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Forums / Young people / Failing in life

Topic: Failing in life

8 posts, 0 answered
  1. Starfall
    Starfall avatar
    4 posts
    24 July 2020

    This year I'm 25, and I feel like I have failed in every area of life as a young person. Many people around my age already have the basics together- finished school, got an entry level job at least, have some savings, have a social circle already, are getting into relationships, moving out and moving forward in life.

    However I'm stuck. I started uni when I was 18 but dropped out when I was 20, was a bit lost until I was 23 and started picking back up my life again. My only completed qualification I have is a TAFE course, I only have about 1 year working experience in my field, I'm still studying online at uni and only barely over half way there. Just went to 4 job interviews in the past 2 weeks but got rejected by 2 of them cause of a lack of experience compared to other candidates. Since the whole virus thing is going on, I just want to find some stable work and financially stablise a little bit but finding no success so far.

    I still live with my parents, don't have much of a relationship with my family due to them being abusive to me in the past, still can't drive and not financially stable enough to move out. I'm hopeless when it comes to my social life too, I currently have no friends, nor do I have acquaintances that I keep in contact with, I've never been in any romantic relationship.

    I spend all my days stuck at home, looking for work online- sending in resumes, making cover letters and filling out long lists of addressment criterias. But my failures are burning me out in this area. Other than that I try to focus on my online studies, but its really hard to when I feel so down and alone. Only time I go out of my house is to go to job interviews.

    Really wished I could hold down a stable job, have some friends and relationships by my age but I'm still like a lost kid. My low self esteem keeps weighing me down emotionally and sometimes I just end up in tears all by myself, crying into my pillows at home.

  2. Soberlicious96
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    Soberlicious96 avatar
    519 posts
    24 July 2020 in reply to Starfall

    Dear Starfall,

    Welcome to Beyond Blue and well done for reaching out.

    My dad used to say to me, all the time that "There is no failure, except in not trying". And YOU, my fellow human, are NOT failing at all! I say that because, as you said above, you are trying all the time! Allow me to demonstrate: "I spend all my days ...... ......, looking for work online- sending in resumes, making cover letters and filling out long lists of addressment criterias" and "completed qualification I have is a TAFE course" AND "I'm still studying online at uni" ...... THAT, my friend is a person who is TRYING and PERSEVERING, not failing at all.

    Perhaps you could try being a bit more friendly to yourself, yeah? Don't beat yourself up for what you may or may not have had or achieved 'so far'. This year is a hard year for all of us, due to the pandemic in part, among other things. And you're allowed to feel a bit freaked out by that! Just try not to focus on the negative so much, yeah?

    I should mention that I am by no means a professional of any kind. Just a fellow human who has also had her own struggles; when I was 25 I was fast drinking myself into the gutter. I too had no friends, my family didn't trust me, and I could barely complete a sentence, let alone a Tafe or Uni course.

    One thing I keep telling myself lately - and anyone else who'll listen - is that THIS TOO SHALL PASS. Nothing stays the same forever. You will get there! Remember this; every glass that is half empty, is also half full at the exact same time! Which means that, with your Uni course, as you said, you are "over half way there".

    Just keep putting one foot in front of the other, and each step will add up to another and another and another .... and before you know it, you'll be exactly where you are aiming/studying to be. But also, just for today, you don't have to try to fix your whole life problem at once. Start by being that bit kinder to yourself, and maybe try taking away that f word ('failure') from your vocabulary. You may be pleasantly surprised by the difference you will experience by saying that you are 'trying' rather than 'failing'.

    And remember too, you can come back here as much as you like to talk about things, and get it all off your chest. After all, that's what we're here for.

    Anyway, don't know if I helped at all or not? I hope so, even if only a little?

    Take care. I'll be thinking of you. xo

  3. Starfall
    Starfall avatar
    4 posts
    25 July 2020 in reply to Soberlicious96
    I'll admit it, I don't want to be kind to myself because I kind of hate myself. I hate my lack of talent, I hate not being chosen for jobs, I hate myself for the bad decisions that I've made in my life, I hate that I don't have enough to offer for anyone when it comes to friends or relationships. I hate it when I'm lazy, I hate my lack of success. I even feel like I hate my appearance, its why I keep trying to change it all the time, though I never could admit this one to any councillor in real life. I can never practice self love because I feel like I don't deserve to be loved. I am my own worst enemy. The best I can do is to have a coping strategy.
  4. therising
    Valued Contributor
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    therising avatar
    2309 posts
    26 July 2020 in reply to Starfall

    Hi Starfall

    I truly feel for you as you navigate the challenges of coming to know yourself. Such a quest, to find our natural self, can be truly liberating but it can also be confusing and even depressing at times.

    So far you know who you are to some degree. From what you write

    • You feel you've failed to find your natural self in every area of your life, so far. So, this is a massive quest, to understand yourself in all areas of life. 'Who am I?' often precedes such a quest
    • Would it be right to say that at 20 you decided you were naturally not interested in scholarly endeavors? Did you find uni boring and unfulfilling? Perhaps the following 3 years held a lot of questions as to who you are, what you felt you naturally gravitated towards. Did you find TAFE more interesting than uni? Do you naturally find online uni studies to be more suited to you?
    • Sounds like you have a natural ability to raise yourself. Raising our self can definitely be a much slower process than if we were to have others raise us to opportunity and higher consciousness. I try to be conscious of how I raise my 15yo son and 17yo daughter. They're my apprentices (not that I'm a master). One of my mantras: 'Every challenge holds the potential to either raise us or depress us. Choose which direction you're going to go in and then manage your way to getting there'. I know, easier said than done. We can either manage on our own or find others to help us manage. Glad you've come here by the way. Constructive management. Sounds like you have the ability to raise yourself through and beyond abuse at home. Oppression and a lack of inspiration definitely makes raising our self far more challenging. Trading 'What's wrong with me?' for 'Who's sabotaging my efforts to know myself' is a constructive trade. Learning to read the questionable behaviours of others is a skill worth mastering
    • Do you hate the feeling of not having found your natural talent yet? Do you hate the unfairness of the workforce? Do you hate a lack of guidance, which has led you to regret certain decisions? Do you hate the fact that no one is attentive enough to realise how incredible you are? Yes, people can be foolish. You don't want fools in your circle of 'go to' people, you want thoughtful, compassionate, natural folk. They're hard to find, believe me

    I have found self love to be a quirky thing. To be able to fully feel it, I first had to stop tolerating the questionable behaviour of those around me. This too is skillful.


  5. NotYetEffulgent
    NotYetEffulgent avatar
    25 posts
    27 July 2020 in reply to therising
    Hi Starfall,

    I feel you! At 27 I’ve failed at everything I’ve turned my hands to. I’ve had entry level jobs, but none offered me enough hours to thrive. I’ve done several TAFE certs and tried uni deciding it wasn’t for me. Took up a trade and couldn’t hack it. I eventually found a job as a Meter Reader before giving it away to pursue my own business. It was reasonably stable, if dull and mind numbing. I’d have kept it had I known how 2020 would go! I agree with Soberlicious96, it doesn’t seem like you’re failing at all. You’re actively trying to find work and keeping the study going, that’s to be commended.

    Like you many of my “friends” cough.. “acquaintances” have it together, but we all run our own race. used to be good for meeting people around the city areas before the pandemic hit. Free learn to dance events, board game meetups, exercise groups. Many people I met through there complained of the same difficulty forming deep and meaningful connections. Often no one steps forward to organise a meetup. Being proactive and leading is a way to gain a social circle.

    It’s worth reminding ourselves that people can be completely miserable in relationships, just dig around this site. At 23 I did meet someone, but that encounter once finished only left me more lonely and miserable than before. That’s not to say you shouldn’t try, but keep it in perspective. Try online dating, just start and don’t worry too much about rejection, it’s going to happen, you’re building communication skills.

    You say you have nothing to offer, but that’s never true, at the very least you can offer you as another human being. There’s always the little things you can add: Emotional support, time & commitment, laughter, cooking, cleaning, transport. The biggest thing you can offer is confidence in yourself. We all want someone to enjoy the journey with, which means we must learn to enjoy it with or without!

    I reckon we should all keep at least one hobby. Could be: a language, an instrument, cooking, volunteer work, a hobby business, a craft, programming, drawing, gardening or community sport.These skills give us something to exhibit and thus a sense of self-esteem at a lower level of responsibility. People invest in their interests because their interests build identity.

    I’ve been there crying myself to sleep, too many times. Try practising mindfulness and gratitude meditation. Get involved in a book, a novel that can transport your mind away.

    Best wishes,
  6. geoff
    Life Member
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    geoff avatar
    15561 posts
    27 July 2020 in reply to Starfall

    Hello Starfall, and we want to offer both you and NYE a warm welcome.

    Just because you are not in a relationship or have friends or able to get a job doesn't mean you are a failure, you could be in one of these but very unhappy for many reasons, and by not having any of these means nothing more than the situation and/or the circumstances only means that the timing has been wrong.

    If you say 'I am my own worst enemy' instead become your best friend, your greatest ally, your best self because fear is your worst enemy, you can't worry what others will think, and begin to doubt your capabilities.

    Every situation has two sides to them, so understand both the negative and the positive, but you can't focus only on the negative only because this virus has affected us in so many areas.

    Take care.


  7. Starfall
    Starfall avatar
    4 posts
    2 August 2020 in reply to geoff

    Ok so I've had a bit of time to think about this and I've talked a bit about it to an acquaintance. I grew up with a occasionally physically and mostly emotionally abusive family that tells me that I'm not good enough most of the time, and did not take my feelings into consideration for anything. If I get 80% in an exam, they have taught me to focus on the 20% that I am lacking, and I have learnt all my life to focus on that 20% that I'm missing like a laser regardless whether I am moderately happy already or not. I have been taught that only being at the top, with the most success and best results matter and anything less is just trash, even though there are areas where I was moderately happy with and was just happy to make any improvements that I can, even though I was never the very best, not even close. I have been focusing all my life on being unhappy and being unable to practice any self gratitude. I have been taught that my feelings are just excuses and weaknesses that I should disregard because the world must move forward anyway. I have been taught that my emotional wellbeing is meaningless and something that no one else cares about so I should just disregard it in the pursuit of success.I beat myself up emotionally because I genuinely believed that I did not deserve anything better.

    My acquaintance told me that I need to treat myself with kindness and empathy. She also pointed out some good qualities about myself, and that one time another person told them that they liked that I treated them with patience and kindess when they were new to work. I really should stop hurting myself emotionally so much, its not good for me.

    Even though I feel like I don't deserve to be kind to myself and that my lack of talent and success should not deserve any kindness, I should do it anyway because not doing so is counter productive to my emotional wellbeing. I really need to start practising some self kindness before all this negativity makes me go crazy.

  8. therising
    Valued Contributor
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    therising avatar
    2309 posts
    3 August 2020 in reply to Starfall

    Hi Starfall

    You mention being told how much a new employee appreciated your patience and kindness. I love this trait, I truly do. In several different job roles throughout my life, I've always prided myself on leading a new employee to feel at ease and welcome, whether I've been in a supervisory position or otherwise. Having been a stay at home mum for a number of years and then returning to the workforce, this same attitude from those who welcomed me into my chosen job made the world of difference to my confidence and sense of belonging. I will never forget how much of a positive difference my work colleagues made in my life at that point. Don't undersell such an incredible and naturally beautiful trait.

    Wondering if you find the fact that people would focus on that 20% as questionable. Have you ever seriously wondered why? Have you ever wondered or questioned what's wrong with them or their perception? Do you see anything wrong with a person who simply tries their best and is happy to basically make any improvements? Such a person sounds like they have some natural intelligence there. I imagine they'd expect the same from others too, 'Simply do the best you can'. I once heard it said that our best will always be different, given our circumstances. If to get top scores means stress and incredible upset, while ignoring other significant areas of life, I don't want a bar of it. I'd rather do my best and live a well balanced life, without the top marks. I expect my daughter, who's doing VCE this year, to have the same outlook. I'd rather see a happy girl who does well, not an anxious and depressed girl who gets perfect marks.

    Reaching the point where we begin to question the behaviour of authority figures is a challenging point to reach. This is the point where we're challenged to stop questioning our self so much and, instead, question them (parents, bosses, teachers, leaders and so on). When we've been led to 'respect' them and see their guidance and teachings as gospel, suddenly we can find our self analysing what are actually a lot of faults or flaws. Yet, still, we can be left doubting our self. Starfall, have no doubt that you are far greater than the flaws or questionable beliefs that have been taught to you. Unlearning such beliefs is a challenge and a half.

    Any person or belief that leads us to feel down must be questioned. We don't want to be playing 'follow the leader' without question. This can become depressing.


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