When you’re going through something truly difficult, or if you have hit a roadblock, you may just want to roll over and give up. Everyone feels like that sometimes when they are facing challenges. But that’s where inspirational quotes come in! Hooray!

But really, some of these quotes are truly poignant, and might be just what you need to change your perspective and see your struggles for what they are: an opportunity.

1. “I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody.” ~ Bill Cosby

Often, our stresses involve people: people not approving of your decisions, or wanting to change how you live your life, or even change you as a person.

Bill Cosby knows what’s up. It’s impossible to please everybody, and if you attempt to do it, you’ll completely abandon any goals you had for yourself. If you believe you’re doing the right thing, do it. And if anybody objects, pull on your Cosby sweater and give them a good, intimidating stare.

Cosby

2. “Nothing is more powerful than allowing yourself to be truly affected by things.” ~ Zooey Deschanel

So you’re really sad about something. That’s okay. Let it all out.

Our society seems to think that if you’re sad, or angry, or anything but happy really, that it’s a terrible thing. Of course, you should strive to be generally happy. But you’re allowed to have fleeting moments of intense emotions, even if they hurt.

If you’re facing a huge challenge that is truly difficult, let your emotions out, and talk to people you care about. Allow yourself to be affected.

Zooey

Okay, maybe not quite that intensely.

3. “If it scares you, it might be a good thing to try.” ~ Seth Godin

Maybe your challenge involves being scared out of your wits, because you’re afraid to fail, or you’re going into completely uncharted territory.

Embrace that fear and just do it. On your deathbed, you won’t regret trying—but you will most definitely regret not trying just because you were afraid.

4. “Every flower must grow through dirt.” ~ Unknown

I love this quote. And it’s true: if you’re going to grow, flourish, and bloom, you’re going to have to work yourself through some dirt first.

flower

Just keep on growing.

5. “Failure is a bruise, not a tattoo.” ~ Jon Sinclair

So many people fear failure—often, more than anything else—but it’s something everybody does at some point.

You’re learning. Just like walking or riding a bike, the beginning stages might involve a few tumbles and a few bruises. That’s all failure is. It’s a little fall, and it’s a bruise. You get back up, brush yourself off, and keep on going. Soon, the bruise will be completely gone.

I mean, unless your failure involves something like this:

tattoo

Can’t help ya there, bud.

6. “I said, ‘Somebody should do something about that.’ Then I realized, I am somebody.” ~ Lily Tomlin

You can, and will, make mistakes. But never make the mistake of thinking that you can’t enact change.

When life’s giving you some hurdles, it can be easy to feel small and insignificant. But that is never the case.

You can change the world.

Barney

7. “Not until we are lost do we begin to understand ourselves.” ~ Henry David Thoreau

lost

No, not that kind of lost.

Being totally happy with life is great, but you learn nothing about yourself from it. Most of what we learn about ourselves, we learn during our struggles.

Use this as an opportunity to see what you’re really made of.

8. “What am I doing?! Oh, yeah. Following my dreams. Okay. Calm down.”

This is just a little tidbit I found on Pinterest that really resonated with me. There’s going to be a point when even the most dedicated of us doubt our paths.

When you are going after your dreams, you’re trying something totally wild. Of course you’re going to feel like a fish out of water every now and then. Don’t flop around and freak out—just keep on swimming, like this overly extended metaphor is.

swimming

9. “Don’t compare your Chapter 1 to someone else’s Chapter 20.” ~ Unknown

So you fail at something, or you’re facing a challenge. And you think, “I’ll never be as good as *insert famous example here.* I might as well give up.”

This is where this quote comes in.

It’s something that I’ve always had to repeat to myself as a writer. And if you want to do, well, anything, it’s a quote that you will need at least once in your life.

Never compare yourself to anyone but the past you. Everyone has different experiences, different opportunities, different lives.

There’s just no point to comparing yourself to someone with far more experience than you. You’ll get there.

dinosaur

10. “You can’t always get what you want. But if you try sometimes, you just might find you get what you need.” ~ Rolling Stones

This is a classic that everyone can use every now and then. Maybe you didn’t get what you wanted this time. But that’s because you didn’t need it, and your life is making room for new opportunities.

You’ll only be able to fully see this in the future, when you can look back on it (hindsight is 20/20, after all). So for now, while you are actively facing challenges, just breathe and let it happen.

Benedict

Anything you say, Benedict.

Featured photo credit: Millie Robertson via flickr.com

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