Fail -- Don't be Afraid to Fail

Inspirational stories, good news & a focus on the positive

Inspirational stories, good news & a focus on the positive

Don’t Be Afraid to Fail

Babe Ruth struck out 1,330 times, but he also hit 714 home runs.
You’ve failed many times, although you may not remember.

You fell down the first time you tried to walk.

You almost drowned the first time you tried to swim, didn’t you?

Did you hit the ball the first time you swung the bat?

Heavy hitters, the ones who hit the most home runs, also strike out a lot.

R. H. Macy failed seven times before his store in New York caught on.

English Novelist John Creasey got 753 rejection slips before he published 564 books.

Babe Ruth struck out 1,330 times, but he also hit 714 home runs.

Don’t worry about failure.

Worry about the chances you miss when you don’t even try.

My grandmother sent me a copy of this poem 20 years ago, and I had it hanging in my room for years. I recently shared copies with a class I’m teaching and thought it was worth posting here. I hope you enjoyed it.

Don’t be afraid to fail.

This poem, Don’t be Afraid to Fail, was published in the Wall Street Journal as part of an advertisement from United Technologies Corporation.

If you liked this post, you’ll also enjoy the story of Jack Andraka, who as a 15-year-old created a pancreatic cancer test that is 100 times more sensitive and 26,000 times less expensive than current tests. He received 199 rejections before a lab finally allowed him to use their space to develop his test.

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    Good lines. Thanks for sharing

    • Brad Aronson


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  • Robert Daniel
    • Brad Aronson

      Hi Robert, Thanks for including this poem in your post about success. I enjoyed your post. Brad

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  • Kate R

    Kathy and Brad,
    So excited to see your post! I, too, am familiar with the Do Not Quit poem, and I have been trying to relocate it for years now. It got me through my college years! I do not know how old your note is; however, I am unable to access the buffalo link… it is no longer active. Could you provide a working link? I would greatly appreciate it! Regards, Kate R

  • Jamey Worrell

    I have this poem framed in my office. It is old and discolored, pulled from my grandfather’s workshop where it hung for years. The “experts” told him he would be disabled for life after a tragic head trauma, but he ultimately taught himself to walk again and how to be a jeweler in his 60s…it’s hanging in my office now as a reminder to never give up!

    • Brad Aronson

      We learn a lot from our grandparents. Thanks for sharing.

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  • Brad Aronson

    Here’s a comment I received from a blog reader. I enjoyed the speech he referenced and thought other readers might as well:

    Saw your LinkedIn note about not being afraid to fail. I live my life inspired by Teddy Roosevelt’s “Man in the arena” which is all about your point. If you haven’t read it, you may enjoy it as well.

  • Kathy Lindner

    Brad, so enjoyed this poem. I’m 65 and about 45 years ago, the WSJ published something similar about Not Giving Up. It was so inspiring, I ordered about 6 copies and saved them. But as the years have gone by, they were lost. Because of our own journey which has required a great deal of determination, I have been searching and searching online for this cherished published piece from WSJ, but without success. When I happened on your article about Jack Andraka and the link above and saw it was part of an ad by United Technologies, it resonated — and I remembered the one I’m looking for was by them too!

    It may have been entitled “Never Quit” or “Never Give Up” — started something like, So you want to quit? Is that what you want to do? Giving up is easy. It’s what your opponents hope you will do. (4 decades later, the effect of it was so profound it still brings tears just to think about it!) Somewhere in there it gave examples of those who didn’t quit. And it ended, Never, Never, Never give up.

    All this is from memory and I can only guess that the year was around 1968-1970. Can you help direct me to where I might be able to find it? Thanks so much! Sincerely, Kathy Lindner

    • Brad Aronson

      Hi Kathy,

      Thanks for the feedback.

      I think this might be the poem you were looking for:


      • Kathy Lindner

        Brad! I just sent an email to thank you for taking the time to find that which I had given up for lost! I had expected a referral but instead you were able to locate it and now it can be shared with others too!

        Thank you again for this unexpected treasure and kindness. If you’re an example of the next generation emerging, then there are many of us who are reassured that the world is passing into good hands. Blessings! Kathy Lindner

        • Brad Aronson

          You’re welcome. Thanks for your enthusiasm and note.

  • Jason Friedland

    The key is to structure your venture so that if you fail, you fail intelligently and live to fight another day. Too often I see entrepreneurs take on personally guaranteed debt without understanding the severity of the downside risk.

    • Brad Aronson

      Agreed. Thanks for the comment.

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