i feel like i fail at everything! what will happen to me?

dear heather,
I always feel like I’ll fail at everything, and it scares me because I’m not sure what I’ll do in the future. I started feeling really depressed when I was 13, and everything I did felt like a failure. I felt like I wanted to do something bigger than what I’m depressed about, so I started going to guitar lessons and playing the piano, and I’ve been writing since I was 9, so I started thinking that I would like to be a musician. I really love art and it’s the only thing I want to do with my life. So, I had my pillar of hope, and I decided to make an EP.

I started recording the EP a couple of weeks ago, and it was a failure. It sounded horrible, I couldn’t get it right, I felt alone doing it, I can’t sing and after I realized it, I felt this depression again, like the one before middle school. Because it was my pillar of hope when everything started collapsing, instead of fixing it, I just jumped to something else. Whenever I felt sad or depressed, I reminded myself that I’ll make an EP and that in the future I’ll be what I dreamed of doing, making music.

But now that I failed that, I don’t know what else to do with.. anything in my life.

Having a crutch to get you through sucky emotions is helpful. An EP is a great goal, but wow, it’s super ambitious! Especially if you’ve only given it a few WEEKS! I have friends who are musicians, and it took them YEARS to record their 4 or 5 song albums. Even friends with (sorry buds!) sucky voices! They just kept at it because it was what they wanted and they weren’t afraid of how long it would take them. Take after take, they’d lay down each part of the song a million times until it was perfect.

Maybe an EP is still on the horizon for you! Maybe we just need to change your mindset. You said your crutch has been making the EP, but really, your crutch has been writing and music. That’s what matters. Awesome! Keep writing, and keep making music! Keep playing the guitar! Take vocal lessons if your voice isn’t doing what you want it to do. Or maybe rework the songs to play to your voice’s strengths!

What worries me is not your ability. See, you have the drive, and that means ability will follow with hard work and practice. When you’ve practiced enough, you won’t fail! But what does worry me? Is that you’re so afraid of succeeding that you don’t give yourself the chance to!

|gURL is here to help. And help each other. Shout out your stories on dealing with depression.|

I’m so glad you’re conscious of these emotions, because they are beatable. You can train you brain to stop thinking about failure. Or, to think of failure as a good thing. You know, there are so many quotes about how going through failures end up being the best thing that could’ve happened to a person. There are so many of them because it’s true.  With every failure, you learn a new strength. Or strengthen a strength! So your first try at an EP wasn’t perfect? Betcha that you learned a LOT from it. So take what you learned and don’t write yourself off. You have the chops. You have the drive. The ability is coming! You’ll succeed!

I know failure is scary. But you either have to use that fear to propel you to shove it out of your way or realize that you deserve success far more than failure can hold you back. Failure leads to success. Trust me on this one.

And, do send me your EP when it’s done…however long it takes. I can’t wait to hear it.

take care,

What’s troubling you? Let me help! Send your questions to heather@gurl.com.

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Posted in: Being Different, Help Me Heather, Sucky Emotions, Sucky Emotions
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  • KLG

    Oh wow, can I relate to this! xD Except I’m out of college with no clue where I’m headed and I’m super depressed about it, as you are. I know I want to write because I like it and I have talent in it, but I didn’t obtain that talent magically from thin air. Like everything we as humans do, I learned to write from my university, from high school, from years dabbling away at a keyboard. You learn everything you do, even how to talk is learned by imitating adults around you (hence why a second language is harder to obtain after a certain age because you are inculcated into your native tongue). You will learn how to sing, just like you learned how to talk, read, walk, and the other things we humans force each other to learn. This is something I still struggle with and you won’t break depression all the time, you will have ruts, but if anything, you can learn how to work yourself out of those ruts. For me, I like a good book or comic and to spend some time doodling away at something else until the nagging sadness disappears. Then, once the sadness is gone, I’m more productive and more positive, so more positive things happen. 🙂 Be positive and positive things will happen. Just remember, there is no such things as failures, only temporary setbacks that you can and will overcome.

  • MusicLover

    The book "the inner game of music" by Barry is a really good read about this topic 🙂