There is no denying that any form of success first begins with failures. You can likely identify a variety of times in your life where you have failed. Just like a child learning to walk, you will fall many times before you get your footing. Failure happens to everyone. But knowing what to do when we feel like a failure is a critical skill to develop.

Though failure is common it never feels good. Sometimes it can be hard to overcome our feelings of being a failure. It is important that we learn what to do when we have these feelings. Although we may have failed in some way, it vital that we know that we are not failures because we have failed. This article will discuss the ways in which you can learn how to not feel like a failure and move forward with action towards your goals.

Why Failure is Good for YOU

It sounds contradictory but failing is good for you. There are two main reasons why you should embrace failure and learn to accept it as part of your journey.

  • You Are Taking Action – It’s easy to feel stuck and have negative thoughts after a failure. But one of the most important things to remember about failure, is that to fail you had to take action in order to fail. The very fact that you failed means that you have done something positive towards achieving your goals. Though it didn’t necessarily work out for you, you did something! You should not discount how powerful taking action is.
  • You Are Learning – When you fail you learn. What you learn may depend on your situation, but it is rare that you will fail without learning. Maybe you have discovered you needed more help, more education, or more resources than you thought. Maybe you have learned something important about who you are as a person. Or maybe you have even learned that you are more capable than you believed. Though it is not always easy to identify what we learn from failure there is always something we can take from it.

Why You Might Feel Like a Failure

Feeling like a failure is not always the same as failing. Many people will fail without experiencing negative emotions towards failure. But for others, failure, or the fear of failure will consume their thoughts and leave them feeling stuck.

It is normal and very common to feel like a failure. But failure often means something different to everyone. Some people may feel that failure is found in their lack of, or perceived lack of, ability to complete a task or meet a goal. While others consider failure to simply be an unavoidable by-product of action.

Depending on your personal beliefs about failure you may feel consumed with the idea that you, as a whole are a failure. Others might feel that they are failures only in regard to specific areas. Those who know that they are not failures for failing often have a better experience when they do fail. Often a change in perspective is what we truly need to not feel like a failure.

What if I Feel Like A Failure Before I’ve Even Started?

If you fall into the camp of feeling like a failure before you’ve even experienced it, you are likely dealing with confidence issues. Take a look at why you feel the way you do. Consider making a list of the things you believe make you a failure. Often you will find that you aren’t really a failure at all. Your fear of failure or a lack of confidence is holding you back. Get help with boosting your confidence by reading our “How to Regain Confidence” tips.

Always remember that even when things aren’t going your way you are not your failures. Consider reading our article “How Do People Define Success”. To help you shift your perspective and allow you to focus on what success means to you, rather than dwell on perceived failures.


What Steps Can I Take to Get Unstuck?

When you feel like a failure it is important to take action and get unstuck. See our tips below on how to stop feeling like a failure and move forward.

  • Make a plan to move forward – reflect on your failures and pull out the lessons you have learned from them. Take action by using your failures to allow you to develop a plan to move forward. Highlight where you need to make improvements. Be it through self-education, support from others, or better preparation. Allow yourself to feel what you need to feel, but do not allow yourself to stop moving.
  • Lean on your support system – Your support systems are your friends, family and possibly colleagues. Be open with those that you trust and allow them to help you with finding perspective with your failures. Outside eyes may be able to help you see more clearly where you failed. They can both help boost your confidence and also be truthful with allowing you to see your mistakes.
  • Celebrate your wins – always celebrate your success. Failures will always be a part of your journey. In order to build and maintain confidence it is important to not only recognize your failures, but also to celebrate your wins. By giving yourself credit for what you do well, you give yourself confidence to move past failure. It is easier to accept that failure is good for you when you believe in yourself. When you truly feel stuck, write down all the things you do well and let that move you forward.

What to Do When You Still Feel Stuck?

If you are truly struggling with feeling like a failure it can be hard to move forward. When you are feeling stuck, despite your best efforts, it may be time to get outside perspective. Consider hiring a good life coach to help you gain perspective and move past your feelings.

A good life coach will be able to help you see not only where you are failing, but where you are thriving. They will be able to assist you with a plan to move past being “stuck” and reduce your fear of failure. You are not a failure and you deserve to bring your unique gifts to the word. A life coach will help you move past fear and achieve your goals.