How to Turn Insults into Inspiration

We all know the routine: you accomplish something and get tons of positive feedback…but what sticks out? That stinging criticism that one person leveled at you. Suddenly your win feels tainted, overshadowed. Or maybe the critic is inside your head so no matter what you do, it’s never quite enough. You never truly experience a sense of accomplishment because you’re too busy picking yourself apart!

It’s a challenge to put those failures aside and think forward. But put them aside you must. Because after all, success is built upon failures, not getting it right every time. (Besides, we all know perfection is kind of boring.)

Here are some famous failures that will inspire you on your professional journey:


So the next time you’re going down that tired road of focusing only on your failures, remember what successful people have heard in the past. Did those criticisms hurt them? Undoubtedly. We’re human and it’s alright to be affected by the words or actions of another. But did it stop them? No, of course not.

The more we attempt in life, the more likely we are to fail. But what truly separates the “men from the boys” is the ability to build upon that failure…or better yet, not give it much credit at all.

So turn those critical words–whether from within or without–and build them into a challenge instead. A personal challenge to a. not beat yourself up and b. use the experience as a stepping stone for a change you’d like to make, gently and with self-acceptance guiding you.

So fail away…and always remember: we’re supposed to make mistakes!


You better believe there will be times in your life
When you’ll be feeling like a stumbling fool
So take it from me you’ll learn more from you accidents
Than anything you could ever learn at school. – Billy Joel, You’re Only Human

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