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How to Overcome Feeling Like a Failure

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All Scripture references come from the King James Version of the Holy Bible (KJV)."

Welcome back to another guest post in our Stories of Overcoming Adversity Series.  Do you struggle with feeling like a failure? Today, I would like to introduce you to Karen Ellis from Warrior Women. She’s going to help you understand why we feel that way and how to overcome that feeling.  

What makes us feel like a failure?  Is it because we actually did a bad job on something or is it just that we worry about what others will think?  Maybe it is because there was or is now someone in our life who talks down to us and makes us feel like we are not good enough at what we do?

Why we feel like a failure

It seems like women struggle with this more than men.  Maybe it’s just that women talk about it more and are more open to discussing our feelings. But one thing is certain, most everyone feels like a failure at some point in their lives.  

Why is this?  Some people are just perfectionists and expect themselves to always do everything right and never make mistakes.  The problem with this is that none of us are perfect. We can’t be, we are human. We will make mistakes at some point!

Unfortunately, some of us have had people in our lives when we were younger that talked down to us and made us feel like we could do nothing right.  Parents, grandparents or maybe an aunt or uncle would tell us “You can’t do anything right” or “Can’t you do anything right?” This can carry over into when we are grown.

Some of us are in a marriage where our spouse is always complaining or pointing out the things they think we have failed at.  This is so sad because as a spouse, we should lift up and encourage one another. God gave us our spouse as a helper. He never meant for our spouses to beat us down and make us feel like a failure or feel defeated.

Another thing I have had to learn is that my value as a person does not depend on someone else’s opinion.  My value as a person can only be measured by what Christ thinks of me.   Here is a free download of other Bible verses that talk about this very thing.

sad girl on bench, How to overcome feeling like a failure

How to overcome feeling like a failure

Fortunately there are things we can do to overcome feeling like a failure.  One thing I have had to do is remind myself who I am in Christ. First and foremost I AM the daughter of a King who is not moved by the world.  For my God is with me and goes before me, I DO NOT fear because I AM His!! Praise the Lord!

I am Loved (Isaiah 43:3), I am Beautiful (Psalm 139:13-16), I am Worth more than rubies (Proverbs 31:10), I am Worth it (Romans 5:6-8) and I am Favored (Proverbs 8:35).  There are so many more verses in the Bible. I could go on for days about how much God loves you and how He is with you always, so you NEVER have to keep feeling like a failure. For me I have found that if I can get alone and really think about all the things the Bible says about God’s love for me then I feel soooo much better!Do you struggle with feeling like a failure? Let me help you understand why we feel that way and how to overcome that feeling. #overcomingfailure #youareamazing Click To Tweet

There is none righteous, no not one

Accept that you are not perfect and you never will be.  We are all human and live in a world full of other humans who are not perfect either.  Oh sure, some people act like they are and desperately want you to believe that they are, but truth be told, they are not.  

Have you ever been around a bully or been bullied by someone?  It is my observation that bullies act the way they do, mostly to hide their own insecurities.  Even as an adult, I have to deal with people who will put others down just to make themselves feel better.  So when another person is trying to make you feel like a failure, just step back and really examine them. I bet if you look close enough, their lives are not perfect either.

If you are a woman, (or a man) of noble character, then you are someone who has integrity and you should never feel like a failure. Our feelings of accomplishment over things that we do, or awards that we receive, do not determine our value.  If that’s the case, then we are all in trouble because we will constantly be looking for more to do.  

Life can definitely be hard.  I know it is discouraging when you are trying your best to do things the right way. But then we see others “getting ahead” by lying, cheating or stealing.  This doesn’t seem fair. We see other people who are not honest in how they conduct themselves. But when they get that promotion at work, it can make you feel like a failure.

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Count your blessings

But YOU ARE NOT! You are a good person and have good inside of you.  Try this exercise. I know, it sounds dorky at first, but it does help.  Sit down somewhere when you can have some peace and quiet. Think about all of the good things you have done over the course of your life.  Maybe you helped an elderly person with their yard or shopping. You were honest about something even when others were not. I imagine that you didn’t lie to your parents when they asked you where you were or what you were doing.  Were you a good mom or wife today?

I bet if you take time to sit down and make a list. Include not only the good things you have done, but most importantly, all of your blessings. Then you will soon see that you are not a failure.  Once during a dark time in my life I did this. Girl, it was bad! I didn’t feel like there was anything good in my life, and just wanted to run away and have a fresh start.

Then I started my list of blessings.  It was basic at first. It started with, I woke up today.  The sun is shining instead of it raining. I have a home/I’m not homeless.  I’m not hungry/I have food to eat. My family has clothes to wear so we’re not naked.  I noticed that as I did this, my list kept getting longer. Then I found myself more positive because I felt better about my situation.

Just try it, it can’t hurt!  Then take time to look up all the amazing things God says about you in these scriptures.  I’ll bet you’ll be surprised. Once you realize how valued you are, then you have no reason to feel like a failure.

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Warrior Women Blog provides help, hope and encouragement to other women. Karen Ellis is a wife, mom of 5 and Gigi to 2 amazing grandkids.  She loves Jesus and wants to help other women know how much Jesus loves them and find their identity in Him.

I hope you were encouraged by Karen’s post on how to overcome feeling like a failureFor other stories in our series, check out my compilation post, Powerful and Inspiring Stories of Overcoming Adversity.  Check back monthly for more additions to this series.

Have you struggled with feeling like a failure?  What are your best tips that helped you to overcome?  Which of Karen’s suggestions really resonates with you?  Please share in the comments below!

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  1. I have always been a perfectionist. I have worked hard to accept myself as I am. I think the hardest part of accepting failure is that we have to admit that it is normal to fail. For me, I felt I was the only one who failed just because. If everyone else failed, it was because of a very good reason. They had an excuse. I didn’t. Then one day I realized it was so hard to accept that I didn’t feel as though I had just failed at a goal, I felt like I was a failure, and everytime I failed at something, it only reenforced that belief. Thank you for this reminder of who we are in Christ and with Him we are not failures. We are victorious overcomers.

  2. Great guest post. Comparison and criticism can certainly send us on a downward spiral and it is true that we need to accept that we will never be perfect in ourselves. Only in Christ. Writing out the good things we have done is a great tip.

  3. Thank you for sharing this encouraging post. I often felt like a failure too, and sometimes this feeling creeps up again. A while ago, I read that we are very precious to Jesus. He gave His own life, the highest price, for each and every one of us! That’s how special we are! What a wonderful God we serve! <3

    1. Ann, you are so right. Because we are so precious that Jesus gave His life for us, how could we possibly be failures?

  4. Girl, this speaks to my heart. I definitely struggle with feelings of failure and not being good enough, especially in marriage (not anything my husband has done). But remembering God’s Word and His truth helps me pull out of those moments when I see myself spiraling down in negativity. He has the final word on who I am and I hold tight to His truth.

    1. Exactly, Haley. We are Gods children. So when we start feeling like a failure, it’s important to seek our Father and praise Him for all He’s done for us.

    1. Yes, Katrina. Raising my kids always gives me comfort in the fact that I’ve done something great. All by the grace of God, for sure.

  5. I like this post because it has great tips on dealing with failure. Everyone can relate to this but it’s something we don’t like to talk about. Failure…it’s like it’s a bad word.

    Thanks for sharing!

    1. I understand that feeling completely, Joy. It’s a tough battle when you need the help of others. But through gratitude, and because I know I’m doing my best, I don’t feel like I’m failing.

  6. There are times that I do have these feelings. But I overcome them with prayer. The moment I get up in the morning, I say a prayer of thanks. Being alive is a blessing! The “failures” I perceive are those of having a great career, money, and material things, but those are only temporary. What is more important is that I do not fail in my obligations to God.

    1. So true, Angelica! Counting our blessings when we’re feeling like a failure can only help turn those feelings around.

    1. That’s great, Ntinsibe. Putting your focus on the things that help you overcome will guide you when you’re feeling like a failure.

  7. Thank you for your post! I think things are so much more amplified with social media, we are constantly bombarded with people’s successes and easily prone to comparing ourselves to them.

    1. I agree, Matt. If we compare ourselves to those people on social media, we’re most likely apt to feel inferior. But by simply doing our best and remembering who we serve, it will give us the right perpective.

  8. I think we all have moments where we feel like a failure, but it’s how we move forward that matters. When negative thoughts creep in, I try to give myself grace while reminding myself that tomorrow will be a better day.

    1. So true, Marcie. Giving ourselves grace every day will allow us to overcome our negative feelings and move on. Thank you!

  9. These are ALL amazing ways how to overcome feeling like a failure. From my own personal experience in my 15-year abusive marriage more often than not I got talked down to…not spoken to…and this can leave you with numerous ways of feeling like a failure in all you do. But Praise God as a daughter of the highest King I’m no longer defined as the failure I was convinced I was. As you said to God I am more precious than rubies and my value and self-worth are found in Him and Him alone. Great post, Karen! Thanks for sharing your heart with us!

  10. I love “My value as a person can only be measured by what Christ thinks of me” If we could see ourselves how God sees us, it would be more than enough to never feel like a failure ever again. Great encouraging word!

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