I've had the idea for this post for quite a while, but haven't got round to writing it. I've been concentrating on my Feeling Your Emotions series and some of those subjects weren't easy to write about (such as anger and shame). I think the next FYE post will be a "neutral" one because I feel I need to get to some halfway point first before moving onto the more positive emotions such as happiness and love. If you follow the Law of Attraction you may have heard about the Abraham Hicks Emotional Guidance Scale, and how it's not very easy to just "jump the scale" from something like discouragement (further down on the scale) to contentment (higher up). I'll talk more about this subject in the next FYE post, but for now this post by Kelsey Aida (which I linked to in the Feeling Your Emotions intro post) explains it well: https://kelseyaida.com/theinspirationalblog/the-abraham-hicks-emotional-guidance-scale
I thought I would write a post about this subject before continuing with the Feeling Your Emotions series.
Disclaimer: I'm not a doctor, so if you're having mental/physical issues please seek medical help in addition to reading this. :)
Feeling like a "loser", i.e. not good enough (or less than, worthless) is something that is common for a lot of people. This is also tied to shame, feeling ashamed of yourself. You can read more on the subject of shame here (Part of the FYE series): https://fallingpetalsuk.blogspot.com/2019/02/feeling-your-emotions-shame.html
Why do we feel less than?
There are many reasons why we might feel less than, worthless, like a loser etc., including not accomplishing things we wanted to or thought we should have, in comparison to others who seem like they've done more than us/are "better" people with "better" lives, because we're different to the "norm" or society and/or the people around us (different race/skin colour, sexuality, religious beliefs, body size etc.) and are perhaps part of a group that is marginalised. Or maybe because of physical or mental illness. Another reason is being bullied, physically and or mentally.
There's a lot of shame around being non white/having darker skin in a predominately white society, or being anything other than straight in a society where being heterosexual is seen as the standard. (I wrote a bit about this in the Shame post). Some of us, such as mixed race people, can be classed as "other". People are also shamed for being fat/overweight. Some other things carry a stigma as well such as being a single parent/coming from a single parent family or being on benefits. Although some of these things are changing nowadays at least slightly. For example I think there is less stigma than there used to be about being a single parent or growing up in a one parent family. Having free school dinners used to be another thing that might mark you out as "deprived" because it applies to children from low income families, but with all children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 currently entitled to free school meals in England and Scotland, it's not quite the same these days.
Other reasons could be: being single, not having a job, being unable to have children, not being able to drive, or having a mental illness. To touch more on the last one, for a long time there hasn't been much understanding for people with mental illness and mental health conditions, with people thought of as "mad". But in the past couple of years or so this has been changing, with more dialogue around mental health. Now more and more people are speaking out about conditions like depression, anxiety, OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
In a post I wrote in 2015 about beliefs and believing in a Law of Attraction context, I mentioned how I had developed a belief that I am a defective person. I think this partly stems for being bullied at school and then leaving early because of depression. I also talked about an incident when I was about 10 years old where my teacher got annoyed because I accidentally ripped a Maths book, and later on didn't want to give me a map in case I mucked it up! Things like that can really stick in your mind and affect you in later years.
I have also felt "less than" because of having depression, anxiety and OCD. My body weight has gone up and down too. I've also felt afraid of judgement and been afraid to speak out.
And I compare myself to others and think how they have better lives than me, or they're further along than me in life. Also with the internet part of our daily lives for many people, we can focus too much on online popularity, measuring our self worth by how many online friends we have, or how many "likes" we get on Facebook, Instagram etc. Online bullying and trolling has really become a problem in recent years too.
How we do overcome this?
I don't have an easy answer but I'll try my best. :)
I think one way is to try to "rewire" your thinking patterns. Like you do with Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) for mental health conditions like OCD and anxiety. So if you feel you need professional help, you could look into seeing a therapist (through your GP/doctor or privately if you can afford it). Here's a link to some information about talking therapies: https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/drugs-and-treatments/talking-therapy-and-counselling/about-talking-therapies/?o=64156#.XMsXTth7kdU
Another thing you could try is alternative therapies such as EFT (Emotional Freedom Therapy), also known as Tapping. I wrote a bit about both CBT and EFT in the 2nd FYE- Fear and Anxiety post, which you can view here: https://fallingpetalsuk.blogspot.com/2018/12/feeling-your-emotions-fear-and-anxiety.html
Last year I found this EFT/tapping video by Abiola Abrams helpful: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tnL5jm5j4ew
The full title is "I Feel Like A Total Loser! EFT Emotional Freedom Technique for Feeling like a Failure". I haven't done it for a while, so this post has reminded me!
Here are some more useful links:
How to overcome feeling like a failure:
Tips for when you feel like a failure: https://personalexcellence.co/blog/failure/
Post about changing the "I'm not good enough" lie: https://www.luckylovelife.com/changing-im-not-good-enough-lie/
Post on building your self esteem and confidence: https://www.thirteenthoughts.com/how-to-build-up-your-self-esteem-confidence/
Creating self confidence: https://www.lainacaltagirone.com/blog/2018/7/30/self-confidence-qa-series
Article about building a resilient mindset after facing setbacks:
Ways to love yourself:
Ways to improve your relationship with yourself: https://www.kajalpandey.com/blog/11-ways-to-improve-your-relationship-with-yourself
Kelsey Aida post on the subject of self compassion: https://kelseyaida.com/theinspirationalblog/4-easy-ways-to-be-compassionate-towards-yourself
Blessing Manifesting post about having compassion for yourself: https://www.blessingmanifesting.com/2017/04/compassion-nicer-forgive.html/
If you feel intimidated by others (as I sometimes do), you might like to read this from Strong Sensitive Souls on how to move past that: https://strongsensitivesouls.com/how-to-stop-feeling-intimidated-by-people/
This is also a good post about self acceptance: https://boldself.com/life-shades-gray/
It touches on feeling guilt and shame if you haven't followed societal norms exactly (i.e. fantasising about other people while in a relationship) and says that life is shades of grey rather than black or white, which is very true.
And a different way to look at failing: http://www.everydayloamagic.com/blog/the-success-in-failing#
Update 14/5/19: Wanted to add this post from Kelsey Aida about overcoming self worth issues: https://kelseyaida.com/theinspirationalblog/how-to-overcome-your-self-worth-issues-and-practice-self-love
Update 30/5/19: Also adding this helpful post about dealing with your inner critic: https://www.graciefrancesca.com/2019/03/fighting-your-inner-critic.html
I'll finish with a few links to posts about more specific subjects that might cause you to feel "less than", such as comparison and mental health:
5 Enlightened Ways to Approach Mental Health: https://www.hilaryjacobshendel.com/single-post/2019/03/05/5-Enlightened-Ways-to-Approach-Mental-Health
Reducing the stigma around mental health: https://thisvillagegirl.com/how-to-reduce-the-stigma-around-mental-health-concerns/
Interesting post about different cultural interpretations of mental illness: https://drmelissawelby.com/cultural-interpretations-mental-illness/
Using social media without damaging your mental health: https://www.the-unedit.com/posts/2018/11/26/ask-bodyposipanda-how-can-i-use-social-media-without-damaging-my-mental-health
My posts on self love (part of The Love Project) can be found here: https://fallingpetalsuk.blogspot.com/search/label/self%20love
Post from Celestine Chua of Personal Excellence about the beauty of self: https://personalexcellence.co/blog/beauty/
PE series about developing a positive body image: https://personalexcellence.co/blog/body-image/
How to be body positive: https://thisvillagegirl.com/how-to-be-body-positive/
If body positivity doesn't currently feel accessible to you, you could try body neutrality instead: https://honestmum.com/getting-on-board-with-body-neutrality/
Blessing Manifesting post on ways to stop hating your body: https://www.blessingmanifesting.com/2012/07/5-ways-to-stop-hating-your-body.html/
Good post about healing body image issues:
Post from Amy Clover of Strong Inside Out about redefining health: https://stronginsideout.com/performance-health-vs-health/
Another SIO post on what a healthy relationship with food looks like: https://stronginsideout.com/what-a-healthy-relationship-with-food-looks-like/
Post from Diedre of Are Those Your Kids? about learning to love herself again after having postpartum Bells palsy: https://arethoseyourkids.com/postpartum-bells-palsy/
My Pinterest Healing board: https://www.pinterest.co.uk/moonsparkle84/healing/
PE post about how to stop comparing yourself to others: https://personalexcellence.co/blog/comparing/
Good post from She Sweats Diamonds about how it's ok not to be ok: http://www.shesweatsdiamonds.com/its-okay-to-not-be-okay-anxiety-stress-depression/
I hope you found this post, or at least one of the links helpful. :) There's more I could share but perhaps I'll do a follow-up in future. I realise that one blog post isn't going to solve the issue of feeling like a "loser" but I hope it helps people to feel better even in a small way. :)
Photo: Lancing Beach. Moonsparkle 2018.
*18/5/20: Links gone/not loading.