Everything I Do Is Wrong

July 11, 2022 Laura A. Barton

Do you ever feel like you never do anything right? I do. My baseline is feeling that everything I do is wrong to the point that feeling like I’m doing something right is a rarity. Anxiety keeps running questions in the back of my mind, whether I’m making the right decision, saying the right words, or doing the right thing.

Feeling Like Everything I Do Is Wrong Is Debilitating

I’m fairly certain my anxiety came first, but the specific anxiety of doing or saying the wrong thing came after being repeatedly made to feel like I was doing the wrong thing. Growing up, there were so many times when I’d make a decision or say something, and it would elicit negative reactions from the adults around me. What I mean by negative reactions is scolding me, exasperated sighs, mocking my decisions, and so on. It got to the point that it felt like I could do nothing right at all. I felt like a bad person, and the anxiety around doing things, and decision-making, in particular, started to fester.

All of that still lives rent-free in my head and dictates my day-to-day as an adult. Making decisions is a harrowing, often debilitating, experience. As a people pleaser (something I need to work on), I try to make decisions that won’t impact or upset anyone else.

That ends up looking like simple things like picking what to eat or deciding what to do for the day becoming impossible tasks.

I always try to make someone else decide. The result of doing that? People get frustrated and angry with me, furthering the feelings that I'm doing everything wrong. I can’t even get things right by leaving the decision to them. Damned if I do, damned if I don’t. Somehow, my brain sees the backlash of forcing the decision on someone else as more favorable, so I usually go with that.

That doesn’t mean I leave absolutely every decision up to someone else; although decisions I do make on my own, I tend to hide or wait until the last minute to reveal. And making those decisions takes a long time of mulling over and really assessing if I can deal with any consequences.

The Mental Health Impact of Feeling Like Everything I Do Is Wrong

I don’t think people understand the mental health impact of feeling like there’s not a single thing I can do that’s right. There are times when I could cry because I feel like such a failure, or I'm so upset that my thoughts drift to thinking things would be better if I weren't here

I get the sense that folks just see me as being difficult or maybe immature. I’m sure some people think I’m being dramatic or stupid for not being able to make a simple decision. (I see this all as stigmatizing, by the way.)

Let me tell you; I wish it were really that simple. I wish I could do it and not feel like I’m making a terrible mistake. I wish I could quiet the ingrained anxiety in my head that says everything I do is wrong. Sadly, it’s not that easy, but I’m working on it. Please be patient with me (and others like me).

If you feel that you may hurt yourself or someone else, call 9-1-1 immediately.

For more information on suicide, see our suicide information, resources and support section. For additional mental health help, please see our mental health hotline numbers and referral information section.

APA Reference
Barton, L. (2022, July 11). Everything I Do Is Wrong, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, June 21 from

Author: Laura A. Barton

Laura A. Barton is a fiction and non-fiction writer from Ontario, Canada. Follow her writing journey and book love on Instagram, and Goodreads.

June, 13 2024 at 5:00 am

I feel I cannot hold on. For the last few years I have been loosing more and more with no recovery. My breakdowns are costing me my family relationships. They just do know what else to do and they are feeling the pain too. We have no help,hope no one I just kept hoping I do not inhale another breath help

May, 10 2024 at 11:15 am

I Feel Like This All The Time And Nobody Ever Listens To Me. I Literally Feel Like I'm Always Doing Something Wrong Or I'm Always Disappointing Somebody.

January, 25 2024 at 1:16 pm

Omg I feel exactly like this. It was like I was reading my own words right off the page. Do I suffer with anxiety??? Is that what this is??? I always feel scared to make decisions, as they usually go wrong for me no matter what I decide. I hate answering the phone, as I sometimes forget what I'm talking about , then I start to stutter and sound like an idiot. Everyone else around me is normal, making grown up decisions, amazing jobs, family, beautiful house, very successful. I have the opposite to any of that, nervous, scared, unlucky, failure, stupid. I feel like a pathetic child who needs her hand holding through life. Not at all the person I wanted to be.

January, 22 2024 at 8:21 am

Amen to all of that and to each of us who feel it.

November, 5 2023 at 3:57 pm

I'm here because I cry everyday and nobody can help. Can't cry to my son's, it makes me so ashamed. When I talk to people they just want to relate there times and say it's tough. I am at my wits end and feeling so down. Basically living on the street after owning a great home. She took it all from me and now I'm alone. This won't help but I'm crying and don't want to bother anyone. I have thought about tapping out but that would destroy my kids life. They deserve better. I'm shaking and this is the hardest day of my life.

Hidden Name
November, 19 2023 at 10:00 am

I feel you. I haven’t left yet but I am close. I am close to losing my job, my wife is always mad at me, I hate yelling at my kids but they don’t listen or respect me until I lose it. I never lash out physically but I do verbally. I feel like I am ruining my kids and my marriage. Maybe they would be better if I left. Like you I would never end it for them knowing what that does to others and I fear death. But I feel like they would be better without me around. Happier. I cannot find a shrink worth my time and I hate meds. My anxiety is causing me to not sleep. I haven’t properly slept more than a couple hours in over a month
You are not alone. We need to keep fighting for those we love. You talk about your son. Mine knows something is wrong with his Dad, but I cannot say anything to him. So I sit alone in the dark and cry. Stay strong, you’re not alone ❤️

February, 16 2024 at 11:18 am

Antony please find your nearest Christian Church speak to someone ,you are a very special person and here on earth for a reason ,make the first move. Pray for God's help in your life ,beleive me he will listen to you God bless you Poppy

July, 1 2023 at 7:22 pm

I have felt the exact way for most of my life. I feel like a burden. I gave up today on a Saturday and went to bed at 7pm because I was just so tired of it all. All anyone does is belittle me and treat me like I’m stupid. I’m just done.

April, 24 2023 at 4:03 pm

This is me! Along with feeling like everything I do is completely wrong I have massive anxiety about taking PTO from work. I’m afraid I’m going to get fired as we have an unlimited PTO policy and it’s all up to my supervisor. I apologize incessantly, my husband gets mad at me for it but I don’t know how to fix it. When I try not to apologize people get mad at me. I know I’m not good enough at anything I do 🤦‍♀️

Donna Hall
April, 14 2023 at 11:45 am

Cried reading this because I could have wrote that word for word

July, 27 2022 at 11:12 am

GOOD Article! Difficult to live through. Day by day, moment by moment!

February, 17 2023 at 1:26 am

The moment by moment is the hardest cause no one forgives you for the decisions you make as a consequence of the moment because only you were in the moment, not them.

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