Hopelessness and helplessness are possibly the two biggest roadblocks to your success – the two things that fuck you up the most. They’re both insidious too, in that they sit under the surface, in your subconscious, without you necessarily realising. They sabotage your success – it’s really bloody hard to make changes and work towards success if you think nothing you do will ever really work and nothing really matters.
Hopelessness/helplessness goes beyond depression – it’s far more insidious. Hopelessness isn’t just “I don’t think this will work” – it’s deeper than that. It’s a completely overwhelming knowledge that this won’t work – often expressed with “Never” and “Always” statements. “I’ll never be successful”. “I will always be a loser”. Like you’re 100% adamant it’s true; like your failure is already guaranteed before you’ve even tried.
If you believe you’ll always be a failure, & you’ll never be successful, then you’re going to self-sabotage yourself. You’ll think “I’m destined to be a failure, so I may as well hurry up and fail so I can get it over and done with.” You’ll get in your own way, and you won’t fully follow-through with the advice I/others give you. You won’t fully commit to taking action; instead just half-assing everything because deep down you’re convinced it won’t really work… so why even bother?
If you’re feeling hopeless, convinced you can’t I want you to make your way through these questions, and answer them. Either write it all down on a big piece of paper, or on your computer, or if you’re feeling brave – post them in the comments below and I’ll help you.
- Why does Andy (and other successful people) deserve to reach their goals, but not me? Why am I special?
- Andy was a total loser at the start, so if he can find success, why can’t I?
- Am I just putting up bullshit excuses?
- Why does Andy deserve to overcome his depression, but not me?
- Why wouldn’t women like me? Is there really something wrong with me? Can I improve that or work around it?
- Do I want to feel helpless and hopeless? Does my hopelessness help or protect me in some way – am I getting something out of it? (Watch this podcast, it covers this topic in great detail and will blow your mind).
- Do my flaws really mean no women will ever like me? Can I make up for my flaws by having some really strong, awesome strengths?
- What attributes would a successful guy have, that I don’t?
- Can I work on getting those attributes?
- Do I deserve to be miserable and unhappy? Why? Why do other people deserve to be happy, but not me?
- Am I destined to be a failure for life, or can I change that?
- Did the universe/God/whatever preordain me to be a failure? Does that have to be the case, or can I rise up and change the course of my own life?
- The guys that are successful with women – not all of them were successful at the start [I – Andy – am a good example of this]. So they literally learned how to be good with women, learned how to improve themselves, learned how to lose fat, learned how to make friends, learned how to beat depression, learned how to overcome their negative thoughts… Can’t I just learn all those skills too, one by one?
And then before you read any further, I want you to watch this:
I too feel this insecurity, this hopelessness, and this helplessness sometimes – all the damn time. I’ve talked about it in previous articles.
The thing that helped me most was posting about it on self-help forums every day; using them like a journal. I also talked to my mates about my fears and insecurities and my hopelessness. I read a tonne of self-help books (start with You Can’t Afford The Luxury Of A Negative Thought). I listened to as many motivational podcasts as I possibly could. I surrounded myself with as much positive material as I could – I was literally trying to brainwash myself into believing I could be successful.
You need to do the same – brainwash yourself into believing you can beat your hopelessness and become successful. Why the hell do you think my site motto is, If a loser like me can do it, you sure as hell can too. I’m literally trying to brainwash you into believing you can do the things I’ve done, so that you’ll go out and actually take actually and try.
And “try” is the key word – you just have to try. You don’t have to 100% believe you can be successful. I always have doubts – even to this day. By by taking tiny little baby steps towards your goal each day, you’ll eventually get there – just like I did.
It can be a long process – months, or years. Success never comes easily. But over the weeks if you just keep grinding, you’ll start noticing little positive changes; little signs that your efforts may be starting to work. You have to try to brainwash yourself into believing, “Maybe it’s possible I could be successful.”
If you believe you’ll be a failure, then you’re going to self-sabotage yourself. You’ll think “I’m destined to be a failure, so I may as well hurry up and fail so I can get it over and done with.” You’ll get in your own way, and you won’t fully follow-through with the advice I/others give you. You won’t fully commit to taking action; instead just half-assing everything because deep down you’re convinced it won’t really work.
I know its hard, but you have to rewrite the narrative that’s running in your head. You have to change it, even just a tiny tiny bit. When I didn’t think I could be successful, I just made a tiny tiny change to my thoughts: ” Ok, I’m probably going to be a failure. But there’s a 0.0001% chance I could be a success. There’s at least a TINY bit of hope. I’m probably going to be a failure, in fact it’s very likely, but maybe, just maybe, I might possibly be at least a tiny bit of a success. Maybe. Probably not. But maybe.”
And you have to hang on to that 0.0001% chance, grab it desperately and never let go. “Ok, I know I’m probably not going to be successful… But there’s still that 0.00001% chance. That’s still at least a possibility. So I’ll keep pushing forward, I’ll keep making progress, I’ll keep working on my goals just for that 0.00001% chance. I have a better chance of winning the lottery but fuck it, reaching my goals would be way better than winning the lottery. Ok, I’ll keep going.”
That 0.0001% has to be a flame you never let die out. A flame you keep burning. You have to always hang onto that hope, during your worst moments, during your moments of doubt (you’ll have millions of those). You have to hang onto that 0.00001% chance when you feel like quitting. “I can’t quit, or that 0.00001% chance will become a 0% chance. And then there’s no point to being alive.”
As long as you’re alive, as long as there’s a single breath in your body, there’s a 0.0001% chance you could succeed and build the life you’ve always wanted. 0.00001% is infinitely larger than 0%.
0.00001% isn’t going anywhere. You’ll always have that 0.00001% chance. Just never ever quit, and that flame will continue to burn.
I believe in you.
I agree with this entire article, It described me to a T. I deal with extreme impsoter syndrome and cant possibly imagine myself ever being successful. I do hold onto that .000001 % of hope but i almost wish I didnt feel it. im 24 and just moved back in with my parents because i cant get a fucking hold on my life. Ive been going to the gym, therapy, journaling, reading. I feel like im just going in circles.
There’s no point wishing hope isn’t there, it is, and that’s a beautiful thing. That will be the thing that stops you from getting complacent and not doing anything with your life, knowing you can do better and achieve something great.
This might sound harsh but I’ll say it with your best interest in min:. You’re not special. You’re not so specially fucked up that you can’t succeed when everyone else can (given you put the work in). Keep doing the things you know move you forward (like the gym, journaling, therapy etc.) and I promise you’ll make it as long as you never give up. You’ve got this.