When someone loses a match, I want to tell him that this loss can make him strong, that in the end this will help him to be a winner.

Is there any expression in English for defeat is the prerequisite for victory?

  • 1
    I feel like you could apply an expression from any one of those platitude-laden motivational posters. Commented Apr 14, 2014 at 16:34

2 Answers 2


The normal way of saying it straight would be:

Each time you fall, pick yourself up, (dust yourself off) and try again.

You could also remind them that:

That which doesn't kill us makes us stronger

Finally, and more obscurely:

Up from the ashes, grow the roses of success
(sometimes abbreviated to "from the ashes...")

which derives from/was used in a song in the film Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (sound required)

That last one is often used to mean when information/plans from a failed project are reused in the next one, you say that the next project "grew from the ashes" of the previous one.


I don't know the origin of this, but it applies: Success is built on 100 mistakes.

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