How to F*&K Up Your Life Good (and Come Out Smelling Like a Rose)

Written by Angela Atkinson

“Giving up is the only sure way to fail.” – Gena Showalter

You Can F Your Life UP RIGHTAlright, listen. Nobody likes to fail. I mean, NOBODY. But you know – you only avoid failure if you never give anything a shot – and if you never tried (or you stop trying), well then you’ve failed. 

I guess my point is that each of us, at some point, will fail at something. It’s just life. 

Everybody f*&ks up once in awhile. 

Failure is a part of any and every endeavor.

Like I said, in reality, if you’re not failing, you’re not trying. You can choose to allow failure to affect your state of mind or you can choose to take advantage of it. The most successful people get the most out of each failure.

Use failure to your benefit. If you’re going to fail, do it right!

Most of us have learned to avoid failure at all costs. But failure is a wonderful way to learn and stretch yourself. All innovation requires failure in the development process. Failing regularly gives the best chance of long-term success.

Here’s exactly how to fail correctly and effectively. 

Rip off the bandaid! Fail quickly. If an idea isn’t going to pan out, you might as well figure it sooner rather than later. Avoid spending too much time on a faulty premise. It doesn’t make sense to invest time and money over 12 months only to realize that an idea won’t work if you could’ve reached the same conclusion in three weeks.

But give it a minute to breathe. At the same time, it’s important not to fail too quickly. Give an idea a fair chance to be successful. Some things take time more time than others do.

Don’t give up for the wrong reasons. Be certain the necessary time and resources are utilized. If something has gone wrong, take your time and ask yourself whether it was the idea or the execution.

  • Have you considered every possible need of your project?
  • Can your idea work if you change your approach?

Don’t be boring – find new ways to fail each time. Many people repeat their mistakes. Failing loses all of its value if you fail to learn from it. Each time you fail in a new way, you have the opportunity to improve your approach.

After a failure, make a list of everything you learned.

  • What did you learn?
  • How can you apply that information in the future?
  • What’s the next logical step?

Failing isn’t fun. Ensure you’re getting the most out of it. Keep a failure journal to record your discoveries and new ideas. Create a plan for the future that considers the new information you’ve acquired. This plan will evolve over time.

Don’t fool yourself. Keep an accurate perspective. What is failure, really? It’s an undesired result. That’s it. It’s not a grading of your intelligence, worth, or future. There’s no reason to take it personally. It’s simply an idea that didn’t work out. Maintain detached from your results and forge ahead.

Stand UP and be STRONG! Be resilient. Your feelings of self-worth aren’t dependent on your results. You can feel good about yourself even when you don’t achieve your desired outcome. Be proud that you were brave enough to fail and continue. 

Failure doesn’t equal “all your fault,” okay? Keep failure and fault separate. We all learned in childhood that admitting to mistakes resulted taking the blame. Whether you’re working on a self-improvement project or a project at work, keep the blame to a minimum.

  • Failure should bring you closer to an optimal solution. The more challenging the goal, the more times you can expect to fail before achieving success.

So here’s the bottom line. If you’re going to f$*k up your life, f*$k it up GOOD.

Effective failing creates new opportunities. Many of the most important inventions resulted from mistakes. For example, the glue used in post-it notes resulted from an attempt to create a super-strong adhesive.

Avoid feeling down about failing – don’t beat yourself up! View each failure as a step in the right direction. There’s much to be learned via failure. Embrace failure. Just be certain to fail effectively!

Okay, now let’s hear from you! What are your best “fail to success” stories? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments section. 


  • Angela Atkinson

    Angela Atkinson is a certified trauma counselor and the author of more than 20 books on narcissism, narcissistic abuse recovery, and related topics. A recognized expert on narcissism and narcissistic personality disorder who has studied and written extensively on narcissistic personality disorder and narcissistic abuse in toxic relationships since 2006, she has a popular narcissistic abuse recovery YouTube channel. Atkinson was inspired to begin her work as a result of having survived toxic relationships of her own. Atkinson offers trauma-informed narcissistic abuse recovery coaching and has certifications in trauma counseling, life coaching, level 2 therapeutic model, CBT coaching, integrative wellness coaching, and NLP. She is a certified trauma support coach and certified family trauma professional. She also has a professional PTSD counseling certification. Her mission is to help those who have experienced the emotional and mental devastation that comes with narcissistic abuse in these incredibly toxic relationships to (re)discover their true selves, stop the gaslighting and manipulation, and move forward into their genuine desires – into a life that is exactly what they choose for themselves. Along with her solution-focused life coaching experience, Atkinson’s previous career in journalism and research helps her to offer both accurate and understandable information for survivors of abuse in a simple-to-understand way that helps to increase awareness in the narcissistic abuse recovery community. Atkinson founded Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Support, the SPANily Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Support Groups and the Life Makeover Academy. She offers individual and group coaching for victims and survivors of narcissistic abuse here at and at NarcissisticAbuseRecovery.Online.

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