A Letter for When You Feel Like a Failure

Dear friend,

If you’re here, reading this, you’ve probably said to yourself, “I can’t.” You’ve probably felt like that thing you’re going after is too big to achieve, and that maybe you aren’t the person to do it. You’ve felt like a failure.

A Letter for When

I’ve been there. Quite recently, as a matter of fact. I’ve felt discouraged, inadequate, and overwhelmed, just like you. We all have. It’s a part of life that we all face, and even if you don’t feel that way right now, you will sometime, and I want you to remember something: That thing you care about—it matters. You matter. And even when you feel that you may not be the person to do it, you are. Because you care.

Over the last couple of weeks, I have struggled with feeling inadequate. I’ve struggled with feeling like I’m not the person to do this: that I’m not really anybody “special”. Maybe you feel that way, too.

But, dear friend, you are special. You are different. You have a perspective that nobody else does, and that’s why nobody can use your own voice but you.

But you’ve heard all of that before, haven’t you? “You’re special” is just another nice sentiment, well-intended, but devoid of any real meaning. It may be true, but it doesn’t always make you feel empowered. Instead, you put on a smile, nod, and say, “I know”, all while burying the still-present feelings of inadequacy deep inside.

I feel you.

If you’re like me, you’ve been told that you are special, but you haven’t always felt it. Instead, you wonder why. What makes you special? It’s hard to feel something you don’t understand.

Remember that thing you care so much about? Your job, your book, your blog, or your ministry? That thing that maybe you’re afraid to chase because you feel like you can’t?

Your passion is beautiful. Those ideas that you hold deeply are precious. Your perspective is unmatched. And perhaps that is why we fear to do the things we most desire: because they are important—so important that failure would be devastating. But how much more devastating would it be not to try?

Dear friend, I want to encourage you today. Regardless of where you are at; whether others are watching or not, and despite their expectations, be brave. Think about what is most important to you. What is that dream you have? What is it you hope to accomplish most in your life? How do you hope to impact others?

No matter how many times you kick it out the door, self-doubt will always reappear. So how much do you care? If that thing never happens—if others never hear your message, will you be satisfied?

If the answer is no, then you are the one to do this. You’ve been given a gift, and now it’s time to use it.

You can do it.


If you enjoyed this post, please leave a comment and share it with a friend, or reply on Facebook or Twitter. What do you struggle with? I’d love to hear from you!

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13 thoughts on “A Letter for When You Feel Like a Failure

  1. Emily,

    What a powerful message! It is always easy to believe that God thinks someone else is blessed, loved, unique. But when someone tries to convey the same message to you, Oh what we tell ourselves. I am not good enough because…., If only I would have done better at…., I will never accomplish anything for the Lord.

    Be encouraged, friend. Let the Lord continue to lift you up and mold you for the journey He has for you. John 10 assures us that as our very own Shepherd, Jesus goes before us, every step of the way. Preparing it for us. What a powerful truth.

    Great post, words of truth and wisdom. Stay strong in His might, friend.

    P.S. I loved everything about this post from the picture and quote, to the last period. You really did an outstanding job 🙂

  2. You have no idea how much I needed this! Thank you so so much!
    Your voice is so beautiful and relatable, I always find myself looking at your blog for insperation.
    God bless!

  3. Thanks so much for writing this! I’ve been feeling a bit like a failure lately (a combination of studying for exams, not writing due to studying for exams and not being sure what I’m doing next year) so this was awesome inspiration to keep going.

    Thank you so much for writing such great inspiration time after time! You always send me away feeling better than when I came, so I think you’re doing your job 🙂 Thank you!

    • Victoria, you have no idea how much hearing that means to me. Comments like this make my job worth everything. Thank you. <3

  4. Emily
    This is so great!! For the past few years i have been feeling this way because of the disappointment from past relationships. I feel like a failure and I almost gave up in life to the point that I almost comment suicide. The good thing is that I have God,family and friends who stay by my side the entire time, which I’m really grateful!! They told me whatever happened wasn’t my fault and that God had a great plans for me. I have learner to appreciate my life so much and that I know I can do anything that I set my mind up to, just when I taught my life was over, when I taught there is no hope for me. My life has never been the same since I made a choice not to let things get me down and when I fall I get right back up! I can’t even believe the woman that I have become and for relationship if God wants me to marry one day he will bring me the right guy! I really enjoyed reading this !!

    • I’m so glad to hear that, Lydia! Those kinds of situations can be really difficult to recover from, and it’s so important to have the support of family and friends. God has certainly been taking care of you. (: Thank you for sharing!

  5. Hi Emily
    What an awesome message! And you’re so right… anyone can say “you are special” but it becomes so routine at times it feels like it’s said because it’s an automatic response. It takes someone special to reinforce it, because they can be specific.
    In my case, for years I worked in administration, but my passion was to help others in a hands-on capacity. For years I thought I couldn’t do it, because although I had life experience, I couldn’t take time out to study towards a qualification.
    Well, nearly four months ago my depression became so bad I had to give up my job – it was my main stressor. I needed the time out from life.
    Last week, I started my new job – as a support worker ☺. Part-time hours with a new company, so I’m in on the ground floor and am doing what I can to help promote and build it – something else I’ve done in past roles and enjoy.
    Life does get better – we’ve just got to take it one step and one day at a time. We ARE special, and we ALL have a a role that is unique to us.
    Have a fantastic day, lovely people ☺