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Failure

  • There is no way of steering successfully between a failed situation and a failed self except by stopping and taking our bearings.

  • ... mine was a life of failure — one thing after another — like most lives ... but that is all right, it is universal, it is the great human experience to fail.

  • Failure can get to be a rather comfortable old friend.

  • ... in some circumstances, the refusal to be defeated is a refusal to be educated.

  • Defeat is simply a signal to press onward.

  • In all failures, the beginning is certainly the half of the whole.

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

  • Failures aren't failures if you learn something from them ...

  • Any disaster is a learning process.

  • Failure is nothing but success trying to be born in a bigger way. Most seeming failures are just installments toward victory!

  • Defeat should not be the source of discouragement, but a stimulus to keep plotting.

  • All our failures are ultimately failures in love.

  • I live, I live, with an absolutely continuous sense of failure. I am always defeated, always. Every book is the wreck of a perfect idea. The years pass and one has only one life. If one has a thing at all one must do it and keep on and on and on trying to do it better.

  • In truth, it's usually failure, disappointment, and frustration that motivate people to reexamine that which they've taken for granted. It's rare to find big change without significant bad news. ... In that sense, the pain of failure creates the largest opportunities for progress.

  • Failure is never a reason not to try again.

  • Three failures denote uncommon strength. A weakling has not enough grit to fail thrice.

  • In a total work, the failures have their not unimportant place.

  • Failure would only be if you had somewhere stopped growing. As far as I can see the whole duty of the artist is to keep on growing ...

    • May Sarton,
    • 1949, in Susan Sherman, ed., May Sarton: Among the Usual Days ()
  • Failure is another stepping-stone to greatness.

    • Oprah Winfrey,
    • in Nellie Bly, Oprah: Up Close and Down Home ()
  • I will tell you that there have been no failures in my life. I don't want to sound like some metaphysical queen, but there have been no failures. There have been some tremendous lessons.

    • Oprah Winfrey,
    • in Bill Adler, ed., The Uncommon Wisdom of Oprah Winfrey ()
  • ... failure is defined by our reaction to it. ... Failure is just a way for our lives to show us that we're moving in the wrong direction, that we should try something different. It holds no more power than we give it.

  • I don't believe in failure. It's not failure if you enjoyed the process.

  • ... I, who have been a net spread in the deep, / return to the surface without a fish.

    • Rosario Castellanos,
    • "The Useless Day," in Magda Bogin, trans., The Selected Poems of Rosario Castellanos ()
  • We will never lose if we define and redefine ourselves after each failure.

  • ... in the stress of modern life, how little room is left for that most comfortable vanity which whispers in our ears that failures are not faults!

    • Agnes Repplier,
    • "On the Benefits of Superstition," Books and Men ()
  • When we can begin to take our failures non-seriously, it means we are ceasing to be afraid of them. It is of immense importance to learn to laugh at ourselves.

  • I shot through my twenties like a luminous thread through a dark needle, blazing toward my destination: Nowhere.

  • It is not in my nature to admit defeat.

  • Many a good beginning makes a bad ending.

  • Some people spend their lives failing and never notice.

  • ... we may encounter many defeats but we must not be defeated.

    • Maya Angelou,
    • in Devinia Sookia, "Singing, Swinging, and Still Living Life to the Full," Caribbean Times ()
  • Failure? / I'm not ashamed to tell it, / I never learned to spell it. / Not Failure.

  • ... accept failure as part and parcel of life. It's not the opposite of success; it's an integral part of success.

  • Success comes and goes. Your flops stay with you for life.

  • We human beings grow through our failures, not our virtues.

  • There's nothing more physically exhausting than a sense of failure.

  • Even if you fall on your face, you're still moving forward.

    • Patti LaBelle,
    • in Patti LaBelle and Laura Randolph Lancaster, Patti's Pearls ()
  • I don't think anyone's a failure as long as they're still innocent. Just a little. They may lose everything good in them but as long as they believe just a little in something very small, they're still innocent. To fail is to lose every bit of innocence.

  • The art of losing isn't hard to master ...

  • No honest work of man or woman 'fails'; / It feeds the sum of all human action.

    • Michelene Wandor,
    • "Aurora Leigh" (1979), in Michelene Wandor, ed., Plays by Women ()
  • All we can do in this world is the thing that seems to us the best. We have no concern with the results, except as a guide for the future, and sometimes, years afterward, we see that what seemed like a bitter loss was, in reality, gain.

  • Failure may be just a step toward your eventual goal.

  • Who thinks he will fail — will probably fail. Who believe that dreams are only dreams — will probably find it so. Who doubts himself — will achieve only such results as will confirm it.

  • ... sometimes what you want to do has to fail so you won't.

  • The only people who never fail are those who never try.

  • Bucky was clearly one of those smug people who don't like to be around failure, she thought. They were often the same people who'd made it with a great deal of help from their relatives.

  • Today's failure may be a deliverance. It may be releasing you from the wrong task in order to free you for the right one.

  • I have been disappointed many times, but never defeated.

  • The only failure is not knowing how to be happy.

  • ... a series of failures may culminate in the best possible result.

    • Gisela Richter,
    • My Memoirs: Recollections of an Archaeologist's Life
    • ()
  • ... the higher the step of advancement, the heavier is the fall.

    • Héloïse,
    • letter to Peter Abelard (12th cent.), in C.K. Scott Moncrief, trans., The Letters of Abelard and Heloise ()
  • I simply don't believe in failure. In itself, it doesn't exist. We create it. We make ourselves fail.

  • Please understand that there is no one depressed in this house: — we are not interested in the possibilities of defeat; — they do not exist.

    • Queen Victoria,
    • letter to A.J. Balfour during the "Black Week" of the Boer War (1900), in Lady Gwendolyn Cecil, Life of Robert, Marquis of Salisbury, vol. 3 ()
  • Flops are a part of life's menu and I've never been a girl to miss out on any of the courses.

  • Fear of failure is the fuel of achievement. If you weren't afraid to fail, you probably wouldn't be highly motivated to work at the level that most of us have to work at to do well.

    • Ruth Simmons,
    • in Lauren Picker, "The Key to My Success," Parade ()
  • ... the knowledge of personal failure ... is the invaluable predicate of all honest compassion.

  • I am working on a problem which fascinates me but I keep failing to do what I try. Still there is an end even to failures.

    • Amalia Fleming,
    • in André Maurois, The Life of Sir Alexander Fleming ()
  • ... a miss is as good as a mile ...

  • The failure is to be 40 and not to have tried.

  • Losers have their own truth.

  • If at first you don't succeed, destroy all evidence that you tried.

  • ... there's a reason we lose a lot its not our game / and we don't know how to score ...

  • Failure is just another way to learn how to do something right.

  • Best to have failure happen early. It wakes up the phoenix bird in you.

    • Anne Baxter,
    • in John Robert Colombo, Popcorn in Paradise ()
  • Failure is feedback.

  • The main thing is not a matter of wanting to win; the main thing is being scared to lose.

  • When our plan doesn't work, we think we failed. So we go at it again in the same way, only this time harder. ... When the plan doesn't work, change the plan.

  • There's dignity in suffering — / Nobility in pain — / But failure is a salted wound / That burns and burns again.

  • It doesn't matter if you win or lose, until you lose.

  • Failure: Is it a limitation? Bad timing? It's a lot of things. It's something you can't be afraid of, because you'll stop growing. The next step beyond failure could be your biggest success in life.

    • Debbie Allen,
    • in Ronald Warren Deutsch, ed., Inspirational Hollywood ()
  • It has been said that if you aim at nothing in life, you are likely to hit nothing! I have never had anyone come to me and say, 'Venita, I plan to fail.' Yet I have observed many who failed to plan and who unfortunately met with the same dismal results.

  • Close only counts in horseshoes.

  • Thank goodness all flops aren't failures.

  • Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising every time we fall.

    • Julie Krone,
    • speech, accepting ESPY for Outstanding Female Athlete ()
  • Movie failures are like the common cold. You can stay in bed and take aspirin for six days and recover. Or you can walk around and ignore it for six days and recover.

  • ... there are many ways to fail. Some reject success. And others do not recognize it when success comes.

  • ... I feel like my life is just passing me by like two ships in the night. And I have missed both boats.

  • A leader knows the difference between failure and learning.

    • Patricia Haddock,
    • in Marilyn Manning and Patricia Haddock, Leadership Skills for Women ()
  • ... coming to terms with failure is critical for managers, because otherwise you fear it and end up making safe decisions, which can stymie your career.

    • Connie Glaser,
    • in Connie Glaser and Barbara Steinberg Smalley, Swim With the Dolphins ()
  • 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.

  • Genuine achievement gives you a sense that you can do stuff. And genuine failure gives you a sense that you can survive being imperfect.

    • Esther Dyson,
    • "On the Frontier: An Interview with Esther Dyson," in Reason ()
  • Yes. There is a 100% chance that at some point in the future you are going to mess up. Maybe spectacularly. ... You don't have to be perfect. All you have to do is not quit. (OK, that's a big one — but you can do it. Really.)

  • It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all.

  • There could be nutrients / in failure — / deep amendments / to the shallow soil / of wishes.

    • Kay Ryan,
    • "Failure 2," The Best of It ()
  • What the world calls failure, I call learning.