30 Meaningful Failure Quotes To Keep You Moving In The Right Direction

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Failure isn’t usually a word we want to think about. Failing a test, losing a race, missing a promotion, disappointing a friend—these are all life experiences we’d rather avoid. Life would be a lot less complicated if everything worked out exactly how we want. But no matter what, a perfect life isn’t reality. Learning to accept and learn from failure is part of the human experience. It’s a hard pill to swallow, but failure quotes remind us that disappointment, loss, and mistakes are never the end of the road.

Regardless of age, income, or social status, we all fail. We can’t be 100% perfect all the time, and a lot of the times, there’s nothing we can do to change a situation’s outcome. Even if making a different decision would have led to a different outcome, the key to life is realizing that you can’t change the past. All you can do is focus on the present and plan for the future. Failure quotes won’t make disappointment hurt less, but they will inspire you to keep going.

failure quotes

Here are 30 failure quotes that relate to all aspects of life.


1. “A failure is not always a mistake, it may simply be the best one can do under the circumstances. The real mistake is to stop trying.” — B.B. Skinner

2. “It’s fine to celebrate success, but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure.” — Bill Gates

3. “Success is not built on success. It’s built on failure. It’s built on frustration. Sometimes it’s built on catastrophe.” — Sumner Redstone

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

5. “The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

6. “A man can fail many times, but he isn’t a failure until he begins to blame somebody else.” — John Burroughs

7. “I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying.” — Michael Jordan

8. “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
failure quotes
9. “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.” — Wilma Rudolph

10. “You always pass failure on your way to success.” — Mickey Rooney

11. “Remember that failure is an event, not a person.” — Zig Ziglar

12. “You make mistakes. Mistakes don’t make you.” — Maxwell Maltz

13. “If you’re not failing every now and again, it’s a sign you’re not doing anything very innovative.” — Woody Allen

14. “Success isn’t permanent and failure isn’t fatal.” — Mike Ditka

15. “Defeat may serve as well as victory to shake the soul and let the glory out.” — Edwin Markham

16. “Losing is no disgrace if you’ve given your best.” — Jim Palmer

17. “Never walk away from failure. On the contrary, study it carefully and imaginatively for its hidden assets.” — Michael Korda

18. “Just because you fail once, doesn’t mean you’re gonna fail at everything. Keep trying, hold on, and always, always, always believe in yourself, because if you don’t, then who will, sweetie?” — Marilyn Monroe

19. “Successful people don’t fear failure but understand that it’s necessary to learn and grow from.” — Robert Kiyosaki

20. “The real test is not whether you avoid this failure, because you won’t. It’s whether you let it harden or shame you into inaction, or whether you learn from it; whether you choose to persevere.” — Barack Obama

21. “Fear regret more than failure.” — Taryn Rose

22. “Do not judge me by my successes, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again.” — Nelson Mandela

23. “Most great people have attained their greatest success just one step beyond their greatest failure.” — Napoleon Hill

24. “Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.” — Robert F. Kennedy

25. “When you take risks, you learn that there will be times when you succeed and there will be times when you fail, and both are equally important.” — Ellen DeGeneres

26. “Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.” — Winston Churchill

27. “The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing.” — Henry Ford

28. “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

29. “Failures are finger posts on the road to achievement.” — C.S. Lewis

30. “We are all failures. At least, the best of us are.” — J.M. Barrie

Even the greatest, most accomplished people in the world have experienced failure. Don’t let the risk of disappointment stop you from trying, and don’t let a single failure impede your progress. Don’t forget to share these failure quotes with friends, teammates, co-workers, and family.

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