Why I am a loser and proud of it

by Danielle MacKinnon

All my early life, I’ve struggled with the fear that I am a loser. 

To be like everyone else

As a kid and into young adulthood, I didn’t like myself very much. I really wanted:

More friends.
To feel more confident and less sensitive.
More confidence and less sensitivity
To fit in and finally be one of the crowd.

At that time, there were many things that I desperately wanted to change about myself. In high school, I believed that I stuck out no matter and I was constantly uncomfortable in my own skin. I thought if I could successfully be more like everyone else, I’d finally be able to stop believing I was a loser.

Hiding that I am a loser feeling

I tried everything I could to shift these hated traits so I could blend in better. I pushed myself to be more social than what truly felt comfortable. When things upset me, I pretended that I wasn’t really upset. And I went along with activities that didn’t really interest me, just so that I could be one of the crowd.

“Coincidentally,” at same time during High School and then into college, I also started experiencing panic attacks, debilitating depression, and anxiety. I couldn’t sleep and I often had rashes on my arms and legs. 

The consequences of hiding my why am I such a loser feelings

As I grew into my early and then late 20s, these challenges became overwhelming. While continuing to try and blend in with those around me, I started taking anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medication.

Nothing that I did helped. My husband (who was my boyfriend at the time) was at a loss. Everything was upsetting me. My belief that I am a loser dominated my thoughts and I pushed myself to try and “be better” and more “normal.” 

Location, location, location

At that time, Kevin and I were living in San Francisco. I didn’t realize it then, but SF was the perfect backdrop for me to let go of that “I am a loser” belief.  If I was a loser for not fitting in, San Francisco was full of losers! So many San Franciscans marched to the beat of their own drummer there. It was liberating. 

Now that I was living on the opposite coast from where I grew up in New England and didn’t know anyone, I felt more free to investigate what being “me” really was.  There wasn’t anyone around to tell me that I was wrong. My perspective around “loserdom” began to lose it’s hold on me.

Finding Strength in the belief that I am a Loser

Without realizing it, I began exploring the things that made me different instead of putting them down.

I never felt excited about sharing my feelings with groups of women friends so I started choosing my friends more carefully.  For me, personal connection beat group connection every day and I was able to develop a couple important, yet deep friendships. 

I noticed that if when took care of myself (and my energy), by doing what made me happy, versus what I thought I should be doing, my confidence was higher. Imagine that! When I did the things I loved, I felt better about myself and much more secure.

Realizing the Leader

And then, something incredible emerged through me doing the things that really worked for me: other people were noticing me.  They weren’t noticing me to laugh at point at how different I was, but instead to look up to me and point out how different I was from them.

And that’s when I realized it. Leaders are leaders because they ARE different. My belief that I was a loser was old and outdated. These things that made me so different – and so uniquely me. They are the things that make me special.  

Today, I am finally (mostly) comfortable with my differences and I help others become comfortable with theirs.  I started my own school of animal communication and intuition, I’ve written self-help books, and more.

Most excitingly, because I am living authentically and embracing my differences, I no longer struggle with depression, panic attacks or anxiety.


8 replies
  1. Amy
    Amy says:

    I’m so glad I found your blog. It’s been very comforting reading everyone’s story. I don’t get lost but after sixteen years in the same house, I still can’t tell the light switches apart, or what all the buttons do in my car. I do lose my car parking lots. I found out that at the age of 59 I have no close friends or family. The more I thought I thought about it I realized I don’t think I ever had any “real” close friends. I too always felt like the odd person out. I mean I can get along with most people, I just never really feel a close connection with most people. The minute I was asked about what I had been doing and I start to talk about my crystals, practicing communicating with animals and people who have crossed over, riding my horse, I could see their eyes glaze over and then they quickly change the subject. Now that I’ve been sick for so long, I’ve grown used to being alone with my family and I’m content. I think that’s a positive.

  2. Mr Glenn
    Mr Glenn says:

    Today touched a nerve in me and for a guy home run! After losing my career which I loved, respected and helped other people get in. It was the a few that I helped who were more then happy to stick a a knife in my back. I was hurt and felt like a loser for a long time. As I started and new career I found my self working with a young diversed crowd. Suddenly I was mentoring guiding and parenting these young people. My lifes experiennces the painful times I lived with I was suddenly feeling more confident and less of a loser. It helped me over come alot but still deep down inside the career I loved and respected I will never have again. So helping people over come differnt obstacles, fears and lack of confidence helps us over come ours. But during that painful dark time my dog who I found after I lost my career well she was my back bone in life. I miss Ellie deeply if she only new how I really depended on her to feel like a winner and what she did to make a winner again – May she rest in peace

  3. Prudence
    Prudence says:

    I cut vegetables in multiples of four, no matter how tiny that last cut makes those carrots. I get agoraphobic when my inner perfectionist gets feisty. I get the vacuum cleaner out intending to vacuum and it may sit there for two days before I actually turn it on. I spent a good amount of time by myself learning how to do “The Cup Song,” and I am not 14. In fact, even my child is well past 14.

    But you know what? I really like people who get lost a lot. They have the best adventures. And impatient people get things DONE! So if you guys can put up with all the ways I’m a loser, I will tell you how much I love the ways you’re different, and we can happily hang out.

  4. Gina
    Gina says:

    I never felt like I “fit in” with any one group, and as an adult still usually feel like I am the odd shaped peg. For along time I let this depress me, and fought back my sensitivities, as I considered them a weakness. Just recently as I’ve delved into shadow work, I realize that my oddities and sensitivities are great strengths as they make me unique; and I’ve found others that feel the same way. Sometimes you have to fly your freak flag and find your tribe! Thanks for the reminder that we all have our self doubts and we’re not alone with them!

  5. JoAnn
    JoAnn says:

    Danielle,I tell you today was like you were speaking to me,I can identify with everything you said. I am not a patient person and my sense of direction is lousy also and even at 70 years old I don’t feel like I fit in.I will try harder to embrace those parts of me that are different.Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts each day,I have come to look forward to them and enjoy them very much.

  6. Linda
    Linda says:

    Thank you for such a refreshing perspective. Love it. You’re absolutely right. It might sound trite but so many of us judge ourselves because we are “different” or don’t conform to what is supposedly acceptable and yet every difference is what makes each of us unique and that uniqueness is to be celebrated! I am comfortable in my own beingness – it’s not ego or arrogance – it’s accepting ourselves for who we are. By the way – I can get lost following a GPS and my family and I laugh about it too!! 🙂

  7. Anne Quick
    Anne Quick says:

    Yes, to not wanting anyone to think ill of me. This was pointed out clearly to me last night. I had a pretrial court date for a moving violation. It’s the first time I’ve ever tried to fight a ticket, not that I’ve gotten many tickets. I was really anxious, because I didn’t know what to expect. But in talking to a colleague, I realized my greatest fear was what the judge and officer would think of me as a person. Boy did the lightbulb go on at that moment, about how silly this fear was. I can not expect everyone to like me, and perhaps the biggest thing is not everyone is judging me all the time anyway. Thanks for the poignant reminder which reinforces the lesson, I need to love and accept myself as I am and not focus on what others think or what I think they will think.

  8. Octavio
    Octavio says:

    Yes; but now I have a tool I use, the construction walk tool… That I was tough by a very inspirational guru I look up to and admire as a human been no matter how much of a loser she thinks she is thanks Danielle for been you.


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