A to Z of Overcoming Failure

Reading Time: 6 minutes

A to Z, Failure

In this A to Z of Overcoming Failure, we’ll look at 26 inspirational quotes from some of the biggest ‘failures’ on how to overcome failure and set-backs.

Failure in anything is tough. Life throws failure at us from an early age – learning to walk, potty training, making friends, reading and writing, learning a foreign language, passing your driving test, finding a career, finding love ….I could go on. How many of us are successful at any of those at the first attempt?

All of us fail at many things and often more than once – Hopefully this A to Z will give you some inspiration to go beyond whatever failure you’re coping with at the moment and help you reach your goals!

A – Accept that failure has happened

“I’ve missed more than 9000 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

B – Believe in yourself

“Obstacles can’t stop you. Problems can’t stop you. Most of all, other people can’t stop you. Only you can stop you.”

J. Gitomer

C – Celebrate the things that did go well along the way

D – Don’t dwell on the past

“My mother always taught me never to look back in regret but to move on to the next thing. The amount of time people waste dwelling on failures rather than putting that energy into another project, always amazes me. I have fun running all the Virgin businesses–so a setback is never a bad experience, just a learning curve.”

Richard Branson

E – Evaluate how you can do better next time

“There is no failure, only feed back.”

Robert Allen

F – Feel the fear and do it anyway

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

Benjamin Franklin

G – Get up, dust yourself off and try again

“It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes short again and again, who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause, who at best knows achievement and who at the worst if he fails at least fails while daring greatly so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.”

Theodore Roosevelt

H – Have an unerring focus

“Successful people maintain a positive focus in life no matter what is going on around them. They stay focused on their past successes rather than their past failures, and on the next action steps they need to take to get them closer to the fulfilment of their goals rather than all the other distractions that life presents to them.”

Jack Canfield

I – Intelligence may mean you fail more, but you will prevail

“I make mistakes like the next man. In fact, being, forgive me, rather cleverer than most men, my mistakes tend to be correspondingly huger.”

J.K. Rowling

J – Just keep going

“The entrepreneurial life is one of challenge, work, dedication, perseverance, exhilaration, agony, accomplishment, failure, sacrifice, control, powerlessness… but ultimately, extraordinary satisfaction.”

David S. Rose

K – Knowing when to change tack

Had their founders not changed tack, Twitter would still be an audio podcaster, YouTube a video dating site, and Apple would be a niche computer manufacturer – rather than the world’s largest company.

“It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.”

Charles Darwin

L – Learn from your mistakes

“If you learn from defeat, you haven’t really lost.”

Zig Ziglar

M – Make a new start from Today

“Though no one can go back and make a brand-new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand-new ending.”

Carl Bard

N – Never Give Up

“Success is the ability to go from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm”

Winston Churchill

O – Opportunity from Adversity

“Successful leaders see the opportunities in every difficulty rather than the difficulty in every opportunity.”

Reed Markham

P – Persistency will win in the end

“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

Q – Quitting is not an option

“Before success comes in any man’s life, he’s sure to meet with much temporary defeat and, perhaps some failures. When defeat overtakes a man, the easiest and the most logical thing to do is to quit. That’s exactly what the majority of men do.”

Napoleon Hill

R – Recognise past failures and how they have improved you as a person

“Just once it might be instructive to pretend you’re accepting an award for failure, just to see who you would thank.”

Robert Brault

S – Surround yourself with the right people

“If you want 1 year of prosperity, grow grain. If you want 10 years of prosperity, grow trees. If you want 100 years of prosperity, grow people.”

Chinese Proverb

T – Think differently

“My message, especially to young people is to have courage to think differently, courage to invent, to travel the unexplored path, courage to discover the impossible and to conquer the problems and succeed. These are great qualities that they must work towards.

P. J. Abdul Kalam

U – Understand the true meaning of success

“To believe in yourself and to follow your dreams, to have goals in life and a drive to succeed, and to surround yourself with the things and the people that make you happy – this is success!”

Sasha Azevedo

V – Value your time and listen to your inner thoughts

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most importantly, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”

Steve Jobs

W – When the going gets tough…

“The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees opportunity in every difficulty.”

Winston Churchill

X – “X” never, ever marks the spot

“Rarely in life is there an ‘X’ on a map that you can navigate to without having to change your route, even if you can map read. You need to judge each twist and turn, every bit of bad weather and press on to your desired destination.”

Mark Conway

Y – You are mortal

“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. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.”

Steve Jobs

Z – Zig Ziglar has the final word

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