89 Failure Quotes from Successful People to Inspire You

Here is a collection of Failure Quotes from Successful People that will inspire you and motivate you.

Failure is often perceived as more public than success, evoking fear and self-doubt.

Yet, achieving great success often requires overcoming failures, as exemplified by Thomas Edison’s and James Dyson’s numerous attempts before inventing the light bulb and bagless vacuum cleaner respectively.

Human nature tends to focus on negative experiences, but it’s important to view failures as stepping stones towards success, offering valuable lessons and experiences.

Throughout history, many notable figures like Albert Einstein, Michael Jordan and Steve Jobs have faced significant failures but ultimately achieved immense success in their fields.


Today’s society stigmatizes failure, associating it with weakness and overly emphasizes perfection and order.

However you need to embrace failures and learn from them rather than avoiding mistakes, is a critical part of the journey to success.

The collection of failure quotes from successful people can provide motivation and a different perspective on failure, reminding us of its essential role in the path to success.

Failure Quotes


If you learn from defeat, you haven’t really lost. ~ Zig Ziglar.


I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work. ~ Thomas A. Edison.

Failure is not falling down but refusing to get up. ~ Chinese proverb.

The surest way to fail is not to determine to succeed. ~ Richard Brinsley Sheridan.

You always pass failure on your way to success. ~ Mickey Rooney.

Do not be embarrassed by your failures, learn from them and start again. ~ Richard Branson.

I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying. ~ Michael Jordan.

In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure. ~ Bill Cosby.

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.

Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly. ~ Robert F. Kennedy.

Related Quotes: 167 Motivational Quotes to Turn Failure into Success and 18 Don’t Settle Quotes to Motivate and Inspire You

Inspiring Failure Quotes

The only real failure in life is not to be true to the best one knows. ~ Frederic William Farrar.

The difference between average people and achieving people is their perception of and response to failure. ~ John C. Maxwell.


Experience is merely the name men give to their mistakes. ~ Oscar Wilde.

When we give ourselves permission to fail, we, at the same time, give ourselves permission to excel. ~ Eloise Ristad.

You may have a fresh start any moment you choose, for this thing that we call ‘failure’ is not the falling down, but the staying down. ~ Mary Pickford.

I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everyone. ~ Bill Cosby.

Everything you want is on the other side of fear. ~ Jack Canfield.

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.


If you don’t try at anything, you can’t fail… it takes back bone to lead the life you want. ~ Richard Yates.

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.

Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit. ~ Napoleon Hill.

Powerful Quotes on Failure

Pain is temporary. Quitting lasts forever. ~ Lance Armstrong.

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.


Failure is unimportant. It takes courage to make a fool of yourself. ~ Charlie Chaplin.

Failure after long perseverance is much grander than never to have a striving good enough to be called a failure. ~ George Eliot.

Forget about the consequences of failure. Failure is only a temporary change in direction to set you straight for your next success. ~ Denis Waitley.

You don’t learn to walk by following rules. You learn by doing, and by falling over. ~ Richard Branson.

Excuses are the nails used to build a house of failure. ~ Jim Rohn.


Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall. ~ Confucius.

Giving up is the only sure way to fail. ~ Gena Showalter.

The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing. ~ Henry Ford

Failure is good as long as it doesn’t become a habit. ~ Michael Eisner.

We are all failures – at least the best of us are. ~ J.M. Barrie.


There is no innovation and creativity without failure. Period. ~ Brene Brown.

Do not judge me by my successes; judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again. ~ Nelson Mandela.

Famous Failure Quotes

If you want to increase your success rate, double your failure rate. ~ Thomas J. Watson.

Success or failure is caused more by mental attitude than by mental capacity. ~ Walter Scott.

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

Failure happens all the time. It happens every day in practice. What makes you better is how you react to it. ~ Mia Hamm.


Success is most often achieved by those who don’t know that failure is inevitable. ~ Coco Chanel.

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.

I never lose, I either win or learn. ~ Nelson Mandela.

It’s fine to celebrate success but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure. ~ Bill Gates.

Failure is a part of the process. You just learn to pick yourself back up. ~ Michelle Obama.

There are no secrets to success: don’t waste time looking for them. Success is the result of perfection, hard work, learning from failure, loyalty to those for whom you work, and persistence. ~ Colin Powell.


Being defeated is often a temporary condition. Giving up is what makes it permanent. ~ Marilyn Vos Savant.

For every failure, there’s an alternative course of action. You just have to find it. When you come to a roadblock, take a detour. ~ Mary Kay Ash.

Success isn’t permanent and failure isn’t fatal. ~ Mike Ditka.

Motivational Failure Quotes

Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time. ~ Thomas A. Edison.


Defeat is not the worst of failures. Not to have tried is the true failure. ~ George E. Woodberry.

My great concern is not whether you have failed, but whether you are content with your failure. ~ Abraham Lincoln.

Those who dare to fail miserably can achieve greatly. ~ John F. Kennedy.

Failure is not a single, cataclysmic event. You don’t fail overnight. Instead, failure is a few errors in judgement, repeated every day. ~ Jim Rohn.

Don’t worry about failures, worry about the chances you miss when you don’t even try. ~ Jack Canfield.


Do not fear mistakes. You will know failure. Continue to reach out. ~ Benjamin Franklin.

Success depends upon previous preparation, and without such preparation there is sure to be failure. ~ Confucius.

Develop success from failures. Discouragement and failure are two of the surest stepping stones to success. ~ Dale Carnegie.

My grandmother once told me, ‘Don’t let failure go to your heart and don’t let success go to your head.’ ~ Will Smith.

If you are afraid of failure, you don’t deserve to be successful. ~ Charles Barkley.


Failure is another stepping stone to greatness. ~ Oprah Winfrey.

Losers quit when they fail. Winners fail until they succeed. ~ Robert T. Kiyosaki.

Inspirational Failure Quotes

I didn’t fail the test, I just found 100 ways to do it wrong. ~ Benjamin Franklin.

Failure is not fatal, but failure to change might be. ~ John Wooden.

Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm. ~ Winston Churchill.

There is no failure except in no longer trying. ~ Chris Bradford.

Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new. ~ Albert Einstein.

Do the one thing you think you cannot do. Fail at it. Try again. Do better the second time. The only people who never tumble are those who never mount the high wire. ~ Oprah Winfrey.


Failure is a detour, not a dead-end street. ~ Zig Ziglar.

If you fell down yesterday, stand up today. ~ H. G. Wells.

There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure. ~ Paulo Coelho.

Top Failure Quotes

Most great people have attained their greatest success just one step beyond their greatest failure. ~ Napoleon Hill.

Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently. ~ Henry Ford.

It’s failure that gives you the proper perspective on success. ~ Ellen DeGeneres.

Failure is simply an opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently. ~ Henry Ford.

Our best successes often come after our greatest disappointments. ~ Henry Ward Beecher.

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 fail by default. ~ J.K. Rowling.


Losing is no disgrace if you’ve given your best. ~ Jim Palmer.

Failure is a word that I simply don’t accept. ~ John H. Johnson.

Never confuse a single defeat with a final defeat. ~ F. Scott Fitzgerald.

The phoenix must burn to emerge. ~ Janet Fitch.

The master has failed more times than the beginner has tried. ~ Stephen McCranie.

Fear regret more than failure. ~ Taryn Rose.

Failure will never overtake me if my determination to succeed is strong enough. ~ Og Mandino.

Failure is the condiment that gives success its flavor. ~ Truman Capote.

So these were the 85 quotes about Failure.

If you like these quotes and sayings, then you can also read my other popular blog posts on the topics of Respect quotes and Habit quotes and Intuition quotes.

Understanding Emotional and Cognitive Barriers

When we fail, our ego feels threatened, which can lead to a fight-or-flight response.

This either involves dismissing the value of the task or avoiding it altogether.

To learn from failure, it’s crucial to observe others’ mistakes and apply self-distancing techniques, such as viewing our failures from an external perspective to mitigate emotional distress.

How to Learn Through Observation

Studies suggest that learning from others’ failures can be more effective than from our own.

Watching someone else fail, especially in a structured environment like the “Facing Failure” game, can provide critical insights without the emotional weight of personal defeat.

This approach also includes looking at instructional materials that highlight common mistakes before attempting a task ourselves.

Sharing and Reframing Failure

Sharing personal failure stories can transform shame into growth.

Turning personal setbacks into inspirational narratives not only helps others but also reinforces our own understanding and acceptance of these events.

This process can lead to better performance and increased resilience in the future.

How to Balance the Ego

Recognizing past successes can help balance the impact of current failures.

Reminding ourselves of our accomplishments and reframing setbacks as learning opportunities rather than failures supports a healthier self-view and promotes ongoing engagement and improvement.

Focusing on Mindfulness and Self-Compassion

Mindfulness and self-compassion are key in dealing with failures.

Practicing mindfulness helps us process unexpected failures more effectively by enhancing our awareness and acceptance of the present moment.

Self-compassion, involving kindness to oneself and recognizing the common human experience of failure, enables us to move forward and learn from our mistakes without harsh self-judgment.

Top Questions About Failure

Q: How do you define failure?

A: Failure is the inability to meet expectations or achieve success.

Q: What is failure in life?

A: In life, failure is the inability to achieve a desired or intended objective, often seen as the opposite of success. The definition of failure can vary based on different perspectives or belief systems.

Q: How can you overcome failure?

A: To overcome failure, consider these eight tips:
1. Acknowledge your feelings and emotions.
2. Understand that failure is not the end.
3. Learn from the experience and make constructive changes.
4. Seek inspiration to move forward.
5. Persist and do not give up.
6. Maintain your passion.
7. Surround yourself with positive influences.
8. Avoid isolating yourself.

Q: How do we deal with failure?

A: Dealing with failure effectively involves several strategies:
1. Allow yourself to experience your feelings.
2. Practice self-compassion.
3. Reflect on the experience and adopt a growth mindset.
4. Reassess your goals and develop a future plan.

Q: Is failure part of life?

A: Yes, failure is an integral part of life. It provides important lessons and feedback necessary for learning and change, setting the foundation for future successes.

Q: Can a failure become successful?

A: Absolutely. Failure can lead to success by offering opportunities to try again with increased determination and focus. Success might be achieved on a subsequent attempt after learning from past setbacks.

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Chandan Negi
Chandan Negi

I’m the Founder of Internet Pillar - I love sharing quotes and motivational content to inspire and motivate people - #quotes #motivation #internetpillar