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Life is hard, there is no other way around it. If you feel like you are failing at certain parts of life, you are not alone.
There are plenty of other people who find themselves in the same boat. If you want to stop failing at life, the first step is to figure out why this is happening.
Everyone's story is that way different. Therefore, your reasons for struggling might be slightly different from someone else's. At the same time, there are a few common themes.
So in this article, we will talk about nine common reasons why you might be failing at life.
But first, let’s start with a quick definition.
What Is Failing at Life?
Failing at life means something different to everyone else. In general, you may feel like you are failing at life because you are not meeting your goals, you are falling behind your peers, or you are having trouble keeping your life together.
It is important to maintain perspective when you're talking about life failure. Nobody is going to achieve all of their goals every time.
In fact, failing can actually help you grow as a person. You can figure out what your weaknesses might be and then find ways to improve them.
As long as you frame everything in the right way, you can use your failures as an opportunity for growth. Therefore, when you are trying to get better as a person, maintain the right perspective. This will place you in the best position possible to be successful.
9 Reasons You're Failing at Life
There are a variety of common reasons why people feel like they are failing at life. Some of the most common examples include:
1. You Are Not Planning Appropriately
The first reason why you might feel like you are failing at life is that you are not planning appropriately. The reality is that you are not going to find success unless you have a plan in place.
For example, you may simply be hoping to get better without actually telling yourself how you are going to do that.
For example, if you are trying to get in better shape, you need to figure out exactly how you are going to do this. Don't simply say, “I am going to exercise more.”
This goal is not definable or quantifiable. Instead, you need to tell yourself how you are going to exercise more. You might want to say something such as, “I'm going to exercise for at least 30 minutes every day after work this week by walking around the neighborhood.”
When you are trying to develop a plan, some of the steps to keep in mind include:
When you make a plan, you have a greater chance of achieving your goals. That way, you can stop failing at life and make progress.
The bets way to get started is to create a SMART goal. Check out the video below provides a quick overview of SMART goals and then shows three examples for each of the seven areas of your life — for a total of 21 examples.
2. You Try To Do Too Much Too Fast
Another reason why you might feel like you are failing at life is that you are trying to do too much too quickly. If your goal is simply not achievable, you are only setting yourself up for failure.
Remember that a journey to the top of the mountain is going to begin with a single step. Therefore, what is your first step going to be?
Let's take a closer look at our exercise metaphor above.
Noticed that an initial goal for someone who has not exercised in a very long time is to walk around the neighborhood for 30 minutes every day after work. This goal should be sustainable. If you can walk around while you are at work, you can walk around after work as well.
Everyone has a slightly different goal if they are starting to exercise. For example, your goal might be to run a marathon. At the same time, you would not try to run a marathon on your first day of exercise.
Not only with this be impossible but even an attempt would be incredibly dangerous. If you set yourself up for failure, you are going to be disappointed with the results.
Ultimately, there is nothing wrong with dreaming big. On the other hand, you need to break this down into small, sustainable steps. For example, if your goal is to run a marathon, some of the goals that you may have include:
Notice that these are small, sustainable goals that set you up for success. There's nothing wrong with aiming high. At the same time, you need to make sure you know how you will get there.
3. You Keep Getting Distracted
Today, we live in a world of instant gratification. Therefore, one of the reasons why you might be feeling that life is that you keep getting distracted.
For example, if you noticed that it is taking you a long time to complete your work, it could be because you are simply not paying attention. Today, our world is interconnected. It is great that we have access to modern technology. You can even work from home.
On the other hand, technology can also be distracting. For example, you may feel like your phone is going off constantly. Then come when you finally put the phone down again, an hour has gone by. Where did the time go? What was I just doing?
If you feel like you are continuously getting distracted, there are a few steps you can take to fix the situation. For example, if you are working on something important and you do not need your phone, consider turning your phone off.
Or, if there is background noise, see if you can do something to cancel it out. You may simply need to turn off the television or the radio. Or, you may want to invest in a pair of noise-cancelling headphones. If you minimize distractions, you will instantly become more productive.
4. You Are Scared To Take Chances
It is possible that you may feel like you are failing at life because you are scared to take chances. Fear is one of the most powerful human emotions. It can instantly freeze you in place.
For example, deer are famous for standing in place right before a car strikes them. There is a reason why one of the most popular sayings is, “looking like a deer in headlights.”
Remember that it was Wayne Gretzky who said that you miss 100 percent of the shots you never take.
Even though it is normal to be afraid of missing, you are never going to succeed if you don't take a shot. It takes a long time to master a single skill. The only way you will be able to get better is if you get started.
Fear is the secret weapon that failure uses against you. You need to get in the habit of confronting failure. That way, you can build confidence in yourself and your abilities.
If you are looking for a way to take chances, some steps you may want to take include:
- Identify what your long-term goal is.
- Identify the steps you need to take to get there.
- Ask yourself why you have not taken those steps yet.
Once you identify why you are afraid to take chances, you will figure out what you have to do to step outside your comfort zone.
For example, if you are afraid to apply for a new job, you may want to reach out to a career counselor who can help you. If you are afraid to apply to graduate school because you're afraid of getting rejected, consider reaching out to an advisor who can help you strengthen your application.
If you take the right chances, you would build self-confidence and enjoy future success.
5. You Do Not Take Responsibility for Your Own Actions
Without a doubt, one of the most common reasons why people fail at life is they do not take responsibility for their own actions. First, look in the mirror. Think back at times when you were wrong.
If you are having a hard time pinpointing exact situations where you were in the wrong, there's a good chance that you keep making excuses for yourself. In order for you to move forward, you have to take responsibility for your own actions.
Some of the most common examples of excuses include:
Making excuses and blaming others are the same thing. You are in control of your actions and your outcome. For example, when the economy tanks, everyone has a perfect excuse for why they can't get a job.
At the same time, if you keep making excuses, you are never going to find the perfect opportunity to grow as a person. Therefore, stop making excuses. Take responsibility for your actions. Figure out how you can do better.
Ultimately, the only thing that you can control in this world is yourself. If you are making excuses, you are surrendering control of yourself. Therefore, you are never going to move forward.
6. You Keep Giving Up
Do you expect to succeed on the first try?
If so, you are only setting yourself up for failure. Remember that you have a lot of potential. Do not squander it. Sometimes, giving up is not always so obvious.
For example, you may have a job. You may be able to pay rent. You may have a comfortable life. Therefore, you feel like you are not giving up. On the other hand, do you want something more? Are you actively doing something to go get it?
Sometimes, it is hard to tell the difference between complacency and giving up. If you want something more out of life, then go get it. Just because you may not have succeeded the first time doesn't mean that you can't try again.
Failure is not permanent. You only fail if you stop trying. Remember that failure is human. None of us is going to escape this world unblemished.
Some steps you may want to take include:
Most importantly, do not ever give up.
7. You Simply Do Not Care Enough
There's no way around it. If you don't care about what you are doing, you are not going to succeed. Apathy can infect just about every area of our lives.
When apathy strikes, it simply leads to failure. Furthermore, apathy is contagious. If you are surrounded by other people who don't care, it is going to rub off on you.
If you don't care about what you are doing, there is a chance that you are taking the wrong path. If you want to succeed, you have to be passionate about what you are doing. Therefore, surround yourself with people who share the same goal.
Just apathy is contagious, work ethic is contagious as well. If you surround yourself with people who are working hard to try to attain their goals, you are going to do the same thing.
Instantly, you are going to care about what you are working toward. So, take the first step. Surround yourself with people who share the same goals as you.
8. You Are Too Comfortable
If you are too comfortable with where you are at, you are not going to achieve your long-term goals. There is nothing wrong with being happy.
At the same time, being happy and being comfortable are not the same. Ultimately, you might just be afraid of change.
Therefore, you may simply be in the wrong location. You might be in the wrong job. You might be in the wrong state. You might be picking up the wrong hobbies. The hardest part of fixing this is that it is difficult to tell when it is time to move on.
If you are comfortable where you're at, that is fine. On the other hand, if you want something more, it might be time to move on to somewhere else. If you have been waiting for that promotion and it hasn't come yet, it might be time to change jobs.
If you are trying to find that perfect person but you keep striking out in the same city, it might be time to try a new location. In order to address this issue, you have to be willing to step outside your comfort zone. If you are too comfortable, you are never going to stop failing at life.
9. You Expect To Fail
Finally, one of the most common reasons why people fail is you expect to fail. Have you ever heard of a self-fulfilling prophecy? If so, that is exactly what happens.
For example, if you expect to get tired before you reach the end of that marathon, it is going to happen. Pessimism leads to failure. It drains you of your energy, wastes your effort, and places you in the perfect position to fail.
If you are looking to change your frame of mind, some of the steps that you can take include:
When you start listing the reasons why you are going to succeed, your attitude and outlook will instantly improve. This is one of the greatest ways you can build your self-confidence and self-esteem.
On the other hand, if you are always pessimistic, you are going to be hesitant to invest in a sinking ship even if you are the person who is responsible for sinking it.
In this case, you are the ship! So, stop thinking it. Invest in yourself, change your outlook on life, and reap the rewards.
Final Thoughts on Failing at Life
Ultimately, these are just a few of the most common reasons why someone might be failing at life. If you feel like you are failing at life, your story is slightly different from everyone else's.
On the other hand, you should also take steps to improve your weaknesses and place yourself in a position to be successful next time.
Failing out of shaving some of your goals does not mean you are failing completely as a person. Keep at it, use this as an opportunity for growth, and focus on the future.
Discovering what it is you really want in life is good first step in not feeling like a failure. Here are some articles that might help:
- 15 Worksheets for Identifying Your Core Values
- 11 Life Purpose Questionnaires & Quizzes
- 4 Steps to Write a Life Purpose Statement (with 5 Examples)
Finally, if you want to take your goal-setting efforts to the next level, check out this FREE printable worksheet and a step-by-step process that will help you set effective SMART goals.