Sometimes I look around at what others have achieved and I feel like a bit of a loser.
Whether it’s a neighbor’s brand new car, a friend’s great new job, or an old classmate’s long and happy marriage.
There is always someone else seemingly winning at an area of life that I feel like I’m currently failing at.
But here’s the thing:
I honestly think that being a loser has zero to do with status. It’s not defined by what you have. Surely, it’s defined by who you are.
Here are 10 signs of a loser in life, and the real way to be a winner.
1) A lack of self-love
I’m starting with this sign because not having respect and love for yourself is what can set you off down that slippery slope that leads to so many other loser behaviors in life.
I also think it is probably the loser sign that most of us are guilty of. Because loving yourself, rather strangely, is not as easy as it sounds.
Not being kind to yourself, not believing in yourself, not backing yourself. We all deserve to be on our own side in life, but we can quickly end up abandoning ourselves and our needs.
I cannot stress this enough:
The relationship you have with yourself will always be the most important of your entire life.
Yet how many of us neglect it?
How many of us speak to ourselves as though we are the enemy? We say unkind or even downright cruel things that we would be shocked if anyone else said to us.
If you have zero confidence in yourself you will probably always feel like a loser in life.
From an early age, most of us learn to shift blame.
The dog ate my homework. Or, it wasn’t me, it was my brother Timmy who made me do it.
We fall into the habit of looking for excuses. Not only to avoid getting into trouble with others, but also as a way of making ourselves feel better.
If we can pin things on other people then we don’t have to take self-responsibility, and it lets us off the hook.
This is why victimhood is such a loser behavior. You cannot change what you don’t like about your life if you don’t think it’s within your control.
By always looking outside of yourself for the problem, you’re actually letting other people or things that happen to you have power over your life.
3) Chronic defeatism
The reason I say chronic defeatism is I think it’s important to acknowledge that we can all feel defeated at times in life.
We all get to the end of our tether or have difficult times when we wonder when things will start to get better.
But it is losers who when faced with these feelings totally give up on themselves and on life.
But you never succeed or improve at anything if you always give in.
There is an old Japanese proverb:
‘Fall down seven times, get up eight.’
The truth is that life can certainly feel like a struggle sometimes. But losers stay down, rather than get back up again.
4) Chasing after fools’ gold
I think so many of us end up feeling like a loser when we don’t think we have achieved enough.
Maybe we don’t feel popular enough at school. We don’t think we have climbed the career ladder or have accolades to our name. We don’t have as much money in the bank as we would like.
But the irony is that what makes a real loser is actually seeking pleasure in the wrong things.
What is extra tricky is that society sets us up for this.
We think that new clothes, a flashy car, or the latest gadget will make us happy. Basically, everything we think of as the outward tokens of success.
But it doesn’t.
In fact, studies have shown that prioritizing money in life can have the opposite effect.
What I mean about chasing fools’ gold is seeking the things that only bring a temporary high.
The things that genuinely bring sustainable happiness in life are actually far more accessible to us all.
They are things like strong relationships with the people around us, helping other people, meditating, and even simply going outside into nature.
5) Incessant moaning
I challenge you to try to consciously stop complaining for a few days. And I’m pretty sure you’ll find it tough.
When someone cuts us off in traffic, the sales assistant is “totally useless”, your husband never loads the dishwasher, and your boss is being a complete ass.
Moaning about people and things in life often happens without us giving it much thought. And a little bit of complaining can feel cathartic.
But do it too often and you not only become a super negative person, but you’re also falling into victimhood.
None of us like being around those people who are always complaining about something or other. It’s a total drag and drains your energy.
This is why incessantly moaning about everything in life is the behavior of a loser.
‘When I was young, I used to admire intelligent people; as I grow older, I admire kind people.’ — Abraham Joshua Heschel.
This quote really rings true to me.
There are countless people you will meet in life who could be seen by many as “successful”. Yet they are not very nice people.
The school ground bully who wants to make others feel bad so they can feel better about themselves. The jealous person who wants to dismiss other people’s dreams.
In my opinion, the most unkind people in this world are actually the biggest losers.
I would argue that one of the best ways to positively influence the world is simply by being kind.
7) Being self-absorbed
I am totally guilty of this at times.
I think it can be so easy to get lost in your own head, thinking about your own problems, and your own desires.
Whilst it’s healthy to take care of and prioritize yourself, you can quickly get too wrapped up in yourself.
But actually, when you shift your focus onto others you often end up feeling better.
Zooming in on yourself rather than seeing the bigger picture, can lead to self-obsessed thoughts.
But when we think about how we can help and contribute to the people in our lives, and our communities, research shows we feel happier.
This is how we really find meaning in life, by thinking about how we can contribute rather than being only out for ourselves.
When you only really care about yourself, you tend to become a loser in life.
8) Refusing to change
Getting stuck in your ways can turn you into a loser. Always rejecting other people’s help, input and ideas.
That might involve becoming too attached to your opinions and beliefs. It might mean having a very rigid way of thinking. Or that you cannot see anyone else’s point of view.
When you refuse to change — your mind, your ideas, your beliefs — it’s much harder to change your circumstances.
You cannot grow. You do not learn. So you get stuck.
Life is constantly moving, and those people who refuse to adapt and change will end up staying exactly where they are.
Ignorance is like a cage that can trap you and turn you into a loser.
Being ignorant leaves us in the dark. If we cannot reflect, then we cannot change.
When we cannot see the problems, mistakes, or issues in our own and others’ lives, how can we do anything to help make things better?
Being ignorant puts blinkers on us. We are blinded to the truth. We are not willing to arm ourselves with the knowledge and information that can make a difference.
Self-awareness is one of the most potent tools for transformation. Being oblivious to our own behaviors, errors, and bad habits can turn us into a loser.
10) Feeling entitled
The reason entitlement creates losers is because at the end of the day, it’s your life and no one is going to improve it other than you.
If you feel entitled you are more likely to wait around for someone else to do the hard work. You expect them too because you think you deserve it.
Entitled losers spend way too much time thinking about how it’s not fair, and not enough time trying to change their circumstances.
Feeling entitled can also lead to some pretty toxic emotions and behaviors.
The disappointment that you aren’t getting what you should do out of life can quickly turn into anger, blame, and rage.
How can I stop being a loser in life?
1) Get grateful
Gratitude is the best antidote to feeling not good enough in life.
When we feel like a loser, we’re sort of saying to ourselves that what we have and what we are right now is not enough.
We pin our happiness on some invisible marker in the future. I will be happy “when” or “if” X, Y, and Z. But in doing so, we stop ourselves from being happy now.
But when you shift your focus onto what is going well and everything you have to be thankful for, you start to see things differently.
One of the quickest and simplest things to do if you ever feel like a loser is to start each morning writing out everything (big and small) that you feel grateful for.
It’s all about creating a positive frame to see yourself and your life through, and gratitude journalling is great for this.
It’s a total cliche but for good reason: happiness really does come from within.
Shifting my mindset has been one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done in life. You are far more likely to find success when you have an attitude of gratitude.
2) Ask yourself ‘What do I really want?’
The emphasis here is on what YOU really want.
Comparing ourselves to others is one of the biggest traps that make us feel like losers.
If you are saying to yourself right now: “I am a loser and a failure” I’m willing to bet that you are currently comparing yourself to other people.
The very best advice for this that I have been given is to: ‘stay in your own lane’.
I know it’s difficult, but do not compare yourself to anyone else in life.
It’s so easy to get led astray and end up chasing someone else’s dream. We follow expected paths thinking that’s the answer to our happiness.
But your path in life is as individual as you are.
Once you remove the social conditioning and unrealistic expectations placed on you by people like our family, the education system, and society in general, I doubt you will ever feel like a loser again.
3) Find healthy coping mechanisms
All of us experience pain, sadness, defeat, and difficult times. Life will sometimes hand you lemons and it’s up to you to make lemonade out of them.
To not only survive it but to come out stronger, we all need to find healthy coping mechanisms.
If we rely on numbing the pain with unhealthy coping techniques (like alcohol, overeating, drugs, consumerism, etc.) it keeps us stuck.
When you find proactive coping mechanisms you can find a way to release some of those feelings and move forward.
There are so many tools you can turn to. But 3 of the most effective in my own life for dealing with pain, and helping me grow and better understand myself are:
Journaling — Writing is scientifically proven to have numerous mental health benefits and is an excellent tool for self-reflection.
Meditating — This is another stress buster that helps you to gain a new perspective, focus on the present, reduce negative emotions, increase creativity and imagination, and more.
Exercise, diet, and sleep — I know it sounds boring or oversimplified but getting the basics right has an incredibly powerful impact on how we feel and what we can achieve in life.
4) Take baby steps toward growth and self-improvement
I don’t think you need to have a life purpose.
But I do think that happiness comes from being able to find purpose and meaning in whatever you choose to do. And that goes for the most humble of things.
I don’t believe you have to have lofty ambitions to avoid being a loser. You don’t need to cure cancer, drive a Porsche, or date a model.
But I do believe that feeling as though we are growing is an important part of satisfaction in life. We feel stagnant when we aren’t.
Self-improvement and taking even the smallest steps towards growth and what you want in life are everything.
5) Be prepared to fail
Our perfectionist cultures can make us so uncomfortable with failure. I should know, I’m a total recovering perfectionist.
But life is full of light and shade. We make mistakes and we learn from them. There is no way to bypass this.
A fear of failure can mean we avoid taking risks or evening trying to change. Let’s face it, we could all do with getting more comfortable with being uncomfortable.
Don’t let a bad patch define you. You are way more than that. Instead, use the bad to help you learn, grow and become a smarter and stronger person.
The reality is that without resilience, most of us give up on the things we desire. My own fear of failing, (because it meant I clearly wasn’t “perfect”) held me back for so many years in so many ways.
I’d chicken out and give up on things because I was so scared to mess up. But that only made me feel more of a failure. It felt like a Catch 22.
Luckily a friend of mine had a suggestion for me. She had watched this video about the “magic ingredient” to success — which is creating a resilient mindset.
This free video was by life coach Jeanette Brown and she shares how your mindset really does dictate so much about how you feel about yourself and who you become.
I was really surprised at how simple but effective her techniques to become mentally more tough were.
History is littered with successful people who have failed countless times, but it’s thanks to their resilience that you have heard of them today.
Jeanette really helped me to feel in the driver’s seat of my own life. So I really would suggest supercharging your own resiliency right now by checking out her free video here.