Are you feeling defeated, like you have failed in life? Sometimes life beats us down, and every one of us has their portion of setbacks to endure. What matters is to learn valuable lessons from failure and keep trying no matter what.
Why do I feel defeated? 6 reasons
If you have been feeling discouraged and beaten down lately, first of all, you need to understand the reason why.
1. You struggle with facing failure
The most obvious cause of feeling defeated is going through a difficult time. You might have been denied a promotion or have lost your job. Your business might be doing worse, and you keep wondering whether it will survive these hard times.
When you put a great deal of effort and time into something you do, it’s natural to feel disappointed when things don’t go as expected. It’s so frustrating to see the results of your hard work getting lost due to an economic crisis or a strategic mistake.
It’s easy to feel like a loser in a situation like this, especially if other people and businesses in your area are doing fine. Learning from failure takes wisdom and patience.
2. You compare yourself to others
It could also be that the situation is not as severe as you think. You might waste too much time comparing yourself to others.
Perhaps you feel bitter when you see how your co-workers get a promotion while you stay behind. Or you watch other business owners successfully adjusting to the crisis while your sales are dropping desperately.
You may be wondering, “What do these people have that I lack? What am I doing wrong? Why are they more successful than I am?”
Maybe you also believe that it’s utterly unfair that you are beaten down by life while others are thriving. In any case, you have fallen victim to unhealthy comparisons, which is a more counter-productive habit than it may seem.
Not only does it leave you feeling defeated, but it also steals your time and energy.
3. You are going through a crisis
We encounter moments of crisis at different points in our lives. Whether it’s a transition from adolescence to adulthood or a mid-life crisis, these turning points often make us feel like everything is falling apart.
It’s during these moments that we often feel like we haven’t done enough. Like we should have tried harder and could have accomplished more. This is when we start wondering whether our whole life is a failure.
If you are feeling beaten down, it could be that you are going through a quarter-life or mid-life crisis.
Do you have a feeling that your peers are succeeding while you stay behind? Or that you should have achieved more at your age? Or that you have wasted too much time on the wrong things and now life is passing you by?
4. You feel not good enough
Insecurity can easily trick you into feeling like a failure. Self-esteem issues impair the way you view yourself and your achievements. You often get self-critical and too hard on yourself.
You see your whole life in a negative light and neglect your accomplishments and strong qualities. Maybe you are an insecure perfectionist and are haunted by the feeling that whatever you do, it is not enough. You are not enough.
Among others, self-criticism and low self-esteem can also prompt you to compare yourself to others. You feel like no matter how much you try, you can never catch up with other people.
5. You have too high expectations
It’s great to set your bar high and strive for greatness. But the point is to stay realistic. Unnecessary perfectionism and unattainable goals can only lead you to disappointment.
High expectations may stem from many sources – from too demanding parents to your own perfectionism. They make you chase unrealistic goals and set you for feeling defeated, discouraged, and not good enough.
Think about it – maybe you have set too high goals for yourself.
6. You’ve been chasing wrong goals
Finally, you might feel defeated because you’ve been pursuing the wrong goals.
We often go after someone else’s idea of success without even realizing it. From our parents’ expectations to peer pressure and social conditioning – all these things shape our perceptions in many ways. Among others, they affect our idea of what we want from life.
Some people choose a career based solely on what their parents want for them or what is considered prestigious in today’s society.
That could be the reason you are wondering why you feel discouraged and have no motivation to move forward and strive for greater career achievements. You could also feel like you are not doing enough to succeed.
In reality, the questions you should be asking yourself are: “Is it what I really want? Is it the right job for me? Does this career bring me fulfillment and a sense of meaning?”
What to do when you feel defeated?
When you face failure, it’s easy to feel beaten down. It’s easy to lose hope and motivation. But all it takes is to change your focus so that you can turn defeat into a valuable learning experience.
1. Learn from failure
Every defeat, every heartbreak, every loss, contains its own seed, its own lesson on how to improve your performance the next time.
This quote reminds us that feeling defeated is not a reason to quit. Instead, we should use failure as a lesson. No matter how paradoxical it sounds, defeat can be a strong driving force towards success.
You did something wrong and you failed. It’s an opportunity to learn from your mistakes and try once again, striving for better results.
Instead of dwelling on failure, use it as a valuable experience that can teach you important lessons. Think about the situation that has left you feeling beaten down.
What can you learn from it and how can you use this experience to do things better next time?
2. Celebrate your past achievements
This mental exercise works wonders for me when I feel defeated. I recall my past achievements and relive moments of triumph in my mind. I try to recall those memories in detail and experience those emotions in all their glory.
Try it next time when you feel beaten down. Celebrating your achievements will help you realize that failure doesn’t last forever and you will have more moments of success in the future.
It would be great if you could turn it into a meditation session. Take a comfortable sitting position, close your eyes, and recall a memory of your past success. Try to relive it and feel all those strong positive emotions you experienced at the moment of triumph.
Our mind is a wonderful tool. When we imagine or recall a positive feeling, it has the power to affect our current emotional state. So use this power to your advantage and fill yourself with positive emotions.
3. Instead of comparing yourself to successful people, get inspired by them
Another great way to cope when you feel defeated is to read a motivational success story. It would be great if you could find a story from someone who works in the same area as you.
Reading about other people who successfully dealt with challenges and reached success charges you with positive energy. The message all success stories convey is: “You can do it too! We all can do it!”
Learning from others’ success is very different from comparing yourself to them. When you compare yourself to those around you, you feel bitter, envious, and inadequate. This habit can only leave you feeling even more discouraged and defeated.
But when you read an inspirational success story, it does exactly the opposite thing. It encourages motivation, positive thinking, and self-belief. So instead of comparing yourself to more successful people in your field, use their stories as a source of inspiration.
4. Re-evaluate your goals and expectations
When defeat comes, accept it as a signal that your plans are not sound, rebuild those plans, and set sail once more toward your coveted goal.
This is another deep quote that inspires us to turn the experience of feeling defeated into a lesson. Sometimes failure is a sign that you should reconsider your plans, goals, and expectations.
Sometimes it can also indicate that you are walking the wrong path in life. But even if it’s not the case, you can regard failure as a source of motivation to reconsider your strategy or attitude.
Once again, think about the factors that led you to defeat. Could it be that some of your goals or expectations are unrealistic or imposed from the outside? Do you feel discouraged because you are chasing unattainable ideals? What if life beats you down over and over again because what you do is not right for you?
To sum up, don’t dwell on failure and negative emotions when you feel defeated. Failure is not a reason to give up or feel like you are not good enough. Instead, try to view the situation from a different angle and learn lessons from it.
After all, negative experiences are the best teachers.