How To Overcome Things That Leave Us Feeling Defeated

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Let’s face it: setbacks and rollbacks can and will happen in your life. These are the things you can do whenever you’re constantly feeling defeated.

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In this article:

  1. Accept the Reality
  2. Stop and Breathe
  3. Get out and Get Moving
  4. Stick to a Routine
  5. Surround Yourself With the Right People
  6. Failing Doesn’t Equate to Failure
  7. Unleash Your Creativity
  8. Open Your Heart
  9. Exercise Gratitude
  10. Acknowledge and Address What You Can Control
  11. Mantras Help!
  12. Write It Down
  13. Gather Small Wins
  14. Stop Comparing Yourself to Others
  15. Ask Help
  16. Shift Gears
  17. Focus on the Big Picture

Feeling Defeated: 17 Ways to Overcome It

1. Accept the Reality

The first thing to do when you’re feeling defeated is to accept the situation on hand. Denial is a powerful defense mechanism that can stop you from moving forward.

It doesn’t matter whose fault it is that things happened. Sometimes, there are things you can’t change, and the only thing you can do is dust yourself off and move forward.

2. Stop and Breathe

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When you’re feeling down, don’t forget to take a deep breath every once in a while.

Pause for a moment and take a deep breath. Think about the fresh air going in when you inhale and blow away your negative thoughts when you exhale.

When you feel stress building up, you tend to take very quick, shallow breaths. Try breathing from your diaphragm as opposed to your chest, and instantly feel the results.

3. Get out and Get Moving

It’s tempting to stay inside and ruminate about the things that went wrong. Resist the temptation to do so and reach out to others.

Go outside and take a walk around the block, play with your pets, or just people-watch in the park. Do anything that releases all those feel-good chemicals and gets your blood pumping.

4. Stick to a Routine

When you have lots of idle time, it’s easy for those thoughts that leave you feeling defeated to creep in. Having a ritual as soon as you get up and before you wind down for bed sets you off to great days ahead and increases your productivity.

5. Surround Yourself With the Right People

As they say, you are the average of the five people you spend most of your time with. Surround yourself with people who uplift you and encourage you to be the best version of yourself.

That energy is contagious. Uplifting and inspiring people prop up the people around them, while people who would rather sit down and complain about every small thing drag down those they choose to surround themselves with.

6. Failing Doesn’t Equate to Failure

Failing at something doesn’t mean you’re a failure. Don’t define yourself by your mistakes and let your self-esteem take a nosedive because of it.

The most successful people in life have failed in various forms (some even hit “rock bottom” before getting better) and have experienced feeling defeated at least once. What they did differently was they dusted themselves off, found out aspects where they can further improve, then learned their lessons from there.

The bigger the challenge, the bigger the opportunities are for growth.

7. Unleash Your Creativity

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If things are not working out for you yet, let go of negative feelings through art.

Many talented people are afraid to get creative because they’re chasing after perfection. They feel inhibited because they fear that their work won’t be as good as how others do it.

Explore your creative side the way a child would. Don’t be afraid to stick your fingers in paint and make art in your chosen medium.

8. Open Your Heart

Instead of fighting or resisting the challenges thrown your way, work with them, and let them take you where the circumstances want to take you. These help you come out wiser and stronger on the other side.

It means being strong in mind and body, yet having a soft heart that easily yields to compassion for yourself and other people. Opening your heart can help make you more adaptable and resilient.

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9. Exercise Gratitude

We couldn’t stress this enough: it’s the little things that matter. Instead of focusing on what went wrong, adopt an attitude of gratitude, and be thankful for the things that went right.

Just after you wake up, make a habit of starting a journal and listing down at least five things you’re thankful for. This shifts your mindset to a more positive frame of mind.

10. Acknowledge and Address What You Can Control

You can’t stop feeling defeated if you don’t acknowledge your role in the situation. Learn that while you can’t change your circumstances, you can control how you respond to them.

Emotions aren’t inherently bad or good, but when you learn to manage and regulate them, you can calm yourself down and be a beacon of light to yourself and others. Rather than focusing on what went wrong, seek new opportunities to learn and grow.

11.  Mantras Help!

Create a positive mantra and say it whenever you’re feeling defeated. Here are some you can consider using in your daily life:

  • “I can do this!”
  • “I am powerful.”
  • “This will all work out.”

12. Write It Down

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If you feel that you need more guidance, writing down your thoughts and goals always helps.

Write down the one thing you want to accomplish for the day. Give yourself some direction on what you want to do.

It doesn’t have to be in some fancy journal to count. Writing on a piece of paper, or a napkin if you’re in a pinch, will do.

This keeps you accountable and gives you something to hold on to, which is what you need when you’re feeling defeated.

13. Gather Small Wins

Break down some tasks you know you can easily handle. This may not seem like much, but the momentum you get from these little victories add up and leave you with a sense of accomplishment.

14. Stop Comparing Yourself to Others

Your journey is yours and yours alone. Relax and do things at your own pace.

Remember that others only show what they want you to know. They don’t disclose the harder things behind the scenes.

If you ever find yourself comparing your life to those of other people, ask yourself how your childhood self would describe you now? Chances are, you’ll be able to come up with several good things to say.

15. Ask Help

Asking for help isn’t an admission of defeat. On the contrary, it’s a sign of strength because you let yourself be vulnerable and humble enough to seek others.

Remember, you don’t have to bear your struggles alone.

16. Shift Gears

Insanity is trying the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Stop putting yourself in situations where you’re destined to fail.

This doesn’t mean to stop trying. It means regrouping and thinking of new solutions to your problems.

17. Focus on the Big Picture

These challenges are merely small parts of a whole. Focus on your “why” and do what it takes to get there.

The more failures you experience, the closer you get to success.

Whatever situation you may find yourself in, feeling defeated and hopeless is a temporary state of mind. You have the power to control how you respond to the circumstances you find yourself in, lick your wounds, and move forward.

Have you ever experienced feeling defeated in life? How did you overcome it? Share your experiences in the comments section below.

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