In growth, A truth anyone looking to improve must overcome is to accept greatness never gets accomplished by shying away from the path less traveled.
Consider that every massive step forward in mankind, no matter the area of study, will have a pioneer. The forward thinkers, they didn't have much more smarts than many of us do today. They actually had less information to work from! That's precisely why we revere and honor them so much- they had the courage and devotion to pursue the most revolting concept: doubt. Doubt in themselves, doubt from others, and doubt of the unknown.
In modern society, we are taught early on that failure may end all and be all. We avoid our shunnable offenses eagerly, so as to protect from the aftermath of reprehension. From the criticism of our bosses to the pity of our friends, to the warnings of our loved ones; the only real failure thrown onto ourselves comes from ourselves. It comes from the failure to see the abstraction of success. That no one person, besides yourself, can define that concept for you.
The culmination of your life's work will come from the experiences you decide to have, and how you save the knowledge you receive for use later. A fraction of these lessons will come from your shortcomings. More so, the greatest assets arise from the other side of a loss. Every failure, small or big, has a purpose. Should you choose to acknowledge this, you will find more windows of opportunity opening at your disposal. The negative mindset may just wait for a familiar door to open, but the productive one will gladly hop through those windows.
The secret of life (that no one wants to let you in on) is to derive meaning from your own perspective. Find your voice, find your drives, find your weaknesses and strengths. You must work towards self-actualization in a daily context, and continue to become what you are meant to: not what you are told to, not what you think you should become, not what would make you more comfortable to become. A chance to fail also means a chance to succeed, and what is life if not a bunch of random people taking chances?
It’s much harder for people to become what they are meant to be than it is to become someone they are not. In all actuality, you'd have a much easier time pretending to be someone other than yourself. That's because when you fabricate an image, you can have complete say in what the world views; what you reveal always stays in your control. In that regard, being yourself is almost an act of rebellion.
When you choose to be yourself, you don’t have leverage. If you don’t have support of excuses or fears, the core of your being is all that's left to guide you- and it's a sensitive place indeed. So if you go neglecting your needs, you suffer the consequences. This suffering is the minds way of telling you “don’t forget about me anymore, I need your attention“. Much like an infant crying for its mother's milk, your intuition is reaching out to your conscience for preservation and care.
This is the premise from which we conclude a change is now in order. Something needs to be manipulated, shifted, or flipped. We need to pay close attention to the way our behavior shapes the life around us. Every step you take can either be in the direction your intuition directs you, or against. Both will have hardships, but only one has a light at the end of the horizon.
If you must win, win with grace. And if you must fail, fail with agency. That will make you the real winner after all.