Why Do I Feel Like I’m Failing?

Sometimes you'll fail. You will. Nothing you can do about it. But other times, when you're not failing at all, or even when you're succeeding, you think to yourself:

"Why do I feel like I'm failing?"

There are two reasons.

  1. Because you're a human being. Feeling like you're failing is one of the things we do sometimes, along with things like eating, worrying and belly laughs.

  2. Because it hurts less to pre-empt your own failure than to have someone else do it you.

Feeling like you're failing is a story your brain tells you when you're somewhere new, when there's risk in the air, or when you things might not go the way you want them to.

That story tells you to hide from the uncertainty and risk, to turn back towards safety, and to stop trying because failure will hurt you a lot. In other words, this story strips your confidence to the bone.

So I have three quick thoughts to help with this.


A thought about being on the verge of failure doesn't make it real or true, just like a thought about winning the lottery doesn't make it true or real. It's just a thought. You can notice it, say hey, and still make a choice about what matters.


You're better than you often give yourself credit for. Way better. Don't diminish your value or capability when a random thought bubbles up. Connect to your deep capability, and take that next step.


Don't beat on failure or cast it as the enemy. You need it. Otherwise, chances are you're just playing it safe and doing things you've already done over and over. A feeling of failure can sometimes be a sign that you're growing.

I sometimes feel like I'm failing too. But I don't let that determine my value, my impact or my next choice.

Confidence is showing up knowing you're already enough. So even in those moments when it feels like you're failing, take a moment, put a smile on your face and say:

I see you. And it's okay. I don't know what's going to happen either. But you know what, I'm going to do what matters and I'm going to be just fine.

That would be pretty wonderful, right?

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