The desire to fail exists as much as the desire to succeed. It is a taboo desire to those who know of it, but the majority of people do not consciously know of it.
What is it? It is the desire to have the ultimate justification for retreat. In a culture that teaches the virtue of striving for success, there is no teaching of when is the time to surrender.
Surrender is considered failure, but surrender does not need to be permanent. Surrender can be a strategic temporary choice that involves a vital reassessment of one's situation.
The alternative to recognizing the desire to fail is to find methods of propping up the motivation to strive for success. These involve the use of various emotions such as Hope and Determination.
Recognizing the desire to fail is to bring into conscious understanding the need for a reassessment which may indeed decide a proper retreat.
Failure to recognize the desire to fail is to pursue success with the subconscious desire to ultimately fail.
Although this explanation relates to individual and personal troubles, it is useful to consider a visual analogy of an army unit being sent to war.
Should the army strive undeterred for its target?
It may, as it nears its enemy, discover that it is walking into a deathtrap, like Gallipoli. Instead of denying its desire to fail, and carrying a brave face into the battle, it would be wiser to pull back, set up camp, re-consider its strategy, and if shrewdly decided, return home alive.
Should its General spur it on, and advise the army to ignore all possibility of failure, with the promise of heroism at the end, when his army knows it has no chance of winning the battle? The army when it enters its battle and begins to experience its rout, will hasten the loss of the battle, in the hope that its general will quickly become aware of the futility, and give the order for retreat.
An analogy using football teams and football managers is equally valid. But here the analogy lends an additional wisdom. A football game, unlike a war, is not a matter of life or death. Consequently, the saying, "It's not whether you win or lose, it's how you play the game", logically comes into acceptable application.
It's not whether you succeed or fail. It's not even about how you tried. It's about the exercise you got out of it, and any enjoyment you got out of it. Without having to be earning £30 million a year or having a trophy wife, or having catwalk looks, or being envied by those who need someone to envy.