8 Tips for Keeping Your Enthusiasm After Experiencing Failure

It takes determination to pursue a dream, especially when faced with one challenge after another. It takes tenacity to keep going when desired results don’t happen as quickly as we want—or plans completely fall apart.

Failure is tough.

Failure is discouraging.

Failure is even at times heartbreaking.

Winston Churchill said, “Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.” 

I love that quote. But how do we keep our zeal when it starts to wane?

We can …

1. Focus on the positives and anything weve accomplished. There’s a reason to get excited. We’re one step closer to figuring out what will work for us!

2. Learn from our mistakes. Re-evaluate our goals and how we’ll achieve them, and be open to changing “the plan.”

3. Set aside our fears—of disappointment, making the wrong decision, or looking silly.

4. Choose our company wisely. Surround ourselves with positive people—those who support us and believe in us even when we have a hard time believing in ourselves.

5. Take care of ourselves.  We need to eat healthy, get rest, exercise, and find time for play. When hungry, tired, or lonely, it’s hard to be enthusiastic about anything—except eating or sleeping!

6. Refuse to step into victim-mode. Feeling sorry for ourselves will zap our enthusiasm.

7. Keep true to ourselves. We need to avoid changing our goals just because someone else thinks we should take a different path. We also shouldn’t try to pursue another persons dream if it’s not a true desire of our hearts. We have different gifts, personalities, and passions. Why miss out on what God has in store for us?

8. Take encouragement from the many who found great success after failure. The following is only a sample.

Henry Ford’s early businesses failed and left him broke five times before he founded the successful Ford Motor Company.
Walt Disney was fired by a newspaper editor because “he lacked imagination and had no good ideas.” After that, Disney started a number of businesses that ended with bankruptcy and failure before he created a company that continues to touch millions of people around the world.
Thomas Edison’s teachers told him that he was too stupid to learn anything, and he was fired from his first two jobs for not being productive enough. As an inventor, Edison made 1,000 unsuccessful attempts at inventing the light bulb before he discovered what worked.
Jerry Seinfeld is a well-known comedian, but the first time he walked on stage at a comedy club, he looked out at the audience, froze, and was eventually jeered and booed off of the stage. Instead of giving up, he tried again the following night and was rewarded with laughter and applause.
Fred Astaire’s first screen test bombed. The testing director for MGM wrote this about Astaire: “Can’t act. Can’t sing. Slightly bald. Can dance a little.” But Astaire went on to become an incredibly successful actor, singer, and dancer.
Lucille Ball was initially regarded as a failed actress and a B movie star. Her drama instructors told her to try another profession.  Instead, Lucy ended her career with thirteen Emmy nominations and four wins, and she also won the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Kennedy Center Honors. 
Steven Spielberg was rejected from the University of Southern California School of Theater, Film and Television three times. He eventually attended school at another location but dropped out to become a director before finishing. Today, he’s highly regarded in the film industry.

Remember . . . failure is not the end!

Have you ever considered giving up a goal because of failure? What do you do when you feel your enthusiasm fading?



  1. Such an encouraging post, Dawn! Love this list and positive approach. I've experienced both sides of disappointment--the grief and the renewed determination. Thanks for sharing your heart and this writing/dreaming journey with me! Hugs, my friend!

    1. Thanks for your support, Annette. I appreciate you!

  2. I honestly need this to pop up in my Inbox everyday. Any way you can make it do that? ;)

    Thank you so much for posting this.

    1. I'm so glad it's helpful, Angie. I need to keep these tips at hand too. ;-)


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