Why Everyone Wants You to Fail

Have you ever been really excited about an idea that you couldn't keep it in any more, and just had to tell your friend about it? And then, they're all "meh" about the whole thing and poo-poo it?

What about this - have you had an amazing opportunity come along, that might bounce you up to the next level or beyond, and when you sit down with your other half and talk about how amazing it might be, you watch as they scrunch up their face and tell you all the ways it might not work?

Or, have you ever worked and worked and worked for something you care about, only for your family to take you down a peg or two just as you start seeing how all that work will pay off?

Sometimes, people are schmucks.

And sometimes, people want you to fail. Particularly when it comes to your success.

If you've ever wondered why someone wants you to fail, the reason is that people don’t want you to succeed because they’re afraid.

  • They’re afraid that it will change the way life is working today, even if how things are is far from perfect
  • They’re afraid that it will change you, even if you’ll change for the better
  • And they’re afraid that if you succeed, it means they’ll be left behind and not good enough to keep up

People want you to fail, because then there's no risk that things will change. Life can continue on an even-keel, risk-free. Phew. Pressure’s off.

Seeing you fuck up offers relief that you won’t grow beyond the confines of the relationship or circumstances. Thank God. We can keep on being us.

And seeing you fail means they don’t have to ask themselves difficult questions about what they want, how they're holding back, or how they could try to better themselves.

Your failure is their blessed relief...

For some, seeing you fail validates how risky it is out there and how much better they are staying safe in the confines of their old choices.

It gives them evidence that supports their choices not to take action, not to go for it, not to try, and it shrouds their insecurity and fear in a warm blanket of comfort and the feeling that they’re the smart one.

But sometimes, sometimes, there are people who see things differently.

  • They’ll cheer you on, even though you had no clue what you were doing warranted a cheer
  • They’ll tell you how wonderful it is to see what you’re building, and how proud they are to know you
  • And they’ll offer their time, spirit, focus and experience for no other reason than they believe in you

These people are fucking awesome.

I'm willing to admit, in front of the whole wide world, that I sometimes get this wrong. I've caught myself being smug when someone fell short and sneering in the face of someones’ success, but I’m trying my best to be like the other type of person.

The kind of person who doesn't want someone to fail simply because it's convenient.

And so let me ask you too, don’t be an ass-hat who wants people to fail or fuck up just because you don’t have the cajones to peer into your own insecurity.

Be the other kind of person.

Be the one who believes.

  • Oh God. I’m just gonna say it. I’ve been digging and digging into why I’m one of those ass-hats, because I really don’t want to be. Why do I feel a tiny tinge of glee when a friend’s seemingly perfect new relationship (*growl, sneer*) suddenly goes south (*Ha!*) Why do I feel a microsmidge of satisfaction when another friend’s (*silly, it will never fly*) idea for a new business venture, fails? (*I knew it!*) Why am I such a horrible fucktrumpet of a human being?

    • Good for you for saying it.

      I’m a member of the fucktrumpet club too sometimes. Everyone is.


      It’s how we’re wired – to compare oir standing with others and get a little hit of dopamine when we perceive that we were right or that we got a statua boost.

      I think the point is to notice when that happens. To uncover the story underneath it – what is there for me to learn about this? – and then if there’s a better truth.

      Don’t judge the fucktrumpetness. Just explore it.

  • Thank you for this and for all the insight you share. I too want to be one of those people to cheer others on. It does feel scary when others are changing for the better and one is stuck. If we cheer others on, we just may be succsessful ourselves!
    Thanks again, you’re awesome! ☺️

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