We live in a world where perfection is constantly demanded of us.
We're expected to have a successful career, grow a family, exercise regularly, eat healthily, take care of your mental health, have a flourishing social life... the list goes on and on!
To make things worse, social media allows us to only see the "perfect" sides of everyone else, and this only makes us feel more inadequate.
Because of this, it's no wonder that so many people end up being hard on themselves and even seeing themselves as a failure!
If statements like "I'm such a failure" or "I'm just not good enough" are familiar to you
What does it mean to feel like a failure?
Take a moment to think. When you make a big mistake or look at someone else who is more "successful", do you find yourself thinking statements like "I'm such a failure" or "I'm just not good enough"?
It's never a great feeling, and it's also a form of self-sabotage! When you feel like a failure too often, you start to lose confidence in yourself. This may cause you to miss out on big opportunities or get discouraged from chasing your dreams. And as a result, you fall even deeper into the pit of self-despair.
But you can nip it in the bud before it's too late! We're here to tell you that no, you're not a failure, and that there are ways to shift you away from feeling that way.
While such a drastic change in mindset cannot take place overnight, with some patience and self-compassion, you too can let go of that negativity and start loving yourself the way you deserve!
6 simple mindset shifts to stop feeling like a failure
Accept & validate your feelings
You may be confused – why would you want to validate your feelings of inadequacy when you want to stop feeling like a failure?
But accepting your feelings is not the same as agreeing with them. It is about acknowledging that you feel this way, so that you can take the next step to heal and challenge these negative thoughts.
So, the next time you feel like a failure, take a step back and breathe. Put a hand to your chest and validate your feelings. Notice that you're feeling this way and acknowledge it.
You may even want to make a note whenever these thoughts go through your mind. This helps you to identify any potential triggers. This will help you to realize that these feelings are simply a reaction to a problem, and that these thoughts do not define you.
Focus on how much you're grown
When you make a big mistake, it can be all too easy to fixate on just that mistake. However, failing at something does not make you a failure! To bring you out of such a mindset, you should instead focus on how much you've grown.
Think back to your past self 5 years, 1 year or even just 1 week ago. What have you learned in that time, and how have you changed?
Maybe you've picked up a new language, or you've started exercising more frequently. Focusing on your progress, no matter how small, can give you that much-needed boost of self-confidence.
Keeping a daily journal can be an excellent way of keeping a record of your progress! Have you ever kept a diary as a child and looked back on it as an adult? It's a fun way to looking back into your past and seeing how much you've grown since then.
Instead of keeping a physical journal that can be easily lost, however, why not keep a digital journal instead? With Journey, a digital diary app, can store your journal entries on the cloud so that you can keep them safe forever!
Furthermore, Journey has a featured called Throwback, which allows you to look back on previous years' journal entries on the same day.
Look back at the you from just a few years ago, and look at how much you've grown as a person!
Think about all your positive qualities
Whenever you're feeling like a failure, your mind tends to be filled with all of your negative qualities. Not assertive enough, not ambitious enough, not disciplined enough...
But in those moments, we forget all the positive qualities that we also have. In fact, it is both our positive and negative qualities that make us who we are.
Take out a piece of paper or open up your journal on your phone and make a list of all the positive qualities of yours that you can think of. Doing so while you're feeling like a failure can not only distract you from those negative thoughts, but it may also lift your mood.
And if you're comfortable with it, why not ask your friends and family about some of your positive traits? Sometimes, they will be able to see more of your positive qualities than you can. This brings us to our next point...
Surround yourself with positive people
Sometimes the burden is too heavy to carry alone. And that is why it's so important to build a reliable, supportive and positive support system.
Surround yourself with people that can lift you up, not bring you down, when you're feeling like a failure.
These are the people that you are comfortable sharing your troubles with, that you know will support you no matter what! When you're around people with positive energy, you'll find that their positivity will rub off on you as well.
Take a social media cleanse
Social media may be a great tool for connecting with people, but it can also exacerbate feelings of inadequacy.
It is a place where people show off the good sides of their lives, and often only the good sides. At first glance, their lives may seem picture-perfect.
Many people thus fall into the trap of comparing their own lives to those that they see on social media. But that isn't a fair comparison at all, isn't it?
That is why you should be taking regular social media cleanses, or limit your time spent on social media. Once a week, try to delete or log out of all your social media apps and spend those 24 hours away from social media.
You'll be surprised to find just how much time you've been wasting, scrolling endlessly on social media. Put that time to good use instead by spending the day in nature, reconnecting with friends or engaging in your hobbies!
It's said that life is 10% of what happens to you, and 90% how you respond. Failures, mistakes and obstacles are an inevitable part of life, so it's important to change the way you respond to them.
It's not easy, feeling like a failure, but at the end of the day, you deserve to be loved and respected -- by yourself! You're uniquely you, so don't let the world or your negative thoughts get you down.