Finding Courage in Discouragement

August 15, 2013

Is there an actor out there that has successfully eschewed the spirit of discouragement while pursuing his or her acting dream? It would seem an impossible task to say the least! Everyone must face their share of discouragement from time to time when they are faced with challenges. In his quest to lead, British politician, Winston Churchill asserted, “Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.” And in his determination to solve confounding scientific mysteries, Albert Einstein declared, “It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer.” What is the common thread here? Expect to feel discouraged and persevere regardless, always remembering you are not alone. Here are some quotes from actors who ventured to talk about their feelings of doubt:

“What is important is to believe in something so strongly that you’re never discouraged.” — Salma Hayek

“He was thinking about giving up acting and maybe doing music solely when this role [in ‘How to Be’] came along. He wanted to play the roles he wasn’t getting.” –Film Director, Oliver Irving about Robert Pattinson

“I’ve permitted myself to learn and to fail with some regularity. And that is probably the one thing I was given, and that I’m still grateful for.” –John Malkovich

“…At one point in my career…I had done nine television pilots before ‘Three’s Company’ and they all failed, I just got discouraged.” — Suzanne Somers

“There’s a lot of mediocrity being celebrated, and a lot of wonderful stuff being ignored or discouraged.” — Sean Penn

“One of the things I learned the hard way was that it doesn’t pay to get discouraged. Keeping busy and making optimism a way of life can restore your faith in yourself.” — Lucille Ball

“This is for all of you out there tonight, reaching for a dream–don’t ever give up! Never ever listen to anyone, when they try to discourage you, because they do that, believe me!” — Mariah Carey

“I have become down-hearted, I have become discouraged, I have become depressed. I’m just like you. I’m a human being and I have my problems.” –Dyan Cannon

“Because you know, down deep in my heart, when all is said and done, I still live under the illusion that basically people think of me as an up-and-coming young actor.” –Jack Nicholson

“It’s a question of why they come for your advice. Whatever I tell you, it doesn’t matter, it is completely irrelevant in a way. I know so many actors who were discouraged and put that aside. You will get half-baked opinions.” –Michael York

“I don’t believe in pessimism. If something doesn’t come up the way you want, forge ahead. If you think it’s going to rain, it will.” –Clint Eastwood

“Learned helplessness is the giving-up reaction, the quitting response that follow from the belief that whatever you do doesn’t matter.” –Arnold Schwarzenegger

“Oh my God, I mean, I considered myself fairly sensitive, but I don’t think a strong person could cope with [rejection] over and over again…there were moments when I was sure I was done. Oh yeah, but I didn’t have a plan B really, I didn’t. [Nicole Kidman] kept saying, ‘It’s just going to take one thing, one thing, Nay, and you know, if you’re in a hit film…then everything changes.’” –Naomi Watts

Given a different set of circumstances, some of these famous actors may have given up and failed when success was just around the corner. But they persevered, and grabbed the golden ticket! How about you? What are your favorite quotes about overcoming discouragement? And what helps you get yourself back on track when doubt takes you off course?