Wanting Constantly to Redo Life

By Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

I’m not satisfied with my life at all. Ever since I was a teenager, I constantly view my life as flawed, and I want to relive it. I feel like I didn’t even experience certain parts of my life, like teenhood. I spent lots of time in my teenhood being afraid of growing older, and now, as an adult, I find myself pining for high school. I want to do it all again, and this time be a football player, or even an academic, anything. I just feel like I’m not special, and whatever talents I do possess I put down. For example, I’m not proud of my talent in ASL, because a lot of people don’t seem to show interest in it, or it’s not as highly regarded. Also, I am sad that I am an adult, because now I won’t be able to excel at anything, or feel recognized or special. Why do I feel so unworthy? I know this thinking is weird, but please help me understand it, if you can.

A. You assume that you are not “special” because of what you think other people think about you. You said that whatever talents you have you “put down,” which is to say that you minimize your abilities and achievements. You also feel unworthy. It is apparent that you have a distorted view of yourself and your abilities.

It is important to see reality clearly. Your distorted self-image might be the result of low self-esteem. Both low self-esteem and distorted thinking are suggestive of depression. Distorted thoughts can lead to negative life outcomes. Because you don’t think highly of yourself you risk never actualizing your full potential. For instance, you have been told that you have talent in ASL but since your default assumption is that you’re “no good,” you might never pursue it further. You might assume that you will fail when in reality you could be very wrong. Distorted thinking can hold you back in life.

Unfortunately, you can’t relive your life. None of us can change the past. Consider seeing a therapist who can help you to stay grounded in reality and who can test your thinking against the objective truth. If you can correct your thinking, then you will significantly improve the quality of your life. Please take care.

Dr. Kristina Randle
Mental Health & Criminal Justice Blog

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 29 Aug 2013

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2013). Wanting Constantly to Redo Life. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 1, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2013/08/29/wanting-constantly-to-redo-life/