If you are a human being living on this planet of ours, chances are you have (at least once) thought to yourself, or even said it out loud – I am a failure!
Somehow you have concluded that your life situations and experiences (without a shadow of a doubt) represent your sum total worth, or worthiness as a human being.
I operated with that same premise most of my life.
Although I managed to do, have and also experience so many great things in my life, there were a lot of times when I felt like I failed completely and utterly.
This self-conclusion was complete and totally subjective nonsense, as I later realized, but it did take me a while to completely come to terms with this issue.
It is when I grew tired of feeling like a failure that I really started to dig in and check, when do I feel like that.
I saw that if I didn’t achieve success immediately, I felt like a failure. If I didn’t get the results I hoped, I felt like a failure. If I turned out to be wrong in my assumptions and beliefs, I felt like a failure.
No matter where I turned, I had such a strong belief system surrounding success and failure, mostly rigged so that I am never completely happy or content with myself.
I also noticed that the same “failure belief” and associated feeling existed both in people who, objectively speaking, didn’t achieve much in their life, as well as in people who managed to achieve huge things, of course according strictly to our society standard definition of success and value.
Feeling like a failure was the one thing that was in common for both groups, and it affected “successful people” as well as “unsuccessful people”.
I saw that this can’t really be the truth, as it was happening to everyone with or without “objective evidence of success”, therefore, I decided to start questioning the entire premise of failure and success.
What does it really mean, this success or failure business? Let’s start by checking out society definition.
How does society define success and failure?
In my country, the definition of success is pretty much straightforward. I am guessing it is more or less the same in every other country.
Finish elementary school with good grades so that you can enroll in secondary school. Finish that with good grades so that you can enroll in college. Finish college as quickly as possible so that you can start searching for a job.
After you get a job, you have to work towards being irreplaceable and getting that first promotion, which would add a layer of security and ensure that you have a continuity of progress, always moving upwards.
Around that time, sooner or later, you need to get married and start “working” on children. Of course, your spouse should also have certain “value conditions” met, which ensures approval from your friends and family.
Preferably by then you will have a good credit score so that you can take a bank loan thus getting yourself a house or a flat somewhere in a nice neighborhood.
You will also need to buy a great new car.
With you and your spouse both working, you then should be able to afford yourself trips for summer and winter holidays, so that you can share those “eventful” stories at family reunions and your friends get together’s.
Your children, quite understandably, need to behave properly all of the time while developing great manners and successfully participating in extra curriculum sports or musical activities.
Then and only then, the society will start letting you “off the hook”, but not fully, as now you need to ensure that your children manage to satisfy those same standards of success, or even higher ones. You will probably tell them that you expect from them to achieve even greater things then you had.
This alone will ensure additional layer of stress on your children because now they have to try and effort to surpass your subjective “level of success” in order to prove worthy or grateful to you.
Finally, if you succeed with all that, and you manage to achieve that your children are not resentful, you then expect them to make you some grandchildren, so that you get to be a grandparent, and live the rest of your life feeling happy and successful.
Of course, as you slowly approach your natural end of life, you need to die peacefully in your bed, and without too much suffering because you are, of course, not allowed to be a burden to your family as you grow old.
Can you see what a crazy story that is?
And of course, the definition of the success and failure is totally different, for men there is one definition while for women another.
Everything that doesn’t satisfy the society definition of success and failure is deemed as failure and needs to be rejected.
How do I define success and failure right now?
In the beginning I played by society rules. I followed the norms. I did almost everything required (except I didn’t have children) and I still wasn’t happy. Even worse, I felt miserable.
I felt like a failure.
It is not after I decided to question this that I come up with a brand new definition of success and failure.
Would you like to know what it is?
Success is following your heart and staying true to yourself. It is standing up for yourself and what you feel is right for you. It is discovering your life purpose and doing everything that is in your power to live that same life purpose. It is never making compromises with your dreams and never backing down from the sheer pressure of society and people around you.
It is deciding you have the controls of your life in your own hands and that the most important thing for you is to do whatever makes your heart sing.
It is accepting that you can lose everything, even the support of your closest ones, but still deciding to follow your heart and pursue your dreams.
Everything that is contrary to that – I now define as failure.
3 ways to stop feeling like a failure right now
Let me now share with you what I found out helps me deal with my feelings of failure. These are really simple techniques that you can start with, and if you decide to start it’s always good to begin with something simple and easy.
Release the feeling
Welcome that in this moment you are feeling like a failure. Notice it’s just a feeling inside of you. Don’t fight with that feeling. Don’t try to mentally prove it wrong. Don’t try to mentally prove it right. Be the witness of the experience of having that feeling unfolding.
Fully allow that experience to play out. Give yourself permission to dive into that feeling completely and without holding back. Grant the existence of that feeling simply by saying YES to it. And say YES to it some more. And some more. And more.
In this moment, give yourself permission to let go (release) this feeling of failure. Talk to the feeling and ask it if it wants to go. You will be surprised when you find out that all feelings want to go. Could you give that feeling the permission to leave? Could you just decide to drop it, to release it?
Releasing is a really simple process that allows us to quickly let go of our subconscious thoughts and feelings.
You can learn more about this process and his creator, a real modern day american self-realized master, on my page about Release Technique and Lester Levenson.
Find real love inside of yourself for yourself and let go of disapproving of yourself
I wrote an article about the difference between unconditional and conditional love. It is called What Does Unconditional Love Mean.
I suggest you read it by clicking on the link above, because we need to start learning what real love actually is.
Real love is not what majority of the world thinks it is.
I suggest you also check out some quotes from Lester Levenson, that deal with real love in an article I wrote called Inspirational Quotes on Love – Lester Levenson Way
Find out and focus on your life purpose
Finding your life purpose is the third way that will probably lead you all the way. If you are interested in this I have a simple pdf with a short technique that you can use to quickly find out your life purpose.
You can read my own life purpose in the About me page on the website.
You can also learn a lot about your life purpose from the Life Purpose Institute. Check them out!
You are NOT incompetent when you make mistakes!
The only way we as humans learn in this world is by trial and error. We try to do something, and sometimes the outcome of what we tried is the same as what we expected to achieve and we call that success. Sometimes the outcome is not what we expected so we call that a mistake or even worse – a failure.
But we are supposed to learn from our mistakes or failures, see what exactly happened that led to that undesirable result, change a variable once we recognize it and then see if with that change we can reach our desired outcome.
This process is called learning.
You see, without making mistakes you would not be able to learn. But making mistakes (failing) and feeling like a failure are two different things. One is the normal occurrence of life, and the other is self-assumed (or self-diagnosed) lack of worthiness.
Mistakes help us learn and grow, while feeling like a failure only brings us down.
Right now, you have the power to decide to release the feeling of failure!
You see, it’s now up to you, either you start changing your paradigm in regard to how you look at success and failure, or you fail and you decide to proceed as you did before.
Whatever you choose, it’s your own decision and responsibility, and you know what, you will never fail at everything.
After all, you did not fail to read this post!
Images courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net