The words success and failure are opposites. Success is associated with fame, fortune, achievement, and victory. Conversely, failure is traditionally linked to despair, poverty, hardship, and loss. Ironically, like many opposites, success and failure are frequently found together: in life, in work, and even in relationships.
Although most of us work hard to avoid failure in all the areas noted above, failure still occurs. We have setbacks in life, poorly completed projects at work, and friendships that end or drift into nothingness. The choice is how we react to failure. How do we learn from it, change due to our new insights, and overcome the blind spots that may have contributed to our failure?
Interestingly, success can also breed failure. When we start taking our success for granted, when we slip into a certain complacency, when we lose sight of the people or ideas that made our initial success possible, then we can quickly spiral into failure.
Ideally, we should harness our failures to spur our successes. Limited time spent wallowing and licking wounds may be needed after an epic failure but the emphasis here should be on limited. At some point after a failure the new direction must be plotted, with ego in check and tougher skin grown. Using your failures to create the backdrop of your story to success is charming, human, and smart. The reason this coupling is brilliant is that it keeps us striving, growing, and living. Once we become complacent in our success or crushed by our failure, we have lost. Being aware of the cyclical nature of life and remembering that this strange coupling between success and failure exists keeps us moving.
For more about creating your own success read Unstuck at Last: Using Your Strengths to Get What You Want.