How to Pick Yourself Up When Life Sucks

How to Pick Yourself Up When Life Sucks

On the way to a speaker’s conference in Vancouver, BC, I carpooled with Peter Feysa, who is a personal trainer, coach and film-maker.   He told me that he had just made 30 calls to retirement communities, asking if they would be interested in his workshop. I asked him how it went, and he said that he only got one positive response!   I asked, “What makes you so determined when you get turned down so many times? How do get past all the rejection?”   He told me the secret to his determination:

A few years ago, he had entered a contest to create and complete a film in 48 hrs.   He had assembled an amazing cast, a great camera crew, a wonderful production team, and felt confident at the beginning of the contest. The writing went well and everything went smoothly and easily as planned.   At the end of the 48 hrs, he was proud of his team’s accomplishments and loved the film they had produced!

He was excited about the opening.   They showed the film, and at the end, he was expecting enthusiastic applause. But instead, as the lights went back on, “There was silence. But not the good kind”.

He couldn’t get out of there fast enough.   He was so depressed, disappointed and humiliated, that he took 2 days off of work.   As he sat in his apartment, he felt like the walls were caving in, and he started questioning his purpose in life. And then he had an idea.

He ran to the library, and started searching for famous people who had succeeded after failing.  As he searched he found dozens of such stories.

He named just 3:


Abraham Lincoln was elected only 3 out of the 11 times he ran for office.

He served as Illinois State Legislature; after repeated attempts, he served in  Congress (and lost his re-nomination), and after more electoral losses, as president.



Henry Ford: Before developing his Ford Motor Company, his businesses went broke 5 times!





Walt Disney was turned down 302 times before he got financing for Disney World.



There are so many wonderfully inspiring stories out there of incredible achievements people have made, despite the odds.   And he found a pattern: The most successful people seemed to have had the most failures.

Reading these stories made him realize that the road to success is full of failures. And that in order to succeed, we have to put ourselves out there and take the plunge, because if we don’t, we won’t have a chance.

Peter is one of the most motivated and determined people I’ve met.   Every time he feels like giving up, he turns to these success stories to recharge his enthusiasm. So next time you are feeling defeated, discouraged, or you are tempted to turn in the towel, find some inspiration from amazing achievers who have failed over and over again.

To start you off, here is a couple of people who’s stories are really worth watching:

Diana Nyad swam from Florida to Cuba at age 60.   What she had to do to get there is awe inspiring:

Janine Shepherd was training for the Olympics when she was hit by a truck. See how she coped with her new reality:

And in case that isn’t enough, here are lists of other famous people and their failures and successes:

16 Wildly Successful People Who Overcame Huge Obstacles to Get There

50 Famously Successful People Who Failed at First

Top 10 Successful People who have Failed

Do you have a favorite failure-to-success story?   Please comment below!

Did you like this article? Please share by clicking the Facebook and twitter icons below!

photo credit for frown clown: shawncampbell via photopin cc
Abraham Lincoln: Alexander Gardner [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Henry Ford: By Photo credit: Jeffrey White Studios, Inc. [1] (Time Magazine) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
 Walt Disney: By NASA [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons




  1. Connie Maden
    Feb 20, 2015

    Thanks so much for your encouraging posts !! This one really reminded me that it’s ok better days are ahead. I just need to keep looking and moving forward!!

  2. Jean Jung
    May 4, 2015

    Thanks for posting both of these amazingly powerful, inspiring videos! WOW!!!!! The power of dreams!!!!!! Never give up!!!!!

  3. Jayna
    Jul 21, 2016

    Action requires knwdoelge, and now I can act!

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