Why do I feel like a failure? How can I stop feeling this way?
I totally understand how you must be feeling right now. I was in that place several times in my life. Believe me, it’s temporary.
When our life goes through frustrating phases, most of us tend to find every possible reason to be sad. This sadness acts as a slow catalyst towards the perceived final result : Giving up on life.
If you actually look on the other side, you’re probably at your lowest now. You’ve hit rock bottom. There’s no way down. The only way you can go is ‘up’. But going up isn’t possible till you figure out how. Unless you figure it out, you’ll be stuck at the rock bottom with no way to go.
There were 3 phases in my life where I felt like I had nothing to live for:
At 15, I found myself sitting on a huge rock wondering if I should jump off. I had seen the entire family cry for over 50 days because I let them down. I scored 88% in my Xth. They thought I was the best in the district. I came 5th in my own school. I saw the pain they felt every time I showed my face. I thought my presence is making the lives of everyone around me miserable.
At 17, I thought I had ruined my chances of getting into one of the best institutes in India due to my lack of internet knowledge. I hadn’t signed up for engineering counselling online. I was beaten up on the road and I felt I screwed up again and I should die this time. It was a miracle I found out 2 days before the counseling that I can attend it even if I hadn’t signed up online. I was thinking of killing myself 15 days before.
At 24, I was very serious about CAT and it gave me sleepless nights. I thought I had a woman in my life who would support me through. When I finally had calls from IIMs, she was the first person I wanted to inform and thank for being so supportive. She told me that I was busy with my own life and that her parents have found a guy for her. We broke up that day. She was the only solace I had after a long and terrible childhood. That was the day I not only lost belief in love but also lost my ability to fall in love.
I won’t bother you with how I came out of each situation since this isn’t an interview or a KRA review and I am not trying to prove how good a fighter I am.
Here’s a list of things I learnt:
Believe that you are at the bottom and you can’t sink anymore. This is the most important step. Understand that you’ve been at the bottom for quite a while and you’ve gained nothing.
Pick yourself up and list all the things you want to do in life. This includes career, hobbies, passion, interests, etc. Please understand that “I want to be successful” isn’t a f***ing list. You need more than that.
Look at the things you need to learn to be worthy of the things on your list. Learn languages, skills, find people with similar interests etc.
It’s better to try and fail than just give up. if nothing, the former has a non-zero probability of success.
People tell you all bullshit about how you should do only what you’re passionate about. Fuck it! You’re gonna do what you want to do in life even if you don’t like it midway. This is the only reason your list should’t consist of only career. Passion gives you the spirit to stay in the career game and your career pays for the passion to be alive. They are interdependent.
All the people who answered your question can only provide you some solace and inspiration. But when it comes to taking a step, you’re alone. It’s your decision. Start learning what you need to do to complete your list.
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