Inspirational Stories of Success To Give You Hope

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Life is challenging for so many of us right now, so we put together some inspirational stories of success to give you encouragement and hope. We selected stories that will give you courage to push past challenges and overcome obstacles. Be encouraged if you are in a tough spot. Struggle is a part of every good story.

Your story can be one of overcoming too. And we’d love to hear from you about how you overcame obstacles, who helped you along the way, and what it feels like to be on the other side.

Inspirational Stories About Famous People Overcoming Failure and Struggle

Looking at famous success stories can make it hard for you to imagine that they ever experienced failure. But the truth is that every success story involves failure. In fact, most successful people attribute their success to failure.

image of a success charge and stories of overcoming
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A Sports Hero

If there’s one name you would not associate with failure, it’s probably Michael Jordan. But Michael Jordan’s story is one of overcoming, too. His path to success wasn’t easy and straightforward.

He Didn’t Make The Team

“I have missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I have lost almost 300 games. On 26 occasions I have been entrusted to take the game-winning shot, and I missed. I have failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”

Michael Jordan

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When Michael Jordan’s high school cut him from the basketball team his sophomore year. He worked hard and moved his way up over the years, but he stayed humble. In fact, he attributes his success to failure.

If you’d like to read more about Michael Jordan’s life, Michael Jordan: The Life is one of the most popular books out there. It’s written by basketball journalist Roland Lazenby. He interviewed friends, coaches, family, and Michael Jordan himself in writing the book.

An Emmy Award Winning Comedian

Tiffany Haddish, the hilariously gifted comedian and actress, has overcome great obstacles on her rise to success. You may know her from Girls Trip or perhaps you’ve seen one of her uproarious stand up shows.

She Was Living In A Car

This Emmy Award Winner and published author spent years in foster care, separated from her siblings. She experienced assault, homelessness, and divorce. Even as she performed her stand up she lived in her car.

Despite all this she has risen to the top and is giving back. Remembering how she felt how she felt having to move through the system with a trash bag full of her belongings, she’s given hundreds of suitcases to kids in foster care.

Tiffany Haddish’s book, The Last Black Unicorn, reflects her well. The NY Times calls it “An inspiring story that manages to be painful, honest, shocking, bawdy and hilarious.” 

Tiffany is especially close to our hearts, taking action to care for foster youth.

The Most Famous Mom On Facebook

Kristina Kuzmic is arguably the most famous, inspiring, and funny mom on Facebook. Her videos have more than 1 billion views. Kristina is a on a mission to get us to be honest with each other and to encourage us along the way.

Her Home Was Bombed

Kristina’s overcome great obstacles and multiple failures which she attributes to helping shape her path to success today. Kristina immigrated from Croatia as kid during the war. She experienced the devastation of bombings and loss. As a young mom she experienced divorce, poverty, and depression.

In 2011 Kristina won “Oprah’s Search for the Next TV Star,” and was on her way to having a successful cooking show when it fell apart. Kristina was disappointed but brushed herself off and found a new way to authentically connect with and inspire others that launched her to where she is today.

If you’d like to read more about Kristina’s hard won wisdom for success, check out Hold On, But Don’t Hold Still. You’ll find her message of resilience and self-acceptance inspiring, motivating, and full of great laughs, too!

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True Motivational Stories From People Like You And Me

Some of the most powerful stories of overcoming come from people who aren’t household names. Their battles and successes are just as inspiring and motivational if not more.

She Went From Teenage Homelessness to MD

Sheryl Recinos struggled through her dysfunctional upbringing in foster care, detention, and eventually to the streets of Hollywood. She even made an appearance on the Jerry Springer show, sharing her experiences as a homeless teen.

Today Dr Sheryl is a mom, writer, physician, and activist. She advocates for youth in need through her writings and philanthropy.

Dr Sheryl shares her coming of age story in her honest and compelling book, Hindsight.

But we’d be remiss if we didn’t also mention her other awesome Resilience Group series for kids 10 and up on dealing with childhood trauma.

Her Books For Kids Facing Trauma

She Escaped Human Trafficking and Got A PhD

Katarina Rosenblatt was a lonely, abused, and neglected as a young girl. At 13 she was targeted by a child trafficking ring. She escaped trafficking, her attempted murder, and poverty.

Dr Kat went on to get a law degree and PhD. As an advocate and national speaker, she became the First and Only known US Survivor of Sex Trafficking to be included in the National Center for Civil and Human Rights Museum in Atlanta, GA.

Dr Kat tells her story of faith and escape in her own words in her book, Stolen: The True Story Of A Sex Trafficking Survivor.

He Went From Foster Care to Football Star

Michael Oher grew up as one of 13 children, in a rough neighborhood in Tennessee. As a teenager, he bounced around between foster care and life on the streets. Through the support of an adoptive family, Ohr broke out of the cycle of poverty, addiction, and hopelessness that trapped his family.

Michael’s story is the basis for the 2000 movie staring Sandra Bullock, The Blind Side. But he tells his story in his own words in I Beat the Odds: From Homelessness, to The Blind Side, and Beyond.

Check out more inspiring stories of hope on our Instagram!

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More Foster Youth Success Stories

You may have noticed more than one of our inspiring stories has a history in foster care. We like to share those stories in particular since helping foster youth succeed is our mission.

There are so many amazing stories of overcoming from youth who came from foster care. We just had to share a few more that came to our attention.

Hope’s Boy

Andrew Bridge made himself into a gateway of hope for foster children. A former foster youth himself, Andrew spent 11 years in the foster system, While in foster care, he was confined to the MacLaren Children’s Center in Los Angeles County, a facility criticized for its harsh treatment of children and ultimately closed by order of the court.

Harvard Law School, and even cancer could not keep this man from becoming everything he was created to be. Andrew Bridge is a New York Times Bestselling author, lawyer, and executive director of the California-based Alliance for Children’s Rights. His book is called “Hope’s Boy.

Cinder Girl

In 2013, she won the Miss California pageant. She is known for her tireless work to advocate on behalf of abused children and foster care reform. But life wasn’t always a fairy tale for Christina Meredith.

Abuse, foster care, and homelessness are painful parts of her past. Despite enduring the worst this world has to offer, her faith in Christ has brought her into honorable service in the Lord’s army. And she also serves in the U.S. Army.

She founded the Christina Meredith Foundation to advocate for foster care reform and meet the needs of at-risk children.

In Christina’s book, CinderGirlshe tells her heart wrenching story of overcoming. Her vulnerability, invites you into her experience from sorrow to joy.

Destined For More

Destini’s case file began when she was only seven months old. She experienced child abuse, kinship care, foster care and struggled through childhood. Destini was adopted at 17.

Destini McAlister is now an author, wife, and homeschooling mother of 3. In her memoir, Set Free, Destini shares her story of hope for trauma survivors… hope that through consistent love, support, and faith in Christ, we all can be set free

What Makes A Success Story

While these inspirational stories of success are exceptional, it’s important to remember that success is subjective. Just because someone hasn’t written a book (or been written about) doesn’t mean they aren’t a success.

Here at Finally Family Homes we don’t measure success by degrees, titles, fortune, or fame. We believe success in life starts with meeting your goals, whatever they may be. Maybe you want to write poetry, become an accountant, or learn how to garden. Each of these goals has their barriers and challenges to overcome. It’s in pushing past barriers, persevering, and growing personally and in helping others that you will achieve true success.

Celebrate the small victories. Own your failures. Keep going. It’s when you don’t give up that you win.

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  1. I enjoy reading stories of those who have overcome and then reached back to help others.

    1. Right? It really is impressive to me. It has to be so hard to look directly back at the circumstances that caused you so much pain, and then to choose to bless someone else and help them get through it too. Love it.

  2. LOVE this! My son struggles soooo much with school due to dyslexia and other reading disabilities and I am always looking for “underdog” stories to share with him of people who overcame hardships and went on to do great things!

    1. Oh – so glad to provide a few more stories of overcoming! There are some really talented and successful people in this world with dyslexia too. Thanks for sharing Meghan!

  3. Reading the stories of how others overcame struggles is always a source of encouragement. Thank you for compiling them so beautifully.

    1. Thanks Evangeline. We tried to get a good variety. Appreciate the encouragement 🙂

  4. This post is so inspiring and encouraging! Thank you so much for doing this! God bless you and your loved ones!

    1. So happy to hear it Sheryl! God bless you and your family too 🙂

  5. What beautiful inspiration! As we face such darkness and uncertainty in our world, this post is a breath of fresh air. Thank you for sharing inspirational stories of success and pointing your readers toward hope!

    1. Thanks for the encouragement Cathy… this year has surely been a strange one and one in need of more hope and light.

  6. Your post is truly inspiring. Thank you for putting together such a compelling collection. I’m going to place a few on hold at the library. The books all look like winners!

    1. Thanks Lisa! I think we can all use as many inspirational stories as we can get right now 🙂 Hope you enjoy!

  7. So neat reading these stories of people overcoming. It helps us keep hope alive and keep going when life is hard.

    1. Hi Collene,

      Absolutely! Knowing that it can be done.. seeing that others have overcome great difficulties can really help us keep motivated to press on and believe we can overcome too 🙂

  8. There are so many amazing stories and books in your post that have certainly inspired me to expand my reading list this autumn! Thanks for encouraging us with this post today!

    1. You’re welcome, Ava! Hope you get lots of encouragement and inspiration from the books. Enjoy! 🙂

  9. Great stories of ordinary people doing extraordinary things. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thanks Betty! So happy to spread hope 🙂

  10. I LOVE this post! Saving it to come back often. Thanks so much for putting together such an inspirational list of stories!

    1. Thanks so much Kari! We could all use some more stories of hope right now right?

  11. I liked that you pointed out that success stories all include obstacles and challenges. You said, “Be encouraged if you are in a tough spot. Struggle is a part of every good story.” Our struggles can be turned into something that glorifies God and helps others! Such an inspiring post!

    1. Thanks Teresa 🙂

      It’s easy to forget that successful people almost never have had an easy road. I can’t think of a single one anyway. 🙂 We shouldn’t give up hope in our struggles!

  12. I have personally come to believe that genuine success in life is not only meeting our goals. It is living according to our true values, sense of worth, and living with meaning and purpose.

    1. Timothy – totally agree with that. What do you gain if you meet your goals, but lose your soul along the way?

  13. Such inspirational stories to show us anything is possible no matter where we’ve come from! Love this point at the end to really remind us how much control we have over our outcome, “Celebrate the small victories. Own your failures. Keep going. It’s when you don’t give up that you win.”. Beautiful!

    1. Hi Rachel,

      Yes, they do. And thanks for the encouraging words. Perseverance is so key to a successful story!

  14. These stories are so inspiring, especially for those who are experiencing challenging circumstances in life. Thank you so much for sharing!

    1. Thanks Erin. Yes, I think right now we all have some challenges.. its a good time to focus on hope 🙂

  15. Great stories!!! My friend has a great story. From being kidnapped as a child to overcoming drug addiction she has found the Lord and she amazes me.

    1. Alice, That’s incredible! Has she written about it? How inspiring!

  16. Thank you for these book suggestions. I will check them out. It is good to remember that people can rise up out of the ashes and turn their lives around.

    1. Hi Karen,

      You’re welcome. Yes it is! Sometimes we think we can’t rise up out of our circumstances, but these stories of hope tell us otherwise!

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