The Best Quotes From Women Who Failed Before They Succeeded

It's tough to reconcile with failure — especially in a society teeming with competition and rewards for "winning" something.

But failure and success are incredibly intertwined, and some of the most successful and influential women know that best.

Inspired by an article on ELLE, read on for some quotes from renowned women (including many MAKERS) who became who they are today because of failure.

Oprah Winfrey
Before becoming perhaps the most successful media mogul and philanthropist, Winfrey was fired from anchoring her first talk show, claimed to have been too emotionally attached to her stories.

"Think like a queen. A queen is not afraid to fail. Failure is another steppingstone to greatness."

Arianna Huffington
She was rejected by more than thirty publishers before she became the co-founder and CEO of The Huffington Post. Not to mention, she now has published thirteen books.

"We need to accept that we won't always make the right decisions, that we'll screw up royally sometimes — understanding that failure is not the opposite of success, it's part of success."

J.K. Rowling
In the midst of writing the "Harry Potter" series, Rowling was a divorced, single parent who was diagnosed with clinical depression.

"You might never fail on the scale I did, but some failure in life is inevitable. It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all — in which case, you fail by default."

Ellen DeGeneres
Before her TV career success, DeGeneres's first show in the late '90s was canceled after declining ratings. The decline followed soon after she came out as an openly gay woman on national television.

"It's failure that gives you the proper perspective on success."

Lady Gaga
The Mother Monster lost her very first record deal with Island Def Jam just three months after signing.

"Sometimes in life you don't always feel like a winner, but that doesn't mean you're not a winner, you want to be like yourself. I want my fans to know it's okay."

Anna Wintour
In 1975, the Vogue editor-in-chief was fired from her journalism career at Harper's Bazaar just shy of nine months.

"Everyone should be sacked at least once in their career, because perfection doesn't exist."

Madonna
The Queen of Pop first dropped out of college before working at Time Square's Dunkin' Donuts — where she was fired after one day.

"I am the result of the good choices I've made and the bad choices."

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