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50 Of The Most Inspiring Quotes From Remarkably Successful Women Leaders

50 Of The Most Inspiring Quotes From Remarkably Successful Women Leaders

So maybe you can’t have Michelle Obama, Oprah Winfrey or Sheryl Sandberg as your personal mentor, but who says you can’t be inspired by them? We’ve put together 50 inspiring quotes from remarkable female activists, entertainers, authors, politicians and more to give you just the jolt you need to wake to your greatness.

We believe that everyone has the potential for greatness. It’s finding the right motivation and inspiration to reach for greatness that often lets us down. This compilation of quotes is about celebrating the words of great wisdom, authority and motivation from remarkable women leaders.

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We hope the quotes put a little fire in your heart, whether you’re a man or a woman. Enjoy!

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  1. “Many women live like it’s a dress rehearsal. Ladies, the curtain is up and you’re on.” – Mikki Taylor
  2. “You’re not in competition with other women. You’re in competition with everyone.” – Tina Fey
  3. “The thing women have yet to learn is nobody gives you power. You just take it.” – Roseanne Barr
  4.  “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 Skłodowska-Curie
  5. “Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement.” – Helen Keller
  6. “The difference between successful people and others is how long they spend time feeling sorry for themselves.” – Barbara Corcoran
  7. “As women, we must stand up for ourselves. We must stand up for each other. We must stand up for justice for all.” – Michelle Obama
  8. “There is a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women.” – Madeleine Albright
  9. “Don’t let being a woman hold you back from the leader that you’re destined to be.” – Jamie Farsnel
  10. “Leadership is not about men in suits. It is a way of life for those who know who they are and are willing to be their best to create the life they want to live.” – Kathleen Schafer
  11. “Do not wait on a leader…look in the mirror, it’s you!” – Katherine Miracle
  12. “Leadership is about making others better as a result of your presence and making sure that impact lasts in your absence.”– Sheryl Sandberg
  13. “A woman is the full circle. Within her is the power to create, nurture and transform.” – Diane Mariechild
  14. “Define success on your own terms, achieve it by your own rules, and build a life you’re proud to live.” – Anne Sweeney
  15. “Think like a queen. A queen is not afraid to fail. Failure is another steppingstone to greatness.” – Oprah Winfrey
  16. “The question isn’t who’s going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me.” – Ayn Rand
  17. “When I dare to be powerful, to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid.” – Audre Lorde
  18. “I love to see a young girl go out and grab the world by the lapels. Life’s a bitch. You’ve got to go out and kick ass.” – Maya Angelou
  19. “I beg you take courage; the brave soul can mend even disaster.” – Yekaterina Alexeevna or Catherine the Great
  20. “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
  21. “If your actions create a legacy that inspires others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, then, you are an excellent leader.” – Dolly Parton
  22. “I don’t go by the rule book. I lead from the heart, not the head.” – Diana Spencer, Princess of Wales
  23. “I’m tough, ambitious, and I know exactly what I want. If that makes me a bitch, okay.” – Madonna
  24. “I, with a deeper instinct, choose a man who compels my strength, who makes enormous demands on me, who does not doubt my courage or my toughness, who does not believe me naïve or innocent, who has the courage to treat me like a woman.” – Anaïs Nin
  25. “My philosophy is that not only are you responsible for your life, but also doing the best at this moment puts you in the best place for the next moment.” – Oprah Winfrey
  26. “Take criticism seriously, but not personally. If there is truth or merit in the criticism, try to learn from it. Otherwise, let it roll right off you.” – Hillary Clinton
  27. “With kids, they don’t do what you want them to do when you want them to do it. Organizations don’t necessarily, either. You’ve got to listen. You’ve got to learn how to influence.” – Ellen J. Kullman
  28. “Expect the unexpected, and whenever possible, be the unexpected.” – Lynda Barry
  29. “There is no royal flower-strewn path to success. And if there is, I have not found it, for if I have accomplished anything in life it is because I have been willing to work hard.” – Madam C.J. Walker
  30. “The most effective way to do it, is to do it.” – Amelia Earhart
  31. “Nothing will work unless you do.” – Maya Angelou
  32. “I never dreamed about success. I worked for it.” – Estée Lauder
  33. “So often people are working hard at the wrong thing. Working on the right thing is probably more important than working hard.” – Caterina Fake
  34. “The way to achieve your own success is to be willing to help somebody else get it first.” – Iyanla Vanzant
  35. “Surround yourself with a trusted and loyal team. It makes all the difference.” – Alison Pincus
  36. “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead
  37. “We treat our people like royalty. If you honor and serve the people who work for you, they will honor and serve you.” – Mary Kay Ash
  38. “A leader takes people where they want to go. A great leader takes people where they don’t necessarily want to go, but ought to be.” – Rosalynn Carter
  39.  “Don’t waste a single second. Just move forward as fast as you can, and go for it.” – Rebecca Woodcock
  40. “When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.” – Helen Keller
  41. “My best successes came on the heels of failures.” – Barbara Corcoran
  42. “Do not wait for leaders; do it alone, person to person. Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies.” – Mother Teresa
  43. “We’re here for a reason. I believe a bit of the reason is to throw little torches out to lead people through the dark.” – Whoopi Goldberg
  44. “If this is something that you really want to do, if you believe in it … simply keep forging forward because success will come.” – Cassandra Sanford
  45. “I learned to always take on things I’d never done before. Growth and comfort do not coexist.” – Virginia Rometty
  46. “Don’t be intimidated by what you don’t know. That can be your greatest strength and ensure that you do things differently from everyone else.” – Sara Blakely
  47. “I always did something I was a little not ready to do. I think that’s how you grow. When there’s that moment of ‘Wow, I’m not really sure I can do this,’ and you push through those moments, that’s when you have a breakthrough.” – Marissa Mayer
  48. “I work really hard at trying to see the big picture and not getting stuck in ego. I believe we’re all put on this planet for a purpose, and we all have a different purpose… When you connect with that love and that compassion, that’s when everything unfolds.” – Ellen DeGeneres
  49. “Sometimes you can gradually improve things. But sometimes, they don’t work, and you’ve just got to just say: Let’s grind this baby to a halt.” – Abigail Johnson
  50. “No country can ever truly flourish if it stifles the potential of its women and deprives itself of the contributions of half of its citizens.” – Michelle Obama

Featured photo credit: US Department of Education via flickr.com

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More by this author

David K. William

David is a publisher and entrepreneur who tries to help professionals grow their business and careers, and gives advice for entrepreneurs.

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Last Updated on October 13, 2020

12 Things High Self-Esteem People Don’t Do

12 Things High Self-Esteem People Don’t Do

Having high self-esteem is important if you are aiming for personal or professional success. Interestingly, most people will high levels of self-esteem act in similar ways. That’s why it’s often easy to pick them out in a crowd. There’s something about the way they hold themselves and speak, isn’t there?

We all have different hopes, dreams, experiences, and paths, but confidence has its own universal language. This list will present some of the things you won’t find yourself doing if you have high self-esteem.

1. Compare Yourself to Others

People with low self-esteem are constantly comparing their situation to others. On the other hand, people with higher self-esteem show empathy and compassion while also protecting their own sanity. They know how much they can handle and when they can offer a helping hand.

In the age of social media, however, social comparisons are nearly ubiquitous. One study found that “participants who used Facebook most often had poorer trait self-esteem, and this was mediated by greater exposure to upward social comparisons on social media”[1]. Basically, you will feel worse about yourself if you are constantly getting glimpses into lives that you consider to be better than yours.

Try to limit your time on social media. Also, when you do start scrolling, keep in mind that each profile is carefully crafted to create the appearance of a perfect life. Check yourself when you find yourself wishing for greener grass.

2. Be Mean-Spirited

People with low self-esteem bully others. They take pleasure in putting other people down. People with positive self-esteem see no need to down other people, choosing instead to encourage and celebrate successes.

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If you find that you feel the need to put others down, analyze where that’s coming from. If they’ve had success in life, help them feel good about that achievement. They may do the same for you one day.

3. Let Imperfection Ruin Your Day

Perfectionism isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but obsessing over making everything perfect is a sign that you have low self-esteem and can lead to never-ending negative thoughts. This can turn into an inability to solve problems creatively, which will only make self-esteem issues worse. 

Those with high self-esteem disconnect from the results and do their best without expecting perfection.

People with that kind of confidence understand that messing up is a part of life and that each time they aim and miss success, they’ll at least learn something along the way.

If you miss the mark, or if your plan doesn’t work out exactly as you would have liked, take a deep breath and see if you can pivot in order to do better next time.

4. Dwell on Failure

It’s common to hear people dwelling on all the ways things will go wrong. They are positive that their every failure signals an impossible task or an innate inability to do something. People with healthy self-esteem discover why they failed and try again.

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People with higher levels of confidence also tend to adopt a growth mindset[2]. This type of thinking supports the idea that most of your abilities can be improved and altered, as opposed to being fixed.

For example, instead of saying, “I’m just not good at math; that’s why I did bad on the test,” someone with a growth mindset would say, “Math is difficult for me, so I’ll have to put in some more practice to improve next time.”

Next time you experience a failure, check out this video to help you believe in yourself again:

5. Devalue Your Self-Esteem

People with high self-esteem value their own perception of themselves – they understand that they come first and don’t feel guilty about taking care of themselves. They believe charity starts within, and if they don’t believe that, they’ll never have a healthy self-image.

Self-care is often top of the priority list for people with self-esteem. For some ways to practice self-care, check out this article.

6. Try to Please Others

They can’t please all the people all the time, so confident people first focus on doing what will make them feel fulfilled and happy. While they will politely listen to others’ thoughts and advice, they know that their goals and dreams have to be completed on their own terms.

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7. Close Yourself off

Confident people have the ability to be vulnerable. It’s those with poor self-esteem that hide all the best parts of themselves behind an emotional wall. Instead of keeping the real you a secret, be open and honest in all your dealings.

As Brené Brown, author of Daring Greatly, points out, “Vulnerability is about showing up and being seen”[3]. When you embrace each facet of who you are and allow others to see them as well, it will create deeper, more meaningful connections in your life. When that happens, you’ll realize that perfection doesn’t lead to people liking you more.

You can learn more about the power of vulnerability in this TED talk with Brené Brown:

8. Follow and Avoiding Leading

People with low self-esteem don’t believe they can lead, so they end up following others, sometimes into unhealthy situations. Rather than seeking a sense of belonging, people with high self-esteem walk their own paths and create social circles that build them up.

9. Fish for Compliments

If you’re constantly seeking compliments, you’re not confident. People with high self-esteem always do their best (and go out of their way to do good deeds) because it’s what they want to do, not because they’re seeking recognition. If you need to hear compliments, say them to yourself in the mirror.

You can even try some positive affirmations if you need a confidence boost. Check out these affirmations to get started.

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10. Be Lazy

People work harder when they have high self-esteem because they’re not bogged down by doubts and complaints. Those with low self-esteem end up procrastinating and wasting their energy thinking about all the work they have to do rather than rolling up their sleeves and just getting it done.

This may also bounce off perfectionism. Perfectionists often feel intimidated by certain projects if they fear that they won’t be able to complete them perfectly. Tap into your confidence and simply do your best without worrying about a perfect outcome.

11. Shy Away from Risks

When you trust yourself, you’ll be willing to participate more in life. People with low self-esteem are always on the sidelines, waiting for the perfect moment to jump in. Instead of letting life pass you by, have confidence in your success and take the risks necessary to succeed.

12. Gossip

People with low self-esteem are always in other peoples’ business – they’re more interested in what everyone else is doing than themselves. People with high self-esteem are more interested in their own life and stay out of others’ affairs.

Instead of participating in idle gossip, talk about some positive news you heard recently, or that fascinating book you just finished. There’s plenty to talk about beyond what this or that person did wrong in their life.

The Bottom Line

Self-esteem is to success in life. People who maintain a healthy level of self-esteem believe in themselves and push themselves to succeed, while those with low confidence feel a sense of entitlement.

If you need a boost in your self-image and mental health, avoid negative self-talk and the other mistakes of people with low self-esteem. You’ll be amazed at the difference it makes.

More Tips on Building Confidence

Featured photo credit: Christina @ wocintechchat.com via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Psychology of Popular Media Culture: Social comparison, social media, and self-esteem
[2] Brain Pickings: Fixed vs. Growth: The Two Basic Mindsets That Shape Our Lives
[3] Forbes: Brene Brown: How Vulnerability Can Make Our Lives Better

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