'I'm Such A Failure'

‘I’m Such A Failure’ and Here is What I Want You to Know

‘I’m such a  failure’

If you’ve never quietly said it about yourself, then you will most likely have heard it from someone else.

This post is to help you help others you have problems with a failure mindset.

For myself, I can so easily personalise my failures into ‘I’m a failure’.

And look, I’m not trying to get sympathy or have a pity party. I’m not being a Poor Little Old Me. (P.L.O.M). It’s a thinking rut I and many others slide into with devastating ease.

I try to do the right thing. I aim for a goal but never seem to quite hit it in the bullseye.

Actually the word ‘Never’ is probably not right. It feels like ‘never’. Along the way, I do have successes. I don’t always fail.

However, if I don’t address this failure mindset then this thinking rut will just get deeper and longer. Pretty soon any activity I engage in there will be the expectation of failure. [pullquote]Though you fail, you are not a failure, unless you fail to learn something from it. David Riddell[/pullquote]’The brain’ as Dr Rick Hanson says ‘ takes shape from what it rests on’. If you are dwelling and ruminating on failure messages then those patterns are just going to get stronger and stronger.

Here is how you can help

  • Help me aim at things that I can do. I am not you or anyone else. So please help to find my unique level of performance. Please don’t play the comparison game it will only result in frustration and inner turmoil in everyone involved.
  • Help me discover what I can learn from those failings.
  • Praise every effort I make. Even when I fail, I will have achieved some things and those need to be acknowledged and treated as stepping stone successes.
  • Help me focus on the success of learning something new from the failure.
  • Watch your body language. That critical, dismissive eye combined with waving of hands, sighing etc just reinforces to me failure messages.
  • Remind me of the successes I have had. Show me pictures of when I have succeeded. My brain really enjoys images.
  • Don’t give me trite sayings like ‘Better luck next time’.
  • Don’t take my failings as your failings. I have to take responsibility for the choices and decisions I make.
  • Please don’t rescue me. Help me, support me, encourage me, but please never do something for me that I could and should be doing for myself. [pullquote]“The more you dwell on the negative, the more accustomed your brain becomes to dwelling on the negative” Dr Hanson[/pullquote]

This ‘thinking I am a failure’ is a very easy thinking rut to fall into. It’s like your thoughts are all ok and then suddenly something happens and it shoves you into this gluggy mud filled thinking rut of being a failure.


Remind me of the ladder rung insights that I can once again pull myself out with.

7 Ladder Rung Insights

  1. I am neither my failures or my successes. I am loved by God and this love never fails.
  2. The truest love keeps no records of wrongs (failures) 1 Corinthians 13:5
  3. Jesus lived life to the full with those who were considered failures by others.
  4. Even when people failed Jesus, he had a plan of restoration. Think Peter, Paul, Prodigal Son
  5. Our failings are Gods invite for closer connection and some serious personal learning.
  6. Grace is at the heart of deep change. (Roger Heuser) God gives me grace and I will give it to myself.
  7. Progress is made through having failures. Risk nothing gain nothing. Keep going.

So, are you a failure? Only if you choose to see yourself in this way.

Quotes to consider

  • The brain takes the shape of whatever the mind rests upon. Dr Rick Hanson
  • When the failure has prompted some serious personal learning, then it’s no longer truly a failure. David Riddell
  • When we, at last, admit our flaws and failure, we gain a stronger personal center and greater peace. Dan Allender

Questions to answer and a comment below or click here to leave an anonymous response.

  1. What have you learnt from your failures?
  2. What can we learn from people in the Bible about failure?
  3. Which of the 7 insights above spoke to you most deeply?
Barry Pearman
Further posts to read.

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