Ever get stuck feeling like you failed at life? Here are 5 habits you should focus on instead. Keep reading to see why it’s okay to feel unaccomplished.
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I can’t even begin to tell you how many times in my 31 years on this planet I’ve fallen into the thought trap that led me to believe I had failed in life.
Yes, I said thought trap.
Because that is exactly what it is. It’s this false societal belief that one needs to have reached a certain set of accomplishments by a certain age.
None of it is real.
We are all individuals with different upbringings, traditions, goals, and purposes.
To really believe or expect everyone to work in some weird synergistic brain washed way.
Marking off accomplishments, stacking up points and following the same ideas of success as the generation before us just sounds super odd to me.
Don’t get me wrong. So many have thrived with this ideology. Many have reached goals and lived their life in this very traditional way and seemed somewhat okay in the end.
However something I’ve always noticed about these people (or the ones I’ve come across at least) is that in the end of the rat race and years into their “successful” life, they eventually hit a rock.
Some call it the mid life crisis.
I call it the moment they realized they’ve been living someone else’s dream.
Cancel The Idea Of Living To Anyone’s Expectation
Oftentimes people are living the expectations of their parents, peers or teachers and not living life based on their own wants and passions.
While guidance and inspiration play a role in someone’s drive to accomplish goals and reach success, it can also be quite hindering.
When we decide to go with the flow and allow others to essentially navigate our life, we risk losing ourselves and our true desires.
We can easily see how this tradition conditions young adults into the belief that they need to do what the people around them are doing. That they need to have as many accomplishments, or make as much money as their peers.
Not only does this mindset carry into adulthood, it pretty much finds its way into every area of life.
We eventually find ourselves comparing our lives to those around us. Especially when we see them accomplish things we haven’t.
And this very mindset is also to blame for how we feel when we are “rejected” or when we “fail”. And most of all it leaves us with the false belief that we are failing.
Rejection & Failure Aren’t Real
I can’t even count how many times in my life I was convinced I really screwed up. Whether it was due to my personal mistakes, decisions or just because someone rejected me in any way. I was convinced I failed and there was no turning back.
But now, I like to believe that those countless failures I’ve come across is why I am able to see the bigger picture and why i now understand that it’s okay to feel unaccomplished.
It allowed me to see the truth.
And that truth is, rejection and failure are not real.
Looking back at the times I was convinced I failed, I was really just handed a lesson. An opportunity to go forward with life with a new understanding.
Because in most cases, you come out of a life lesson with greater wisdom.
That is if you took that opportunity to learn from the lesson.
Sometimes people take failures and setbacks personally and allow themselves to become stuck and unmotivated. And this is once again due to the conditioning that formed our mindset.
So while it’s not uncommon for one to find themselves stuck, it’s important is you don’t allow yourself to stay there.
Imagine thinking you’ve failed when you really were given the opportunity to have greater knowledge and wisdom.
That sounds like a win to me. Just a shift in how we view failures can really make them less dreadful when we come across them.
We can be more introspective and less reactive.
And when you really think about it, since failure isn’t real…neither is success.
Yes. I Said Success Isn’t Real.
Let me explain.
For starters, success is different for everyone.
To one person it’s graduating college and landing a high earning job. To another person it could be raising healthy and happy children who go out into the world to spread joy. And some might even see success in their ability to master failure.
Have you ever heard of someone being successful at failing?
Probably not but I’m sure you’ve heard of a successful person say they’ve never failed. If they have never failed then how and what did they learn?
Without mastering failure, success doesn’t exist.
This is why success is just another construct.
In order for it to really make sense we’d all have to understand success it as the same thing, and we don’t.
For the same reason following this societal rat race isn’t for all of us, neither is this false idea of success.
Not to mention that some people’s idea of success is living this perfect life where they are wealthy, healthy, genuinely happy and stress free.
That belief is essentially saying that a perfect life exists. And it does not.
So when we hear the word success, let’s remember that its subjective. So it’s okay to feel unaccomplished, especially when you understand that accomplishments are also subjective.
No One’s Life Is 100% Perfect
This is something I feel like a lot of people have a hard time understanding.
Especially in the world of social media.
Just like people decide what aspects of life they want to share in real life, or in a work setting, people choose what they want to share on social media.
So no, people on social media aren’t being fake when they only share their happy moments.
This idea is actually one I hear too often.
We don’t expect people to show up to work looking like a mess or constantly sharing negative experiences. While some people might do this, it’s usually not excepted or allowed. We are expected to show up as our best selves.
So why do we expect people to do this on social media?
We should already know that no one’s life is perfect. Expecting them to prove it is really just to make ourselves feel better so that we aren’t alone.
How about we break this stigma not by expecting others to be more transparent but by allowing ourselves to not need this validation from others.
When we realize perfection is just another thing that doesn’t really exist, we stop viewing the lives of people we see as successful also as perfect. We see them as human, as someone who is choosing to share their best parts of life.
Let’s change how we view people.
Because we all have struggles and failures. We all have some kind of insecurity. And we all have something to learn from one another.
Side note. Shout out to those who feel called to be transparent. You are definitely helping people see that no ones life is perfect.
However to people who think they are owed transparency. Let’s work on not needing validation from others and realize we are all struggling.
When we reach that understanding we can see thats it’s okay to feel unaccomplished.
Perfectionism In The Wellness World
As someone whose passion is inspiring others through holistic wellness, I feel it is my job to touch on this false idea of perfectionism in the wellness community.
We often see people share their perfect morning routines or wellness lifestyle habits.
As a viewer you might assume that this person has it all figured out.
And oftentimes no one claims to. It is once again how you are viewing the lives of others.
As someone who makes her bed, expresses gratitude, practices mindfulness every morning, I will tell you I still have my bad days.
And that is fine.
Sometimes I feel called to document it and other times I keep it to myself. There is no right or wrong way to go about it.
One shouldn’t feel pressured to share every failure or bad day to prove authenticity.
While transparency is important and appreciated. It should never feel forced.
There is not a single person who practices wellness 100% perfectly. We are all a work in progress and that is why wellness is a journey for most.
It usually begins as a means to self heal from a difficult, often traumatic experience that called for a major need for lifestyle changes.
Understanding that everyone has a struggle can remind you that it’s okay to feel unaccomplished. And though everything is not what it seems, it doesn’t mean that its inauthentic, just that there’s a lot we still don‘t know.
Overthinking & Over Analyzing
It’s easy to fall into the habit of overthinking what your purpose in life is and focusing too much on the people around you. Once again, especially in social media.
But it’s important to know that what is meant for you will find you. And most importantly, what’s meant for others is not meant for you.
We have to accept this or forever face our own insecurities each time we see someone else succeed.
Understanding that it’s okay to feel unaccomplished will also allow us to accept other people’s success. It is up to us to find ways to be at peace with where we are in life and if it’s not a place we enjoy, we need to take action.
We have to make the right moves, create the right habits that will lead to our own individual success.
Ensuring that we keep our eyes on our own prize is the only way we will find what’s meant for us.
It might take a lot of reprogramming, and will come with a lot of failure, but it’s absolutely necessary to make these changes if you want a life that is authentically successful in whatever way that means for you.
Here are some ways you can begin this journey.
5 Key Habits To Focus On If You Feel Like You’re Failing At Life
1. Meditate On Your Purpose
I’m sure you hear it often. Whether it’s in my previous blog posts or in other personal development platforms.
But meditation is truly life changing.
Whether it’s for reducing stress, honing your spiritual abilities, or even as deep as finding your purpose.
Medtiation allows you to sit with your deepest thoughts and feelings that are often suppressed. And the more often you practice, the easier it will be to connect with your subconscious and find what you’re looking for.
Simply asking your question before you begin your practice will allow seemingly random thoughts and ideas to pop up. These thoughts act as clues and messages, so pay attention.
If you’re able to sit still long enough and allow yourself to listen to your thoughts and feelings without judgment you will find what you’re looking for.
If you need some help with meditation I wrote a post on mindfulness that has a simple mindfulness meditation exercise. Check it out here.
Here are some great questions to ask for finding your purpose:
What’s something I loved to do as a child?
What do people always come to me for advice about?
What’s something I am willing to struggle for?
What do I want to be remembered for when I die?
2. Express Gratitude
If you’ve been following my wellness journey on Instagram you will know that gratitude is a huge part of my rising ritual.
I take a few moments each morning to express what I am most grateful for.
Expressing gratitude is a great way to focus on the areas in life that are often overlooked.
It’s not every day we notice how lucky we are to have simple things like warm clean bed sheets or food stocked up.
While these seem like very basic things, there are people who are struggling to maintain it.
One thing I always express gratitude for each morning is that I woke up.
Each day nearly 150,000 people don’t get the chance to wake up to a new day.
To think we weren’t one of them is something to be grateful for.
Along with the overlooked areas in our lives, gratitude also helps us realize how far we have come.
Sometimes I have days where I am grateful for a hot shower because I remember a time in my life where I didn’t have access to a hot shower.
I am often thankful for my good health days because I have spent too many days in my life in some sort of pain or discomfort due to an illness.
Choosing to see the good via gratitude also reminds me that It’s okay to feel unaccomplished, that hard times are temporary. They come and go, but I will always overcome them.
Express gratitude for the opportunities that crossed your path. Be grateful for these failures for placing you exactly where you are, or even for showing you exactly what you needed to change about your life to get to where you want to be
3. Try Reflective Journaling
Journaling is another habit that always comes up in my blog posts or other personal development platforms.
And that’s because it truly is that effective.
Reflective journaling allows you to be introspective and analyze your thoughts and growth. By making it a habit to write in it daily or at least a couple of times a week you can look back and see the progress you’ve made.
The ability to document your process allows you to reflect on how much you’ve grown.
This will allow you to see that you are in fact making progress in life when it feels like quite the opposite.
You can compare your past self to your future self. Instead of comparing yourself to someone on the internet, who you don’t even really know.
Some great reflective journal prompts to start with are:
What makes you unique?
What would you tell your teenage self?
Describe the happiest moment of your life.
What things can you change to live more consciously?
Name three challenges you have overcome and how they changed you.
Having a nice journal dedicated to reflections helps you stay on track. Moleskins are my favorite basic journals but The Lucid Habits Ritual is a great journal to start with if you struggle to write on the spot.
4. Practice Conscious Living
Now this one is not an overnight success one. Not that any of the above are.
But conscious living is more of a lifestyle change than a daily habit. It’s a whole new mindset makeover.
Conscious living is having awareness of everything you do, say or feel.
When you’re practicing conscious living you are no longer living life passively. You are taking charge and being more mindful.
It goes hand in hand with living life holistically. You are bringing awareness to all areas in your life and finding ways you can improve them for your overall life experience.
It’s also having self awareness and being more introspective.
Conscious living has a direct effect on not only how you see the world but how you see yourself.
You become less reactive and less judgmental when you apply awareness to interactions and experiences. You begin to see that it’s okay to feel unaccomplished because you understand that changes need to be made.
I will write a more detailed post about conscious living as it can be a tricky subject to understand for some.
5. Practice Shadow Work
This is one topic I’ve been meaning to touch on since i began this blog. Shadow work has been a huge part of my journey since 2012 and I don’t know where I’d be without it.
Shadow work is working with your shadow self in an authentic way that allows you to be more introspective and in control of your emotions.
Simply put, you deal with your sh!t. You Face your demons. Unlock your triggers. Tap into your repressed emotions.
You sit down and make a conscious effort to address your shadow. It’s a journey of healing and growth that can be painful but ultimately freeing and can really unlock what subconscious emotions are holding you back from understanding that it’s okay to feel unaccomplished.
The simplest way to start is with a shadow work journal.
However as you learn more about shadow work you can do shadow work in a meditative state or as an exercise on a self made work sheet.
I plan on writing a detailed blog post about shadow work where I will go into detail and share some shadow work journal prompts.
In the mean time start out with a shadow work journal. These are some I found on amazon.
Explore, Experiment & Discover
Overall the goal is to change the mindset of following the crowd. To allow yourself to pave your own path and see that the things in your life that make you feel unfulfilled are really just your perspective.
Once you realize that life is a series of overcoming failures with new insight, you will see that your setbacks were really just pushing you forward.
Don’t follow someone else’s idea of success.
Take time to become more introspective and learn what it is you truly want.
Don’t be afraid to explore outside your, or your parents comfort zone.
Mistakes will happen and they will make you wiser.
Experiment with new things often to allow yourself a chance to decide if you actually enjoy something or not.
Don’t be afraid of “giving up”. Most people haven’t even made an attempt.
In doing this you will discover who you are and what your purpose truly is.
You will live a more meaningful life that is perfect for you.
I hope this helped you shift your perspective on your feelings of failure and understand that it’s okay to feel unaccomplished.
Please share in the comments an experience you had with failure that you were convinced you wouldn’t overcome but did.