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Don’t Want To Feel Like A Failure Anymore? Stop Doing These 6 Things




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It’s pretty annoying isn’t it? All those great and accomplished people telling you that FAILURE is a necessity on your way to success. Yeah, that’s easy for them to say; they’re already ‘on the other side’! You on the other hand, are still struggling all day everyday to get your business lifted off the ground and are really not that sure if you’re indeed going to make it.

There’s that little voice in your head that keeps telling you that you don’t have the stuff to make it all happen. Not now and not ever. You feel like a failure…it’s holding you back and you don’t know how to deal with it. Well you could do yourself a favor and start dealing with it by doing the following things:

1. Stop Denying You Feel Like A Failure

Telling yourself things are going great when they’re not is one of the biggest, though most useless, coping mechanisms human beings deploy in rough times. Common denial signals among entrepreneurs: trying to regain more control by working even more hours and on the other side compensating this by letting go of all this control by partying and drinking way too hard.

What you’re doing is denying yourself the opportunity to actually feel what’s going on and acknowledge the problem; that both you and your business are in a bad place. Without acknowledging it, it’ll be pretty difficult to actually STOP feeling it. And remember, just because you feel like a failure, this does not mean that you indeed ARE a failure!

2. Stop Making It Bigger Than it Really Is

This is one of those other ‘fun’ things human beings do; we blow things way out of proportion in our heads! In business, when you lose that big client you’ve been working on for weeks, it feels like it’s the end of the world. You start doubting yourself, your strategy, your entire business model right up to the point where you barely sleep because you’re working on pivoting the whole thing.

But what if that customer simply didn’t have the money to go for your service anyway? Or what if they just decided to go for someone who is cheaper but who offers less quality? Does that mean there’s something wrong with YOU? Or that this was the ONLY customer out there and that you’re now doomed forever?

Of course not, it simply means that THIS CUSTOMER wasn’t a match. It’s a bit like dating actually…So if you take this into consideration, could it be that you just feel like a failure instead of really not succeeding in that what you want to at this point in time?

3. Stop Thinking You’re The Only One Who Feels Like This

You’re not! With the possible exception of the true sociopaths, that feeling you’re feeling is very normal to EVERYONE. It might not seem like it on the outside – because people don’t like to acknowledge this remember – but I can guarantee you that it’s true. But unlike 99% of the world’s population, YOU’RE not going to let this feeling stop you in your tracks. Are you?

4. Stop Thinking You’re Supposed To Be Superhuman

In fact, it’s very likely that you’re already doing, learning and succeeding at WAY more than most other people are. But for entrepreneurs, somehow, that never seems to be enough. You don’t just want to be successful after a few years of hard work (which is normal). You want to be successful after only a few months. Because you’re special…or at least you think you are…

Well, here’s the truth: you ARE special! But…it’s just not very likely that you’re one of those – very very rare – entrepreneurial superstars that – seemingly – just added some hot water and got instant business success as a result.

5. Stop Being So Incredibly Stubborn

Entrepreneurs are stubborn…almost by default. It’s what makes them push forward in the hardest of times. But…if you’re not doing the right things right you might just be hammering a square peg through a round hole. Which will only add to that frustrated feeling you’re already having. So why not stop being so stubborn for a moment, stop hammering away on that what obviously is not working and ask for help?

No matter who you ask – a business mentor or coach, a befriended entrepreneur – someone with a neutral perspective on you and our business will be very likely to see what’s going on with a lot more clarity than you can and can guide you to a place that will feel a whole lot more comfortable.

6. Stop Being Afraid Of Failure

I know, I know, you’ve heard this a million times before and you wouldn’t be in this pickle if you could do this. Right? I’m right there with ya!

But, if you get really rational about it, what’s the worst that could happen?

  • You might have to get a ‘real’ job for a while and start over on the side;
  • You might not be able to afford your rent anymore…but with Airbnb on the 1 hand and couchsurfing on the other, you should be able to work it out somehow;
  • You’ll have all the more experience to start over a whole lot faster;
  • You’ll be no less respected by anyone because it’s clear you gave it your all;
  • In a few years, when you’re an established and supersuccessful entrepreneur you’ll also have a cool failure story to tell;
  • None of your limbs will fall off;

Now that’s not too bad for a plan B is it? Failure is such a negative word. And the associated feeling is terrible and numbing. But really…how is giving it your all and not succeeding really the same as failing? Shouldn’t the definition of failure not be along the lines of ‘not even trying’ or ‘giving up when it gets hard’?

In other words: stop beating yourself up over this!

There’s really no need to feel like a failure at all because you’re sticking your neck out, you’re trying to make a difference and you’re still moving upward on that treacherous entrepreneurial mountain.

And that…is what success REALLY is.

Those Who Failed Their Way To Success

Quotes To Live By:

“Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.” – Robert F. Kennedy

“If you don’t try at anything, you can’t fail… it takes back bone to lead the life you want” – Richard Yates

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” – Thomas A. Edison

“We are all failures – at least the best of us are.” – J.M. Barrie

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

“Don’t let success go to your head and failure to your heart” – Will Smith

Linda Coussement is a life coach, writer and documentary maker. She’s slowly travelling the world asking all sorts of people: “How is it to be you?” Get her 10-page workbook on how to turn your dreams into practical reality right here and/or connect with her on Facebook.



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    Aug 12, 2015 at 2:32 pm

    very good

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    Rose Costas

    Nov 11, 2014 at 7:35 pm

    Hi Linda

    Thanks for a great post. When I read your post I felt like you were directly speaking to me. I have been guilty of all of the above. I particularly like #6 because I find it so very hard not to feel like I have failed. I am not afraid to put in the time but whenever there is a set back as I prefer to call it I feel like I am the one who has failed. I am learning to look at it differently and I like the way you emphasize that giving your all couldn’t and shouldn’t be considered failing at all.

    Thanks for another great post.

    • Avatar


      Nov 13, 2014 at 10:02 am

      Thanks so much Rose! And I agree it is incredibly hard to change this perspective of not feeling like a failure but I stand by my words: when you’re giving it your best; you’re NOT failing.

      Think of Olympic athletes; we can all imagine the talent, the hard work and the passion that goes into training and making it to the Olympics. For that alone all these athletes are considered winners. But…I’m sure all of them not winning the gold feels like a failure nonetheless. Crazy humans!

      All the best with learning!

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    Michelle Russell

    Nov 9, 2014 at 5:12 pm

    Great article, Linda! I like the common-sense flavor of all your points. I think there’s a huge tendency to adopt the “fake it ’til you make it” attitude that gets trumpeted by so many (already successful) online businesspeople–which leads to cognitive dissonance because then we’re trying to appear confident while feeling the exact opposite. As a culture, we glorify success . . . but I really like the way you redefine what that really means at the very end of this post. 🙂

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    Nov 7, 2014 at 12:08 pm

    Thanks Scott! I’m not sure if it’s the Taurus or simply the entrepreneur in you (perhaps even the human being ;)) that is stubborn.

    I really like your addition; it’s very true that burn out is just around the corner and it’s so important to let go, even when it’s only for a little while.

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    Nov 6, 2014 at 4:36 pm

    Linda, I just love the points you’ve made here in such an entertaining and informative way. You kept my attention the whole way through!

    The first point is incredibly important. Until we can acknowledge reality (but without overlaying too much of our opinion on it), we can’t take constructive steps to improve. While I advocate positive thinking, reality isn’t relentlessly positive!

    Well done.

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      Nov 7, 2014 at 12:05 pm

      Thanks for that Lynn! And yes…we loooove living in denial but there’s really no possibility for change if we don’t first acknowledge that it is necessary!

    • Avatar


      Nov 7, 2014 at 3:56 pm

      Thanks Lynn! Denial is a fantastic place to live (we tell ourselves) but is indeed not the place where any positive change, let alone the desired magic, happens! Positivity comes from being okay with that what seems or feels negative!

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    Nov 6, 2014 at 3:23 pm

    Linda – Great article! I’ve definitely been guilty of all of these at one time or another. I particularly resonate with #5—I’m stubborn to a fault (must be the Taurus in me), and many times believe that I have all the right answers when in fact I’m so mired in what isn’t working that I lose sight of the bigger picture. Having a mentor or coach is essential for times like that.

    One thing I might add to your list is to stop believing that working long hours, everyday, is the answer to success. That can lead to burn out very quickly and accelerate those feelings of failure. Calculated breaks and mini-vacations are absolutely critical to refresh the mind, and they allow you much needed distance in order to gain perspective.

    • Avatar


      Nov 7, 2014 at 3:58 pm

      Thanks for that addition Scott! It’s definitely true that working too many hours is one of the big traps entrepreneurs (and many others) fall in. I’m actually really guilty of it myself…

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