Psst…You’re Not a Failure

I’m only guessing here, but you probably talk to yourself.

Out loud?

For me…usually.

Definitely inside. All the time.

We all have this running inner conversation that’s feeding us information about the world we see and experience.

There’s a number of factors (upbringing, education, our work) that have major influence on the chatter inside of each of us.

And, that chatter, inner dialogue, conversation inside—whatever you want to call it—creates a whirlwind of sorts and sometimes it’s a hideous hurricane that ravages our energy levels.

I see it with my own life.

For years, when something hasn’t gone quite right, smooth, perfect (whole other topic!), then I’ve managed to convince myself of the following with that inner monologue:

  • God, you’re an idiot
  • You’re retarded
  • You’re stupid <sigh> yep, that was the dumbest thing ever
  • Well…it’s all because you’re a failure!

Then the shoulders slump, the energy goes from low to a raging flood. Not because I got excited that something good happened but I get all wound up about how stupid and how much of a failure I am…in everything.


I might even curse myself out loud, depending if someone’s around or not…I mean, I don’t want people to think that I’m crazy—that’s a whole other dialogue!


The result?

Depressed. I don’t try as hard. I surrender to the inner voice of failure. Why should I try because I usually fail and I’m afraid to fail anymore.

Energy tanks, and it’s a mess from there on.


What would it be like if we dropped the term Failure from our vocabulary?


What is Failure anyway?

The dictionary has this definition—“The lack of success.”

Well, what is success?

It’s subjective.

Each one of us has a different idea of what success is and how that translates into everyday life.

Outside of a few things in life that have rigid lines of pass and fail, most of what we perceive as failure is subjective.

And this is where that internal dialogue comes into play. It’s the story we tell ourselves, what we believe about ourselves, and then, what we tell others about ourselves.

Research has been going on since the 1920’s about our inner voice and that conversation that we have with ourselves all the time.

It effects how we live and it touches us in every area of our lives.

I’ve wrestled with feeling like a failure for years. I’m done with it.

I don’t like the pressure and the fear of that dialogue, nor do I like the energy it steals…so I set out to change it. If anything, does all this self-talk crap really work?


When Thomas Edison was asked how it felt to fail thousands of times before discovering a long lasting light bulb filament, he said, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”

When I set out to change, I needed to realize that most of what I viewed as failures in my life were mostly the way I viewed life.

I was hard, angry, and unforgiving…with myself.

Which, caused me to be the same with EVERYONE around me. I approached situations, work, and relationships the same way.

So, the idea of recognizing what I saw was more about how I saw than what I objectively looked at…honestly, this was revolutionary.

This isn’t some voodoo magic. Or, as some would say, touchy-feely…stuff.

I’m living proof that we can change this perspective about ourselves.

You see, we’ve entrenched ourselves with a certain viewpoint our whole life that has become a self-fulfilling prophecy and has created its own negative feedback loop.

But we can look out from a different window inside our minds. You know, step away from the window you normally see yourself through, walk over to the other side of the room and look out that window instead.

Wayne Dyer said, “If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”


Hardest part with this change is recognizing it when that voice starts to sound off. It’s so familiar that it lulls our self-awareness to sleep and we don’t even realize the conversation is occurring.

Here’s a simple thing that I did that helped change that inner dialogue from I’m a loser, stupid, and failure, to a conversation that tells me, Hey, you can do this, the sky’s the limit…AND!!! I actually believe it!

  1. Drop the inner conversation of I’m a failure, I’m stupid, I’m no good…and whatever else you beat yourself up with. Don’t let those words slip out. Catch yourself. Start to notice when that occurs.
  2. When you catch yourself, smile! That’s right, smile and say, “Ah…gotcha, I’m not going to say that anymore.”
  3. Then tell yourself, “We’re simply learning.”
  4. Ask yourself, “Is this feeling, situation, or circumstance, truly a failure?”
  5. Find someone you trust and have them hold you accountable. This by far is one of those items that will help you change faster than anything, and with everything. When you start to tell them about how stupid you are, they’ll be on you so fast to remind you about how you are NOT stupid, dumb, or a failure. They’ll help you reframe how to look at the situation and your life. This is huge.
  6. Then reframe your inner voice with, Hey, no problem, I’m gonna figure out what I’ve learned and move on. Just like Thomas Edison’s quote above.


Most of what we believe is failure, is NOT failure.

Few things in life are that rigid. Our minds and our filters have made a fluid life into a rigid, cold, hard stone…and that’s what we’re setting out to change!


Photo by Kyle Johnson on Unsplash

Posted by Christian Martin Jr.


Kevin Armstrong

Great stuff Christian. I love your perspective of life
And self.


Christian Martin Jr.

Thanks Kevin, I appreciate the feedback.