Failure is a requirement of success

Success is a big word in our world today. It seems everything revolves around it, and it is especially true if you live in a big city, or have a job with high responsibilities. Cliché, but true. Success is often associated with pressure, achievements, responsibilities… And considered the opposite of failure. But is it really though ?

We are conditioned to strive for more, every time : job wise, family wise… Every aspect of our life becomes analyzed through the same prism : we have to “make it”. Because that is what life is all about in the end, isn’t it ? If you are not successful, then what is the point ? If you do not have an end goal, a big life project, then what are you even doing with your life ?

If that sounds familiar, then you might agree with the fact that failure today is seen as a taboo. If you do not succeed, that must mean you are not good enough. Even worse, it means that you do not deserve to succeed because you have not worked enough. Putting it simply, you are not enough. Now that is a real pep talk, isn’t it ?

In reality, I truly believe it is time to let go of this black and white vision of how the world works. Because it is not. It is how we think the world is working, it is just a projection we impose to ourselves. Everything comes down to a question of perception, to the spectrum used to analyze our every day life and choices.

It is time to empower yourself and change the way you see things.

I agree, failing is not something we yearn for. However, how many now successful CEOs, managers, writers, painters etc are now telling the story of their failures which led them where they are now ? Sometimes to a prestigious position, sometimes simply to a different life.

When times are hard, it is important to remind yourself that we are human beings, that is all. We constantly evolve, whether consciously or not. We change, but that does not necessarily entails a judgement of valor behind this evolution : do not see things as better or worse, just contemplate them as an ever changing flux.

If you feel like you have failed — by not getting a job, by botching an assignment, by not starting writing your novel… — just be aware that it is not a failure. Why ? Because after all, you are the one responsible for your choices, your work, your life. Bad decisions are just decisions that you consider bad after judging them. May they serve as a lesson for the future you, to help empower and motivate your tomorrow self.

I used to feel so bad after realizing I took the wrong decision, even the smallest one. For instance, I remember I could feel angry at myself for not ordering one meal instead of the other at a restaurant after hesitating between the two when I realized the one I did not get seemed tastier. Isn’t it crazy ? To burden yourself with unnecessary disappointment for the smallest daily decisions ?

I am now trying to shift my perspective and consider it as a life lesson. Usually, it helps me move forward and let go of the guilt and shame because at the end of the day, overthinking about your past is not going to help you tomorrow.

Originally published at on August 16, 2016.