"Perfectionism is one of those traits that many people seem secretly, or not-so-secretly, proud to possess, since it hardly seems like a character flaw. Yet, at bottom, it is a fear-driven striving to avoid the experience of failure at all costs. At the extremes, it is an exhausting and permanently stressful way to live: there is a greater correlation between perfectionism and suicide, researchers have found, than between feelings of hopelessness and suicide. To fully embrace the experience of failure, not merely to tolerate it as a stepping stone to glory, is to abandon this constant straining never to put a foot wrong – and to relax."
Oliver Burkeman, The Antidote
The gurus of positivity and optimism can’t bear to contemplate that there might be happiness to be found in embracing failure as failure, not only as a technique for achieving success. But, as the Zen-influenced writer Natalie Goldberg argues, there is an openness and honesty in failure, a down-to-earth confrontation with reality that can seem lacking at the higher altitudes of success.