Failure in life
I am a 45 years old, single, Polish woman living in Krakow. I am writing to you because I have this strong feeling in me that I am a failure, that I have failed in more or less in everything that I attempted in life, be it education, career, relationships or anything else. I don’t know why this has happened to me. I have worked hard and given it my best but it still never was good enough. I never achieved the success which others had. People I knew who were younger and junior than me have gone on to better positions in life and I am stuck in the same rut. In fact, if anything it feels as if I am going in the opposite direction, from bad to worse. I can’t cope with this feeling of being a failure anymore. I want to feel that I am a success, that I have achieved something in life but don’t know how. When I look at my past, all I see are my failures, nothing else. I don’t want to live with these regrets anymore. What should I do? How can I get rid of this feeling of being a failure in life?
Dear Alicja Jagoda,
First of all, you need to ease up on yourself. You are being very hard on yourself. Ask yourself if you are being honest with yourself when you do that. Granted that you might have failed in many things in life but that does not mean you are a failure. Not at all!
Punishing yourself is the least productive thing you can do. Learning from your choices is self empowering and exciting. At least you have a good story to tell. Beating yourself down can quickly make you ashamed and afraid. It’s hard to realise that you’re being self-destructive.
There are many people in life who are afraid to dream big or to attempt anything grand in life because they are afraid that it would fail. They are scared of failure. They get so used to this way of thinking that it prevents them from trying new experiences, no matter how easy or small they might. They are content (but not happy) living their lives in their comfort zone and are afraid to venture out of it.
You on the other hand are the opposite. You have the courage and willpower to try new things, which you have done throughout your life – Kudos for that! It doesn’t matter that you failed many times. What really matters is that you tried – that you got out of your comfort zone and gave it your best. It takes strength, character and confidence to do that. Be proud of yourself that you have these attributes. Not many people have them.
Try to get to the bottom of why you failed in most of your endeavours. It could be because of different reasons. Rather than blaming yourself or feeling self-pity, you need to find out why you failed, how you could have done things differently to achieve better results. You need to analyse this calmly, rationally and systematically. Ask yourself why you think you failed. It can help you realise your hopes and dreams.
Try again. Luckily, you have a failure under your belt with which to navigate the next adventure in your life.