25 Awesomely Optimistic Quotes About Failure That Will Leave You Feeling Comforted And Inspired


1. “There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.”

–Paulo Coelho, from The Alchemist

2. “Have no fear of perfection – you’ll never reach it.”

–Salvador Dalí

3. “The brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. Because the brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want it badly enough. They’re there to stop the other people.”

–Randy Pausch, from The Last Lecture

4. “Everything you want is on the other side of fear.”

–Jack Canfield

5. “You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.”

–Maya Angelou

6. “If you’re not prepared to be wrong, you’ll never come up with anything original.” 

–Ken Robinson

7. “Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure… than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.”

–Theodore Roosevelt

8. “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

9. “Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not: nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not: the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.”

–Calvin Coolidge 

10.“It’s failure that gives you the proper perspective on success.”

–Ellen DeGeneres

11. “Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.”

–Winston Churchill

12. “We are all failures – at least the best of us are.” 

–J.M. Barrie

13. “Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit.”

–Napoleon Hill

14. “Never confuse a single defeat with a final defeat.”

–F. Scott Fitzgerald

15. “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

16. “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

17. “Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”

–Thomas Edison

18. “A man can fail many times, but he isn’t a failure until he begins to blame somebody else.”

–John Burroughs

19. “No human ever became interesting by not failing. The more you fail and recover and improve, the better you are as a person. Ever meet someone who’s always had everything work out for them with zero struggle? They usually have the depth of a puddle. Or they don’t exist.” 

–Chris Hardwick

20. “Winning is great, sure, but if you are really going to do something in life, the secret is learning how to lose. Nobody goes undefeated all the time. If you can pick up after a crushing defeat, and go on to win again, you are going to be a champion someday.”

–Wilma Rudolph 

21. “With a hint of good judgment, to fear nothing, not failure or suffering or even death, indicates that you value life the most. You live to the extreme; you push limits; you spend your time building legacies. Those do not die.”

–Criss Jami

22. “It is wise to keep in mind that neither success nor failure is ever final.”

–Roger Babson

23. “Often the difference between a successful person and a failure is not one has better abilities or ideas, but the courage that one has to bet on one’s ideas, to take a calculated risk – and to act.”

–Andre Malraux

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

–John Green, from An Abundance of Katherines

25. “Failure is only the opportunity more intelligently to begin again.”

–Henry Ford Thought Catalog Logo Mark

I’m a staff writer for Thought Catalog. I like comedy and improv. I live in Chicago. My Uber rating is just okay.

Keep up with Kim on Instagram and Twitter

More From Thought Catalog