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  1. Blog
  2. Women to Know
  3. April 16, 2020 (Updated August 17, 2022)

50 Quotes About Resilience from Women—Mostly

Okay, apparently men have said some helpful things, too

resilient woman looking for inspiration
Photo courtesy of Motoki Tonn

This article is part of InHerSight's Working During Coronavirus series. As the coronavirus pandemic continues, find helpful advice here on working remotely, job hunting remotely, dealing with anxiety and stress, and staying safe at work if you have to be on-site.

Maybe you’re juggling a work-from-home job while watching your kids, or maybe you’re a frontline worker experiencing all of the fear and stress of the pandemic firsthand. Regardless of your situation, give yourself credit for dealing so well with the new, unsettling reality that none of us signed up for.

Resilience is an important test of our humanity and ability to meet life’s challenges. Here are 50 quotes that will surely remind you that you can, and will, get through this.

Read more: A Few Good Things: What We’re Reading & Watching to Stay Positive During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Quotes about resilience and overcoming hardships

1. “Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved.”

—Helen Keller, author, lecturer, and political activist

2. “The human capacity for burden is like bamboo—far more flexible than you'd ever believe at first glance.”

—Jodi Picoult, My Sister's Keeper, bestselling author

3. “Turn your wounds into wisdom.”

—Oprah Winfrey, media executive, actress, talk show host, television producer, and philanthropist

4. “You may have to fight a battle more than once to win it.”

—Margaret Thatcher, former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and British stateswoman

5. “Rock bottom became the solid foundation in which I rebuilt my life.”

—J.K. Rowling, author, producer, screenwriter, and philanthropist

6. “Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it.”

—Helen Keller, author, lecturer, and political activist

7. “Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars.”

—Kahlil Gibran, writer, poet, artist, and philanthropist

Read more: Get a Boost from These 48 Positive Quotes from Women

8. "Resilience is accepting your new reality, even if it's less good than the one you had before. You can fight it, you can do nothing but scream about what you've lost, or you can accept that and try to put together something that's good."

—Elizabeth Edwards, attorney, author, and health care activist

Quotes about resilience and perseverance

9. “As much as talent counts, effort counts twice.”

—Angela Duckworth, psychologist, popular science author, and academic

10. “Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, ‘I will try again tomorrow.’”

—Mary Anne Radmacher, writer and artist

11. “I can be changed by what happens to me. But I refuse to be reduced by it.”

—Maya Angelou, poet, singer, civil rights activist, and memoirist

12. “Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved.“

—Helen Keller, author, lecturer, and political activist

13. “Hang on to your hat. Hang on to your hope. And wind the clock, for tomorrow is another day.”

—E.B. White, author

14. “Enthusiasm is common. Endurance is rare.”

—Angela Duckworth, psychologist, popular science author, and academic

15. “Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that? We must have perseverance and above all confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for something and that this thing must be attained.” 

—Marie Curie, chemist and physicist

16. "She stood in the storm and when the wind did not blow her way, she adjusted her sails."

—Elizabeth Edwards, attorney, author, and health care activist

Read more: 23 Quotes from Men on the Right Side of Gender Equality

Quotes about resilience and power

17. “Resilience is knowing that you are the only one that has the power and the responsibility to pick yourself up.”

—Mary Holloway, physician and philanthropist

18. “Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world”

—Harriet Tubman, abolitionist and political activist

Read more: 21 Madeleine Albright Quotes to Inspire You Take on the World

19. “We don’t even know how strong we are until we are forced to bring that hidden strength forward.”

—Isabel Allende, author

20. “The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.”

—Alice Walker, writer, poet, and social activist

21. “Women are like tea bags. We don't know our true strength until we are in hot water!”

—Eleanor Roosevelt, diplomat, activist, and former First Lady of the United States

22. "Be strong, be fearless, be beautiful. And believe that anything is possible when you have the right people there to support you."

—Misty Copeland, ballerina, public speaker, and celebrity spokesperson

Read more: Daily Affirmations for Women

23. "Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies."

—Mother Teresa, nun and missionary

24. “I believe in being strong when everything seems to be going wrong. I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls. I believe that tomorrow is another day and I believe in miracles.”

—Audrey Hepburn, actress, fashion icon, and humanitarian

25. “You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, 'I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’”

—Eleanor Roosevelt, diplomat, activist, and former First Lady of the United States

26. “I do believe in the old saying, 'What does not kill you makes you stronger.' Our experiences, good and bad, make us who we are. By overcoming difficulties, we gain strength and maturity.”

—Angelina Jolie, actress, filmmaker, and humanitarian

Quotes about resilience and embracing the beauty of failure

27. “It's a funny thing about life, once you begin to take note of the things you are grateful for, you begin to lose sight of the things that you lack.”

—Germany Kent, print journalist, broadcast journalist, and author

28. “A gem is not polished without rubbing, nor a person perfected without trials.”

—Chinese Proverb

29. “People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within.”

—Elizabeth Kubler-Ross, psychiatrist, and author of On Death and Dying

30. “I tried and failed. I tried again and again and succeeded.”

—Gail Borden, publisher, land surveyor, and inventor

31. “When we learn how to become resilient, we learn how to embrace the beautifully broad spectrum of the human experience.”

—Jaeda Dewalt, author

32. “Someone I once loved gave me a box full of darkness. It took me years to understand that this, too, was a gift.”

—Mary Oliver, poet

33. “Failure doesn't define you. It's what you do after you fail that determines whether you are a leader or a waste of perfectly good air.”

―Sabaa Tahir, author and journalist

34. “I don’t want the fear of failure to stop me from doing what I really care about.”

—Emma Watson, actress, activist

35. “Fact: From quitting smoking to skiing, we succeed to the degree we try, fail, and learn. Studies show that people who worry about mistakes shut down, but those who are relaxed about doing badly soon learn to do well. Success is built on failure.”

—Martha Beck, author, life coach, and speaker

More quotes about resilience 

36. “Grief and resilience live together.”

—Michelle Obama, Becoming, lawyer, author, and former First Lady of the United States

37. “Fall seven times, get up eight.”

—Japanese Proverb

38. “I hope you never fear those mountains in the distance. Never settle for the path of least resistance”

—Lee Ann Womack, “I Hope You Dance”, country music singer and songwriter

39. “We do not have to become heroes overnight. Just a step at a time, meeting each thing that comes up, seeing it is not as dreadful as it appeared, discovering we have the strength to stare it down.”

—Eleanor Roosevelt, diplomat, activist, and former First Lady of the United States

40. “Resilience isn’t a single skill. It’s a variety of skills and coping mechanisms. To bounce back from bumps in the road as well as failures, you should focus on emphasizing the positive.”

—Jean Chatzky, journalist, financial editor, and CEO of HerMoney

41. “My life was my life; I would have to stare it down, somehow, and make it work for me.”

—Paula McLain, author

42. “Resilience is very different than being numb. Resilience means you experience, you feel, you fail, you hurt. You fall. But, you keep going.”

—Yasmin Mogahed, scholar

43. “Resilience is based on compassion for ourselves as well as compassion for others.”

—Sharon Salzberg, author and teacher of Buddhist meditation practices

44. “A woman with a voice is by definition a strong woman” 

—Melinda Gates, philanthropist, and computer scientist

45. “Embrace everything you are as a woman. Even your flaws too. And the things that you want to fix, you make them better” 

—Kelly Rowland, singer and actress

46. “Once I learned to like me more than others did, then I didn't have to worry about being the funniest or the most popular or the prettiest. I was the best me and I only ever tried to be that."

—Issa Rae, actress, writer, producer, and comedian

47. "Learn to embrace your own unique beauty, celebrate your unique gifts with confidence. Your imperfections are actually a gift.”

—Kerry Washington, actress, producer, and director

48. “All careers go up and down like friendships, like marriages, like anything else, and you can’t bat a thousand all the time.”

—Julie Andrews, actress, singer, and author

49. “I really don’t think life is about the I-could-have-beens. Life is only about the I-tried-to-do. I don’t mind the failure but I can’t imagine that I’d forgive myself if I didn’t try.”

—Nikki Giovanni, poet, writer, activist, and educator

50. “Don’t be afraid of solitary journeys. Being responsible for your successes and failures makes you stronger.”

—Priyanka Chopra, actress and producer

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