Feeling defeated in life? 9 Ways to Take Back Your Power

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  • 30 Mar 2024
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The human desire to achieve more is a shared experience, as is the emotion of defeat. Things don't always go as planned, and we feel beaten down and occasionally demoralized. 

Every successful person experiences this feeling from time to time. The good news is that there are scientifically proven methods for reclaiming power. It is impossible to continuously succeed without experiencing a loss, and the way we react to failure defines us.

There are (unfortunately) numerous practical examples—from overcoming a bad habit (did anyone say Netflix binge on a Tuesday night?) or even an addiction to dealing with a boss you despise who makes every day seem endless. Other concerns may make you feel like Sisyphus, the Greek god who was compelled to drag a giant rock up a hill for forever as a punishment for working hard but not being rewarded.


You Are Not Alone

Fortunately, we've discovered several wonderful examples of 'defeated' people who made an incredible comeback, demonstrating that character is just as vital as talent. One of them is none other than Winston Churchill. Most of us are aware that he saved his country and maybe the rest of the world during World War II, but we often forget that he famously proclaimed, "I am finished" about 20 years earlier—when he was 40.

He had lost the Battle of Gallipoli, and everything seemed to point to him going down in history as an unknown. However, his plan to return to the forefront of politics was successful (only to lose the post-war election and then win again). He felt defeated. 

There are additional examples of leaders who suffered defeat and then made a great recovery. Abraham Lincoln is well-known as a former US president, but few people realize that he was beaten in elections for the United States House of Representatives just a few years earlier. Napoleon Bonaparte was the Emperor of Europe before being exiled (and then returning and going into exile again). 

Most of us do not rule Europe or the United States, but you get the point: you win some, you lose some, and you should never give up on your objectives and dreams. This is important to more than just notable historical figures. The human spirit is assessed when it is at its most vulnerable and in need of strength.

Personally, I went through a tragedy when my father died in front of me at the age of 25. Less than an hour later, in the hospital, I vowed myself that nothing would break me, and I set out on a mission to save other people's lives with Safe Lane, a non-profit I founded to prevent car accidents. It is our actions, not our circumstances, that define us. The way we respond with feeling defeated defines who we are.


Feeling Defeated Is Not Your Fault

Research indicates that feeling defeated is not your responsibility. Research validates the deep-rooted sensation of defeat. For example, investigations of animal species with dominance hierarchies revealed that when animals lost in non-lethal combat, they exhibited signs of despair. Other research suggests that defeat and emotions of captivity are linked to sadness and anxiety. Unfortunately, it also affects humans. 

According to research, it disproportionately affects the impoverished. In a study conducted in economically poor districts of England, more than half of the participants felt defeated. They had sensations of entrapment.

The study also found a link between anxiety and depression, demonstrating that this mood worsens the mental health of those living in more disadvantaged communities. The strong link between where you live and how you feel is discouraging since it demonstrates that some populations are intrinsically more susceptible to misery than others.


9 Ways to Take Back Your Power

The good news is that there are some really good options for dealing with this dreadful feeling. Some of these might make a difference right away, while others take weeks. 

Here are nine strategies to reclaim your power when you feel defeated in life.



Take three minutes each day to jot down two things for which you are grateful. Keeping a thankfulness notebook may seem like a childish activity, but it has been statistically proven to be beneficial. Taking notes for yourself on the excellent things in your life increases your appreciation for them, and this type of positive thinking also helps your brain shift patterns.

According to a Berkeley research, students who wrote a thanksgiving letter to their peers reported "significantly better mental health 4 weeks and 12 weeks after their writing exercise ended." This implies that thankfulness writing can benefit not only healthy, well-adjusted people, but also those dealing with mental health issues."

Martin Seligman, a psychologist at the University of Pennsylvania, demonstrated that people who took the time to write about the positive aspects of their lives saw a significant rise in happiness levels.



When you work too hard, it can feel fantastic since you're pushing yourself. However, you cannot work without taking pauses. Your energy is finite, as evidenced by several research. 

Numerous studies show that "taking a break can be very beneficial for you and your work." Micro-breaks, midday breaks, and lengthier breaks have all been found to have a good impact on wellbeing and productivity. Taking regular breaks can improve your performance.



I've found this to be really useful. Every problem you're facing has been encountered by someone before you, so learn from it. Having a mentor decreases stress and helps you understand how to deal with the circumstance while also putting things in perspective emotionally. It also reminds you that you are not alone.

UNL defines mentoring as "professional socialization and personal support to facilitate graduate school success and beyond." Quality mentoring dramatically improves students' chances of success. According to research, students who get strong mentorship are more likely to secure academic tenure-track posts or to develop their careers in administration or industries outside of the institution."



Meditation and mindfulness are valuable techniques that are easily accessible now thanks to applications like Calm and Headspace. There have been numerous books written about them. One of them is Jon Kabat-Zinn's book "Wherever You Go, There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life". By being present, you have control over where your energy goes. 

I used to be skeptical, but I've discovered that it's beneficial to meditate when you need it. Countless studies have shown that breathing promotes resilience. Our bodies know when to relax by just breathing gently and deeply.

We live in a period where we feel overwhelmed. We have too much on our plates, and sometimes we are in a situation that prevents us from instantly resolving the issue at hand. 

Don't worry—by meditating, breathing, or simply trying to relax, you can learn what to accomplish by giving your mind time to ponder and grow. Otherwise, you would not be reading this article!



Our views and beliefs can often be disheartening. Many people have a negativity bias, which means they are more likely to detect negative thoughts and feelings than positive or neutral ones. Here's when self-talk comes in. 

Using self-talk to determine whether your perceptions are helpful or not, and whether they are an accurate depiction of reality, might help you realize that things may not be as awful as you believe. According to research, this is not uncommon.

It's a healthy habit to remember to be kind to oneself. Some of us occasionally overlook the critical component of self-compassion. It may also be beneficial to motivate oneself by watching others—Youtube may be a wonderful resource for this.



Whatever challenge you are now encountering in life, someone else has already thought of a response. Google Scholar, or simply Google, can assist you in discovering tried-and-true solutions to your problems. Educate yourself on your condition and determine what can and cannot work for you. Yes, knowledge is power.



One of the most effective strategies to keep sports teams on track is to avoid overthinking the future and being mired in the past. Obsessing over what has already happened is pointless, and at worst, it can be detrimental to your mental and emotional health. 

The radical acceptance approach is one psychological way to think about it, and it is quite self-explanatory. It suggests you should accept what happened and think about what you should do next. 

According to NYU School of Medicine, “past experiences shape what we see more than what we are looking at right now.” It's not easy to fight that. However, it is possible to modify it via radical acceptance and growth mindset strategies.



Another strategy for dealing with daily challenges is to think like an organization and develop a life vision. When you understand your goals and purpose, it's simpler to cope with some of the challenges along the path. 

According to Francis J. Greene's "Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice",



You don't need to run a marathon. Simply walking or engaging in any other form of physical activity that you enjoy can help boost your energy and make you feel better physically and mentally. Exercise can help you get over depression and enhance your mental health. It can also help you feel in control in some situations, which is a strong weapon for someone who is feeling dejected. 

Healthy diet and staying hydrated go a long way. Sleeping for more than 7 hours per night is also quite beneficial for your physical and mental health.


Final Thoughts

It is common to feel defeated in life at times. After all, we all face distinct hardships and obstacles throughout our lives. The key thing is to understand how to deal with these barriers in your life. Whenever you feel defeated in life, start with these 9 techniques to regain power and authority.


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