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“Dust Yourself Off” From Failure With These 11 Quotes

We’ve heard time and again that failure is a natural part of life — but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t sting. Missing the mark, especially when we’ve put time and effort into a project or dream, can be devastating.

Whether we’re let go from a job we once envied or we find ourselves leaving what we thought would be a lifelong relationship, these moments can make us feel ashamed or discouraged. But after tending to those prickly feelings, we can start to look at these “failures” through a more hopeful lens — and allow their lessons to chart our way forward.

NBA legend Michael Jordan once shared that he missed more than 9,000 shots in his career — more than the average NBA player even takes. Writer Elizabeth Gilbert’s work was rejected for six years straight before her first publication. So many people we now see as wildly successful built their accomplishments on the backs of many, many failed attempts.

And we can learn from their approaches as we face our own failures: By reflecting on the ways in which something went wrong, we can learn how to avoid any potential pitfalls on our next try. We might even realize that the thing we were trying for wasn’t right for us in the first place. At our lowest point, it turns out, there is nothing but possibility.

If you feel you’ve hit rock bottom lately, we’re here for you. Read on for some quotes that might help you start looking up and moving forward.

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

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

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The question you have to ask yourself is: How do you want to fail? Do you want to fail in a way that feels like it respects your tastes and value system?
Amy Poehler

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“Go back?" he thought. "No good at all! Go sideways? Impossible! Go forward? Only thing to do! On we go!"
J.R.R. Tolkien

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You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, the encountering may be the very experience which creates the vitality and the power to endure.
Maya Angelou

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Failure is only a temporary change in direction to set you straight for your next success.
Denis Waitley

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The phoenix must burn to emerge.
Janet Fitch

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You mustn’t confuse a single failure with a final defeat.
F. Scott Fitzgerald

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You've got to experience failure to understand that you can survive it.
Tina Fey

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We need to accept that we won’t always make the right decisions, that we’ll screw up royally sometimes — understanding that failure is not the opposite of success, it’s part of success.
Arianna Huffington

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Will you remember the famous men, / Who had to fall to rise again? / So take a deep breath, / Pick yourself up, / Dust yourself off, / Start all over again.
Dorothy Fields

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Featured image credit: Kris Connor/ Getty Images Entertainment via Getty Images

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About the Author
Paola Bennet
Paola Bennet is a writer based in Brooklyn, NY. She writes a fortnightly newsletter that treasures the mundane, called Small Histories. Find her on Instagram @paolafbennet.
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