What to Do When You Feel Like a FailureOne thing you may be surprised to learn about me is that I often feel like a failure. Yup, slap a big “L” on my forehead and I will feel quite at home.

Case in point: this weekend I ran into someone I haven’t seen in quite a few months. She gave me a huge hug, gazed up at me with her huge sparkly eyes, put her hands on my shoulders and exclaimed, “CONGRATULATIONS on everything you’re doing!!!”

I was confused.

“Everything I’m doing…” I thought to myself. “What the heck am I ‘doing’??”

I guess she meant my blog or my book or maybe my videos. I still don’t know what she was so excited about. But like many people, I sometimes focus on my screw-ups instead of my successes.

My latest feelings of screwed-up-ness stem from my web traffic not being as high as I want it to be. This makes me want to rip my website off the internet like a page in a book, scrunch it up into a ball, stomp on it, light it on fire and shove it down the back of Mr. Laycock’s pants (Mr. Laycock was my grade 4 gym teacher. YES that was his real name.)

Unfortunately websites can’t be “ripped” off the internet in such a dramatic fashion and also I don’t know where Mr. Laycock lives (lucky for him.)

So instead I’m left with this feeling of failure.

Of course from a Law of Attraction point of view, focusing on failure is a perfect way to shoot yourself in the foot. Or stab yourself in the eye. Or punch yourself in the face. Think Ed Norton in “Fight Club” and you’ll understand what I’m talking about.

The more you feel like a failure, the more you create circumstances of failure. The more you create circumstances failure, the more you feel like a failure. The more you feel like a failure…. Oh you “got it”?? Alrighty then.

What’s really hysterical to me is that I don’t understand where these feelings of failure are coming from. Even though my web traffic is not where I want it to be, it IS up 48 percent from last month. 48 percent!!! If I were the CEO of a fancy company I’d be IDOLIZED for increasing web traffic by 48 percent. I’d be escorted on board the company’s private jet to Tahiti to drink pina coladas and ride hippopotamuses in celebration.

Here’s my point: it is NORMAL to feel like a failure. But it is HEROIC to feel like a failure and then decide to do something about it.

But by “do something about it,” I don’t mean skip off to Silicon Valley and exhaust yourself trying to be the next Mark Zuckerberg. I mean NOTICE that you have the choice to think differently. NOW, in this moment, you have a choice.

I don’t HAVE to throw a hissy fit over my web traffic; instead I could focus on what’s going well. If I focus on my successes, I will INSTANTLY stop feeling like a failure and start feeling like a success.

And the bonus prize is that the more I feel like a success, the more I will create circumstances of success. The more I create circumstances of success, the more I will feel like a success. The more I feel like a success…. Oh you “got it”?? Alrighty then.

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13 thoughts on “What to Do When You Feel Like a Failure

  1. sasa vignjevic

    Righty-O,
    Those damn blog stats! I curse the day they introduced them! Even on my minute bloggies I remember the Monkey pushing me to check the stats every now and then.
    But then someone smart said:
    “Worrying about how the Universe is going to make your dreams come true is
    a lot like running back to the kitchen, or digging up a seed before it has
    sprouted. Neither of these scenarios make sense. So decide what you want,
    and then use affirmative thinking to support your vision. Believe that
    whatever you want is in the process of creation, and anticipate the
    excitement you’ll feel when it arrives.”
    Or, as Leo Babauta recently posted:
    “4. Track Everything. If you want to change it, you have to measure it, right? If you want fast results, you need to track it. Except that’s complete crap. Why do you need such fast results in the first place? And who says you need to track something to change it? I’ve found more meaningful, lasting results when I don’t track, but focus on enjoyment of the activity. For example, if I focus on enjoying running, that makes me want to run more often, and that’s a habit that lasts much longer. If I focus on tracking the running (mileage, speed, VO2 max, intervals, etc), that takes the enjoyment away from the activity (running) and focuses on the results. If you are so focused on the results, the activity becomes only a means to an end. That makes the activity less enjoyable, and therefore less sustainable over the long run. I’ve become fitter than ever by not tracking, but instead enjoying being active. I’ve grown my site more now that I don’t track stats, but instead enjoy the writing. Over the long run, not tracking is better.”
    So, you only feel like a failure if you look back and evaluate. If you just keep on going and looking ahead, you won’t have time for such distractions.

    Reply

  2. Linda Brackstone

    Just what I needed to hear/read. I know this stuff. Now I need to do this stuff. My biggest issue around feeling failure is that I cannot seem to decide what I want in relation to the situation. Really I just want it to go away and then I’ll breathe easier. I don’t regret creating the situation because there was so much fun and learning in it. I just don’t like the end result and I don’t know how to fix it. I know, not my job. so I get in this loop and then just really try to ignore the whole thing and move on to something more fun and the elephant is still in the room for me.

    OK, enough griping. I can think differently. Even that is a start.

    Reply

    1. kb Post author

      Fantastic Linda. We can think differently together! I love spending time with you because I always end up “thinking differently” as a result. :)

      Reply

  3. Glenn McB

    Your blog posts and tweets are fantastic. I write down quotes of yours on small pieces of notebook paper and carry them in my wallet for inspiration. The first blog I read was “You Are Not Your Job” and I have gotten so much out of your posts since then. Thanks so much.

    Reply

  4. Aaron

    Rockin’ post KB. I’m like, “You? Feel like a failure? But you rock!”

    Good to remember we all feel that way sometimes, and we all can do something about it!

    Reply

  5. Tiffany

    Feel like a failure? You? I can’t even believe that ever happens to u. Like last week I tweeted you on twitter and I felt like hot stuff because you replied me back. Lol. I look up to you so much. I was first introduced to the law of attraction by you on youtube and my life has had so much more quality ever since. Ur AMAZING. Remember that always.

    Reply

  6. Miss Alex

    Hey Miss KB,
    You know what: I love you.
    Not because you´re amazing, not because you´re talented,
    not because you´re authentic, transparent, courageous or because you walk in integrity.
    Yeah sure, more than once I have bowed my head in gratitude,
    for you shining your light reminds me to shine mine:
    Above and beyond any sense of failure or success.
    Sending you ALL the LOVE in the universe (yup, ALL of it).
    Thanks Sista.
    XOXO from Brazil,
    Miss Alex

    Reply

  7. Lax

    Hi,

    I just came across your blog following a link from Steve Pavlina’s site.
    I loved the couple of posts so far. The feeling of failure dogs me, too, but as someone else has said, I try to write for the love of it. Who knows, I may touch at least a few souls on this earth.
    So don’t feel like a failure! The world needs more encouragement.

    Cheers,
    Lax

    Reply

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