Can You Be Addicted To Failure?

wine is a mockerkr made an interesting comment on an old forum post:

“Some people get more attention for their insistent failures than they would for a minor or moderate success — so they stick with the thing they get the most attention for, however unproductive in the long run.”

Other people weighed in on this. I got to thinking that some people seem addicted to failure.  They sound like alcoholics who say they want to quit drinking but stay in the same patterns year after year after year.

What if your complaint is that your relationships are bad? You say you want them to change just like the alcoholic says he and she does not want to drink. But you make no changes in how you behave so you have the same result over and over.  Could it be that you’re addicted to this result?  You’re certainly attached to a cycle.

Why be attached to something you hate so much?  Are you powerless in the same way an alcoholic is powerless to quit drinking?

Uranus is in Taurus. Such a good time to break out of a rut!

They say that people set their lives up the way they want them.
Do you agree?
Do you know someone who may be addicted to failure?
Is it you?


Can You Be Addicted To Failure? — 26 Comments

  1. Definitely not me. I’m an Aries – I push to succeed. When I fail, I usually brush it off and am even more determined to succeed.

    Failure embarrasses me and makes me angry.

    I’m a bit off my game at the moment, but I think I am just recharging.

  2. I knew someone like that. They expected failure, got it and was mad at the world for it. What got me was their desire to have a certain career, and no longer just work, but that need to be flexible and go an alternative route to get to the same destination left them in the same place moaning about the failure.

    I am not too sure if it is myself, I may be at times but I attempt to give something my all and if I fail then oh well… on to the next thing. Life is too short. Failure isn’t a nice thing for myself but its a part of the learning curve.

  3. Yeah, failure embarasses me too.I litteraly blush and I’m ashamed of myself.My Moon is in the 10th house and it makes me feel wounded and insecure, so I do my best and more to wipe the insecurity away.Because it’s the 10th house I feel it’s public and that makes the whole thing even more embarassing.
    And this goes for everything work,college,relationships,hobbies…

  4. I often question myself on this. I have a 10th house cappy moon and while I can be industrious I wonder sometimes if it is my fear of failure that keeps me from trying to achieve the next ledge of the mountain. I think sometimes that maybe I just try to be super successful where I am at and use that as an excuse to keep from climbing higher. Why fail at the next level when I can be success where I am at? I have been pushing myself in life these past 3 years more than any other time in my life. I sometime think that I can be a jack of all trades and master of none, due my fear of failure of trying need things.
    So in a nutshell I fear failure so I don’t try at all. My capricorn moon can cover that up pretty darn good, and my neptune just doesn’t see it.

  5. I haven’t read the thread but I don’t think that I agree with that at all (that people are addicted to failure). It sure sounds like a very modern way of thinking, though.

    Some people are just woefully inadequate at dealing with adverse conditions in their own life. It’s pretty easy to look at someone else and see exactly where their problems are and how to fix them. And easier to deal with another person’s asshole. You know–just leave the asshole already.

    I guess this is my own Saturn talking–I’ve had so many people in my life tell me how they think I should run it. Just last Friday, my boss’s wife asked me what I was going to do when I graduated from university in May.

    ‘I don’t know.’
    ‘You can’t just do all that school and not have a plan.’

    What I didn’t tell her? I’ve been working at it for 16 years. My partner is going to have surgery, miss 6 weeks of work and I will have to work for him during that. We don’t know when the surgery will be. Etc. In short–she doesn’t know how the fine print reads in my private life. Which is fine–she doesn’t need to.

  6. I see a lot of similarities, myself. “I’ll never date another married man again…”

    A week later they have a date with a married man.

  7. I do think that we set out lives up how we want them and there are patterns & cycles that we go thru. As for beind addicted to failure, I’ve see some who just don’t mind failing (so it happens often to them and they don’t mind so it just keeps happening).

    As for me, I have saturn, failing is not ok, but to be endured when it happens. I also have pluto, so I’ll learn, even if that means pluto has to hang my *ss out to dry in order to get it. I’m learning one way or another, it’s my free will to pick how I want to go about it,

  8. I’m sure with your line of work Elsa, you see it a lot.

    I guess this is a Saturn issue, too. I feel I’ve learned my lessons exactly when I’ve needed to–which is when I’ve been receptive to them. I don’t consider myself a failure for not being receptive, but I’m fine not being like everyone else, either. I work to better myself, and that helps.

  9. My hypothesis: familiarity? When a person is in a cycle of failure, and they start a new path that will inevitably lead to failure, it may just be because they feel “safe” in some twisted way. As though if they can predict the outcome, then they can stay within their comfort zone.

    I also agree with what Kashmiri says.

  10. They say that people set their lives up the way they want them. Do you agree? I am not sure I agree with this. Some people are truly a product of their upbringing. They just can not see any other options. I don’t care how much you put better choices before them, or they are too afraid to make different choices. Something about the devil you know versus the thing you don’t know.

    Do you know someone who may be addicted to failure? I believe that my younger sister is one who is addicted to failure. She chose to stay in an abusive relationship for 25+ years. No body made her do so nor was there ever an example of abuse between our parents. She was afraid to leave.

    Is it you? No although I have filed and for a time lived in a failed relationship because I was not taking responsibility for my part of the relationship and my children suffered for my actions. I have told them that I was sorry for my irresponsibility and thankfully they have forgiven me. I also am a person who looks as my past mistakes. I try to make changes in myself and take responsibility for my actions. I make the effort to not retrace my steps and make the same mistakes again. That is why each of my husbands have been so very different.

  11. I do know someone who genuinely doesn’t think there is anything more for them – and their family, work environment, society seems to concur. Sure, they could try an alternative route, but they are at an age where it takes a lot more to make changes. And being a traditional sort of person, they would find being independent and out there very difficult. So they are in a dead-end job, does the same thing over and over again in relationships, and just sort of rides life out. They seem to have resigned themselves to this failure/fate/role.

  12. “They say that people set their lives up the way they want them. Do you agree?”

    In most cases yes, but sometimes a person just gets dealt a bad hand. Adverse circumstances can bring down even the strongest person.

    “Do you know someone who may be addicted to failure?” Yes I mentioned in the other thread, I think she does it for attention to get us all to “rescue” her.

    “Is it you?”

    I’ll admit to failing before due to fear of success. Success can be a huge daunting “what if,” while it’s safer to stay down where you are. That happened when I was really young, but in later years I ultimately faced my fears and achieved the success.

  13. I really have no idea. I suspect people just have no idea how to do it differently, though. Sometimes some situations or people really do need someone there to walk them through and hold their hand the entire time to get them out of a rut or trap, and if nobody is there to help, then fuck you.

  14. i had a friend.
    i eventually had to stop supporting her. she didn’t _want_ things to improve. it was dropping energy into a sucking vortex that gave nothing back.
    i only want to help people who want help, these days.

  15. I think that’s a very difficult thing to define in general… Failure, because it is a value judgement.

    Like, to me, regardless of anything else, if someone smokes marijuana they are a failure. It doesn’t matter if they have a multi million dollar business. I just hate that substance.

    But, outside that highly personal example. There are examples of people who have seemed to have made it and behind their apparent success is a very distressed partner or ex partner because they are covert abusers. There are people who I have met who seemed to be ‘failures’ of sorts and after listening to them for a few weeks they reveal parts of their lives that explain their situation well enough for me. (Such as a bad marriage or abusive parent!)

    I also think there is a clash of definitions in that, if someone is ‘addicted to being a failure’ it implies they are in a kind of failure position then have the option to improve but then through preference go back to failure. But from my perceptoin, most people considered to be “failures” have kind of given up, they are not looking to improve.

    I think it is kind of a dangerous idea to put forward in such unsure economic times.

  16. Interesting topic. I have certainly known what I’d refer to as “professional victims”. They have an insatiable drive for sympathy, and instead of accepting responsibility for the
    position they are in, they are experts at coming up with excuses that cast the blame at everyone, except themselves. They seem to get off on appearing “hard done by”. They are constantly indulging in “self pity parties”, even to the point of beginning sentences regularly with “poor me”. Uggggh…so glad I have minimised contact with these two.

  17. In these circumstances there is a very early experience of a ‘failure’ that is unable to be reached consciously – to be thought or spoken about. It is unrepresentable. This wound which needs to be grieved consciouly in order to be overcome and transcended, speaks through the person’s life experience through repeated ‘failures’. These failures are an attempt to get back to the original failure, so it is an ongoing attempt at healing. If a person is lucky they will fail in a big way and get the right help that enables them to return to this source event so that they re-experience it and make it representable and properly grieve it. Then they can take another path forward, but they must grieve first. Addicts are searching for this unknown-known place by repeatedly losing themselves in their ‘substance’. I have made this journey (Saturn in Cancer) and know the workings of the wound, that to a greater and lessor degree affects everybody’s life experience.

  18. This could easily be me. I’d say 12H Mars in Gemini is a damn good candidate for this condition! I struggle with self-sabotaging behavior, for sure. But I do not think I’m addicted to failure.
    Substances – yes. Consequences of my deep-rooted psychological issues – not so much. I’m basically distinguishing between the two with the question of “would a 12 step program help?”

    I don’t find the addiction framework helpful for managing the habits that lead me to fail, because I don’t believe that I’m powerless. Quite the opposite, I believe that I’m the only one with the power to overcome my problem. I think my tendency to fail at certain things is more related to being unconscious of unhealthy patterns. A huge part of why I spend time on this blog and forum, and studying Astrology in general, is to become more self-aware, so that I can work on these things. Addiction and the unconscious are both 12th house themes, so it makes sense that they would be intertwined.

    I guess if one’s failures are actually attached to rewarding feelings, then addiction to failure could be a real problem. In my case, even though my failures usually end with a soft landing, they still make me feel terrible. In fact, the soft landing can make it feel even more humiliating.

    I just came across a self-help book called “The Mountain is You” and it talks about unconscious associations between failing and rewards, and about how people are programmed to seek what is familiar to them. The idea of staying with bad habits out of a desire to stay comfortable did resonate with me (Taurus sun). When I first read this post, I thought “I’m not addicted; it’s just my default setting.” Whether or not this behavior was taught to me, or encouraged by anyone other than myself, is, of course, irrelevant.

    I am finding truth in Sophia’s statement above, especially: “Addicts are searching for this unknown-known place by repeatedly losing themselves in their ‘substance’” I also saw an ad for a book titled, “Addicted to Unhappiness,” so maybe this framework is helpful for other people. For me, giving it to God can help to get me out of a funk, but it doesn’t keep me from returning to that bad place habitually. I think I am finally starting to understand that it is going to require more emotional excavation.

  19. Self sabotage. I have learned better over 60 years. I learned to treat myself as I treat others. In other words kindly and compassionately.

    • I agree with you. Over time, self sabotage has been easier to spot and more clear because the deep work of uncovering buried false memories has helped me feel where in my body I have stored the weapons. It’s a lifetime journey for many of us; and for those of us born in occupied cultures “addicted to failure” means discovering “whose definitions: addicted, and failure.”
      I see Uranus in Taurus digging up once believed solid ground to be a perfect time to do the heavy work, and inspect the ground for solid waste.

      • ‘whose definition’. Excellent point. Culturally defined success. The judgement of success or failure. Is success the ability to jump through the hoops someone else or the culture sets up?

  20. Ooh it cuts deep.
    Not sure. Probably.
    Maybe it feels better in the short term to give up, and cave to your lesser instincts of “wallowing”.

    I think part of it is the feeling of “I don’t need this anyway.” That you don’t care.

    The more you realize that you do care, the more you realize that you can’t give up. Even if it’s at a lower gear. You must still slink forward.

    Maybe you’re just not good at it. It’s okay, we’re all not good at it at first. Sometimes we’re not great at it, even if we think we’ve got it down. It just depends on what you’ve told yourself.

    • I think you can get addicted because sometimes it’s easier to lie down and give up, instead of get up and try again.

      Then self-pity, self-blame take over.

      The other extreme is blaming others and raging against others despite that it was your own failure.

      It’s okay to fail. We aren’t cyborg-automatons… but it’s also more than OK to try again.

  21. Apprehension was my downfall. As soon as I stated something, it would fail. When I made a list, nothing on it would get done. I became apprehensive about everything.

    Something has changed with me though. I seem to be able to chart a course and it will happen. Perhaps I am more realistic now. Not sure. So apprehension fades and I am trusting myself more. I think for me it is important to know what to reveal and what to keep under raps. Talking about it sometimes sucks the energy out causing a fail.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *