Don't be too hard on yourself. It gets better with more time and practice.
I think that M57 isn't as easy to find as one may think. With my XT 8 and a 25 mm EP, the ring doesn't just jump right out at me at all. I have to use fairly decent magnification to tell that it's a nebula and not just a star. This may just be me, and it's been a while since I've targeted the Ring, but it seems like it's located in somewhat of a hole. That is, there isn't anything around it very close.
One huge thing I would suggest is that you invest in a Telrad and if you're wanting to hunt down Messier objects, buy the two charts for that that go along with the Telrad. I can't begin to tell you how much frustration will ease and your time at the EP will be a lot more rewarding. The time spent hunting for your targets will greatly decrease while your time actually observing them will greatly increase.
Also, "Turn Left At Orion" is a valuable resource. I own a copy and refer to it most every night that I'm out. But, I would suggest getting Sky and Telescope's Pocket Sky Atlas. I got mine at Books-A-Million, but you can find it on Amazon.com.
And if DSO's are what you're wanting to see, make sure your eyes are prepared for it. Thirty minutes to an hour of being in the dark is needed for your eyes to become dark-adapted. Use averted vision also. Get a flashlight that has a red lense. Red light doesn't affect your vision like whit light does. Nothing like getting your eyes adapted to the dark and then have someone throw on a flashlight or turn on the headlights to their car!