Have you ever thought of yourself as a failure? Have people rejected you and called you a failure? If so, you are not alone. A lot of famous and successful people today were once thought of as failures.
That should give you a lot of hope for accomplishing your goal even when people tell you that you won’t.
No one likes to admit failure. The word represents defeat, disappointment and imperfection. However, the list is long for those who were rejected and told to find another line of work.
Rick Newman, the chief business correspondent at U.S. News & World Report, studied successful, well-known people from various professions and determined that they all had one trait in common: failure.
These individuals suffered professional rejection, career setbacks and sometimes a debilitating blow to their self-confidence, but they all managed to rise above the challenges to attain greater success than they had ever imagined.
Newman calls these individuals “rebounders” and he shares their struggles, hardships and remarkable comebacks in his book “Rebounders: How Winners Pivot From Setback To Success.”
Newman suggests people should view setbacks as a process, not defeat. He notes that eminent business leaders and scholars acknowledge failure cannot be avoided in life and often failure is what makes someone stronger and better able to deal with adversity and unwelcome detours.
Here is a list of some of the most successful people in the world who were considered failures.
Steve Jobs, Apple Founder and Former CEO, was ousted from the company he helped to build in 1985. Jobs felt despair and rejection but funneled his energy into new ventures before returning to Apple in 1996, over a decade later. In his famous 2005 commencement speech at Stanford, Jobs said:
“I didn’t see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.”
Michael Jordan, famous basketball player, was cut from his high school basketball team. He didn’t let this setback stop him from becoming one of the most famous basketball player in history.
Walt Disney was fired by a newspaper editor because, “he lacked imagination and had no good ideas.”After several failed businesses and bankruptcy, his theme parks, movies and merchandise earn billions each year.
The Beatles were just starting out when a recording company told them “No.” They were told, “We don’t like their sound, and guitar music is on the way out.” The Beatles’ music is still popular with listeners around the world today.
Albert Einstein did not speak until age 4 and did not read until age 7. His teachers thought he was mentally handicapped. Einstein won the Nobel Prize and changed the face of modern physics. His brain is still being studied to determine why he was so brilliant.
Oprah Winfrey endured a rough and abusive childhood as well as numerous career setbacks including being fired from her job as a television reporter because she was “unfit for tv.” She is one of the most iconic faces on television as well as one of the richest and most successful women in the world.
Newman points out nine key attributes of a “rebounder.”
- They accept failure (and can recognize their own mistakes).
- They compartmentalize their emotions (they don’t internalize bad feelings).
- They have a bias toward action (responding aggressively to a challenge).
- They change their minds sometimes (the need to discard old thinking and reprogram a dream).
- They prepare for things to go wrong (rebounders are not necessarily optimists).
- They’re comfortable with discomfort (they’re willing to accept inconveniences as long as it leads them closer to an important goal).
- They’re willing to wait (overnight success is deceptively untrue).
- They have heroes (rebounders set and meet higher standards when inspired by others).
- They have more than passion (success requires drive too).
If you ever thought of yourself as a failure, know that you can rebound and be just as successful as those people on the above list.