I’m probably generalizing here, but we all know what it’s like to be a failure. It’s such a bummer. But, as with everything else, we can always overcome.
Famous People Who Overcame Failure
It’s certainly a bitter pill to swallow. Failure. The feeling of disappointment, worthlessness, and dejection is hard to overcome.
Failure, however, has a silver lining. Because you’re already down, there’s only one way to go: up. Take it from those who have done it before you and never gave up:
- Thomas Edison– of course, who can forget? He failed so many times in his lightbulb experiment. Thousands of times! But thankfully, he persisted and we now have him to thank for the light we have at night.
- Colonel Harland David Sanders– the man behind the chain of restaurant Kentucky Fried Chicken. And the unofficial face of overcoming failure no matter what age. At age 65, instead of retiring, he went on a door-to-door campaign to find a partner for his chicken recipe. He was rejected a whopping 1009 times. But with perseverance and belief in his recipe, we know his story ended positively.
- Stephen King– the famous author of horror and supernatural fiction books. His initial novel, Carrie, was rejected by 30 publishers. As the story goes, he threw his novel in the trash in disappointment. But his wife saved it and encouraged him to complete it. Today, Carrie is a classic novel with several TV and movie adaptations.
- J.K. Rowling– another famous author of Harry Potter fame. Prior to fame, she was suffering from depression, raising a child on her own, and totally broke. Even after finishing a few chapters of her book, it was rejected by 12 publishers. 13th was her lucky number. The writing was J.K. Rowling’s diversion from her adversities and it gave her success.
- Michael Jordan– the greatest basketball player in history was kicked off his high school varsity team. Good thing he did not allow this failure to stop him from playing his game. Suffice it to say, he succeeded.
All these stories should motivate us to get back on our horse and try again. Failure should not stop us from achieving success. Instead, it should serve as an inspiration and a learning experience.
How To Overcome Failure
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From the above example of famous people, what can we learn from their stories? How do we overcome our own failure?
Here are five strategies for overcoming the painful disappointment of failure.
- Know that failure is normal- people go through it all the time. It’s not just you. So keep a positive attitude, and try again.
- Acknowledge the pain- with failure, you have all the right to feel hurt. It’s a natural and therapeutic reaction. Work your way through the pain and allow it to serve as an inspiration. Reflect on your mistakes and then improve on them.
- Acceptance- along with feeling the pain, accept that it happened. Remember that this failure or failures will serve as lessons. Beta testing if you will. Soon, with perseverance, hard work, and faith- in yourself and others, you will gain success.
- Develop healthy habits- going on a long walk, joining a dance exercise class, or meditating are some of the physiological ways you can improve your mood. So if you are feeling down, get off the couch and do some exercise routines. It will certainly lift your spirits and reassert your commitment to your goals.
- Be inspired by powerful words of wisdom- words have power. And positive words can motivate and fire up your sagging spirit. So, read success stories of people in your field or you can also take wisdom from quotes. Imprint them in your memory to serve as a mantra for your success.
So that you don’t have to look further, here are 31 inspirational quotes to help you get back up each time you fail.
“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” – Winston Churchill
“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” – Thomas A. Edison
“There is no innovation and creativity without failure. Period.” – Brene Brown
“Failure after long perseverance is much grander than never to have a striving good enough to be called a failure.” – George Eliot
“When everything seems to be going against you remember that an airplane takes off against the wind, not with it.” – Henry Ford
“Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.” – Samuel Beckett
“One fails forward toward success.” – Charles Kettering
“It is impossible to live without failing at something unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all, in which case you have failed by default.” – J. K. Rowling
“Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.” – Winston Churchill
“Do not be embarrassed by your failures, learn from them and start again.”- Richard Branson
“Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.” – Albert Einstein
“There is no thing as failure, only learning experiences.” – Anonymous
“Failure is not the opposite of success, it’s part of success.” – Anonymous
“The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing.” – Henry Ford
“Failure is enriching. It’s also important to accept that you’ll make mistakes—it’s how you build your expertise. The trick is to learn a positive lesson from all of life’s negative moments.” – Alain Ducasse
“Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising every time we fail.”– Confucius
“When I was young, I observed that nine out of ten things I did were failures. So I did ten times more work.” – George Bernard Shaw
“A man may fail many times but he isn’t a failure until he begins to blame somebody else.” – John Burroughs
“All men make mistakes, but a good man yields when he knows his course is wrong and repairs the evil. The only crime is pride.” – Sophocles
“In any case, you must not confuse a single failure with a final defeat.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald
“Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” – Thomas Edison
“Failure is the condiment that gives success its flavor.” – Truman Capote
“Failure should be our teacher, not our undertaker. Failure is delay, not defeat. It is a temporary detour, not a dead-end. Failure is something we can avoid only by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing.” – Denis Waitley
“You make mistakes. Mistakes don’t make you.” – Maxwell Maltz
“Failure isn’t fatal, but failure to change might be.” – John Wooden
“To be wrong is nothing unless you continue to remember it.” – Confucius
“A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable but more useful than a life spent in doing nothing.” – George Bernard Shaw
“Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.” – Henry Ford
“Children have a lesson adults should learn, to not be ashamed of failing, but to get up and try again. Most of us adults are so afraid, so cautious, so ‘safe,’ and therefore so shrinking and rigid and afraid that it is why so many humans fail. Most middle-aged adults have resigned themselves to failure.” – Malcolm X
“Failure is nature’s plan to prepare you for great responsibilities.” – Napoleon Hill
“The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
It is never easy to get over a failure. But it is possible as exhibited by famous people such as Thomas Edison, Colonel Sanders, Stephen King, J.K. Rowland, and Michael Jordan.
And you can overcome failure by keeping in mind that failure is normal. And that you need to acknowledge the pain and accept failure for what it is.
You can get better by developing a healthy lifestyle. And allowing yourself to be inspired by stories of success or getting wisdom from motivational quotes.
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