Personally I do believe this to be true, because without failure how would we know and appreciate that we have succeeded?  How can we become the best possible version of ourselves?

This article rightly puts forward that success and failure are learned behaviours, they are not instinctive.  So if you have highly competitive parents or siblings the chances are that you have either become highly competitive as well or have decided that is not the way for you and stepped back from all competition.

A bit of competition is good in our daily lives, but when does it become too much, when does the behaviour overtake and become the master of our lives?  That is when we need to step back and re-examine why we are doing something.  We all have heard about the “pushy parent” the one who makes their child do something they excel at even when the child doesn’t have a strong interest in it.

An example maybe playing a musical instrument, perhaps the child is really good at playing the piano, but the parent makes them not only attend lessons but also practice every night for at least an hour.  When the child says they would rather spend the time doing something they enjoy the answer could be “you’ll thank me one day…”

Continuing this scenario having spent their childhood practicing, they eventually leave school and join an orchestra, their parents are very proud and say things such as “see you’re playing professionally we told you it would be worthwhile”.  However, “the child” is deeply unhappy because it’s not their ambition to be a successful pianist, it is their parents dream.  They have no desire to be a success in an orchestra or solo artist, all they want to do is write music and live a simpler, quieter life.  Eventually in their 30’s they have the strength to step away and live the life they want.

Their parents are deeply unhappy with this choice and deem their child a “failure”, however their child is an adult who now lives a very happy and in their own eyes successful life, earning a living writing music doing what they love and enjoy.

That scenario is a combination of at least three clients stories, not only to protect their identity but also to make the point:

Who sets the standard in your life regarding success and failure? 

Who decides whether or not you are on the right pathway? 

Who is setting your values and beliefs to live your life by?

Who, if anyone, is deciding whether or not you need to change things around?

I hope the answers to those questions is “you”, because you need to be able to decide whether or not you are a success or failure, set your own measure of success, your own benchmark.  It may not be as high or as low as others, but it is one you have set and therefore it is one you can move either up or down according to what is happening in your life, as you grow and develop.

Whatever you are doing, I hope you are being the best possible version of you, I wish you well and remember nothing has to be the way it has always been.