9 Ways To Bounce Back From Failure

Personal Growth & Entrepreneurship . 7.5 Min. Read . By: Devon Brown


It's probably my favorite game show of all time. 

I guess I'm just a bit of a trivia nerd. 

⚠ Fair Warning... There may be some trivia ahead.

I like how they reverse the question and answer, so that they give you the answer, and you have to provide them with the question.

I also like how sometimes, you can even use the clues inside of the answer they give you to figure out what the question would be. Maybe it’s because I’m a fan of deductive reasoning.

Wow, my “dork-side” is really showing right now - LOL

All this talk about Jeopardy is making me want to play! So let’s do a Jeopardy question... I mean answer… I mean... whatever, you know what I’m trying to say!

20 points for you if you get it right! And remember… your answer must be in the form of a question.

Ready? Here goes...

Before getting her books published, this famous author had to bounce back from failure multiple times. She was jobless, divorced and penniless. She had a kid, whom she couldn’t take good care of due to having no money. In 1995, after bouncing back from the failure of having 12 major publishing houses rejecting her, she finally achieved success and is now a household name.

Do you know who it is?

? Doot doot doot dooot... doot doot doot... ?

Go ahead and think of your guess, and  I’ll give you the answer in just a sec.

For now, let’s talk about why you’re here and what the famous author in our Jeopardy question (and others like her) did to bounce back from failure and achieve success beyond their wildest dreams.

The Failure - Success Relationship...

Dealing with failure is a part of life.

That being said, it can still be difficult to watch something you’ve put your time, love and energy into fall apart before your very eyes.

However, we can’t fear the disappointment.


Because fear of failure makes success impossible.

And why does the fear of failure make success impossible?

Because failure is inevitable.

Not only is it just part of the game, but it’s a VITAL part of  success.


The thing that makes most experts/gurus successful is that they’ve failed more times than a beginner has even tried.

Herein lies the "SEXY" of this article. Success in anything is not about how good you are the first time you try it. Success depends entirely on how many times you are willing to fail and how quickly you bounce back from failure.

Think about that for a minute.

To a beginner, failure is a big deal. It’s the end of the world. It’s something to sit in and sulk about for days, weeks, or months on end.

But to a successful person, failure is expected. Sure it doesn’t feel that great, but bouncing back from failure (even a big one) is something that is so second nature, that it’s almost as natural as walking.

So, how do you get to the point where bouncing back from failure is as simple as dusting dirt off your shoulder?

Here are 9 ways….

How to Bounce Back From Failure Tip #1: Consider Who Failed Before You.

Think of every famous or successful person you know…

Guess what? Before they were on top of their game, they ALL failed.

Most of them probably straight out of the gate.

From authors being turned down by countless publishers for her little series we now know as Harry Potter, to Steve Jobs and Bill Gates… they ALL failed. MANY times.

Yet they pressed on…and succeeded…massively.

Persistence is not only key when dealing with failure; it’s also your best friend.

“Winners are not afraid of losing. But losers are. Failure is part of the process of success. People who avoid failure also avoid success.

~ Robert T. Liyosaki

How to Bounce Back From Failure Tip #2: Talk Real... To Yourself

Surely you've heard the concept of what you think you will become…that the energy you emit into the universe is the energy that will come back to you.

Repeatedly bashing yourself after experiencing failure isn't going to help you.

Feeding your brain statements like "I'm a loser" or "I’m a failure" or "No one will ever want to hire me" is focusing on the CURRENT failure, and suggesting to your subconscious that you will ALWAYS fail.

But that’s bullshit and you know it.

You and I both know that you will not always fail. So you must change the way you speak to yourself so as to incorporate positive/real declarations like…

"This time I did not reach my goal, but I still have options" or "I failed today, but tomorrow offers more opportunity”.

View each failure as one specific event, and move forward as such. This will have a fantastic impact reintroducing positivity into your life.

“Success is stumbling from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.”

~ Winston Churchill

How to Bounce Back From Failure Tip #3: Understand That You Are Mostly Disappointed Because Your Expectations Were Not Met

Here’s the problem.

When we take certain actions, we expect certain results.

And when those results don’t happen, we end up feeling bad about it.

The thing here is to remember that success almost NEVER looks how you think it’s going to look. It almost never comes to fruition exactly how you planned.

So, remembering that, you can now appreciate the fact that your job is two-fold:

A.) Plant the seeds (i.e. do your best work)

B.) Trust that things will work out how they’re supposed to when they’re supposed to

Often, what you think is a setback is actually a SETUP for an even bigger success!

Let go of the idea that things must happen a certain way and it will be much easier to move on past your failures.

“Every Setback Is A Setup For A Comeback.”

~ Willie Jolley

How to Bounce Back From Failure Tip #4: Take The Long-Term View

The truth of the matter is that 99 times out of 100, nothing worth having is going to happen overnight.

There is no such thing as overnight success…discounting a lottery win…and is that really success?

Take into account that things take time…sometimes LOTS of it.

And there’s nothing wrong with that.

Heck, this website you’re on right now went through multiple iterations, numerous starts and stops, and over 4 years of effort before it came into existence.

Eventually, you’ll come to the understanding that “success” is really about the person you become on your journey, and not just achieving some arbitrary benchmark you’ve set.

You have to learn to practice patience to succeed.

“Patience isn't the ability to wait, but rather, it's how we act while we're waiting”

~ Joyce Myer

“Patience itself may seem bitter; but the fruit it produces is sweet."

~ Jean-Jacques Rousseau

How to Bounce Back From Failure Tip #5: Make A List Of Your Previous Successes

Failure can act as an overpowering black cloud if you do not approach it with the right mindset.

That is why you must not discount your previous successes.

Keep a list of all that you have accomplished. Be it toward the same goal or other goals.

The more you are able to see how far you come, the less likely the black cloud of failure will impact your growth moving forward.

If you ever feel overwhelmed by failure, think back to all you’ve overcome in the past…that will help keep things in perspective.

“One who gains strength by overcoming obstacles possesses the only strength which can overcome adversity."

~ Albert Schweitzer

How to Bounce Back From Failure Tip #6: Give Yourself A Mourning Period

I get it, you suffered a big blow.

You busted your butt and things didn’t work out.

So, given that, it’s 100% acceptable to feel a sense of loss or grief.

Experiencing the “pain” (notice the quotes) of failure is healthy.  The thing is to not get lost in your grief.

Staying depressed for weeks or months on end does not help you get closer to your goal.

So be sad for a little bit, feel the feelings of disappointment; you’ve got my permission to do so.

But after you’re done being sad… stand up, dust yourself off, and start throwing your SEXY on your goals again.

“Feel the PAIN... Feel the DISAPPOINTMENT... Feel The Hurt...

You DONE? Good...

Now pick yourself up and GET BACK TO BEING AWESOME."

~ Devon Brown

How to Bounce Back From Failure Tip #7: What Did You Learn?

As Thomas Edison said after thousands of unsuccessful attempts at creating the light bulb:

“I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work”

Someone famous once said, the word “FAIL” is just an acronym for:





Do you look at your failures as lessons?

Or, do you look at them as signs that you’ll never achieve your goals?

My hope is that you look at is the former, and not the latter.

“Sometimes you win... Sometimes you LEARN! "

~ John Maxwell

How to Bounce Back From Failure Tip #8: Keep In Mind: Failure Is NOT A Reflection Of Who You Are

It's easy to lose your identity amidst experiencing failure.

We tend to forget that failure is its own breathing, living thing (metaphorically anyway), and it is in no way a reflection of who you are…

Saying “I failed” is not the same as saying “I am a failure”.

Often, we say the second when we mean the first.

Truth be told, it’s actually the REACTION to our failures that is the real reflection of who we are.

Focus on your reaction and do not allow it to overcome the capable part of you.

“Remember that failure is an event, NOT a person."

~ Zig Ziglar

How to Bounce Back From Failure Tip #9: Re-Evaluated Your Plan

Sometimes you have to simply switch it up.

Plans are great, but they always need to be adjusted as you get new data on your journey.

Pay attention to what works and what does not.

Then, make a CHANGE.

You are capable of creating new ways to reach your goal, right?  So stay encouraged and do what it takes to succeed.

I can 100% guarantee you the nothing great that was ever accomplished worked out exactly how it was supposed to right from the beginning.

“Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently."

~ Henry Ford

So What Did We Learn?

If you take nothing else from this blog post, remember this….

Failure is PART of the game. It’s supposed to happen.

It’s there to help you learn and grow.

But it’s only TRULY failure if you choose to give up.

I’m curious…

Have you experienced a failure from which you thought you would never bounce back... only to turn that loss into a win?

Please share in the comments below.

I'd love to hear your success stories and how you bounced back from a failure.

Oh... and the answer to our Jeopardy trivia question...

Who is JK Rowling?

Click Play on This Video For A New Perspective On Failure.

One of The Biggest Areas People Need To Bounce Back From Failure

One of the BIGGEST areas people fail (or at least feel that they fail), is when they get up to speak in front of others.

Everyday, countless people have a less than positive experience when they speak in public, and they let that experience keep them from stepping into their greatness.

If you'd like an unfair advantage in leveling up this area of your life, click on the image below

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Devon Brown (“Duh-Von” not “Dev-in”) is a speaker, author, entrepreneur, former hip-hop dancer, and World's #1 Event Emcee. Once described as a sort-of ‘MC Hammer meets Tony Robbins’; his style is 50% education, 50% entertainment, and 100% must-experience. Be sure to connect with Devon on social media.

Devon Brown with Arms Folded

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