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Consult a counselor to help you work through the feeling that you suck at life. Simply click here to connect with one via BetterHelp.com.
“I suck at life.”
That’s what you think.
That’s what you tell yourself.
Heck, that’s what you tell other people.
Jeez, give yourself a break!
Sure, your life may not look how you want it to. And it may not look like the lives of other people.
But this doesn’t mean you suck at everything.
Let’s tackle this one step at a time, shall we?
1. Have you been to a doctor?
If you have never been to see a doctor about how you feel, that ought to be your first step.
They can help to diagnose any potential physical or psychological issues and begin to treat them.
There are plenty of health problems that can lead you to feel less than chipper about how your life is going.
Depression could be the cause. This might be standalone or linked to other physical and emotional disorders.
It’s worth consulting this page (<– click the link) to give you a rough idea whether you may be depressed (though you ought to go to a doctor to get this confirmed).
2. How should you be living your life, anyway?
This is a loaded question. The word ‘should’ can cause people a great deal of mental anguish.
Should is an expectation.
Should is a command.
Should puts an awful lot of pressure on people.
You see, when it comes to life in general, it’s easy to get in the mindset of believing there is a right way to live it.
And that you should be aiming to live that life.
But who the hell writes the rules about what a good, non-sucky life looks like?
No one. There are no rules.
And yet you think there are. You have written some rules for your own life and you think you are breaking them.
And so you reach the conclusion that you suck at life.
You probably look around at other people and decide that they are living life the right way and, thus, by definition, you must be living life the wrong way.
3. What do you actually want to do?
Instead of thinking in terms of what you should be doing with your life, ask yourself what you want to be doing.
Let’s imagine you have a free day to do whatever you like.
The evening before, you sit and you think about what you are going to do.
But you probably think in shoulds, not wants.
You think you should be waking up early, going for a jog around the local park before having a healthy breakfast.
Then you think you should probably clear a few chores from your to-do list before spending the afternoon doing some intellectually stimulating activity, probably with other people.
Then dinner with your partner or drinks with your friends to round off the day.
You don’t really want to do anything of those things.
And because you don’t, you believe that you must be living life the wrong way.
Your ideal day looks a lot different.
You want to get up around 10, have last night’s leftover pizza for breakfast, lounge around in your PJs until midday while listening to music or gaming.
Then, come the afternoon, you want to either continue doing the same, or just hang with some friends in the park, talking about nothing in particular.
Finally, you want to grab a takeaway and watch some TV or a movie until it’s time to hit the sack.
The problem is, there’s a voice in your head telling you that the shoulds from the first day are right and the wants from the second day are wrong.
So you make plans to do the shoulds, but fail to follow through on those plans and end up doing the wants instead.
And all the while, you feel anxious about the fact that you’re wasting your life and will end up a miserable failure.
But here’s the kicker… if you genuinely want to do something, then doing it is actually a success, even if the thing you want to do doesn’t fit the image of what is a good use of your time.
4. Do you hate your job and see it as pointless?
This is a major factor in why many people think they suck at life.
Let’s face it, if you have a job, it takes up quite a lot of your awake time.
And if all you see when you look at your job is a pointless cog in an even more pointless machine, it’s no wonder you don’t see your life in a positive light.
Let’s say you flip burgers for a living and earn a pretty low wage for it.
It’s probably not what you imagined yourself doing when you were younger, right?
But perhaps you didn’t get the grades to go to college or dropped out of school because of certain circumstances in your life.
And so you ended up taking this job because it pays the bills and puts food on the table.
But you still see yourself as a failure and you see your job as of no consequence to anyone.
This is partly society’s fault. Because we pay low skilled jobs so poorly, it implies that their contribution to the world is less and that the people doing those jobs are worth less.
And people being ‘worth less’ in terms of wage can quickly become people thinking they are ‘worthless’ in terms of their self.
But here’s the mental switcheroo you can do…
You see, although they may not realize it, the person who bites into a burger for lunch has you to thank for it.
Just like the person who buys their groceries at the store has those people who fill the shelves and scan their shopping to thank.
And the people (i.e. everyone) who get their trash taken away from their house each week have the garbage collectors to thank.
These jobs are what you might consider small cogs in a machine, but so are most jobs when you think about it.
And machines only work as well as the cogs inside them. Even if a small cog breaks, the whole machine comes grinding to a halt.
So, sure, you may think you suck at life because your job is low paid and doesn’t appear to contribute all that much to the world, but somebody has to do it.
5. Stop thinking in black and white.
Do you ever look at other people and think they suck at life too?
And this exposes yet another chink in your “I suck at life” identity.
Chances are, you think in terms of black and white.
In other words, you think you suck at everything, whilst at the same time thinking other people are near enough perfect.
It’s one standard for you and another for everyone else.
But neither of these things is true. You actually have a lot of things you’re good at and everyone else has lots of things they struggle with.
So it’s neither black nor white – it’s always a shade of gray.
All you have to do is open your eyes to the reality of the situation. Stop putting everyone else on a pedestal and stop berating yourself for being useless and worthless.
Learn how to find your talents and keep these at the forefront of your mind when you begin to slip back into self-loathing thoughts.
6. Break free from confirmation bias.
You truly believe that you suck and you see evidence to support this belief all around you.
You’ve fallen victim of confirmation bias.
This is when we, “search for, interpret, favor, and recall information in a way that affirms one’s prior beliefs or hypotheses.” (via Wikipedia)
Let’s repeat these four things…
You search for information that shows how much you suck.
You interpret information as showing that you suck, even when it doesn’t.
You favor information that confirms you suck over information that shows you don’t.
You recall information from the past – memories of events – that confirms you really do suck whilst ignoring memories that show otherwise.
This links back in with the previous point about black and white thinking.
You can’t see the evidence staring you in the face that proves you don’t suck at life because you are too busy believing you do.
So make a conscious effort – and it will be a big effort to begin with – to notice all of the things you do that are good and worthwhile.
7. Release the pressure you put yourself under.
Remember all those ‘shoulds’ we talked about earlier? The things you believe you have to be doing for your life to mean anything.
Those shoulds weigh a lot, and the more you pile on top of yourself, the more pressure they will exert.
That vision of a perfect life you have in your head – it doesn’t exist.
And because it doesn’t exist, it is pointless trying to live up to it.
When you feel the pressure mounting, tell yourself: “Enough is enough!”
This has twofold meanings…
…firstly, you are jolting yourself out of your mindset and saying that it’s about time you stopped with all the negativity.
…secondly, it’s a reminder that more is not always better. Sometimes, enough of something really is enough.
Let’s expand on that second point a little.
You see, many human beings live with a scarcity mindset. This is one that says resources are finite and we need to be hoarding as much as we can in order to survive.
When you say you suck at life, you are expressing a view that you do not have enough of some form of resource.
You don’t have enough money or possessions, you don’t have enough friends, or you don’t have enough happiness.
But be honest, you have more than you think. Maybe not in the resources you prize the most, but you probably have lots of things that you take for granted.
If, instead, you nurture an abundance mindset, you will recognize the riches you have at your disposal. The freedoms you have, the moments of peace and quiet, the safety of a roof over your head.
And how can anyone suck at life when they have all these things – and more! – to be thankful for?
So take the pressure off yourself by reigning in your expectations and wishes and being truly grateful for those things you can count as yours.
Enough really is enough when it comes to the things you do or don’t do in life.
8. Tackle the stresses in your life.
You know what stress can do? It can make you think and believe things are worse than they are.
If there are lots of sources of stress in your life, try to find ways to rid yourself of some of those things.
Start small and tackle one thing at a time. You won’t be able to live stress-free – very few people do – but you can slowly get your stress under control.
And as you do, you’ll start to see that you don’t entirely suck at life and that you are more capable than you think.
Stress and stressful situations are just a part of life. The key is to keep on top of these things so that you don’t get buried underneath them.
9. If you want to change, take small, steady steps.
Wherever you are in life, it doesn’t hurt to look at ways that you may be able to change things to bring about greater self-worth and inner peace.
In your current situation – with the mindset you have – it’s best to approach change slowly and with focus.
Don’t try to change everything that you don’t like about your life.
Just try to change ONE thing… a SMALL thing.
You see, momentum is a powerful thing, but it takes a while to build up. So you have to start small in order to get the wheels of change moving.
And focusing on one thing avoids overwhelm and distraction from creeping in.
Once you have managed to change something small and that change feels like it is going to stick, move on to another.
Keep them small at first and work your way up from there.
Still believe you suck at life and want to do something about it? Not sure where to begin? Speak to a counselor today who can walk you through the process. Simply click here to connect with one of the experienced counselors on BetterHelp.com.
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- “I’m Not Good At Anything” – Why This Is One BIG Lie
- Why Do I Hate Myself So Much? How Can I Stop These Feelings?
- 20 Healthy Coping Skills: Strategies To Help With Negative Emotions