31 Days

Day 24

Don't Fear Failure

Maybe you gave something your all. You put in all the necessary time and poured your mental and creative energy into it only to come to that dreaded realization: It's just not working. It's this fear of something not working out the way we imagined that keeps many great ideas from being pursued.

Too often, we look at failure as the ultimate defeat. That our effort was a waste and we're now worse off than before we tried. But that's simply not true. To fail at something builds character and grit. Not to mention, resilience—a worthy characteristic for anyone aspiring to greatness. Herewith, ten inspiring quotes on ways to look at, interpret and redefine failure by legendary thought leaders and contemporary movers and shakers.

Don't fear failure

One who fears failure limits his activities. Failure is only the opportunity to more intelligently begin again.”

Henry Ford

- Henry Ford

“You build on failure. You use it as a stepping stone. Close the door on the past. You don't try to forget the mistakes, but you don't dwell on it. You don't let it have any of your energy, or any of your time, or any of your space.”

- Johnny Cash

Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”

- Winston Churchill

“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

- J.K. Rowling

Failures hurt, but then they also contribute to your next project. Go back and excavate all the things that happened, and then make a 2.0 version from that—or even use little elements of it to contribute to your next project.”

- Roy Choi

“It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed.”

- Theodore Roosevelt

What is the point of being alive if you don't at least try to do something remarkable?”

- John Green

“I've missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I've been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”

Michael Jordan

- Michael Jordan

I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.”

- Thomas Edison

“Failure is success if we learn from it.”

- Malcolm Forbes

Further Reading

Drawing on nearly fifty years of real world experience, leadership expert and life coach John C. Maxwell provides a roadmap for winning by examining the eleven elements that constitute the DNA of learners who succeed in the face of problems, failure and losses.

Sometimes You Win, Sometimes You Learn by John C. Maxwell

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