Let's Talk Feeling Like a Failure
For today’s post, we’re going to get personal. I recently took a poll on my Instagram and, much to my surprise, a lot of you guys wanted to see more about my personal experiences rather than fashion and beauty. So, for this week’s post, we’re going to get SUPER personal and talk about something that’s been weighing on me for a really long time: feeling like a failure.
Originally I was going to make a video about this topic but I feel that sometimes during my videos I don’t get to say everything I want to no matter how many times I try filming it or how much I write down. With blog posts I can go back and edit and rework and make sure the post is exactly how I want it. I thought it might also be cool to do this in a more Question and Answer style so make sure you let me know what you think of it. Here we go.
Q:When Did I First Feel Like a Failure?
A: When Nothing Was Going to Plan
I first started feeling like a failure right around the end of my College Program. I feel like I talk about my DCP a lot on here but you have to understand that it was such a pivotal, eye-opening part of my life. My whole life I had been taught to have a plan. And I did. And when I got to Disney I had a plan. I was going to graduate college, go intern for Disney, take some of their Public Relations classes, go back and do a Professional Internship with Disney and stay with the company forever. Obviously that didn’t happen.
I couldn’t get into the Disney classes. Halfway through my program I realized that Disney does not treat it’s park employees very well and I was fed up working for a company that I felt didn’t respect me. So, once it was over I went home with no intention of ever working for the Walt Disney Company and I was back to square one. I went home feeling so disheartened and lost and scared and my anxiety spiraled out of control. I had to try and find a job in my career, I was stressed about making my money last and I felt like I had disappointed my parents.
It was shortly after I returned home (about a month or two after, I’d say) that I took a job with Safety Marketing Services. I was over the moon. It was a job doing what I loved (writing), it was close to home, and it had great benefits. However, I soon realized that this wasn’t the dream job I envisioned. I’ve been very open about this time in my life and I’ll be open about it now. I hated working for SMS. I feel like I was tricked. I was told I’d be writing but instead was stuck in data entry. I didn’t feel comfortable in this work environment. I felt like I was always being stuck with silly busy work. I felt like nobody took what little writing I did there seriously. After a while I started to resent working there.
After a few months I was let go and then I REALLY started to spiral. My relationship with Edwin was getting really, really tough at the time and my anxiety was starting to suffocate me. Every day I’d wake up and instantly be afraid of whatever might cause a panic attack. Will Edwin and I get into a fight today? Will I have something to do at work? I hate that I cry so much - why do I cry so much? Man, when I tell you I was in a really dark place.
So what’s the point I’m trying to make out of all this (that I’m pretty sure I’ve told you all a million times)? One of my biggest mistakes was making a plan and thinking that I had to follow that plan exactly. I built these huge expectations and envisioned this dream life that didn’t happen. I know that’s a fault that I and so many others have but it’s so hard not to. I still do it now though I try to keep myself more grounded. Yes: it’s important to have dreams and goals and aspirations but please don’t beat yourself up if you don’t manage to reach them just yet. If you’re like me and are not the strongest person emotionally, it can be so detrimental to your mental and physical health.
Q: Why Do I Feel Like a Failure?
A: I’m Feel Like I’m Not Living Up To the Expectations Placed on Me
It’s no real secret that I’m incredibly hard on myself. I want to make others proud of me and that’s a mistake. I want to make others proud of me. Not myself. I do not find graduating college a tally in the success column. I do not find getting accepted and finishing the Disney College Program a tally in the success column. I do not find moving to California a tally in the success column. To me, these are just things that I wanted to do. I knew I was expected to finish college. The DCP was something I came to resent by the end of it. And California was one of the most on-the-fly decisions I’ve ever made.
Now let’s play devil’s advocate. Let’s say I do give myself some credit. But my problem is that I feel as if I haven’t done anything of stature since moving. I don’t see any big or small victories. At least not all the time. Sometimes I have to sit myself down and talk myself through all my small accomplishments so that I don’t go insane. For example: I’m much more extroverted now, I like going out and drinking and having a good time, I have a great group of friends, I get to be around Edwin all the time, and I’m learning to live on my own.
I have to constantly be talking myself out of negative states of mind. I have to constantly reassure myself that I’m doing fine. I’m only 24. And I think that’s were a lot of people get hung up. We get stuck in the idea that we have to be married, in our career and having our first child by the age of 25 or else we’ve failed. I feel like my generation is moving away from that kind of mentality. I know a lot of girls my age that don’t want to get married or have kids until well into their 30s and that’s fine. I also know a lot of girls younger than me that are already married and on their second child. It doesn’t matter when or how you do things as long as you’re happy doing them on your own timeline and even then you have to be open to maybe switching things around.
I know for me especially I have a problem with timelines and I think a lot of my anxiety stems from the fact that I feel like I’m not “on track.” I’m about to be 24, not in my career, nowhere near having a kid and marriage is still pretty far away. A few years ago this was really freaking me out. Heck - a few MONTHS ago this was still freaking me out. While it’s important to relax and understand that you have to give yourself time it’s also important not to get complacent. I know I’ve faced both extremes of that spectrum and I know that it’s a hard line to walk. I feel like I have a hard time being independent and that feeds into my anxiety and uncertainty in life.
Q: How Do I Stop Feeling Like a Failure?
A: Make the Necessary Changes
Talking myself out of feeling like a failure is almost a daily thing. Sometimes I get so frustrated with myself. I wish I could just be “normal” and not stress out so much about money to the point that I cry. I wish I could just take things as they come instead of overthinking everything. The thing is there are certain things I can and can’t control about myself. My reaction to things is one of them but it’s hard. For example: the other day I went to the DMV because I was trying to register my car in California. All I had were copies of the documents I needed and I KNEW they weren’t going to accept it. When I got up to the counter and the lady told me exactly what I already knew I got so frustrated I wanted to cry. WHY?!
I already knew what the outcome would be but I was so frustrated that I couldn’t fix that particular issue that day that it bothered me. Learning to understand that I will not always have instant fixes or instant gratification in life is something I need to get over. The sad truth is that sometimes I’m very much aware of my flaws and am aware of the changes I need to make but am too lazy to fix them. Obviously if that’s the case then I have no one to blame but myself. It wasn’t until recently, when Edwin hit me with some very hard facts, that I realized if I’m going to be a functioning adult, I need to handle my shit.
I’m not going to lie: it hurt to hear some of the things he said but damn it all he was right. That’s why it is so important to surround yourself with people that want the best for you. To have a partner that’s going to push you no matter how much you don’t want to budge. It’s important to understand that when someone you love is giving you hard pills to swallow it’s coming from a place of love. I’ve always been an advocate of surrounding yourself with people of quality and substance rather than a large group of empty people.
Now, more than ever, I feel a lot of young people feel like failures. With the rise of social media (Instagram in particular), it can feel like the rest of us are trying to catch up to a life we believe we should be living instead of just living a life we’re happy with. And I’m no different. I see all these beautiful bloggers and influencers who are the same age as me if not younger traveling the world and going to parities and wonder “why am I not experiencing the same success as them?” Instagram is an amazing platform. It’s brought together so many people and lets so many individuals share their talents. I’m no different. I love using my instagram to practice my photography and hopefully build my brand. But the comparison needs to stop otherwise we’ll never be happy with what we have and we’ll always feel like a failure.
I hope you all enjoyed this week’s blog post and that it gave you piece of mind about where you’re at in your life. As long as you’re trying to pursue what you love - how can you fail? How can you not be happy?
See you all next week
The Hones Pisces