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I Can Never Do Anything Right


I can never do anything right

"I can never do anything right." Is that how you feel, or, is that what you're always told? Does it seem that every endeavor you attempt, falls far short of it's intended goal? The world today has a tendency to demand so much of us that our best just isn't good enough. So the feeling of not being able to do anything right is more prevalent than ever before. The media uses every little mistake as fodder for jokes, and that fuels the feeling among many that they are unworthy or lacking in so many ways.

Let's examine this subject through the eyes of some of my customary characters.


Character One

We begin with Doubtful Dennis. Dennis has no self esteem, and for good reason, he's always been told by all in his family that he can't do anything right. For instance, whenever Dennis is told by his father to mow the lawn, he always miss a few spots. Dennis, being only 12 years old has not perfected his technique, and to be fair his father has only shown him once or twice.

This time Dennis, after finishing knows that his father will not be satisfied, but he hopes against hope that this is the one time his father will say "well done." However his father remains true to form, he says, "give me the lawn mower and go in the house, as usual you can't do anything right." Unfortunately, mother gives him little or no support. Poor Dennis, his lack of self esteem is seen in everything he does, school, the playground with friends,etc.


Character Two

Now on to Beaten Down Bobby, with his wife Never Satisfied Noreen. When Bobby and Noreen were first dating, Bobby could do no wrong and why not, whatever Noreen wanted she got, often without even asking. Well after the wedding things changed. Because Noreen had become accustomed to being treated like a queen, she expected the treatment to continue. So whenever she didn't get her way Bobby was verbally beaten down. Her constant lament is "you never do anything right." That's in part because after getting used to the best of everything, during their courtship, Noreen was having trouble adjusting to the "real life." Now, with the added expense of running a household, Bobby can't always buy the best. So when Bobby buys Noreen a gift, it never seems to be what she wants. Oh she throws hints and Bobby catches them, but he can't afford what she wants, so he always gets "second best," and Noreen doesn't disappoint, Bobby gets the customary response and guess what, Bobby feels, you're right, "I can never do anything right."


Character Three

What about Nervous Nelly. Nelly works on a job that she's had since she graduated high school, she's now 40 years old. She's done the same job the entire time she's been there. This is considered an entry level job, and it has been intimated that she can't "cut the mustard," in any other position. In her beginning years at the job, Nelly was told by a spiteful mean spirited supervisor, that due to her "inability to master any new task," that she'll never amount to anything. Whenever Nelly was given a new assignment, instead of asking for help she attempted to do the job without help, and of course, lack of knowledge about the assignment caused Nelly to fail time and time again. This prompts the response, from this very spiteful man, "you can never do anything right. For instance, take, the first time, the office was computerized. All received training, albeit it minimal, Nelly entered the wrong information a few times, as some of the others did. But Nelly was singled out and told, "you'll never move up, because you can't do anything right." This is exactly what she says to herself, "I can never do anything right." She's as hard on herself as everyone else is.


Character Four

Let's not leave out Dainty Della. Della is not very athletic, and no matter how hard she tries she cannot master anything athletic. She's what is commonly known as the "person with two left feet." On the playground she can't jump rope, or even hopscotch. Poor Della wants so much to fit in with her "friends," so she attempts every athletic feat that her "friends" participates in. No matter what she tries she feel inadequate and her "friends" give her no relief. Their taunt is, "that Della, she can never do anything right." For instance once when the group was performing a simple exercise of jump rope, oh did I mention that this was a competition between two groups. And you must know that no one wanted Della on their team. Well, the team that unfortunately got Della was disappointed. Poor Della didn't disappoint she failed miserably, costing her team the win. The lament of all in attendance, " That Della, can never do anything right." Of course Della feels the same way.

The Possible Solution For Characters One and Two

In the case of Doubtful Dennis, does his father and mother, know what they are doing to Dennis? This can be a lifelong problem and without support, it will be. If his father expects to have a son that he can be proud of, he'll have to begin by allowing Dennis to grow normally with his support. When Bobby does something wrong, instead of finishing it himself, he should patiently show him until he gets it. If Bobby can't seem to master a particular task, find one that he can, and help him to with that one. And mother should support both her husband and her son. Mothers and Fathers Unite and give support to your young ones, to help build self esteem. Dennis could try to have a talk with someone that possible understands him. Of course, he is rather young and maybe he doesn't know who to go to. He could begin with his parents, or maybe a teacher. An observant adult could try approaching Dennis and encouraging him to open up, or maybe approach the parents. Remember the saying, "it takes a village." Well this could be one time that the "village" could step in and lend a helping hand.

What about Beaten Down Bobby. Bobby's big mistake was to begin something that he couldn't keep up. Hindsight, they say, is 20/20, so in hindsight Bobby realizes that he should not have been so free with gifts before their marriage. However, now that he has, he needs to develop a backbone and stand up to Noreen, put his foot down and change his "method of operation." We all know that probably won't happen. But perhaps Noreen could alter her attitude. Nah, never happen either. Let's back up and try to help poor Bobby out. Come on Bobby, "man up," sit Noreen down and let her know what you can and can't afford, and while you have her attention, let her know how you feel when she talks to you the way she does. Noreen dear, a good man is hard to find, so when you find one you should do whatever, within reason, you can to keep him, and this seems like a small thing to ask. Of course these are suggestions that may or may not work, however, there is an old saying, that goes something like this, "nothing beats a failure, but a try." So why not at least try these, who knows they might just work.

The Possible Solution For Characters Three And Four

For Nervous Nelly the solution seems to be simple, however not being in Nelly's position, it could easier said than done. For instance if Nelly's self esteem is so low, she can't get out of the situation without help. However, long before it got to this point Nelly should have taken matters into her own hands and sought employment elsewhere. She could have reported the supervisor, taken time to learn on her own how to do the new jobs that were put before her. Maybe she could have simply asked for more help. Now, all of these things didn't happen. That was then, this is now. Just think of all of the experience that Nelly has from staying in that same position. Now she really does have something to offer another employer. There are computer classes that she could avail herself of. Not only that, but with the experience Nelly has she could start her own business. If all of this seems daunting for Nelly, she could seek counseling, if not face to face, there are always self help books. So we can see that Nelly's situation is not as hopeless as it seems.

Okay, Dainty Della's "problem" is the easiest one to overcome. One way is, simply get new friends.  Maybe, find a hobby less physical than sports, or just talk to her parents. Let's face it sports isn't for everyone. Della, being dainty, is probably best suited for inside hobbies or pursuits. Think about it, with friends like Della's, who needs enemies. Parents be observant, if you see your young one having problems in one particular area, be proactive, approach the youngster, and try to ascertain the reason. When the cause is identified, take action, work with them to reach a solution. These actions can go a long way in building their self esteem. Della's lack of self esteem and feeling of not being able to do anything right can be stemmed, as she is still at the age where changes can take place with not much effort.


So in conclusion, for any who find themselves in situations like the above characters, or any similar, my advice might be easier said than done, but why not give it a try. I subscribe to the saying, "Fake It Til You Make It." By that I mean sometimes faking or portraying self confidence will have others believing it, and it just might cause you to believe it yourself. Especially in Nervous Nelly's case. Don't be afraid to ask, letting others know that you don't know and would like help in a given situation. Admitting that you are not cut out for all types of activities, and finding ones that you are good at. Standing up to, or, simply having a conversation with ones that expect more than you can give. And those of you contributing to these feelings, "shame on you, Stop that!" These are real simple steps and I'm sure they will not work for everyone. This is at least a jumping off point. Subsequent to these suggestions, my advice is, get help from professionals, because deep seated problems can only be solved with time and help from qualified professionals.

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Alfreta Sailor (author) from Southern California on November 30, 2012:

Thank you so much Elseductor, I am contemplating that, because of nice people like you. Thanks so much for stopping, and taking time to leave that really nice comment, and compliment.

Alfreta Sailor (author) from Southern California on November 05, 2012:

Thank you 3cardmonte, you're the greatest. I'm just the other end of the spectrum. Even when people tell me what I did wasn't what they really liked or wanted, I attribute it to their problem. Or I'll set out to prove them wrong. Now that might not be the right way to go either, but I'm stuck in that mind set. (Smile).

3cardmonte on November 05, 2012:

Very true and presented in a very funny way. I often have periods of I can never do anything right and am definitely a nervous nelly at times!

Alfreta Sailor (author) from Southern California on September 22, 2011:

Thanks jacqui2011. Say, feel free to refer them to the site, or make copies and give it to them. It's always my pleasure to have someone benefit from what I write, being that I don't consider myself a real writer. Again thank you so much for visiting my hubs. You're super!

jacqui2011 from Norfolk, UK on September 22, 2011:

What a fantastic hub. I work as a nursery nurse, and children as young as 3 or 4 lack self esteem, rushing to show parents their painted pictures at the end of the day, often without them commenting or giving it a second glance. A lot of the parents from my nursery should read this. Voted up and useful.

Alfreta Sailor (author) from Southern California on May 18, 2010:

Thank you jessieagudo for stopping and reading. Please stop over again soon.

jessieagudo on May 16, 2010:

nice sharing...

Alfreta Sailor (author) from Southern California on May 05, 2010:

Thanks again embee77 for visiting and reading my hubs. I look forward to reading more of yours, as it seems we think a lot alike. See you again soon.

embee77 on May 04, 2010:

Wow, FF, "can't" is such a small, but enormous, word! How many of us send negative messages like this to ourselves over and over every day, and we don't even know we're doing it? Some people call them ANTS, automatic negative thoughts. They are poison and they destroy us. I hope readers who see themselves in your article can get help and change their internal automatic responses. I can attest that this one thing can make a huge and meaningful difference. Again, many thanks.

Alfreta Sailor (author) from Southern California on April 29, 2010:

I actually started this type of hubbing because my daughter-in-law made a somewhat similar comment, so thanks for giving me the confidence to continue. Thanks also for taking the time to read and leave a comment. See you later.

valeriebelew from Metro Atlanta, GA, USA on April 29, 2010:

You missed your calling, lol. You should have been a counselor. Very good insight. Also, thanks for joining my fans. One of the best parts of hubpages is making friends all over the world. Glad to have just made another one.

Alfreta Sailor (author) from Southern California on April 23, 2010:

Chinweike, you are so encouraging. Thank you so much your beautiful words. Please feel free to link to, or put this article on your website. My goal is to reach as many as possible, and this is a way to do it. Thanks again for stopping and really reading this hub. I'll be seeing you later.

Chinweike from Glasgow, UK on April 23, 2010:

Fastfreta, it is people like that make me still my client's time to read hubs. You really touched me and the lives of many with this hub. People need to stop condemning themselves (directly or indirectly).

Thanks for sharing


Alfreta Sailor (author) from Southern California on April 22, 2010:

Thanks Michael for your very kind words. Hope to see you again soon.

Michael Shane from Gadsden, Alabama on April 22, 2010:

Another fantastic hub Freta....Very informative & well stated...

Alfreta Sailor (author) from Southern California on April 21, 2010:

Thanks skye2day I agree with you we do have help. Unfortunately some don't accept those means. So sometimes we need to hear it from someone who's been there. Thank for your encouragement. I will visit your hub. See you soon.

skye2day from Rocky Mountains on April 21, 2010:

fastfreta Hello you. My heart went to all the characters. I can relate. I think we all can. The good news is we have an overcomer, his name is Jesus. I wish I had known that sooner in my life. 'I can do all things though Christ that strengths me' One needs to know him to know his promises.

Life is not primrose lane, but we can look forward to no more suffering. I used 'fake it until you make it' in AA allot. That is one of the tools they share with each other. It helped. Now Jesus is my help in every trouble. 'This too shall pass' Great hub fastfreta. It is inspiration and encouragement.

Come and visit my 'scented oil' chapter one and two. I believe you will like. With Love sister.

Alfreta Sailor (author) from Southern California on April 19, 2010:

Thanks RescoverToday for your very nice comment. I hope you will visit again soon.

RecoverToday from United States on April 19, 2010:

I love the way you describe the different characters! It's so true. This was a true blessing.

Alfreta Sailor (author) from Southern California on April 19, 2010:

I agree Urbane Chaos, it's ashamed that more people don't understand that. Thank you so much for your kind words, please stop over again soon.

Eric Standridge from Oklahoma on April 19, 2010:

I gotta say, this is an amazing hub. I think that everyone, no matter what they are going through in life, really needs to understand this. It's amazing how far a little self knowledge will go. Thanks for sharing this!

Alfreta Sailor (author) from Southern California on April 17, 2010:

Thanks Linda, you're right, if they only knew, well maybe some would do differently. Thanks for taking time to read and comment. See you soon.

Linda Todd from Charleston on April 17, 2010:

This is a wonderful hub and so true with so many people in our world. They do not realize how words hurt people and that what they are telling someone can damage their life. Remarkable job. Thank you so much for sharing.

Alfreta Sailor (author) from Southern California on April 17, 2010:

Thank you gramarye, as I always do, I write my hubs when something directly affects me, 'nuff said. Thanks for stopping and making a comment. Please stop over again soon.

gramarye from Adelaide - Australia on April 16, 2010:

Great hub fastfreta - I needed a bit of a self-esteem reminder today when everything I've touched turned to gluggy glue!

Alfreta Sailor (author) from Southern California on April 15, 2010:

Thank you stars439, that's my hope, that it will help. Thanks for stopping and taking the time to read and leave a comment. Please come again.

stars439 from Louisiana, The Magnolia and Pelican State. on April 15, 2010:

A really good hub. It will help others. God Bless You.

Alfreta Sailor (author) from Southern California on April 14, 2010:

Now that's the result that I like when I write this type of hub. I applaud you for taking that extra step and getting help. Thank you so much for reading and taking the time to leave a comment. I hope to see you again soon.

Gigi2 from UK on April 14, 2010:

Thank you, a very special hub. I can relate to it totally in terms of low self esteem. I am getting help, and your hub and insight contribute enormously. Thank you so much for your words.

Alfreta Sailor (author) from Southern California on April 13, 2010:

Thank you 4x4 and tim-tim for stopping and reading also for your very kind words. Please stop over again soon.

Priscilla Chan from Normal, Illinois on April 13, 2010:

fastfreta, what a wonderful hub! Awesome! Thanks for the interesting story:)

4x4 from Los Angeles on April 13, 2010:

I can help but read all the way through.

Thanks for the great read!

Alfreta Sailor (author) from Southern California on April 11, 2010:

Thanks tonymac, coming from a master storyteller such as yourself I really am honored to get a comment like that. Thanks again for stopping, see you soon.

Tony McGregor from South Africa on April 11, 2010:

This is such a wonderful Hub! You have woven such interesting stories to illustrate some very important points, especially about self-esteem.

Thank you so much!

Love and peace


Alfreta Sailor (author) from Southern California on April 11, 2010:

Thank you Winsome, yes my kids are confident, sometimes to a fault.

Thank you Lady_E, I am giving that some thought.

Thank you both for stopping and taking time to read and for your kind words of encouragement, I'll see you both soon.

Elena from London, UK on April 11, 2010:

Very interesting and makes one think hard. I like this side of your writing and hope you consider writing a book some day. Best Wishes.

Winsome from Southern California by way of Texas on April 11, 2010:

Remember the piano player on sesame street that always banged his head on the piano when he got a note wrong? Kids can really relate to this topic. I bet you have a lot of confident and self-assured kids and grandkids. Thanks for more great positivism and helpful advice. =:)

Alfreta Sailor (author) from Southern California on April 10, 2010:

Thank you taskeinc, I agree with you on this. Thank you for stopping and reading. Please stop again soon.

B. E. Shaw Sr. from Atlanta on April 10, 2010:

It really does come down to finding creative ways to improve self esteem, nice hub.

Alfreta Sailor (author) from Southern California on April 10, 2010:

Thank you Dolores, I couldn't have said it better myself. Thanks for taking time to read and leave a comment, see you soon.

Dolores Monet from East Coast, United States on April 10, 2010:

I love 'fake it til you make it,' that's great like a self training system. Life can be a struggle and giving in to the problems and letting other people bring you down is just concentrating on the negativity.

Alfreta Sailor (author) from Southern California on April 09, 2010:

How observant SweetiePie, I totally agree with your observation and proposed solution. Thanks for that, and thanks for stopping, please come again soon.

SweetiePie from Southern California, USA on April 09, 2010:

The feel the most for poor Bobby. I think someone like Bobby married a materialistic girl and let us be honest, that type of girl is never going to be happy. If I were him I would sit her down and let her know money does not grow on trees, and material items do not buy happiness. They both need to learn how to connect with each other on less of a material level.

Alfreta Sailor (author) from Southern California on April 09, 2010:

No truer words have ever been spoken. I agree with you when you said, "So much of what we are as adults are learned through childhood and letting it all go is very difficult." I wish that I had written that statement in the hub, because it is a fitting conclusion to what I was trying to convey. Thank you so much Jane for visiting and taking time to read and comment. I'll see you soon.

Jane@CM on April 09, 2010:

I am glad I read this hub today. You talk about many things that I'm reading in a book called "The Search for Significance".

I catch myself more times thinking I could do a better job than what the kids are doing, but I hold my tongue and tell them they did a great job. I won't hold them up to my perfectionist standards because I don't want them to be me.

So much of what we are as adults are learned through childhood and letting it all go is very difficult.

Alfreta Sailor (author) from Southern California on April 08, 2010:

Thank you lgn Andy, chainusmc, and CharlettaBasnight, for weighing in on this hub, and thank you all for your very kind words. Please come back again.

CharlettaBasnight on April 08, 2010:

Excellent hub. I am definitely going to be sharing this.

chainusmc on April 08, 2010:

I like it

Ign Andy from Green Home Office on April 08, 2010:

Wow, great hub. Your article will help people interact to each other. You gave 4 cases which many people (including me) over look. Thanks for sharing.

Alfreta Sailor (author) from Southern California on April 07, 2010:

Thank you devsir, I appreciate that you took the time to read and for your comment. Please stop again soon.

devsir on April 07, 2010:

It is an excellent hub. The topic is very relevant to many a people out there in this painful world. I wish everyone could read this. Thumbs Up

Alfreta Sailor (author) from Southern California on April 07, 2010:

Thank you saket71 for your kind words, and I agree, in this case, self first. Thank you so much for stopping. Hope to see you again.

saket71 from Delhi, India on April 07, 2010:

great article, for some reasons today my thoughts are revolving around forgiveness, and reading your article it occurred to me that this should be like charity, that is starting from home. First step towards deliverance is to inculcate the ability to be able to forgive yourself. Kudos for the great write once again.

Alfreta Sailor (author) from Southern California on April 07, 2010:

Thanks donotfear for the gracious comment. Please visit again.

Annette Thomas from United States on April 07, 2010:

Great advice!! And very well written in easy to understand terms.

Alfreta Sailor (author) from Southern California on April 07, 2010:

Thanks HappyHer for stopping and for the comment. Please stop again soon.

Tracy Morrow from Cleveland, OH on April 07, 2010:

I love how you gave examples as characters like that, it really hit home how low self esteem can effect a person. Thanks for a great hub!

Alfreta Sailor (author) from Southern California on April 07, 2010:

Micky Dee these characters strike a cord with a whole lot of us. If they are not us, we know some of them. Thank you, you're super. I'll see you soon.

Micky Dee on April 07, 2010:

So how come you know my family and friends so well?

Alfreta Sailor (author) from Southern California on April 07, 2010:

Thanks prasetio30 for taking the time to read, and comment. Thank you too for your encouragement. Please come back again soon.

prasetio30 from malang-indonesia on April 07, 2010:

This is great hub. I have to learn much from each character. Good work.

Alfreta Sailor (author) from Southern California on April 07, 2010:

Thanks suziecat7, theherbivorehippi, loveofnight, and Miss Darnell, for those kind words and the encouragement.

Lecie, I'm glad to hear that you got counseling, but sorry to hear about those insensitive individuals with possible self esteem issues themselves. I find that people like that are over compensating for an issue of their own. So take heart it's not you, but they are the ones with the problem.

Hello, hello, Sometimes it just feels like that, everything backfiring I mean. When it happens to me, I take a different attitude, I tell myself that it didn't happen, because it wasn't suppose to happen, and move on.

Thank you all for taking the time to read and leave a comment, I'll see you all soon.

suziecat7 from Asheville, NC on April 07, 2010:

I enjoyed this Hub also. Lots of information and well written. Thanks.

theherbivorehippi from Holly, MI on April 07, 2010:

Brilliant Hub!! Love the names! Perfect examples and awesome advice!! Such a fabulous job!!

Loveofnight Anderson from Baltimore, Maryland on April 07, 2010:

thumbs up from me, this is a very informative hub......thx

Lecie on April 07, 2010:

really great hub. i grew up with undiagnosed mental disorders. everyone in school and at home gave me a hard time because i rarely ever talked. as an adult i got counsling and found out the whole time i didn't talk is because i have social phobias. this new found information has stopped the bullying from some of my family. others however still treat me like before. at least now i know that it's not my fault and that has helped to boost my confidence.

Missi Darnell from Southern California on April 07, 2010:

Such a wonderful hub, love your characters and your wisdom. Always enjoy reading your hubs fastfreta! You always have wonderful insight.

Hello, hello, from London, UK on April 07, 2010:

I don't get depressed or doubting myself but it just happens to me all the time. Well, I just ploughing on like the good old horse. Whatever, I am trying to do it just backfires.

Alfreta Sailor (author) from Southern California on April 07, 2010:

Thank you Ann, for those oh so kind words, I am humbled by your compliment. And thank you so much for taking time to read and comment. Please stop again soon.

Ann Nonymous from Virginia on April 07, 2010:

Oh Freta you did an amazing job on this! I know someone who struggles with this and will try my best to make that person feel confident in who God made this person to be! Thank you soooo much! Love your entire hub and it's presentation!

Alfreta Sailor (author) from Southern California on April 06, 2010:

Good for you Veronica for catching this unhealthy behavior in time, also for being proactive and not letting it slip by. Good mother!

Great lorlie6 for being a FORMER Nervous Nelly.

Thank you both for stopping and taking the time to read and comment. Please come back again.

Laurel Rogers from Bishop, Ca on April 06, 2010:

A big thumbs up from a former Nervous Nelly!

Great Hub, fastfreta.

Veronica Allen from Georgia on April 06, 2010:

My eldest one has started saying this, and when she says it, my youngest repeats it. I've begun immediately to nip this attitude in the bud - I need them to know that they can do whatever they put their mind to, and whatever the outcome is, as long as they put their best foot forward, that is all that matters. Great hub Fastfreta!

Alfreta Sailor (author) from Southern California on April 06, 2010:

Thanks RevLady, I know the scripture, but I didn't think of it in relation to this thought. Thanks for adding it in your comment. Also thanks for stopping and reading. See you soon.

And you BK thanks for the validation of the hub. Hurray for you in doing this for those precious little ones, you're my Shero for doing so.!

Well now I wouldn't say regularly, but it does happen. LOL! Thanks for stopping.

BkCreative from Brooklyn, New York City on April 06, 2010:

I have students who think like this fastfreta - I sub sometimes - but I told them that in my presence they are not allowed to say they cannot do anything right - they may not know how to do it - but to say they can't do something right - not acceptable! It works!

I'm still thinking about your old lady hub Hahahaha! I know you are approached regularly. It's so great to be able to handle everything thrown you way!!! Yay for old ladies! Good stuff!

RevLady from Lantana, Florida on April 06, 2010:

Hi Fastfreta,

Your, "Fake It Til You Make It." is tantamount to my "calls things that are not as though they were." Romans 4:17. It is empowering.

Nice and encouraging hub.

Forever His,

Alfreta Sailor (author) from Southern California on April 06, 2010:

Thanks Pamella for the kind words. And thanks for taking the time to read and comment on this hub. Hope to see you soon.

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on April 06, 2010:

Fastfreta, Those were good example of people held back by those false beliefs put in their head by rude, uncaring people and they chose to believe others instead of in themselves. Good hub.

Alfreta Sailor (author) from Southern California on April 06, 2010:

Thank you thevoice for your comment and for taking time to read the hub. Hope to see you soon.

thevoice from carthage ill on April 06, 2010:

five star hub read write thanks

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