Everything's Going Wrong for Me! What's the Matter with Me?

15 October, 2020
Is everything going wrong for you? Do you feel that all your efforts are useless? If you're going through a time when disappointments have become commonplace, we'll explain to you why.

There comes a time when you end up saying to yourself “What’s wrong with me? Everything’s going wrong!”

It’s true that we’ve all gone through difficult times in which everything seems hopeless, with so many setbacks, bitter disappointments, and shattered dreams. No one can deny that these times are not only painful but also demotivating.

But what’s usually behind all these experiences? To suddenly realize that everything seems to be going wrong in every part of your life, at work, your love life, and your personal projects, makes you wonder if something’s somehow causing all this bad luck and messing around with your future. Is it your attitude? Or is it just the current context?

When you’re going through this type of downward spiral where you don’t seem to see the light anywhere, the best thing is to stop. We’re not talking here about just slowing down and taking a few days off. You need to stop the “mental murmur”, all those thoughts that keep going round and round in your head, feeding your worries more and more.

Stopping your body and mind in its tracks will help you to analyze what’s happening and try to start over again.

A woman by the sea.

Everything’s going wrong for me: what’s going on?

These cycles of negativity do exist and they’re quite frequent. We’re referring here to those stages in life when failures come together with misfortune and disappointments with lies.

These are times when a mistake you make is followed by disappointment and the reluctant acceptance that something you thought would happen is no longer going to happen. In most cases, though, these cycles don’t last very long and your attitude and external circumstances will soon improve.

However, the most dangerous thing about these stages in life is when there’s a danger that you’ll get stuck in them. It happens quite often, especially when you feed the whole situation with thoughts like, “Why does everything happen to me?” “Why has the world got it in for me?” “Is there something wrong with me and that’s why everything’s turning out bad?”

Almost without realizing it, you enter a state of helplessness in which you assume that, whatever you do, nothing will change your adverse situation.

What might the causes be?

Is there such a thing as bad luck? We don’t know. There’s no scientific evidence of it. Thus, you need to look for objective and specific causes and reasons. If you can put your finger on the triggers that may be behind each negative event, then you can get a greater sense of control, and that’s always a positive thing.

Let’s have a look at the possible explanations:

  • The phenomenon of filtering. In this case, you’ll be experiencing something called a cognitive distortion. It’s where your mental approach makes you apply a very specific bias to everything: a negative bias. You only look at whatever’s going wrong, and you only see your mistakes. You only see the adverse conditions and you’re unable to see anything else. Your dark “glasses” will cloud everything. Thus, you’ll never be able to see or perceive the good and positive things that are happening.
  • Acquired pessimism. There are people who walk through life thinking that everything and everyone is against them. Chronic pessimism weighs heavily on them. It often takes root in how they were brought up, with parents who have conveyed to them that the world is a bad place, that you can’t trust anyone, and that good things never happen.
  • Low self-esteem. This factor isn’t something that can suddenly hit you from one day to the next. Self-esteem can weaken and vary over time and with experience. So, if you ever start wondering why everything’s going wrong for you, then perhaps it’s time to ask yourself how your self-concept, self-esteem, and self-confidence are doing.
  • Covert depression. Mood disorders, such as anxiety or depression, act as an all-embracing veil. The idea that everything always goes pear-shaped, and that, no matter how hard you try, nothing will turn out the way you want, you can sometimes show that depression is taking you over. Studies such as the one conducted at the University of Massachusetts by Dr. Paula Pietro, for example, emphasize the fact that this type of thinking occurs constantly in a depressed mind.
  • Difficult times, different results. In difficult times, many things can start to go wrong at the same time, it’s true. However, you must understand that these are just temporary situations. Bad luck doesn’t last forever.
A man thinking.


What can you do when everything’s going wrong for you?

When you go through a time when everything’s going wrong for you, then the last thing you should do is to continue as if nothing had happened. You shouldn’t keep trying to achieve goals or dreams that are already lost causes. The ideal thing here is to reflect on the following points:

  • The fact that everything is going wrong for you, what’s it due to? Are they things that are dependent on you? Or are they out of your control? The first thing you should do is to take some time to pause and reflect on what has happened. Clarify what has motivated this chain of negative events.
  • You must accept that some factors really are out of your control. You’ll often go through times when certain things happen that aren’t anything to do with you. Accept this reality, and, in the middle of these difficult times, try to make new decisions.
  • You also need to attend to the content of your thought life. Are you applying a negative filter to everything around you? Are you focusing too much on what you think is wrong with you?
  • Delve into your emotions. What are you truly feeling? How long have you been feeling this frustration or apathy? Perhaps the fact that everything seems to be going wrong for you is rooted in your state of mind. You may need professional help, and this should be where you focus your thoughts.

Finally, when you go through those times when many aspects of your life seem to take a turn for the worse, then it’s always a good idea, as we said above, to take some time out.

As you do this, you may see that’s it’s time to make changes, even if they’re small ones. Sometimes, even simple changes in life can turn things around and give you hope.

Think about it and “good luck”!

  • Pietromonaco, P. R., & Markus, H. (1985). The Nature of Negative Thoughts in Depression. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology48(3), 799–807. https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-3514.48.3.799