Failure: just a bump in the road

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Being discouraged is normal. Feeling like something isn’t going right for you or falling flat on your face can definitely put a dent on your day-to-day attitude. But to feel alone on your journey and to feel like you are the only one that could possibly be going through this is common, but not necessarily true. You are NOT alone. So many of us have been in your shoes, or worse, and have gone on to achieve inexplicable, incredible and sensation successes.

Not only is it common to find, when going through the background stories of some of your favourite personalities and athletes that they had failed or struggled at points in their life, but they seem to bounce back from these failures even stronger and higher than when they had fallen. Failure is when they grew, learned and gained the skills and drive to persevere and supersede the downhill parts of their story.

Here are five highly successful athletes who first had to fail and hit rock bottom before they rocketed up to the top.

Michael Jordan

After reading his entire book, we thought that his story, an incredible display of determination and perseverance reached its ultimate failure when he was cut from his high school basketball team his sophomore year for being too short and lacking skills to excel in his sport.

Michael Jordan was CUT. Also during his high school career, when he finally made the varsity squad, they lost at the state championship. His professional career took SEVEN years to win a NBA title, but once he pushed through this period of failure, he went on to win 3 titles back to back to back and become arguably the worlds best basketball player.  

Bethany Hamilton

You all know her story by now, but the facts of the time between her setback and her next cutback is insane. This renowned surfer started surfing at age 7, suffered the shark attack that took her left arm in 2003, and after only 26 DAYS, she was back on the board and out on the water. 26 DAYS.

Not only has she won numerous prizes and has been ranked among the best 50 female surfers in the world, she also uses her unusual success to inspire young amputees.

Michael Oher

Also another famous success story turned to film, the young man who was taken in by a Mississippi family rose from a very struggling background to go on and get a full scholarship to Ole Miss and play in the NFL for the Baltimore Ravens.

Babe Ruth

This baseball legend, in 1932 had set the record for the most home runs in a regular season. But that wasn’t the only record that he set. He also held the record for the most strike outs than ANY other player in MLB: 1,330. Baseball is all about stats, and imagine reading the statistic that you have struck out 1,330 times. Every failure, however, led to his success, because he went on to rake in 714 home runs.

Serena Williams

This world class athlete and arguably one of the best tennis players of all time has gone through her share of failures and is known to be able to raise from the ashes, and not just from losses. Williams, in 2001, was booed off the court and was the victim of racist remarks, along with her sister and her father. Her and her sister’s strength on and off the court have made them the influential and successful athletes, women, and people they are today.


So if you are struggling, if you are staring failure straight in the face from where you are now in your life, don’t worry. On the contrary, embrace it, live it and never forget it. Let it propel you upwards. Because failure is not falling down, it’s getting up again.


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