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37 Quotes About Resilience from Women—Mostly

Okay, apparently men have said some helpful things, too

woman during exercises on a chair

Week five of quarantine (is it week five??), and it’s definitely getting harder by the day to stay inspired and push through. 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 37 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

37 quotes about resilience from women—mostly

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

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

4. “Turn your wounds into wisdom.”

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

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

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

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

6. “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

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

     —E.B. White, author

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

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

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

     —Helen Keller, author, lecturer, and political activist

10. “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: 23 Quotes from Men on the Right Side of Gender Equality

11. "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

12. "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

13. “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

14. “Grief and resilience live together.” 

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

15. “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

16. “Fall seven times, get up eight.”

     —Japanese Proverb

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

     —Chinese Proverb

18. “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

19. "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

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

     —Mother Teresa, nun and missionary

21. “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 

22. “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

23. “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 

24. “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

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

     —Jaeda Dewalt, author

26. “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

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

     —Isabel Allende, author

28. “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

29. “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

30. “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

31. “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

32. “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

33. “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 

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

     —Paula McLain, author

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

     —Gail Borden, publisher, land surveyor, and inventor 

36. “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 

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

     —Sharon Salzberg, author and teacher of Buddhist meditation practices

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By Meghan Prabhu

Contributor

Meghan Prabhu is a sophomore at UNC-Chapel Hill who is interested in the intersection of history and gender studies and loves to write in her free time

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