How to stop thinking like a loser: Avoid these mediocrity traps

Look, I get it.

Life isn’t all about winning. You shouldn’t measure yourself solely by worldly standards and accomplishments. You’re inherently worthy of equal opportunities as a human being. You’re probably a good person.

But, there’s still such a thing as being a loser.

There are such things as being soft, mentally weak, and living below your potential. Politically correct culture has gone too far. And as good as the message might seem on the surface, it doesn’t help you live a better life.

You’re slowly being convinced that there are no objective standards for a good or a bad life.

Not only is mediocrity becoming more acceptable, but it’s also en vogue.

People are developing this cool nonchalant air toward self-improvement and now being lazy is the cool thing to do. You’re being systematically robbed of your personal agency by the media, institutions of our society, and a movement that wants to render you totally helpless so you’re reliant on a savior instead of working to fix your own life. Sadly, some people have been swindled to the point they’re too far gone to help.

What about you?

Are you content to be a loser or do you want to level up your own life?

How to Become a Loser 101

Lack of success doesn’t make you a loser. Being broke doesn’t automatically make you a loser. Not having an ultimate-life-passion doesn’t make you one either. Nor does being out of shape, watching Netflix, playing video games, watching porn, binging reality TV, smoking piles of weed, getting drunk, or any number of vices a loser typically engages in.

No, it’s not what you do, but how you do it and why you do it.

You’re a loser if you do a few things simultaneously:

  • You don’t work on yourself
  • You cause unnecessary preventable harm to yourself mentally and physically
  • The most important part — you take no responsibility for it, have no plans to change, and blame others for your problems

The last bullet point irks me and makes me label people losers.

If you want to ruin your life, that’s fine. If you want to engage in counterproductive activities, cool. But the moment you start acting as if something else aside from your own behaviors is causing you to fail, you’re a loser.

A few of my favorite examples:

  • The “ism” lie — Yes, maybe in certain circumstances your minority status makes your life harder. No one argues that. But the losers are the ones who make every point of failure in their life a result of what they look like. I just saw a post about the coronavirus being racist. A virus. Ugh. The media stokes fear and division because it’s profitable. Not because they care.
  • The political junkie — It’s not the lefts fault or the rights fault or the president’s fault. It’s your fault. I’m a black male and I’ve had the most successful years of my life during this administration and I would’ve done equally well under any different president. Politics is important in many aspects, but most of your success will come primarily from your decisions. A thought experiment for you — say the government meets every one of your demands. Will that help you become self-actualized?
  • The “world is out to get me” complainer — This person creates a self-fulfilling prophecy. They expect bad things to happen so of course, they attract negativity into their lives. Then, they say “See. I told you so.”

It doesn’t have to be this way either. I know so many people who aren’t losers, who are proud of who they are and what they do and don’t walk around with this permanent victimhood label regardless of their circumstances.

I know proud and winning Taco bell employees and I know losers who make six-figures.

Winning and losing happen in your mind.

If you want to stop being a loser, stop thinking like one.

Important Questions to Ask Yourself

What standard do you hold yourself to?

What do you expect of yourself?

Is there anything you can take control of right now to change the way you think about yourself, even if your circumstances don’t change right away?

From the outside looking in, I was still very much a loser when I first started learning about self-improvement. I still worked an essentially minimum wage job, still lived in a ratty apartment for $ 350-month rent (not a typo), and I was still broke. But I did change the way I viewed myself and started to act like a winner before I become one.

In short, I started caring about myself and my well-being.

Think about that. Do you…take care of yourself?

You are this person, this vessel with a mind, body, and soul. How well are you taking care of this entity you spend your whole life confined in?

Are you nurturing yourself or destroying yourself?

The difference between me and you?

At a certain point in my life, I realized I was being a loser — made no bones about it, didn’t blame the government or my skin color, and definitely didn’t get into some self-care affirmation routine. I objectively looked at my life and said, “Oh, yeah, this isn’t good.” And even when I was down and out, I never blamed anyone else for my problems.

Sure, I went through bouts of seasonal depression, but in my case, I realized I caused my own depression by being a dip shit. I was never raised to slap a label on myself the minute I screwed up a little bit. When the teachers tried to put me in a special after school program with a shrink — because I was being a little asshole — my mom refused. She understood that I was just being an asshole and needed to stop being one.

In lieu of diving into a debate that’s murky, to say the least, let’s just say the degree to which you’re inflicting harm on your own life as opposed to outside forces if probably higher than you’re willing to admit.

Until you admit that, your life won’t change.

A Subtle Mindset Tweak that Creates Dramatic Results

You’d be surprised how your life can change when you’re simply more positive and expect good things to happen to you.

When you focus on your self-improvement for the sake of your self-improvement, you start to attract opportunities and other like-minded people into your life.

I remember back then — the deeper I got into self-improvement, taking care of my body, and learning about things that sparked my natural curiosity, this energy manifested itself into a better life.

Stick with me.

When you start to work on yourself, you develop a vibe. I can’t tell you how many times people approached me at the counter when I worked at the video store and said things like. “You’re going places.” I’d just have a smile on my face, stood up straight, made eye contact with people, gave it my best with customer service — nothing major. I’d take the energy reflecting back onto me, absorb it, and put it back out to the world.

The same will happen for you too. When you start taking pride in who you are and the outcomes you want from life, you’ll notice it and so will other people. You’ll have more energy, better energy. The opposite of a loser (picture a politically obsessed, negative, Netflix junkie in your mind right now, not good).

You’ll stand out.

Why? Because sadly, truly radiant energy is rare. Bukowski said it well:

“The free soul is rare, but you know it when you see it — basically because you feel good, very good, when you are near or with them.”

That’s the tell — people’s facial expressions and the energy they emit. Walk around most public places and you’ll feel the quiet desperation loser-like energy in the air.

But sometimes you’ll encounter people who are open to your energy and crave it. You become their example and they become examples for other people. That’s the only way to change society — not this top-down politically driven societal orthodoxy nonsense.

So how do you reach this point?

Honestly, by doing basic self-improvement cliches:

  • Reading books
  • Exercising
  • Sleeping 8 hours a week
  • Limiting alcohol, drug, sugar, and T.V. consumption (they’re all in the same bullet point for a reason)

Again, it’s not about what you do, but why you do it. The common activities of a loser aren’t the problem. You can be a winner and engage in those activities. Why you do them matters. It’s a bit of a chicken-egg scenario, but when you have a positive mindset, you tend to have positive activities in your life, or vice versa, whatever.

Most successful people don’t check every box, but they check enough of them.

Gradually build a new identity over time. That’s the recipe.

The Gravity of the Situation

Here’s what you must understand.

Self-improvement isn’t some simple, fun adventure.

Being a loser can kill you, literally.

The avatar of the average person in society is out of shape, spends no time focusing on their mental or physical health in an active way, engages in activities that increase cortisol and decrease attention span, has no real thoughts of their own, and suffers from a litany of self-induced psychological problems.

Due to a lack of self-improvement, some people will die before they have to.

And your societal overlords not only want this but engineered this.

Like I always say, there’s no Illuminati, but the people in positions of power in society want you to be a weak and dependent loser.

These people aren’t your friends.

They don’t care about you.

They think you’re dumb.

These days, simply taking responsibility for yourself is a brave act of defiance. Make no mistake about it, there’s a war for the zeitgeist, especially now. Some are too far gone, but you can choose the right side.

Stay away from the noise. Stop listening to the messages of helplessness and victimhood. Start trusting yourself.

Nobody knows how to improve your life better than you do. Once you understand that, you’re free.

This article first appeared on Medium.