Have you ever thought, “What is wrong with me?”
If so, please know you’re not alone. So many of us (myself included!) have asked ourselves this same question. Many times.
The question often comes up when we feel we’re falling short of our goals. When we feel we’re holding ourselves back from becoming our best selves.
Some of us struggle to stay focused at work. Others procrastinate on tackling to-do lists. Many feel unappreciated or unloved by others. And some of us have made mistakes we haven’t yet forgiven ourselves for.
There are so many situations that can lead us to ask, “What is wrong with me?” And when we do, our emotions take over. We feel fear. Doubt. Frustration. Even helplessness.
And if we don’t address these emotions, they exist in the background as we go about our lives.
We start to be so tough on ourselves. We compare ourselves to others who seem to be doing “better” than us.
We tell ourselves that maybe it’s just too hard to achieve our dreams. And we wonder if, maybe, not everyone gets to live their “best life.”
But here’s what I know now: we ALL deserve to live our “best life.” And we all can. We just have to believe we can.
I’m talking about true belief here. Not the kind that just pops up when you achieve a goal, or are in a good mood.
I’m talking about the kind that lights a fire inside you. The kind that persists no matter who doubts you, or what challenges you face. The kind that inspires confidence, action, and success.
That kind of belief is yours to claim. And I know you can claim it!
So here are seven things to remember whenever you think, “What is wrong with me?”
1. You Decide Who You Are
Each time we ask, “What is wrong with me?” we impose judgment on ourselves.
Instead of believing we have a right to feel troubled, or grapple with a challenge, we conclude there’s something “wrong” with us. We declare ourselves broken, and often beyond repair.
But that couldn’t be farther from the truth!
There is nothing inherently “wrong” with you or me. There are just challenges to overcome, self-limiting beliefs to replace with empowering ones, and dreams to be realized.
You get to decide who you are.
And even without knowing you, I know you are far more than someone who has something “wrong” or “right” with them.
You are beautifully complex. And you have a world of opportunity before you.
So give yourself the compassion you deserve. Be kind to yourself. And know good things will come your way (and already have).
2. No One Is Perfect
Perfectionism is something many of us struggle with. In fact, it was my Achilles heel!
When I first started practicing as an attorney, I spent countless hours ensuring my work was “perfect.” I labored over every case. Every legal argument. Every word.
If I did well on a case, I’d barely recognize it. I’d already be on to the next thing, working myself into the ground to protect myself from the fear that I wasn’t good enough.
The thing is, the work was never perfect. There’s no such thing. And fighting against that fact did more harm than good.
I feel the same can be said of any life situation. There’s no such thing as the perfect mom. The perfect employee. The perfect relationship.
And the more we try to chase perfection, the more disappointed we’ll be. Because we’ll never get there. And that’s when we start thinking, “What is wrong with me?”
But here’s the good news: perfection isn’t required. Qualities like drive, courage, and passion will get you where you want to go.
So instead of striving for perfection, strive to become the best version of yourself.
And while you strive, cultivate appreciation for everything you are now. You can love both who you are and who you’re becoming at the same time!
3. Highlight Reels Are Misleading
Have you ever thought, “What’s wrong with me?” because you feel “less than” someone else?
If so, you’ve fallen into the “comparison trap.” (Nearly everyone has!)
This is when you measure your own life against others’. And the trap has become all the more easier to fall into, with the rise of social media.
Social media feeds are often “highlight reels” of others’ lives. You see what others want you to see. And the tough moments in others’ lives are often left out.
So when you go through life difficulties, you wonder: “What’s wrong with me? Why does it look like no one else is going through what I’m going through?”
But here’s the reality we often don’t see: everyone struggles.
We all have habits we’ve been trying to break, experiences we’ve been trying to put behind us, and thoughts we’ve been trying to make sense of.
Struggles can be just as inspiring as the highlight reels. They can make us strong, determined, and courageous. They can even unite us.
We are all the same in that we struggle. We’re human. But because we’re human, we’re also unique! And we can’t look to someone else to judge whether there’s something “wrong” or “right” with us.
Your life journey is uniquely yours. And you get to choose which path you feel is “right.”
4. If You’re Feeling, “What Is Wrong With Me?” You Might Need to Forgive
Sometimes when we make a mistake, we think, “What is wrong with me?” We beat ourselves up. Replay the situation over and over. Wonder why we made the mistake to begin with.
But making a mistake doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with you.
It’s completely normal (and expected!) to make mistakes. There are so many factors to consider when making a life choice, and things don’t always turn out as expected. You might even make a choice that feels right in one moment, and wrong in another.
In any case, the best thing you can do after making a mistake is to reflect on what happened.
Why did you do what you did? What were the circumstances? Why do you feel the choice was “wrong”? How can you help ensure a similar choice isn’t made in the future?
We can’t change our pasts, and we can’t take back our mistakes. But we can seek forgiveness from both others and ourselves.
By practicing self-forgiveness, you empower yourself to live in greater alignment with who you are, at your core.
5. You Deserve Peace
Thinking, “What is wrong with me?” is a painful thought. (I’ve been there.)
It can send you into emotional turmoil. You may feel like you’re “not good enough” for others, for yourself, or for the life you want for yourself. You may even feel shame and guilt for who you are now.
If you spend too much time with these thoughts, it can leave you feeling mentally, emotionally, and even physically exhausted.
But you deserve better. You deserve peace.
It is only by making peace with who we are now that we can blossom into our best selves.
That means accepting our flaws, our mistakes, our regrets, and our tougher experiences.
It also means accepting the beauty, strength, positive qualities, and opportunities that exist within us.
So take a deep breath. Try to calm the thoughts in your mind. And know that there are plenty of resources out there to help you find peace.
6. Have a Growth Mindset
Asking yourself, “What is wrong with me?” can lead to a scarcity mindset.
If you have a scarcity mindset, your mind focuses on what you feel you’re lacking — what’s “scarce” — as opposed to everything you have now.
It can make you feel “inadequate” when that couldn’t be farther from the truth! There is so much you can achieve when you instead foster a growth mindset.
With a growth mindset, you believe you are capable of what you put your mind to. You take stock of what you can improve on and see that not as a limitation, but as an opportunity to grow.
The ability to grow is one of your greatest assets. It makes life rich and exciting, for one! And it helps you see all that you’re capable of.
So the next time you find yourself asking, “What is wrong with me?”, consider asking, “What opportunities do I have to grow?”
The answers will help you clarify (and achieve!) your life goals.
It’s not uncommon to think, “What is wrong with me?”
Sometimes, we’re harder on ourselves than we need to be. But the truth is, we are beautiful works in progress (and always will be!).
We all have things we’re working on. We’ve all made mistakes. We all have doubts, fears, and insecurities.
But we have so much going for us at this very moment.
If you have your health, that’s something to be grateful for. If you have love in your life, that’s a blessing. If you have hopes and dreams, that’s an opportunity.
There is so much to love about life. So much to love about yourself.
Embrace it, and know this: everything is going to be all right.