What To Do When You Feel Like A Total F*ckup

Flickr / Richard P J Lambert
Flickr / Richard P J Lambert

Sometimes you’re merrily skipping through life when you suddenly stumble and trip and that’s when you wonder, “Wait, am I total fuckup?” We all have moments when we trip and fall. Some of us fall harder than others. Some of us are total fuckups, and some of us only think we’re total fuckups. But what’s the difference, really? Perception is reality, right?

It’s okay if you feel like a total fuckup. What’s not okay is wallowing in that feeling forever. You’ve got to forgive yourself and move on. Here’s what to do when you feel like a total fuckup.

Take a deep fucking breath.

Push the frantic thoughts out of your mind with a deep, long, cleansing breath. In with the bad, out with the good. Repeat.

And get off the Internet.

Nothing makes you feel like more of a failure like Facebook. Seeing how great everyone else is doing can make you feel like the biggest fuckup ever. Remember that Facebook is not reality. Rarely do people post their own personal fuckups. For every brag you see, there’s probably 2 fuckups you don’t see. Just mentally wish the best for everyone and then take a break from social media until you’re feeling better. Do NOT post a pity post. That won’t help.

Briefly analyze your situation — but don’t overanalyze.

It helps to take a moment to analyze your situation, but don’t look at it like it’s the Warren Commission and you’re trying to prove a second shooter theory. I’m saying, don’t overanalyze. Just look at your situation as objectively as you can. Do you feel like a total fuckup because your career is going nowhere? What can you do about that? Don’t lament, just act. Look at is as objectively as possible. Pretend you’re advising a friend, and not yourself. What would you tell them?

Don’t compare your blooper real to everyone else’s high light reels.

It’s like comparing John Travolta, with his American Girl doll face, introducing Idina Menzel at the Oscars as “Adele Danzeem” or when Terrence Howard presented at the Oscars and rambled on about how The Imitation Game was, “…MINDBLOWING!” to an Oscar reel of Meryl Streep’s best moments — you just can’t compare it. Don’t compare your John Travolta/Terrence Howard screw-ups to Meryl Streep’s greatest hits.

Have a drink.

Or a slice of pizza, or a Netflix marathon, or whatever your vice is. You need a moment to treat yourself, because even though you’re down, that doesn’t mean you have to further punish yourself. Try a vodka and House of Cards pairing, for when shit gets really real. Just take a moment to escape.

Lean on your friends.

I mean, don’t treat them like they’re free therapists —no one likes being put in that position — but if you have good, solid friends, they’ll understand. We all get in a funk sometimes. Friends are there to see us through. Don’t have any good friends? Got a trusted family member? Even if there’s only one person out there in this world you feel you can talk to, that’s enough — one is all you need.

Be realistic — but hopeful.

Yes, you need to be realistic about your fuckup status, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t be hopeful, too. For many people, being cynical is easy. The hard part is daring to embrace hope. But you have to have hope. Think of it as you life vest. You have to keep your head above the water.

We’re really all just doing the best we can, and we’re all running towards something, but the important thing to remember is that we’re all running in different races, and the only other person we’re running against is ourselves. You can’t compare yourself to what other people are doing, or not doing. It’s not helpful. Keep running. You’ll get there. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

Let’s watch Lost tonight. You can be my black John Locke tonight. My book is available here.

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