50 Awesomely Inspiring Quotes About Failure


1. “Mistakes are the portals of discovery.”

— James Joyce

2. “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

3. “Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.”

— Henry Ford

4. “It’s fine to celebrate success but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure.”

— Bill Gates

5. “Do not be embarrassed by your failures, learn from them and start again.”

— Richard Branson

6. “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

7. “Failure is the condiment that gives success its flavor.”

— Truman Capote

8. “For my first show at ‘SNL’, I wrote a Bill Clinton sketch, and during our read-through, it wasn’t getting any laughs. This weight of embarrassment came over me, and I felt like I was sweating from my spine out. But I realized, ‘Okay, that happened, and I did not die.’ You’ve got to experience failure to understand that you can survive it.”

— Tina Fey

9. “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

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

— Thomas Edison

11. “I think you have to try and fail, because failure gets you closer to what you’re good at.

— Louis C.K.

12. “I thank God for my failures. Maybe not at the time but after some reflection. I never feel like a failure just because something I tried has failed.”

— Dolly Parton

13. “Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything—all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure—these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important.”

— Steve Jobs

14. “Part of being a man is learning to take responsibility for your successes and for your failures. You can’t go blaming others or being jealous. Seeing somebody else’s success as your failure is a cancerous way to live.”

— Kevin Bacon

15. “I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying.”

— Michael Jordan

16. “There’s always failure. And there’s always disappointment. And there’s always loss. But the secret is learning from the loss, and realizing that none of those holes are vacuums.”

— Michael J. Fox

17. “My father was not a failure. After all, he was the father of a president of the United States.”

— Harry S Truman

18. “Failure is unimportant. It takes courage to make a fool of yourself.

— Charlie Chaplin

19. “Please know that I am aware of the hazards. I want to do it because I want to do it. Women must try to do things as men have tried. When they fail, their failure must be a challenge to others.”

— Amelia Earhart

20. “We need to accept that we won’t always make the right decisions, that we’ll screw up royally sometimes—understanding that failure is not the opposite of success, it’s part of success.”

— Arianna Huffington

21. “The only real failure in life is not to be true to the best one knows.”

— Buddha

22. “You have to be able to accept failure to get better.”

— Lebron James

23. “I don’t want the fear of failure to stop me from doing what I really care about.”

— Emma Watson

24. “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

25. “Do not fear mistakes. You will know failure. Continue to reach out.”

— Benjamin Franklin

26. “Success is often achieved by those who don’t know that failure is inevitable.”

— Coco Chanel

27. “Failures, repeated failures, are finger posts on the road to achievement. One fails forward toward success.”

— C.S. Lewis

28. “The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.”

— Ralph Waldo Emerson

29. “My great concern is not whether you have failed, but whether you are content with your failure.”

— Abraham Lincoln

30. “Success is not built on success. It’s built on failure. It’s built on frustration. Sometimes its built on catastrophe.”

— Sumner Redstone

31. “Failure happens all the time. It happens every day in practice. What makes you better is how you react to it.”

— Mia Hamm

32. “I have always been pushed by the negative. The apparent failure of a play sends me back to my typewriter that very night, before the reviews are out. I am more compelled to get back to work than if I had a success.”

— Tennessee Williams

33. “Failure saves lives. In the airline industry, every time a plane crashes the probability of the next crash is lowered by that. The Titanic saved lives because we’re building bigger and bigger ships. So these people died, but we have effectively improved the safety of the system, and nothing failed in vain.”

— Nassim Nicholas Talib

34. “When you’re fearless, you take more risks because you’re less conscious of failure or what can go wrong.”

— Brett Ratner

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

— Thomas Edison

36. “A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new.”

— Albert Einstein

37. “Think like a queen. A queen is not afraid to fail. Failure is another steppingstone to greatness.”

— Oprah Winfrey

38. “I think you can have 10,000 explanations for failure, but no good explanation for success.”

— Paul Coelho

39. “A person who doubts himself is like a man who would enlist in the ranks of his enemies and bear arms against himself. He makes his failure certain by himself being the first person to be convinced of it.”

— Alexander Dumas

40. “Success isn’t permanent and failure isn’t fatal.”

— Mike Ditka

41. “Failure after long perseverance is much grander than never to have a striving good enough to be called a failure.”

— George Eliot

42. “Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.

— Winston Churchill

43. “Develop success from failures. Discouragement and failure are two of the surest stepping stones to success.”

— Dale Carnegie

44. “Who I am as a guitarist is defined by my failure to become Jimi Hendrix.”

— John Mayer

45. “Success is usually the culmination of controlling failure.”

— Sylvester Stallone

46. “I don’t understand a way to work other than bold-facedly running towards failure.”

— Cate Blanchett

47. “I was afraid of being a failure, of not having the best time or of being chicken. But every year I get older I think, What was I fearing last year?’ You forget. And then you move on.”

— Sandra Bullock

48. “That sense of failure, I don’t know where people put it who don’t write songs and aren’t able to emote physically. It must go somewhere.”

— Sting

49. “You don’t go into anything contemplating failure, because if you did, you wouldn’t make it.”

— Simon Cowell

50. “My story of success and failure is not just about music and being famous. It’s about living and loving and trying to find purpose in this crazy world.”

— Wynnona Judd Thought Catalog Logo Mark

About the author

Mélanie Berliet

I adore the following, in no particular order: knee-high tube socks, acrostic poetry, and my little brother. Click here to learn more!

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