How can I not feel like such a failure?

Just going to share my self ‘pep-talk’ with you today…for anyone else tricked by the ‘failure lie’

(this is hard to post…I really don’t want to. Whatever…I’m doing it anyway)


How can I not feel like such a failure?

Focus on the positive right?

Yeah…well…sometimes that’s really hard to do with all these expectations I’ve placed on myself.

Or that others have on me.

Or that at least I think others have on me.

I have 4 children. I want to spend time with them. I want to play with them. I want to be a present Father for them and give them the love they deserve.

Oh yeah…and I also want to provide for them, and my amazing wife.

A house, food, the necessities, some luxuries?

Oh yeah, and I also want to make a difference in the world, do some good while I’m here for my fellow travelers on the planet.

But how can I do it all?

If I go to the amusement park with the family today, I fall farther behind at work.

And I have a hard time being present with the family because of the weight of tasks on my mind.

If I stay home, I’m burdened by the feeling of failing my family.

Working my life away and not actually being there for them.


I don’t know how to win here.

Either way it seems like I lose.

If I go, I’m more stressed, if I stay I’m a failure as a Father.

But what do I do? Lower my standards? Change my priorities?

Put work above family?

I say my family comes first….but how do I know if I’m actually living that?

It’s compounded as an entrepreneur because I actually have a choice.

I don’t have a boss telling me what to do…and I guess I wouldn’t trade that for the world. But it’s hard for me to just say “No, I need to work”.

Because I “know I need to work”…but I also know I want to be present for my family and not miss the precious moments with my kids.

And then it all just boils up into me feeling like I’m failing at everything.

Is that true?

Probably not…but it sure feels like that sometimes.


So what the heck do I do?

(I like to imagine what my creator would say to me. I don’t know if I get it exactly right, but it feels pretty good to let go and try to think from that perspective.)

What is the answer, God?

There is no one answer to all your dilemmas Aaron. You are right in putting your family’s needs before work, and trusting in God to take care of you.

But you are also right in recognizing that you need to block out focused time to do your work and provide financially for your family.

The decisions and lines will not always be black and white.

But what’s never true is ‘you are a failure.’

That’s just not true.

Yes, you may fail in a business deal.

Yes, you may fail to achieve all your priorities some days.

Yes, you may fail at attending 100% of the events in your children’s lives (that’s not a requirement for being a great Dad though…so why set yourself that expectation in your mind?)

But YOU are not a failure.

Look…you are alive. You have put connecting to God as top priority in your life. And you understand that taking care of yourself first is important.

You know your priorities and you do your best to live them each day, your relationships with God, Self, Family, Work, and Community in that order.

And just because you failed that order one day does not mean YOU are a failure.

So why do you feel like such a failure?

Because you’re telling yourself you’re a failure.

Stop telling yourself that. It’s not true.

What is true?

You are you. A unique, loving soul with a big heart and intentions to do good who is constantly improving and growing.

You are an amazing success in so many areas.

You seek out a connection to God every day.

You care for your soul, your mind, your body every day.

You love your family. You serve them. You have always provided for their physical needs so far. And you are there for them emotionally and you’re present when you are with them most of the time.

You’ve done a lot of good for others and helped many people experience greater joy in life.

You are not a failure. YOU are never a failure.

So let that go.

Make the best decision you can right now, own it, and focus on winning at that decision.

Thinking about everything you could be doing that you’re NOT doing only makes it impossible to do well what you ARE doing.


That’s all true…hmmm…I don’t feel like a failure anymore.

So it comes down this: Keep including God in all my decisions. Then do the best I can with the choices I make, and trust the rest to God.

That’s the only way I can possibly cope with the weight of the responsibilities I seem to have taken on…it’s way too much for me to attempt alone.

Feeling grateful that I’m not alone.


OK…so how to Make Today Amazing?

FOCUS on doing your best at the choice you have made.

Let go of the failure lie.




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  1. Holly Reply

    This is very inspiring. Feeling like a failure happens to so many of us. If only we could undo some things in our past and do it all over again. If only. They say we still have another chance to make it right. How long will that take? In debt with school loans that will never get paid, a certificate or two from technical schools that aren’t good enough and have become expired. Going on 33, raising a teenager and feeling unsuccessful. How will she ever look up to me? As a stay at home mom with her husband as her provider and living well but feeling unaccomplished. What can undo this failure feeling?

    • I feel your pain Holly. It’s hard to not feel like a failure when our definition of success is so wrapped up in money and accomplishments.

      The key is redefining success. Who is it that is deciding what we view as success anyway?

      One of the 12 pillars of a TAL is: SUCCEED Right Now.
      And here is why it’s a pillar and how I choose to define success:
      “Success is the progressive realization of a worthy goal.” – Earl Nightingale.

      With that definition all the debt, and feelings of ‘unaccomplishment’ are meaningless. The only thing that matters is ‘what worthy goal am I progressing right now?’

      Removes the burden of the past. If wealth, being debt free, living in mansions, etc are the definition of success, and we decide we can’t be happy until we’re “successful” we set ourselves up for a miserable life of self-condemnation.

      The choice is ours…

      I find myself needing to remind myself that often…but as soon as I remember, I’m free to be successful, and live my truly amazing life today.
      I have huge amounts of debt from past business mistakes…it’s heavy sometimes. But mostly not, because I choose a more empowering definition of success.

      • Holly Reply

        And that is perfectly stated. I realize I’m not realizing that I have any goals set at the moment. Just to be a good wife and mother. Also, I don’t want a mansion or wealth. Just a career. One where I can start all over and graduate from school and have a decent job where I am fulfilled. That is success to me. I do wish to educate my daughter and have her brought up in a home where she knows she is to be educated, respectful, and generally appreciative. I want her to have the success I haven’t had and I hope she will excel. I’ve been searching for careers online that do not need experience or that I can train easily for such as a writer or something similar if I have to work from home, so be it. But anything I have, I am grateful for and I pray and give thanks everyday. I hope to find my success one day. I will keep my hopes up and wish for a second chance. Thank you for responding-

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