Why Am I So Stupid: 13 Reasons Why You’re NOT! (2024) & How To Escape The Cycle

Do you constantly allow yourself to wonder “Why am I so stupid?” when you make mistakes? This guide will explain why you’re NOT stupid and how to escape the cycle of feeling this way. 

In my role as a life coach, I am often helping clients discover the self-belief to go for what they want in life. 

That’s why I’m keen to share this guide with you. 

So, let’s dive in. 

1. What Does It Mean To Feel Dumb?

To feel stupid, you usually have to compare yourself to other people. After all, what is “stupid” if there isn’t someone smart to compare yourself to? 

But comparing yourself to others is rarely a winning strategy if you want to feel good about yourself. After all, we tend to fall into the habit of comparing ourselves to those who are further ahead in life than us, and end up feeling lesser than them.

But what about the people who you are further ahead than? Most likely, that would have you feeling smarter and better about yourself.

I wouldn’t necessarily recommend this either, as this inflates your ego and prevents you from wanting to advance further in life. Don’t worry about comparing yourself to anyone other than your past self.  

2. Feeling Stupid Is Just Your Negative Inner Voice Talking

If you’re not comparing yourself to others, you’re most likely comparing yourself to where you think you should be.

When analysing this, you have two choices. 

  • You can be proud of how far you’ve come;
  • You can be frustrated that you’re not further ahead.

The first option is positive self-talk. It’s the voice in your head that focuses on love, gratitude and positivity. The second option is negative self-talk. It’s the voice in your head that focuses on feeling stupid. 

Every person has both of these voices in their head – and we can all choose which one to focus on.

Our negative inner voice pops up more often if we’re surrounded by people who support its arguments. If you were a child raised by critical or negative-minded family members, you’re more likely to suffer from a negative mindset throughout adulthood (and maybe your whole life if you don’t deal with it). 

Kids are particularly sensitive to the words of others. If you had elders calling you “stupid” whenever you made a mistake, it’s likely this became a fact in your young mind.

Don’t fear though! There are ways to turn this mindset around and forget your old beliefs, which we’ll address in the rest of this blog post.  

3. We Are All Stupid Sometimes

You may feel stupid when comparing yourself to other people. But the truth is: we all have moments of stupidity, probably far more than you realize.

The difference is: you witness all your stupid choices and wrong moves. You have to deal with the aftermath of the stupid things you do and live with the consequences. Meanwhile, everyone else is doing their best to hide their silly actions from others. 

We are all constantly trying to appear dignified, serious and intelligent to those around us, but we all endure moments of doing silly things and feeling stupid just as you do.

4. Is It Stupidity Or Imposter Syndrome?  

Imposter syndrome is when we feel like we don’t deserve our achievements. It’s a product of low self-esteem.

I have a ton of questions and exercises to help you overcome low self-esteem.  

In this guide, I would encourage you to trust the person who trusts you. Your boss hired you because he believes you can do the job. You were placed in a specific class in school because you were deemed intelligent enough to pass the exams. These people believe in you, so choose to believe in yourself. 

5. Why Do I Feel So Stupid At School?

School, college, university and even some workplaces have grading systems, which can make you feel stupid if you’re deemed to be below average.

Feel So Stupid
Photo By tulyawat01 On freepik

But if you fail or perform poorly in exams, does it really mean you are stupid? There are plenty of different reasons why this might happen. 

  • Some people have exam anxiety.
  • Some get stressed or burnt out during exam season. 
  • Some simply struggle to understand the material on the curriculum. 
  • Some have bad teachers who don’t prepare them well to be examined.
  • Some struggle to focus in class and retain information.   

None of these problems mean you lack intelligence or that you’re a stupid person. 

A common criticism of the education system is that it doesn’t prepare children well for adulthood. It simply teaches them to memorise facts, most of which will prove to be useless once their exams are over. 

Why Am I So Stupid In Math? 

There are plenty of intelligent people out there who struggled at one particular subject at school. If your brain struggles with numbers, it doesn’t mean you’re stupid. If you don’t know the capital cities in Europe, it doesn’t mean you’re stupid. It just means you struggled or (more likely) didn’t care to memorize them.

While grades are important for some career paths, you only really need to be intelligent at one thing to become a huge success in life.   

6. You Can Be Academically ‘Stupid’ But Still Become A Huge Success   

Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerburg and Bill Gates all dropped out of college and went on to be among the most successful entrepreneurs in existence. The academic learning process wasn’t for them. There are plenty more examples of entrepreneurs that dropped out of college, who prove you don’t have to be academically gifted to succeed in business.

If you’re socially intelligent, you can likely succeed in sales without any academic intelligence. There are plenty of other careers which just requires the ability to talk and connect well with people. If you can be a good friend who knows how to have fun in social situations, you’ll likely still live a rich and fulfilling life with plenty of opportunities along the way.

It works the other way around too. You could lack common sense, have poor social skills and make mistakes in other elements of life, but still succeed in whatever academic field you are gifted in.

Most people are only really good at one or two things throughout their lives – and there’s nothing wrong with that. 

7. Why Am I So Stupid At Everything? 

Most likely, you are exaggerating. This can happen if you were subjected to people saying you were “stupid at everything” as a child.

If you haven’t found your path of expertise at this moment, there’s still time for you to try other things. There’s also time for you to improve your focus and succeed on an academic path that you enjoy.

8. Why Am I So Dumb And Useless?

You’re not nearly as useless as you think you are.

This attitude is normally ingrained in people from parents, bullies, teachers or nasty bosses convincing people that this is the case.

People can choose to make themselves useful in a number of ways. If you haven’t found your best path to serve the world, there is still time for you to find it. The key is to try new things.  

Why Am I So Stupid
Photo By wayhomestudio On freepik

9. Feeling Stupid Is Actually Somewhat Ambitious   

Truly stupid people are too stupid to even realize how stupid they are. You have enough intelligence to be self-aware. Plus, the fact that you feel stupid is a sign that you have ambition to improve.

Most of the world’s smartest people are always aiming to learn more in every moment. 

Meanwhile, a lot of stupid people keep doing the wrong thing and making the same mistakes for their whole lives.  

10. Why Am I So Dumb And Slow? 

Again, you can only feel slow when comparing yourself to other people, or your ideal version of yourself.

It’s ambitious to want to be mentally sharper. But you can still be a success regardless of mentally quick you are. 

11. How Can I Stop Feeling Stupid?

Stupidity is subjective. You can stop feeling so stupid when you look at yourself from a different perspective.

Focus on the positive things you achieved. Express gratitude and appreciation for these things. Work with a therapist or a life coach to help change your perspective of life. These coaches might be able to suggest better ways for you to study, learn and retain information too.

Perhaps most importantly, surround yourself with people who support you. This will do so much to help you support yourself. If you have family members or teachers who criticize your every mistake, do what you can to address their behavior.   

Related Content: 32 Characteristics Of Low Self-Esteem And Solutions 

12. What Does It Mean If I’m “Stupid?”

Any of these situations could lead you to be deemed “stupid” by yourself or other people.

  • You’re struggling to retain the knowledge needed to get good grades.
  • You’re struggling to write an essay in a certain way needed to pass an exam. 
  • You’re not as far ahead in life as you want to be.
  • You’re not as far ahead as other people expect you to be. 
  • Sometimes, you’re not fully understanding when people speak to you about certain topics.

These are all fixable, but you can still live an incredible life without fixing any of these problems! 

13. Why Am I So Dumb At Life? 

We all have moments of feeling “dumb at life”. All of us. Teenagers. Adults. Pensioners.

None of us have life figured out. We’re all just faking it. Remember, you witness all of your own mistakes, while everyone else is doing their best to hide theirs. 

it’s natural to be your own worst critic, but try to get out of that habit. Forgive yourself when you make a mistake. Be a good friend to yourself. Use positive affirmations. Tell yourself you’ll do better next time, then make that a self-fulfilling prophecy.

You can do it.   

Any Questions? 

Thanks for reading my guide. I hope you enjoyed it.

Feeling stupid is an incredibly common problem among humans, so you have no reason to worry or feel embarrassed about this. Plenty of people feel the same way. Don’t fear! You’re in good company! I’ve certainly felt stupid and made mistakes enough times in the past. 

THe comments section allows you to have the last word on this topic! If you’d like to make a point or ask a question, feel free to leave a comment below. Of course, I’ll do my best to leave a useful response.  

Your opinions and emotions matter! So, let’s hear them!

And remember, there are no silly questions 😉

About The Author

Bijan Kholghi is a certified life coach with the Milton Erickson Institute Heidelberg (Germany). He helps clients and couples reach breakthroughs in their lives by changing subconscious patterns. His solution-oriented approach is based on Systemic- and Hypnotherapy.