As far as you can tell, you suck at everything that matters.
And your life is proof of that.
But while it’s so much easier to spend years numbing yourself with alcohol or whatever, there’s a better way.
Instead of asking, “Why does life suck so much?” (which is a valid question), this post is all about exploring ways to make it suck less.
We’ve found 15 proven tips for doing precisely that.
Which one will you try first?
Why Does My Life Suck?
There’s a reason you spend so much time thinking, “I suck at life!” or “I suck at everything!”
You’ve gotten used to thought patterns that seem reasonable but are based on cognitive distortions like the following:
- All-or-Nothing Thinking — You’re either extraordinary or a huge disappointment. There is no in-between.
- Overgeneralization — Taking one thing and using it to paint your entire self. One huge mistake must mean you’re an irredeemable monster. Or an idiot. Or both.
- Reductive Thinking / Filtering — You see only the negative. One snide comment from your partner is enough to block out all the good he’s said or done.
- Disqualifying the Positive — You acknowledge the positive but reject it. You hear a compliment from your boss and write it off as something negative or meaningless.
- Jumping to Conclusions — You interpret another person’s words or actions in a way that reinforces your bias toward negativity.
- Mind Reading — You assume you know what someone else is really thinking and often assume their meaning is negative or hurtful.
- Catastrophizing / Magnification — One small mistake becomes a huge deal and the reason why your life will never amount to anything.
- Personalizing — Whatever bad thing happens, it must be because of something you did wrong. You make it personal even when there’s evidence to the contrary.
- Emotional Reasoning — You’re so stuck in your own negative thinking, you interpret everyone’s words and actions in a negative way that (to you) seems logical but to others sounds unhinged.
Finally, as you’ll see from one of the tips below, one of the worst offenders is an overuse of the word “should” — he should have this, she should have known, they should do that, etc.
Read on to see how you can change direction and head somewhere good.
I Suck at Life: 15 Tips For Changing Sucky To Lucky
The tips described here can change your thinking and your life for the better. A year from now, you’ll wonder why you ever thought you sucked at anything.
1. Talk to a doctor.
A medical issue could be at the root of what you’re feeling.
When was the last time you talked to a doctor or nurse and got yourself checked out? How are your lungs, your heart, your kidneys, your liver, etc.? Get on that.
2. Take your vitamins.
Vitamin deficiencies are often behind low energy levels, making it harder not to see the sucky side of life.
Ask your doctor which specific supplements they recommend, based on your lab work. Check for deficiencies in vitamin D, vitamin B12, and iron.
3. Make a list of your “shoulds.”
Jot down every “should” statement you’ve been telling yourself — particularly those that send your mood into a downward spiral.
The word “should” isn’t always bad, of course (e.g., you should not try to breathe underwater).
But when you use it to shame yourself into trying to fit a mold that isn’t made for you, it benefits no one.
4. Make a list of your wants.
Get clear on what you actually want in your life and what you want to do. It doesn’t have to match the “shoulds” or agree with someone else’s ideas for your life. Imagine the life you want and describe it in vivid detail.
Then work backward from that to the present. And start with actions you can easily take.
5. Change up your routine.
A lackadaisical routine — or the complete lack of one — can leave you feeling “Meh” about yourself and about life in general.
When was the last time you stuck to a morning routine that gave you some small but real accomplishments to take pride in before breakfast?
Often, it’s small changes that get us moving in a better direction.
6. Meet some new people.
If your current social circle encourages negativity, find some new people who build you up and encourage you to take meaningful action.
If you’re the average of the people you hang out with, create a social environment that raises the average and inspires you to become the person you want to be.
7. Learn a new skill.
Make a list of skills and abilities that hold strong appeal for you. Include hobbies and skills that could lead to a job you’d enjoy.
Learning a new language and culture can open doors to new experiences that help you grow in self-knowledge, courage, and compassion.
Never stop learning. And if you’ve stopped already, start again.
8. Go on an adventure (sky diving, road trip, etc.)
If you don’t already have a bucket list, make one. Include things that sound crazy, expensive, dangerous (or all three).
Then make up your mind to tackle one of those things this week, this month, or in the next six months. Do something that scares your “I suck at life” self. Get excited.
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9. Talk to a therapist about it.
Talk to someone who gets paid to listen and offer helpful (hard-earned) insights into your life.
Chances are, they’ll be less likely to tell you only what they think you want to hear. A good therapist is motivated to help you know yourself better and to improve your life.
10. Take a risk.
Maybe you’re feeling pessimistic about life because you haven’t really risked anything. You’ve settled into a “good enough” life that isn’t what you want. So, you numb yourself and muddle through, ultimately limiting yourself and your potential.
Try taking a small but meaningful risk just to see where it might lead.
11. Set a new challenge.
Challenge yourself to do something that scares you — an action someone you admire might take (or has taken) — whether that’s working as a volunteer, preparing for a fitness challenge, or taking steps toward a new career.
Give yourself an exciting new goal to work toward. Starting small is still starting.
12. Look for a new job.
If you hate your job, it’s time to take real action toward finding a better one. You’re getting nowhere complaining and feeling stuck and miserable.
The more you take action to improve your life, the better you’ll feel about it and about yourself, even if things don’t move as quickly as you’d like.
13. Volunteer in your community.
Serving your community in some way can open doors (and your eyes) to new possibilities and new relationships. If nothing else, you’ll meet others in your area who give their time and energy to help others with no expectation of a reward.
14. Look for a worthy cause to support.
Make a list of causes you believe in and would like to support in some way. If donating to them isn’t an option, you might find opportunities to volunteer for them or help spread the word about the good they’re doing.
How can you use the resources you have to help them do more?
15. Talk to someone who inspires you.
Ideally, go to someone who accepts you as you are and whose example you’d like to follow.
Ask them what they’re reading, what they’re up to, and what inspires them. Ask them questions that relate to their particular expertise, and be open to their suggestions.
Make a list of ideas that appeal to you. Then get to work.
Now that you’ve looked through these 15 proven tips for changing your life for the better, where will you start?
How will today be different from yesterday?