How to overcome feeling like a failure

If some one were to ask me what I hate the most; it’s the experience of feeling like a failure. Though this is not my ultimate fear in life, failure is quite high on the list. My sense of self-worth has always been tied with my career. As a child I hated not getting a high-grade or achieving the success I longed for. A career-girl through and through, I’ve definitely felt my fair share of failure and it hits me hard every time. Although I always take failing as a challenge to try again and prove to myself that I can do better, that doesn’t mean I bounce back straight away. Sometimes that dreadful feeling can stay with me for a few days, overwhelming me into a state of, dare I say it, worthlessness.

I can’t tell you how to avoid failure because it’s a vital part of life and without it, we would never be given the chance to develop into someone better than we were yesterday. However, I can share my own advice on how to deal with failing and how to overcome that sinking feeling so one may rise up and not allow it to consume them.



The first step is to admit it’s happened. You can’t change the past and dwelling or wishing that you could do things differently isn’t going to help. The best thing to do is understand that failure is inevitable sometimes. Don’t push away those unwanted feelings full of negative emotions and thoughts, instead accept how you feel. Most importantly, take responsibility for that failure. It’s yours and you should own it.



Understand that failing once or even twice, doesn’t make you a failure. In fact, it’s a common thing we all experience. Everyone fails, even the most successful people. Take the obvious example of J.K Rowling and her wonderful world of Harry Potter. She was denied publishing a dozen times before someone acknowledge the potential her writing had to be great. It wasn’t because her story was terrible, that becomes more apparent everyday with her riveting success. Sometimes, one has to fail many a times before something extraordinary happens. Just because you fail doesn’t mean it’s the end of the world or that you shouldn’t keep trying. Rowling didn’t quit and neither should you.



Learn from this mistake or situation. Use failure as a tool to become better, don’t let it overpower you and oppress all that makes you great. Failure is one of life’s greatest lessons and should be something that is welcomed because it has this incredible power to make you better than you were yesterday. Be constructive, take a step back and look at it with an outward view. How can you learn from this?



Sometimes if you can’t take that step back and see things with a different perspective talking to someone or writing down your feelings can help you achieve this. It also allows you to let out those negative emotions so you can start seeing this in a new light. Confide in a friend, family member or even someone on line. There are countless supportive forums you can find and many that will be significant to your particular issue.


Move forward

Don’t overthink or mull over what’s happened. This will only lead to a deep unwavering, unhappiness. The world goes on, whether we want it too or not and if we don’t move with it we can become lost. Look to the future, better days are coming and now you have this new lesson to guide you.


Improve self-esteem

Failure comes with a knock back in self-esteem and so it is important to gain back the confidence lost during this life-event. I find that working out and lifting weights in the gym really lifts up my self-esteem and leaves me feeling empowered and exhilarated from all those incredible endorphins. I also find that simply doing something that I love or feeding a passion of mine has me bouncing back like never before and those feelings of failure are forgotten.

What not to do…

The worst thing you can do is allow this feeling of failure to consume you. Although it may feel like you can’t move past this, it is in fact entirely possible to rise above your failure. Don’t lie around on the couch, feeding yourself unhealthy amounts of self-pity and wallowing in the past. This will not benefit you, whatsoever. Instead, follow the aforementioned steps and focus on a brighter future. Although there will be plenty more failures to come, there will be just as many- if not more- successes.

Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.