These People 'Made It.' But Their Confessions Show You How.

"The Journey Never Stops"

It's uncommon to hear firsthand accounts of failure, self-doubt or "the day before the 'overnight success.'" But every success story began as a journey —and the victorious outcome wasn't always in sight. 

American Express just released a series of commercials highlighting that very concept.  

The campaign is called "The Journey Never Stops" and it features several AmEx customers sharing their stories of adversity. Eventually, each customer's name appears on the screen; names like Mindy Kaling and Aretha Franklin.

The point is well taken: even the people who seem to be living their dreams experienced tough jolts of reality. 

"We've all felt it," Nick Woodman, the founder of GoPro confides. "Like, 'who am I to succeed?'"

Nick looks out across the treacherous mountain he's about to navigate through with his snowboard.  We learn that he's been an AmEx member since 1997 —back when he was still second-guessing himself, failing and losing confidence.

His ad is entitled "Nick Woodman's Journey: Dead End to GoPro."

"We very much want to be with people along their journey through life," Marie Devlin, Senior Vice President of Global Advertising at AmEx told The Wall Street Journal. "It's not about a final destination."

Each commercial ends by addressing the "next generation of" unlikely leading ladies, hacks, duds, failures, late bloomers, second-chancers, aspiring artists and anyone still trying to find a voice.  

"The inspirational stories are a way to celebrate this belief that our card members have," Devlin said. "They believe that their hard work is going to pay off."

Mindy Kaling "The Unlikely Leading Lady"

Aretha Franklin "Quiet Kid to Queen of Soul"

Nick Woodman "Dead End To GoPro"

Natalie Young "Rock Bottom to Restaurateur"