My opinion from observation and experience, no matter the population, is that people are who they are based on genetics and environment. While we may not be able to change our genetics, we can change our environment and our thinking. I feel that people who have resigned to failure have just given up on themselves, they have a lack of self-confidence that can be restored if they are able to get into an environment of others that truly care and can encourage them to "keep trying" and "try again" and to get them to believe in themselves again and given opportunities where they can have success so they can restore the "damage". Success is built upon failure and nobody knows how many failures it takes to reach success but if they don't give up, they WILL reach success eventually, the key is to never give up and to never lose your enthusiasm. I read a really great article that lists 7 steps to overcome failure (and these are priceless!!): 1) rise up and don't regret; you have spent your time wisely; 2) understand that failure is there to bring you wisdom; 3) learn as much as possible from the failure; 4) don't give up; maybe you are only one step away from success; 5) maintain your enthusiasm; 6) keep dreaming big dreams; and 7) keep your confidence in yourself (Latumahina, 2007).
Latumahina, D. (2007). 7 Powerful Tips to Overcome Failure. Retrieved October 3, 2008 from http://www.lifeoptimizer.org/2007/11/07/7-powerful-tips-to-overcome-failure/