How do you stay motivated when you fail at everything?

What happens when you fail at everything?

Every time that I try something new (grappling, pro wrestling, starting a YouTube channel, writing books, etc.), I feel like a complete failure. Why? BECAUSE I FAIL. It feels like I’ve failed at everything.

They say that if you don’t fail the first time around, your goals might be too boring. I say that failure sucks.

Here’s the thing: The trick to being even remotely successful at anything is to stay motivated when you feel like a complete failure.

failing at everything

“Failure should be our teacher, not our undertaker. Failure is delay, not defeat. It is a temporary detour, not a dead end. Failure is something we can avoid only by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing.” – Denis Waitley

I’ve never been a natural at anything. I’ve never truly been successful at one thing in my life. I’ve failed at so many things. It’s demoralizing. It’s awful when you don’t see instant results.

On the flip side, you have to stay positive when you fail because you don’t want to give up right away. You want to stay in the fight a little longer. It’s so much easier to just settle down. It’s so much easier to just do the easy things in life.

What happens when you fail at everything?

Any fool can post a quote to social media about stepping out of their comfort zone or failure. Nice quote. Most will just read it and keep on scrolling until they see a funny meme about pizza. Then they go back to being comfortable and boring.

What do you do when you fail at everything that you try?

You either give up or you keep on trying on that specific thing.

What else can you do? These are the only two options. Let’s look at both options.

Option #1: giving up.

There’s no shame in giving up. You can give up on one thing to focus on something else. I know that I’m never going to be an MMA fighter. I know that I’m never going to be professional chef. There are some goals that you can give up on to focus on what you have a chance at.

I know that there are a million quotes out there on failure. I get it. The reality is that there’s no benefit to failing in the moment. Who the hell wants to feel heartbreak? Who wants to feel like a loser when their business idea fails and they lose money?

You’re reading this because you care about getting ahead. It’s not easy to stay motivated. I feel like giving up all the time. You have to make a decision. There’s nothing wrong with giving up on the wrong things so that you can focus on the right things.

Option #2: keeping on.

This is often glorified. We all know someone who stuck around long past the point that most would’ve given up at. The world doesn’t always reward you for sticking around the longest (ask any guy in the friend zone). If you’re going to keep on keeping on, then you better be ready for the road ahead of you.

How do you stay motivated?

Here are a few quick ways to stay motivated with your goals:

  1. Watch acceptance speeches. I love watching speeches. You see a successful person struggle to put their emotions into words. You get excited because you want your moment. We all want our moment. I live for the moments where it’s all about me. Take some time to go through YouTube and find the various inspirational graduation/retirement/acceptance speeches. These should amp you up.
  2. Think of why you started. Why did you start? Find that fire from day one. Don’t get caught up by those who didn’t make it telling you that you can’t do it. Use your starting point as motivation to get going.
  3. Remember who’s watching. Do you have critics? Do you have supporters? They’re all watching. Everyone that you know is watching. People who you don’t even think know you exist are out there watching you. Never forget this.
  4. Plan for little wins. You’re not going to get signed to the UFC after your first grappling session. You should get excited about the small wins. This is what successful athletes do. All you can think about is the next practice or the next play. You can’t be worrying about what’s going to happen two years down the line. Focus on the next small task at hand. For me, that task was finishing this article.
  5. Reward yourself. It’s okay to have some fun. This planet is filled with some boring people. Reward yourself for a job well done. I used to reward myself in college with little escapes after every semester ended.

It doesn’t matter how you stay motivated as long as you don’t feel sorry for yourself. The world will never reward you if you spend any time whining on social media. Find any way you can to motivate yourself. Decide quickly if you’re going to give up on that goal or keep on moving forward with it.

Is it okay to fail?

Yes.

You should fail. You should do stuff that scares you. You should always be stepping out of your comfort zone.

It’s okay to fail because at least you’re going to know that you tried. I don’t know about you but I feel much better about trying and failing as opposed to just not trying.

The way I see every challenge is like this. I think of being 60 years old and looking back on my life. Do I want to live with any regrets? If I give it my all and do whatever it takes, then I’m never going to feel ashamed of myself. The biggest shame comes from not trying or giving up too early.

For some quick motivation read up on how Matt quit his job or how Jacquelyn paid off her debt. These were the readers who weren’t afraid of success. Too many of us are afraid of both success and failure. So we do nothing because it’s safer.

What’s left to do?

You need to write your goals down. You need to find a way to stay motivated and accountable. You need to keep track of where you’re going and where you’ve been.

You need to start writing shit down. Hope isn’t a game plan. Start writing about your journey. We often forget how far we have already made it. It’s critical to remember where you started and how far along you are in your journey.

It’s also EXTREMELY critical that you know where you want to go and how you plan on getting there.

“Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.” – Winston Churchill

31 thoughts on “How do you stay motivated when you fail at everything?”

  1. Abhilash @Money Transfer

    You have listed some good points. Its very difficult to stay motivated when we are failing in everything. I haven’t had enough success in my field and I failed in starting a blog and writing career. I found a solution when I started a blog in Blogger and very happy for that like I’m really motivated or impressed but that’s not count as a success in any ways. I still count that as a success because I have motivate myself for something or I lose everything. Nice post. Thank You

  2. These ideas are critical for helping students. The idea that you are a failure if you don’t do well on a test permeates society.

    The first time I took the G.R.E. I had pneumonia and coughed throughout the entire test.

    The room was all wood and echoed with each cough. I was so embarrassed. I don’t remember the results, I threw them away.

  3. Do you have a post about what mistakes you made in your businesses, and what you learned from them?

    I’m thinking of working on a very ambitious project, so I’m planning ahead on how to deal with failure (should it arise) in order to adapt to the situation or persevere.

    It would be helpful to read what you learned to do and avoid in your journey!

    Many thanks for this uplifting post.

  4. Great article, but it’s a little hard when you fail at everything and have depression to boot. I failed so bad. I’m starting to fail at failing. Like I literally just dropped out of grad school — Fail. Then I messed up the withdrawal process- failing at failing. I suck. But good to those of who can make it. Please don’t be me.

    I will try the steps you listed though, so thanks.

    1. Thanks for your visit. You’re not a failure. One of my good friends dropped out of grad school and it was the best decision of his life. Please send me an email. I’m here to help.

  5. For two years after 2016 graduation college, I tried things too: youtube, writing a book, drawing, lots of things on trying to get a job, but everything I try I ended up getting denied or ignored. I was so close to hanging myself a few times.

    I have never been a winner my whole life, but what can I do? keep going and find a new hobby? I don’t know.

    1. Omg please seek help. It’s never worth hanging yourself. These are all minor things in the grand scheme of life. I’m going to email you. I’m here for you.

  6. I fail at everything I do. People say that I’m smart, and I must be living the high life but it’s all a lie. I’m always depressed. I’ve been consistent with eating plans and failed, workout plans, failed, my body doesn’t change like everyone else’s does. I’ve been working at my business for 7 years and still barely get by. No one wants to pay for my service or what I’m worth, and it’s so frustrating. People say to just get new clients, and I try for those, but alas no one wants to pay for that either. I’m so lost in life. I regret everyday not graduating from school, or going into computers like I should of. Nothing works for me, and I am just so unhappy all the time.

    1. I’m really sorry to hear Jeff. I know what it’s like to feel like a failure. I’ll send you an email to follow up. I would like to know more about your business.

      1. For me it is amount having enough money. I started a dog treat business but it failed to lack of money. I can’t get a loan to get a another store and no one cares to help me. I do not know how to get funds or even how to do a business plan. I fail at everything, I want go home to jesus

  7. I can relate to everyone here. Just took the real estate exam for my state and bombed it. It was comical because I just knew I had passed. I exert myself everyday applying to at minimum 7 jobs. I get rejected all on the same day with different reasons( position filled) or ( although your qualifications are impressive..
    .) Just can’t seem to get away from my current job. I passionately hate it however, I appreciate it and need the income. 2 businesses failed, one restuarant..never got off the ground…tried to make jewelry…i suck at it.
    How do I keep a smile and keep trying? I realize the silver lining and I perfect my craft. I can’t get a different JOB because I realize I am here for something more than working for someone. I still have a smile in mid adversary. I pray amd trust the powers that be to keep me at the very lease…sane.
    Its very hard to push through however, you have no choice but to succeed!

  8. Christian Paley

    I am true failure
    Failed in relationship/marriage
    Kicked out of the airforce (honorably)
    Failed paying my bills cause lost of job
    Failed at keeping my home (lost it)
    Failed at keeping my car (reped)
    Failed at college twice academic dismissals
    Failed in child custody battle ( thatd cause i. A man and can afford a lawyer)
    Failed at paying debt i owe cause i struggle everyday
    Had false rape charges put on me….and judge found she was lying…
    Failed ice cream business
    Fucking failing a uber! For god sakes.

    I should end it all………

  9. I moved to Jacksonville over a year ago and have been trying to find a job since I moved, but I am still jobless. I have had many interviews and been hired just to be told the position was no longer available and I’m just not sure what to do anymore. I have put in so many applications its ridiculous. Due to some medical issues I have I cant stand for long.

  10. I am a complete failure pushing 50. Nothing works for me. Failed at job and personal relationship. I start in all earnest but soon defeat gets the better of me. You can call it a jinx. Despair, depression, defeat and dejection stare at me everywhere. I know I am too old for this. But pouring out my woes helps somewhat lighten the mental burden. I don’t remember in one moment my fairly long and.listless life when I could call myself a reasonable success.

  11. Thanks for your prompt reply, Martin. Somehow, nothing clicks for me, despite my making efforts for it. I seek avenues and hit a dead-end. I only hope for the best but that is it. I don’t know why. This is bothering and continuing for me.

  12. I’m only in middle school, but I’ve failed at everything. Whenever I try to do something, I never get what I wanted. Whether it’s popularity, a spot on student council, and honors class, first place on ANYTHING, or getting good at something, I ALWAYS fail. I know these aren’t big issues, but to me, enough small failures can build up. I feel worthless, and like nobody cares about me besides my family. And I feel like I even disappoint them! No matter how hard I try at anything, I will always fail. Maybe I’ll be better off in my next life.

    1. Cleo, it’s easy to feel like a failure. We’ve all been there. At least you have your family, some people don’t even have that. I’ve failed at everything myself. Keep your head up. Email me if you want to talk.

    2. I know just how you feel Cleo. I’m in eighth grade, and I just got denied my spot on the National Junior Honors Society because a was 1/2 of a point away from the grade average requirement. I worked hard for two years to keep my grades up so that I could be part of the NJHS, and all that work was for nothing because of 1/2 a point. And I mean literally a 1/2 a point. The requirement is a 96 or above average and my average was a 95.47. It just makes me so mad that all of my hard work was for nothing. My family says that I have nothing to be ashamed of, and they’re almost right. The only things I have to be ashamed of is myself and my lack of ability to reach any of my goals whatsoever. It sucks. Like you Cleo, I know these aren’t big issues, and I feel bad for everyone worse off than me, but I just needed to vent my disappointment in myself.

        1. Hey everyone, here’s a quick update. Life really sucks. My guinea pig is sick. My dog is going to die in the next few weeks and there is nothing we can do to prevent it, and I’m not speaking with my dad because we got into a big fight this morning. I don’t know what to do. Also, I forgot which email this account was hooked to so if the avatar is different that’s why

  13. It’s hard to stay motivated when everything I do gives me the same result: failure. It’s like, how do you define the word insanity? I always think that insanity is defined as doing something repeatedly and expecting a different result. Whether it’s trying to get a job that requires some use of all the education I’ve put myself through, or trying a certain workout regimen, or trying to meet new people (to either expand my social circle or have a serious relationship), or trying to achieve some level of mastery at the guitar (3 years in and I still feel like a beginner). I can’t try any harder. When will the cycle break? It feels like I’m banging my head against a wall. I just want to be good at something.

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