it perfectly.

To overcome perfectionism, try to focus on progress rather than perfection. Set realistic goals for yourself and celebrate your progress along the way. Remember that making mistakes is a natural part of the learning process, and it’s okay to fail sometimes.

It’s what we do after the failure that determines the inner strength of who we are.

Imposter Syndrome

Imposter syndrome is the feeling that you don’t deserve your success and that you’re a fraud. This can be particularly common among high achievers, as they may feel like they’re not living up to their own or others’ expectations.

To overcome imposter syndrome, try to focus on the evidence of your success. Make a list of your accomplishments and the positive feedback you’ve received from others. Remember that everyone makes mistakes, and it’s okay to ask for help when you need it.

Understanding the psychological reasons behind feeling like a failure allows you to start taking steps to overcome these feelings and build your confidence. Remember that everyone experiences failure at some point, and it’s how you respond to it that matters.

Daily exposure to Social media raises feelings of self-doubt and failure

Societal Pressure And The Feeling Of Failure

Feeling like a failure can be a result of various factors, including societal pressure. Societal pressure can come from various sources, including family, friends, colleagues, and media. It can make you feel like you’re not meeting expectations, leading to feelings of inadequacy, shame, and guilt. In this section, we’ll look at ways societal pressure contributes to feelings of failure.

Unrealistic Expectations

Societal pressure often makes us feel inferior by setting unrealistic expectations. Society often has certain expectations of what success looks like, such as having a high-paying job, a big house, and a fancy car. However, these expectations may not be realistic for everyone, and striving for them can lead to disappointment and feelings of failure.

For instance, it’s no secret in modern society that those in high pressure, high paying careers may have an excessive net worth, but often experience minimal joy and little family time. Meanwhile, a minimally paid school janitor often enjoys an honest work ethic, the love of hundreds of children and teachers, and time with their families.

It’s important to remember that success is subjective and can mean different things to different people. Instead of comparing yourself to others or trying to meet societal expectations, focus on your own goals and what makes you happy.

Comparison With Others

Another way in which societal pressure can contribute to the feeling of failure is by encouraging comparison with others. Social media, in particular, can make it easy to compare yourself to others and feel like you’re not measuring up. Seeing other people’s highlight reels can make you feel like you’re not achieving enough, even if you’re doing well in your own life.

It’s important to remember that social media is not an accurate representation of real life. People often only share their best moments, and you don’t know what’s going on behind the scenes. Much of the story is usually left unsaid. So, instead of comparing yourself to others, focus on your own journey and progress.

Remember, societal pressure can contribute to the feeling of failure by setting unrealistic expectations and encouraging comparison with others. It’s essential to realize that everyone’s journey is different and we are all at different stages on our paths. Thus, you will be happier by focusing on your own goals and not worrying about meeting societal expectations.

Impact Of Feeling Like A Failure On Mental Health

Failure can have a significant impact on your mental health. It can trigger various negative emotions, including anxiety and depression. In this section, we will explore the impact of failure on mental health and how it can affect you.


Anxiety is a common emotional response to failure. It can manifest as worry, fear, and nervousness. When you fail, you may experience anxiety about future failures. This can lead to a cycle of negative thinking, where you become increasingly anxious about failing again.

Anxiety can also lead to physical symptoms such as sweating, rapid heartbeat, and difficulty breathing. These symptoms can be distressing and can make it hard to focus on anything else.


Depression is another common emotional response to failure. When you fail, you may feel hopeless, helpless, and worthless. This mindset often leads to a loss of interest in activities you usually enjoy and a lack of motivation.

Depression can also cause physical symptoms such as fatigue, sleep disturbances, and changes in appetite. These symptoms can be debilitating and can make it difficult to carry out daily tasks.

It is important to note that everyone responds to failure differently. While some people may experience anxiety or depression, others may be able to bounce back quickly. If you find that failure is affecting your mental health, it may be helpful to seek support from a mental health professional.

Now, let’s explore some healthy ways to cope with failure.

Woman practicing yoga which helps with coping.

Coping Strategies To Stop Feeling Like A Failure

If you’re feeling like a failure, it’s important to remember that you’re not alone. Many people experience feelings of failure at some point in their lives, and it’s important to find healthy ways to cope with these feelings. Here are some coping strategies that may help:


One of the most important things you can do when you’re feeling like a failure is to practice self-compassion. This means treating yourself with the same kindness and understanding that you would offer to a good friend who was struggling. Some ways to practice self-compassion include:

  • Acknowledge your feelings without judgment.
  • Remind yourself that failure is a normal part of life and can be a stepping stone to eventual success.
  • Treat yourself with kindness and understanding.
  • Practice self-care, such as getting enough sleep, eating well, and exercising. You could even try a new hobby.

Resilience Building

Building resilience can help you bounce back from failure and cope with difficult situations. Here are some ways to build resilience:

  • Focus on your strengths and accomplishments.
  • Set realistic goals and work towards them.
  • Learn from your mistakes and use them as opportunities for growth.
  • Surround yourself with supportive people who believe in you. This support can be friends, family, a trusted adult or mentor, or online groups.
  • Practice mindfulness and other stress-reducing techniques. These techniques could include journaling, yoga, deep breathing, or meditation.

Seeking Professional Help

If you’re struggling to cope with feelings of failure, it may be helpful to seek professional help. A therapist or counselor can provide support, guidance, and tools to help you manage your emotions and cope with difficult situations. Some types of therapy that may be helpful include:

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), which can help you identify and change negative thought patterns.
  • Mindfulness-based therapy, which can help you learn to be more present and accepting of your emotions.
  • Interpersonal therapy, which can help you improve your relationships and communication skills.

Remember, it’s okay to ask for help when you need it. Seeking professional help is a sign of strength, not weakness.

Conclusion to Why Do I Feel Like Such a Failure?

Feeling like a failure can be a difficult emotion to deal with, but it is important to realize that everyone experiences it at some point. It is a natural part of the human experience, and it does not define who you are as a person.

Remember, it’s how we handle those failures that define us.

If you are feeling like a failure, it is important to take some time to reflect on your thoughts and feelings. Try to identify the root cause of your emotions, and then take steps to address them. This may involve seeking support from friends or family, seeking professional help, or making changes in your life to address the underlying issues.

Failure is only a temporary setback. It is overcome with time and effort. Learning from your mistakes and taking steps to move forward helps turn failures into opportunities for growth and success.

Finally, it is important to be kind to yourself. Treat yourself with the same compassion and understanding that you would offer to a friend who is going through a difficult time. Remember that you are not alone in your struggles, and that there is always hope for a better future.

By practicing these strategies, you will develop a healthy growth mindset. And won’t it feel great to never ask, “Why do I feel like such a failure?” for good?

Dealing with "Why do I feel like such a failure?"

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  1. I can see how setting unrealistic goals can make one feel like a failure when not accomplished. You share some other good point. I enjoyed reading your post.

  2. Thank you for this reliable blog. It promotes a positive mindset to see life as more fruitful than having lots of failures and negativities.

  3. Great post! I am currently listening to “The Good Life” an 84-year study on happiness and most of these points have been directly address in the first 5 chapters. So true about the comparison piece and expectations for where you are in life.

  4. Great post! I love the point that feeling like a failure comes, in part, from comparing ourselves to others. I totally identify with that and the role of perfectionism. Thank you for sharing!

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