How to Stop Being a Big Loser

Welcome to my post on how to stop being a big loser. It’s time to get started. Ready?

Poof. You’re not a big loser.

You know how I did that so quickly? I’ll explain through a quick ditty.

Two days ago I auditioned for a role I really wanted, and I didn’t get it. Didn’t even get called back for a second round. Which might not seem like a big deal.

But this was the second audition in two days that had gone…poorly.  And, in the same week, I hadn’t gotten any calls about potential new projects. Hadn’t gotten any calls about anything, really. And nobody bought any of my books. And my website numbers were crappy.

And so, upon the news that I had flunked another audition, I sank onto my couch and sank further into myself, letting all of my latest failures spin around me like loser styrofoam balls in those kiddie solar system projects.

Hubbie, who was focused on his reality-TV (gonna-take-my-little-fishing-boat-into-the-middle-of-the-ridiculously-stormy-seas) show, didn’t realize my self-pity party at first.

It actually wasn’t until I poked him and said sadly and with certainty, “I’m just the biggest loser”, that either of us realized how badly I was feeling.

Despite Hubbie’s efforts to convince me otherwise, this big loser-ness feeling stayed with me all night and into the morning, when I greeted the new day with a “pfft…why bother?”.

I bet you can relate.

Chances are, you think you’re a loser. Or you did once. Or, every now and again, you tell yourself you are. If not a loser, you tell yourself you’re stupid or ugly or weak or greedy or worthless.

It might not have anything to do with auditions or book sales or projects, but it has to do with something specific to you. Probably a few things.

You know how I know? Because pretty much all of us do this to ourselves. (If this is not you, I promise it’s true for lots of people you know.)

Allow me, then, to tell you how I came out of my loser-ness funk the next morning. It was thanks to the guy who happened to be on my podcast, who reminded me of a few things:

  • There is our reality (failed auditions) and then there are those stories we tell ourselves about our reality (big looooooooser). They are not the same thing. Only the first is true. We get to decide if we allow the second one in or volley it out.
  • There is what we do (fail an audition) and who we are (not a failure). They are not the same thing. The second matters much more.
  • Everything we think is a cause-and-effect phenomenon. (Cause: somewhere along the way I learned that failing auditions or getting low book sales meant I was a loser. Effect: I really believed I was. Even though it wasn’t true.)

A while ago I wrote a fairly well-read post about the terrible things we say about ourselves to others. But even worse is the crappy things we say about ourselves to ourselves.

Because when we say this stuff to ourselves it’s usually much harsher, much meaner and much more certain…and there’s nobody there to argue with us. So we believe it.

We all know insulting ourselves is pretty terrible, right? And yet many, many of us allow it to happen.

Yes, we allow it. Even if it happens out of habit, even if it happens in a flash, it’s still a choice. Maybe we think we deserve it. Or it keeps us from being arrogant. Or it makes us work harder or be stronger.

Come on, now.

Calling ourselves losers or ugly or stupid…pick your gravest and nastiest insult…makes us less confident, keeps us from trying new things, takes away our energy and joy, and makes us feel lousy and sad and angry…angry at ourselves. Sometimes angry at others.

Let me say clearly…nobody reading this post is a loser. You are not a loser.

That’s why I was able to stop you from being a big loser so quickly. Because you never were one.

Now you just need to stop telling yourself that you are.

How? A few steps:

  1. Become aware every single time you insult yourself. Even if it feels mild. It’s not.
  2. Recognize the true reality of your situation, and then the story you’re telling yourself about that reality. Recognize that they’re totally different…and that only the first one is real. Make a conscious decision about whether or not you allow the second one into your brain.
  3. Recognize that something you’ve done or tried that didn’t work out doesn’t make you any less of a person. In fact, pat yourself on the back for doing or trying it at all.
  4. Do not, under any circumstances, permit any nasty self-talk to continue. Stop it in its tracks, the way you would if somebody you cared about was doing it to themselves. Recognize the consequences if you don’t.
  5. Truly believe you are not a loser. If you can’t do it alone, get some help from loved ones or books or professionals (or podcasts). Everything depends on it.

Trust me when I say you’re not a loser. And I’ll trust myself on this one, too.

16 thoughts on “How to Stop Being a Big Loser

  1. Sherry tobey says:

    Being in an up and down industry of real estate…..this was a perfect article to read and share with my fellow realtor friends. You are a fabulous story teller and I appreciate your talents! Thank you!

    1. Thanks so much for the kind words, Sherry…and for spreading the word. I’m so glad the message resonated with you!!

  2. Samantha Goldstein says:

    Hello my love. Sorry about the auditions…been there. I try to remember that they are not failures, but the building blocks to my ultimate success! Sometimes I need a reminder like this one. I definitely have the inclination to beat myself up at these times. And remember…there is one director who is ready to cast you at any time…and you don’t even have to audition!

    1. 🙂 THANKS so much my lovely friend. You are so strong and amazing, I so appreciate your support…and your willingness to read my posts!

  3. Judy Adams says:

    Amazing timing! I have taken the “L” off my forehead and I am moving forward. Thank you for being so insightful about the human condition.

    1. EXCELLENT!!! Kudos to you for your willingness to remove that “L”…not easy, but I know it will bring you much reward!

  4. Shelley Lee says:

    Self-talk is so powerful – we choose whether it is positive power or negative power. One of my favorite quotes: “Do not speak badly of yourself, for the warrior that is inside you hears your words, and is lessened by them.”
    D. Gremmel

    1. Gosh that’s great, Shelley…I just love thinking that I have a warrior inside of me. She’s tough, but those words can take even the toughest down. Thank you!

  5. John T Capps says:

    Thanks, talk to myself all the time, now I will just do it in a positive manner! Thanks!

    1. John…I gotta say you’re a star. Not just because you’re willing to change the way you talk to yourself, but because you’re the first guy to post a response on this tricky topic. THANK YOU!

  6. Patty says:

    Thank you Deirdre. I believe you are right on target. I have certainly been guilty of calling myself dumb or stupid but I try to remember that sometimes things happen so I can learn trust and perseverance and become a better person than I already am.

    1. It’s a hard lesson to remember, and even tougher to do, but it definitely is important, yes? Thank you so much for your thoughts and words of wisdom!

  7. Carrie Teng says:

    Very nice, will read more of your posts !

    1. Nice to see you here, Carrie…thanks for giving this a read!

  8. Joy says:

    Deirdre – it is so wonderful to have this blogging “relationship” with you. You have a knack of being “there” for me. You cajole and poke at my ego so I can permit myself to step back, breathe and move forward. Thank you for sharing.

    1. And you are lovely, Joy. I also enjoy our blogging relationship, as it’s so great to know that people like you don’t mind my cajoling and poking…and that it might even help a bit!

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