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17 Quotes on Getting Over Failure

Updated: Aug 20, 2021

Remember that failure is an event, not a person. Zig Ziglar

The voice in our head is often our harshest critic. These quotes on getting over failure can help you move on.

Quote on getting over failure

At some point in time, we will all fail at something. In fact, we will probably fail several times at several things.

I’ve been there. I’m sure you have too.

Too often failure leaves us feeling discouraged and disappointed. We lose our confidence and question our abilities.

Then, the harsh critic in our head takes over, and we feel doomed.

But here’s something to remember:

Just because your inner critic says something harsh, doesn’t mean it’s true.

All that negativity won’t change what happened, and it certainly doesn’t make you feel any better.

The Importance Perspective

Instead of letting my inner critic run wild, I change the words I tell myself. I push irrational negativity out and replace it with actionable positivity.

I change my perspective, so I can change how I feel.

There is nothing good or healthy about allowing negative thoughts to distort a situation and make it bigger or more serious or more of a failure than it really is.

Looking at different perspectives grounds my thinking and keeps me from catastrophizing the situation. There is nothing good or healthy about allowing negative thoughts to distort a situation and make it bigger or more serious or more of a failure than it really is.

(Check out this article in Psychology Today for more information on catastrophizing and how to move past it.)

Learning how other people deal with similar situations opens your mind to new ways of thinking. Their experience and perspective can often help us deal with our own.

Quotes to Help You Move Past Failure

I selected these 17 quotes because they quiet my inner critic and inspire me to respond to failure in a more positive and action-oriented way.

1. Forget the failures. Keep the lessons. Dalai Lama

We often learn the most from the worst of circumstances. Failure delivers many of our strongest life lessons.

We are wiser today because something went wrong yesterday.

Failure is an unwanted, but excellent, teacher, so take what you can from the experience.

2. Just because you fail once, doesn’t mean your gonna fail at everything. Marilyn Monroe

Shut down any voice that tells you that because you failed once, you’re going to fail again and again.

That statement isn’t based on reality. There’s absolutely no reason to believe it’s true.

No one fails at everything. No one.

No one fails at everything. No one.

So maybe you failed at something in one area of your life, there are other areas where you have succeeded.

Shut down your inner critic by making a list of your successes.

3. Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will. Karim Seddiki

Self-doubt makes us believe that we can’t. We tell ourselves that we can’t be or do or have something.

So how do you overcome that doubt? You start by doing things that increase the odds of success. You do the best that you can to increase the odds of success and decrease the odds of failure.

Then, when you’re ready to take that step, set the doubt aside, and just go for it. And really, that’s all you can do.

None of us are given any special window into the future. All you can do is prepare for the future to the best of your ability and move forward with your plans.

Don’t let self-doubt fill you with so much insecurity that you are paralyzed by fear.

Don’t let self-doubt fill you with so much insecurity that you are paralyzed by fear.

4. Success is not final, failure is not fatal. It is the course to continue that counts. Winston Churchill

When you think about it, life is really just a sequence of events, big and small, that shape who we are.

Good things happen. Bad things happen. But life goes on.

What we don’t what to do is stop moving. Getting stuck at a good or bad point in life limits our potential. We lose the opportunity to live a full life if we get emotionally stuck at any one event.

Our lives are richer and fuller because of the opportunities or challenges we take on. Let’s move past them, not stop in front of them.

5. Failure is not the falling down, but the staying down. Mary Pickford

As I mentioned earlier, getting stuck limits us. When we don’t get up from whatever knocked us down, we don’t give ourselves a chance to grow from the experience.

We also lose the opportunity to build our resiliency reserve.

Resiliency makes us stronger and gives us the fuel we need to overcome other difficulties.

Each time we fall, we need to get back up. Even when we’re bruised and sore. Get back up.

6. Life is full of setbacks. The question is whether you allow failure and other setbacks to derail your efforts or if you use it as a stepping stone to better things. Brenda K. Baker

Our experiences are like stepping stones. They help us move from point to point along our life’s path.

Sometimes those stepping stones are big and easy to stand on, other times they’re small and wobbly. But each is important because they allow us to move forward on life’s journey.

Challenges, failures, and other setbacks are part of our journey. We have to be willing to move past them to get to the opportunities and successes farther along the path.

7. If you want to succeed, double your failure rate. Tony Watson

Failure is part of life. The only way to guarantee that you won’t fail is to not try at all. If you live life unwilling to try new things, you won’t just miss out on the bad experiences, you’ll miss out on good experiences too.

Imagine life experiences as a buffet where you get to choose what you want to experience.

You take an empty plate and walk over to the buffet. You fill your plate with brussel sprouts.

You walk back to your table and take a single bite. They taste awful, so you don’t go back for anything else.

But here’s the thing:

If you had gone back, you could have had the best steak and cheesecake you’ve ever eaten. But that never happened because you didn’t want to risk another disappointment.

When you open yourself to more opportunities, the risk of failure rises, but so does the possibility of success.

8. 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. That is why I succeed. Michael Jordan

The more you try, the more opportunities you give yourself to succeed. You won’t succeed on every try, but you limit your potential for success if you’re not willing to be open to opportunity.

Success rarely occurs without a failure somewhere along the way.

Success rarely occurs without a failure somewhere along the way.

The only guaranteed way to avoid failure is to stop doing. But, in doing so, you limit yourself to a narrow life. One that, as Pink Floyd would say, is “comfortably numb.”

Don’t settle for a comfortably numb life because you fear failure. That numbness probably won’t make you happy either.

9. When you have exhausted all possibilities, remember this: You haven’t. Thomas Edison

As Thomas Edison once commented about his failure in creating a light bulb that would work, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”

When you feel like you can’t keep trying, keep trying away. We don’t get to the finish line of a race because we’re fast, we get there because we don’t quit.

We succeed, not because we’re covered in magical fairy dust, but because we keep trying.

10. Failure is the condiment that gives success its flavor. Turman Capote

If we had no sadness, how would we know happiness?

How would we know accomplishment if we never experienced failure?

The experience of failure makes success more potent. It’s the mustard on our experience of life.

Every failure provides an opportunity for personal growth. Because we move past failure, we appreciate success that much more.

11. I am always doing what I cannot do yet in order to learn how to do it. Vincent Van Gough

Here’s an important takeaway in Van Gough’s statement:

As gifted as he was, he was humble about his skill. He realized that he didn’t know everything and was willing to learn as he went along.

We do the same thing. We learn as our life unfolds. As time passes, we get a better understanding of how to build on successes and learn from failures.

We can use the knowledge we gain to build a happier and more meaningful life.

12. My entire life can be described in one sentence: It didn’t go as planned, and that’s ok. Rachel Wolchin

Adaptability. The better we are at adapting to our current situation, the easier and happier our life will be. Adapting to life’s challenges makes it easier to change your actions, mindset, or plan when things don’t turn out as expected.

Failure isn’t so much a defeat as it is a curve on our path.

Failure isn’t so much a defeat as it is a curve on our path. To keep from falling off the path, we have to change the direction we’re walking. Follow the curve.

It is our success in changing our path the determines whether we fall off or keep walking.

13. Never let success get to your head; never let failure get to your heart. Anonymous

This is a good, practical reminder to stay grounded. We will experience success. We will experience failure.

If we let one or the other dominate our life, we add a new set of problems.

Keep success and failure in perspective.

14. Failure is a bruise, not a tattoo. Jon Sinclair

This is one of my favorite quotes because it reminds me that failure is a temporary experience, a moment in time.

This experience may influence how we feel right now, but the strength of what we feel in the midst of this experience is temporary. The strong emotion we feel right now will likely fade over time.

The power a negative experience holds over our emotions is temporary. The future won’t feel as raw and harsh as this moment.

So, remember this:

The power a negative experience holds over our emotions is temporary. The future won’t feel as raw and harsh as this moment.

15. Challenges are what make life interesting. Overcoming them is what makes them meaningful. Unknown

We may not like challenges or setbacks, but they break up the monotony of a flat emotional landscape.

Our reward for overcoming those challenges is a feeling of accomplishment.

The accomplishment releases good vibes. We feel good because we overcame a challenging setback.

Later on, don’t focus on the setback. Focus on the accomplishment you feel after overcoming that setback.

16. My barn having burned down, I can now see the moon. Mizuta Masahide

Imagine how differently we would experience life if we could be this positive about problems.

We can reduce the sting of a terrible situation by focusing on the positive that resulted instead.

Focusing on the positive during bad times is not an easy thing to do. But I’ve found that the more optimistic I am during bad times, the easier it is to deal with the difficulty of the situation.

Even though it’s not easy, I think we benefit when we’re able to extract some good from bad situations.

17. Note to self: Every time you were convinced you couldn’t go on, you did. Unknown

Want proof? You’re here reading these words right now.

When life feels bleak, remember that you have overcome every challenge up to this point.

When life feels bleak, remember that you have overcome every challenge up to this point.

You can overcome this one too.

The challenge right now is to move forward, even if your steps are small.

It’s the movement that matters. Keep trying. Step by step, keep moving forward.


I hope these quotes help quiet your inner critic and help you move past a failure and on to new experiences and opportunities.

Which quote resonated the most with you? Email me at anita (@)

Related articles:

Feeling Discouraged? 36 Inspiring Quotes to Lift You Up

9 Ways to Avoid a Complete Meltdown When You're Stressed at Work

How Overcoming Perfectionism Changed My Life

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