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Why do I feel like a failure?

94 Answers
Last Updated: 11/15/2021 at 6:34pm
1 Tip to Feel Better
United States
Moderated by

Lindsay Scheinerman, MA, LPC

Licensed Professional Counselor

My work with clients is to help them recognize and build on their strengths to find solutions for the conflicts presented in their lives.

Top Rated Answers
January 27th, 2016 5:13pm
I am currently a sophomore at a college that has very high standards, everyone I am around is doing much better then me in school and no matter how much time I put in, how much I study, I can't seem to get my grades up.
March 6th, 2016 1:11am
I think people with depression or other mental illnesses feel like failures because they think the bar should be as high as someone that is high functioning. Sometimes just getting up and taking a shower is impressive. Yet it is minimized. We are all doing the best we can with the skills we have.
March 2nd, 2016 2:11am
Investigate the possible reasons. Perhaps at some point in your life, people have made you feel inferior. This could include people who are meant to support you with loving care, such as parents, friends, or teachers. Your environment can be overly stressful and put impossible expectations on you. Remind yourself that you cannot be made to feel inferior by someone else without your permission. Perhaps you don't give yourself enough credit for you accomplishments! Don't berate yourself for things that seem like the end of the world are really not. Don't fall into the trap of the all-or-nothing mentality. Just because you didn't win gold or didn't score as well as you wanted on that test doesn't mean you're a failure. You've overcome many adversities and come out a better person than you were before. Not everyone wins all of the time. Expecting to be the best can lead to self-doubt and won't do anything positive for your self-esteem! Remember that nobody is perfect. The girl with the supermodel body has her off-days where she snacks on unhealthy food and feels guilty about it later. The boy with straight-As is as stressed about exams as you are! You might be seeing through rose-tinted glasses when looking at other people, but zooming in on your flaws when you turn the lens onto yourself. Be careful not to magnify other people's accomplishments and minimize your own achievements. Don't defend and justify other people's mistakes and beat yourself up for being just as imperfect as they are! Identify those who have a positive relationship with you, those that make you feel good about yourself, and ask them about your strengths/weaknesses. They're the people who know you the best, and they like you for a reason! Let them know that you are struggling to feel worthy, and they'll tell you why you're such an awesome person!
February 25th, 2016 4:05pm
because thoughts about what-if's and could-have's still haunt you. Trust that you are a work in progress and what's important is that you will get there someday.
January 20th, 2016 1:12am
Feeling of a failure . It is such a feeling which only a loser can feel. There are exactly three consequence of a task . If you succeed you are a WINNER, if you failed then either you become a LEARNER or a LOSER. Even a small insect like spider when does not accepts its failed attempt of climbing a wall or tree or whatever it may, if such a small creature doesnt lose hope then being the one of the most intelligent species in this world isn't it an act of shame to feel like a failure just because our plan did not workout the last time. It's never too late. If you want to change and succeed , it just takes few minutes of your life to change. A single day itself is enough to bring changes within you. Believe in yourself people .
March 17th, 2015 5:22pm
People discouraging you or not praising you, not having many friends, not being able to do or practice what you really like can lead you to feeling that. But hey, always know, you're not a failure!
April 13th, 2015 5:34pm
I think feeling like a failure is a common thing to experience. Of course, we would rather not feel like we have failed, but I, personally, try to see my failures as opportunities for learning, for growth in some area of my life. Someone once said that, "There are no failures - just experiences and your reactions to them.” With that said... it still hurts and will hurt, but the question is, will you try to see the positive side of those failures or allow them to keep you down, crippled to moving forward authentically, courageously, into the future.
January 27th, 2016 3:46pm
Some people feel like a failure because they compare their self to others. Each person is unique starting from the day we are conceived. Many people do not take that into consideration, that some babies in the womb have a nice peaceful, secure and nutritious environment while others may have their environment plagued by loud scary sounds, drugs, alcohol, and lack of the necessary vitamins to produce optimal health. These are the extreme differences, but what about just the genetic differences of having different parents, grandparents, great grandparents, all of whom contributed to your DNA helping you be the person that you are. It can effect your temperament, intelligence, physical abilities, possible addictions you may be susceptible to (such as alcoholism) your facial features, your height , musical talent, artistic talent and so many other things about you. Even in the same family, siblings are not carbon copies of each other, in less they are identical twins, but even in that case, although identical looking and having similar likes and dislikes, identical twins still have a mind of their own. You can only feel like a failure if you expect to have talents and personal qualities that are not compatible to your DNA, social or cultural exposure and have no ability to learn them and overcome the obstacles that you feel hold you back from what you want to be successful in. There are many people who have overcome by perseverance and a desire to be more and do more. Abraham Lincoln was one of those people, Albert Einstein was another. Neither compared themselves to other people, they succeeded in their uniqueness. Would you consider Mother Teresa a success or Ghandi, neither wanted wealth or fame and both struggled materialistically knowing hunger, cold and other types of deprivation, yet they were successful in their achieving their goals. You can only feel like a failure if you define success on the terms of someone else's abilities, instead of your own. We are not failures in this life, we are all students of our own circumstances and sometimes the things we learn and the success we have cannot be quantified in real world terms, but only in our hearts and minds.
February 28th, 2016 1:12pm
Human beings cannot do everything. We cannot complete everything. We sometimes don't do what we need to. We sometimes fail. We feel like failures because we beat ourselves down. You are not a failure, no matter if you failed or not.
June 15th, 2015 8:32pm
There are a lot of reasons to feel like you have failed. In the case of depression, I've felt that it's really hard to see the good things. You just keep finding evidence that you're not worth it. People don't notice that you're emaciated inside, and so they're not there to tell you how amazing you are. And when they do... you just keep finding evidence against that. "Well if I'm such a talented actor... why didn't I get the role?" "If I'm so smart... why am I doing poorly in all of my classes?" "If I'm a catch, then why has everyone rejected me?" These are personal thoughts that I've had. There's been research on this called the "negativity bias", where negative things are more apparent than the positive. And depression doesn't help the situation. The thing is, everyone fails... people just kinda deal with it differently. And when you've experienced failure after failure, sometimes it's too exhausting and it's easy to extrapolate from your given data and determine that you're always going to fail. If my stats teacher ever taught me anything... extrapolation is really unreliable.
January 17th, 2016 3:06pm
Because my bipolar syndrome is ripping apart my relationship. I hate myself every day for hurting my fiance the way I do when I'm in a downswing.
May 19th, 2015 3:47am
Because the things you have done so far are not successful. Therefore you feel discouraged. Good news is that : in every work, the percent of success is 10%. Which means, you do 100 things , you succeed in 10 things. What if you only do too few, like 10 things, then you have only 1 sucessful. What if you only did 5 things, you can do the math, none successful, right? So your problem is that you are capable, but you did too few things to have enough success. (you can ask around about the success rate to see if it's true or not :) ) I wish you all the best .
April 10th, 2016 3:27am
First off, snap out of it, you're not. You're just in a tough spot in life, and it feels icky. Go get out there, flip off the world and kick some more butt.
November 30th, 2015 7:27am
Feeling like a failure is often a result of feeling that you don't measure up to others. This is not a bad thing. People have their strengths and weaknesses and you may be comparing yourself to the best, brightest, or more fortunate.
January 20th, 2016 10:36am
Lack of motivation and support from peers, friends, family and your community. An accumulation of things that constantly go wrong.
February 14th, 2016 12:45am
Feeling like a failure comes from comparing yourself to your peers, which is what many people do. It's practically impossible not to compare yourself to someone else, but it's also not possible to feel completely like a wreck. The way to think positively in dark times is to look at yourself in the mirror, and think, "Nothing is impossible, because the word says 'I'm possible!'" You are useful, and you might make the world a better place!
January 31st, 2016 2:52pm
You feel like a failure if you or others tell you that you are a failure and you believe it. Nobody is a failure and nobody should be telling others that they are either.
March 18th, 2016 8:56am
I think many of us have this voice inside our heads that feeds us these self-defeating thoughts, just know that you are not that voice -- you are the one observing it. You have the freedom and capacity to direct your life in whatsoever way you choose, and believe about yourself what is most practical.
January 30th, 2016 7:01pm
You are not you are born in this world as a unique beautiful person the way you are there is no one born as a failure this world is incomplete without you it needs you as a human since everyone is unique and different
February 17th, 2016 5:28am
Just because you feel like one doesn't mean you are one sometimes you go through things to see other people and their motives (true colors).
April 15th, 2016 5:06pm
I feel like a failure only when i stop believing in myself..letting my fears...complexities...pessimistic thoughts overpower my conscience...The only thing we need to do is start believing in urself..start believing that u can do it..cause everything seems impissible until its done
March 23rd, 2015 4:42pm
Sometimes feeling like a failure can have many reasons anywhere from a low self esteem to comparing oneself to others. I find it helps to focus on the little victories at hand and less on that final goal, where we can at times get discouraged in the process, but those little victories can refocus our sights on what is truly important.
June 22nd, 2015 6:38pm
You feel like a failure because that is the self-image you have on yourself. You find reflecting points to theorize that you are a failure. You feel negativity in yourself. However, the way to feel yourself as less of a failure is possibly by thinking the opposite or of yourself as not a failure. You should make a mental note that even if one time you fail. you are not a failure, but you definitely need to get up again and try. Nobody is a failure, but putting forth your best effort will make you feel less of a failure. All you need to do is to make a mental note that you pushed the rock and the rock will roll wherever it wants to. Hope this helped and I hope you stay strong, Zoe.
January 11th, 2016 10:55pm
Sometimes, you feel like a failure because in your mind, set by your personal standards, you failed at something. It wasn't good enough to you, you could have done better, and so on. Through let downs and changes, you must love yourself. That is the first golden key to any door of success. Love yourself. When you can fully, truly do that, you are able to recover from failure quickly and forgive yourself so that you can move and and do better the next time around.
January 14th, 2016 3:22am
Because that's your own perception, your own illusion. Try looking at yourself from others' eyes and seeing what you find.
January 21st, 2016 2:20pm
Maybe be because of the people around you, try to free yourself from the people who never cheer you up
January 22nd, 2016 12:29am
You feel this way because you aren't allowing yourself to feel any different. When you feel this way you should stop and think about the things that you can do or something that you're good at.
January 31st, 2016 12:26pm
because you only see the bad things that happen in your life. and the things that you don't %100 accomplish. but trust me, you are not a failure, and you never will be. try noticing all the things you accomplish every day in life, even if its little things, like learning how to pronounce a word in a different language or something.
February 10th, 2016 4:39pm
Sometimes we tend to feel that way about ourselves due to the feeling that we believe something within us is lacking. No one is a failure because within each person there is a great purpose! It just takes a little searching to find out what your purpose is. Never feel like a failure, you hold that head up high now :)
February 13th, 2016 8:41am
Because you never feel like you have achieved as well as you could, or you feel like others will look down on you because of what you have done. It is hard when you are struggling with life to ever feel complete satisfaction about what you have done.