It makes me sad when I fail. It disappoints me. Disappointment can make me feel disgusted with myself, or surly toward others. By this point in my life, though, I've learned how to navigate my own disappointment without plummeting too far into death spirals of shame, rage, or inertia. That's because, by this point in my life, I've come to understand what part of me is suffering when I fail: It's just my ego . . .
Your ego is a wonderful servant, but a terrible master - because the only thing your ego ever wants is reward, reward, and more reward. And since there's never enough reward to satisfy, your ego will always be disappointed. Left unmanaged, that kind of disappointment will rot you from the inside out. An unchecked ego is what the Buddhists call "a hungry ghost" - forever famished, eternally howling with need and greed.
Some version of that hunger dwells within all of us. We all have that lunatic presence, living deep within our guts, that refused to ever be satisfied with anything. I have it, you have it, we all have it. My saving grace is this, though: I know that I am not only an ego; I am also a soul. And I know that my soul doesn't care a whit about reward or failure. My soul is not guided by dreams of praise or fears of criticism. My soul doesn't even have language for such nonsense. My soul, when I tend to it, is a far more expansive and fascinating sense of guidance than my ego will ever be, because my soul desires only one thing: wonder.