The more we try to convince ourselves how unique and special we are, the longer it takes for us to really become what we are supposed to be. Not everyone can be a great athlete or rock star. Someone has to clean the floors.
At the end of the book, the protagonist kills Tyler. The fact that he has killed Tyler now means that the narrator can be set free. Throughout the movie, Tyler keeps a hold over everything that the narrator does. But once Tyler is dead, the narrator is in charge of himself now. Which defines the true meaning of this quote “It’s only after we’ve lost everything that we’re free to do anything.”