Recently I have been reading the book, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ckTo be honest, I think the title is a little aggressive, but there are definitely some good lessons in it. The other day I was on the subway when I got to a point in the book that was labeled:

Failure/Success Paradox

To be blunt – the punch line is that without failure and pain you’re really not any getting closer to success!

Mark Manson, writes, “if we’re unwilling to fail, then we’re unwilling to succeed”. Reading this kind of blew me away. I don’t know about you but I am not a huge fan of failing, I feel like I am not alone in this 🙂 . Failing is tough; its painful, its agonizing and it makes you feel like you’re regressing. Let’s take a step back though; can we reasonably expect that we are going to learn and grow without a little pain?

Want an example?

Mark had a great example in the book. Think of a child learning how to walk. This kid is going to fall down countless times but never does this kid sit down and think, welp i guess walking isn’t my thing, i will stick to crawling and being carried for the rest of my life. . .  Mark talks about how we have been taught that failure is a negative thing that should be avoided at all costs.

This is where we begin.

To fail

What the heck, let’s throw in an overused phrase, “if it was easy everyone would be doing it”. Whatever you goal is, or your endpoint that will bring you success there are obstacles in the way, heaps of them. But guess what? Each time you fail, you learn how to conquer that obstacle and next time you come across it, it won’t even seem like its difficult. The first time for anything is tough, so don’t beat yourself up over it.

I suppose my take on this is that failure is essentially just a lesson. It is okay to fail, you’re not a terrible business person, friend, employee or whatever title you’re attaching to yourself. As long as you learn from the failure you’re getting one step closer to success.


Failing is good, because it means that you’re pushing yourself out of your comfort zone and beyond your normal.


Another thing to note is that the feeling of failure is not always a particular moment in time. Sometimes when we are learning or growing we feel that we are not growing fast enough or building things as good as everyone else. Then we project these feelings of failure on ourselves. This is extremely unhealthy behaviour . . . guess what though; we all do it all the time – including me. As you know I am all about hustle and getting things done – moving more towards your goal, but I still feel like a failure sometimes. Sometimes I look at others and feel like, how is there no struggle there, how is it that they seem to be killin’ it all the time and I feel so far behind.


I am learning, I am in progress and guess what else . . . EVERYONE STRUGGLES. period. they just may not share that part of their journey.





Redefining failure & success

Rather than looking at things on the extremes and saying either I am a failure or I have succeeded; we should take a look at how far we have come. Where ever you are in your journey towards your goals, take a look at where you started. You might find yourself pleasantly surprised as to your progress. Five minutes before reading this post maybe you felt like you were failing or you felt discouraged and now look at all those accomplishments! Re-define your journey as practice, like yoga for example, you will never be done learning.


We should all re-learn what this feeling is & re-name failure to work in progress or practice.

We need to realize that everyone struggles, fails and will reach success.

You won’t truly fail unless you quit.


Happy hustling my friends

oxox annika


Images by Anna Laskin




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