I Try My Best — Why Am I Such A Loser?

Medically reviewed by Nikki Ciletti, M.Ed, LPC
Updated May 15, 2024by BetterHelp Editorial Team

Whether it’s a self-imposed title or one other people have given you, the “loser” label can negatively affect your life if you believe it’s accurate, and that feeling of inadequacy can create a mindset that is difficult to overcome. However, it can be possible to change the way you feel about yourself. Try to steer clear of broad generalizations, diversify your life, identify your winning qualities, avoid comparison, connect with your support system, and regularly check in on your mood. If you’re having trouble shifting your mindset to be more positive, working with a licensed therapist may help you improve your self-image and self-esteem.

Avoid making broad generalizations

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Work on building healthy self-esteem levels

A broad generalization, such as, “I’m a loser,” can’t begin to describe you or anyone accurately or entirely. Your life is likely complex. You can be viewed as a human being with talents and problems, just like every other person. It may be helpful to remind yourself that losers may not exist in actuality.

Something may have gone wrong recently, but that doesn’t mean your entire life has been derailed. No one may make mistakes all the time, even if they frequently feel like a failure.

One tip can be to consider yourself in the same way we usually think of athletes. A famous athlete can lose a single race or game, but we may still see them as successful in life. One failure doesn’t usually determine their path to success. We don’t typically call them “losers” for the rest of their lives. When we think about them, we normally consider how successful they’ve been in the past, and we may know they’re likely to succeed again. Putting this into perspective can help you achieve your goals and stop thinking of yourself as a loser.

Diversify your life

One way to avoid generalizations can be to have a diverse and multifaceted life. If your job is your entire life, it can be easy to feel like a failure when something goes wrong at work. On the other hand, if you are dedicated to your job, but you also have a fulfilling family life, good friends, and a hobby or two that matter to you, then you may have more to fall back on when something goes wrong in one of these areas.

Look for your winning qualities

People often feel like losers because of something someone else said or due to one setback. But what happens in the short term usually doesn’t provide a reliable picture of everything you do or everything you are. After all, your job, social group, and bank account don’t typically provide a complete picture of who you are as a person.

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It can be helpful to pay attention to your best characteristics when an aspect of your life has you feeling down. You might feel like you are failing, but there may be ways you show up in the world as a worthwhile person. For example, are you good at math, friendly to strangers, strong and healthy, or kind to your pets? Do you have other qualities that are valuable to yourself and others? You might remind yourself of your positive attributes and continue to practice them as much as you can.

Connect with family and friends

True friends and trusted family members can validate you in ways that can help you recognize and appreciate your good qualities. It can be helpful to regularly reach out for support from people who love you.

It can also help to talk to others about the hard times they have gone through. Sometimes, we can feel like losers because we compare ourselves to other people and forget that others also have challenges. No two people may be the same, but any successful person will likely tell you there have been times when they’ve struggled with their shortcomings. You don’t necessarily have to ask people to discuss stories about their failures; just be open about yours, and chances are, others will open up to you in return. This kind of conversation can be helpful to everyone and can strengthen the bond between close friends.

Avoid comparing yourself to others

Sometimes, spending time with others can make you believe you’re a loser. They may be at a high point in life where they’re experiencing remarkable success. You may support them, but if you’re feeling bad about your own life, hearing about their amazing accomplishments may not lift your mood, especially if you’re feeling insecure.

Everyone tends to be different, and everyone can come from different experiences. It can be easy to compare ourselves with another person’s success or engage in unhealthy interactions with certain people we are close to. Doing this can lead to inaccurate and negative conclusions, especially if you only look at one metric at a time. For example, maybe someone you know has a more prestigious job or a bigger paycheck than you, but perhaps they don’t have a family, an enjoyable hobby, or don’t volunteer or enjoy life as much as you do.

Check your mood

When people are experiencing a low mood, the world can appear to be a dark and lonely place. In addition, people can blame themselves for unfortunate things that happened in their lives, even if they didn’t have any control over the situation at the time. This guilt may lead the person to exaggerate their faults and diminish their positive qualities.

These thoughts and feelings can occur if something has recently gone wrong in your life, potentially affecting your typical mood fluctuations. Mental health professionals usually note that a low mood that lasts for more than two weeks may indicate a more serious mental health condition, like depression. Depression often includes symptoms like negative self-talk, low self-esteem, changes in appetite and sleep habits, feelings of sadness or regret, and thoughts of suicide. 

If you are experiencing suicidal thoughts or urges, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988. Support is available 24/7.

Seek professional help

Getty/AnnaStills
Work on building healthy self-esteem levels

Sometimes, the idea that you are failing at life or can be classified as a loser may haunt you despite your best efforts to overcome it. If that’s the case for you, a licensed therapist may help you cope with your feelings of inadequacy and gain a more balanced idea of your potential. Therapists can provide a listening ear and helpful techniques for connecting with your positive qualities to rebuild self-confidence. 

Benefits of online therapy

Online therapy platforms can provide a discreet way to seek professional care for challenges like depression, anxiety, and negative self-image from the comfort of your home or anywhere with an internet connection. Digital platforms usually enable you to connect with your therapist through your choice of phone call, video call, or online chat, which can help you feel more comfortable as you take the first step toward healing.

Online therapy can help to manage feelings of inadequacy, which are often associated with depression. A comprehensive study conducted by Harvard University found there can be several advantages to internet-based cognitive-behavioral therapy (iCBT) compared to traditional, face-to-face sessions. The study outlined several ways iCBT may benefit people with depression, including lower therapy costs and the ease of scheduling sessions at convenient times. It also cites other research pointing to the efficacy of internet-based therapy for treating depression, a condition often linked to low self-esteem and a sense of failure.

Takeaway

It can be easy to get stuck in a negative mindset that may prevent you from feeling good about yourself. This type of thinking can lead to thoughts of being a loser or a failure in some cases. However, by avoiding generalizations about yourself and comparisons to others, diversifying activities across work, family, and hobbies, and being aware of your mood, it is often possible to improve your self-image. If you feel stuck, working with an online or in-person therapist may be worth considering to feel better about your life and yourself.
You are deserving of positive self-esteem
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