Advertising

50 Of The Most Inspiring Quotes From Remarkably Successful Women Leaders

Advertising
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.

Advertising

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

Advertising

  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

Advertising

Advertising

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.

10 Reasons Why Some People Feel Like They Don’t Have Enough Time 25 Memory Exercises That Actually Help You Remember More 10 Mini Hacks to Overcome Procrastination 12 Simple Ways to Boost Your Confidence Right Now 10 Amazing Health Benefits Of Beer You Probably Never Knew

Trending in Communication

1 10 Signs You Are in a Codependent Relationship (And What To Do About It) 2 I Want To Be Happy: 7 Science-Backed Ways to Find Happiness 3 13 Ways Happy People Think and Feel Differently 4 10 Morning Habits Of Happy People 5 What Makes People Happy? 20 Secrets of “Always Happy” People

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on July 20, 2021

How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)

Advertising
How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)

You’re standing behind the curtain, just about to make your way on stage to face the many faces half-shrouded in darkness in front of you. As you move towards the spotlight, your body starts to feel heavier with each step. A familiar thump echoes throughout your body – your heartbeat has gone off the charts.

Don’t worry, you’re not the only one with glossophobia(also known as speech anxiety or the fear of speaking to large crowds). Sometimes, the anxiety happens long before you even stand on stage.

Your body’s defence mechanism responds by causing a part of your brain to release adrenaline into your blood – the same chemical that gets released as if you were being chased by a lion.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you overcome your fear of public speaking:

1. Prepare yourself mentally and physically

According to experts, we’re built to display anxiety and to recognize it in others. If your body and mind are anxious, your audience will notice. Hence, it’s important to prepare yourself before the big show so that you arrive on stage confident, collected and ready.

“Your outside world is a reflection of your inside world. What goes on in the inside, shows on the outside.” – Bob Proctor

Exercising lightly before a presentation helps get your blood circulating and sends oxygen to the brain. Mental exercises, on the other hand, can help calm the mind and nerves. Here are some useful ways to calm your racing heart when you start to feel the butterflies in your stomach:

Warming up

If you’re nervous, chances are your body will feel the same way. Your body gets tense, your muscles feel tight or you’re breaking in cold sweat. The audience will notice you are nervous.

If you observe that this is exactly what is happening to you minutes before a speech, do a couple of stretches to loosen and relax your body. It’s better to warm up before every speech as it helps to increase the functional potential of the body as a whole. Not only that, it increases muscle efficiency, improves reaction time and your movements.

Here are some exercises to loosen up your body before show time:

Advertising

  1. Neck and shoulder rolls – This helps relieve upper body muscle tension and pressure as the rolls focus on rotating the head and shoulders, loosening the muscle. Stress and anxiety can make us rigid within this area which can make you feel agitated, especially when standing.
  2. Arm stretches – We often use this part of our muscles during a speech or presentation through our hand gestures and movements. Stretching these muscles can reduce arm fatigue, loosen you up and improve your body language range.
  3. Waist twists – Place your hands on your hips and rotate your waist in a circular motion. This exercise focuses on loosening the abdominal and lower back regions which is essential as it can cause discomfort and pain, further amplifying any anxieties you may experience.

Stay hydrated

Ever felt parched seconds before speaking? And then coming up on stage sounding raspy and scratchy in front of the audience? This happens because the adrenaline from stage fright causes your mouth to feel dried out.

To prevent all that, it’s essential we stay adequately hydrated before a speech. A sip of water will do the trick. However, do drink in moderation so that you won’t need to go to the bathroom constantly.

Try to avoid sugary beverages and caffeine, since it’s a diuretic – meaning you’ll feel thirstier. It will also amplify your anxiety which prevents you from speaking smoothly.

Meditate

Meditation is well-known as a powerful tool to calm the mind. ABC’s Dan Harris, co-anchor of Nightline and Good Morning America weekend and author of the book titled10% Happier , recommends that meditation can help individuals to feel significantly calmer, faster.

Meditation is like a workout for your mind. It gives you the strength and focus to filter out the negativity and distractions with words of encouragement, confidence and strength.

Mindfulness meditation, in particular, is a popular method to calm yourself before going up on the big stage. The practice involves sitting comfortably, focusing on your breathing and then bringing your mind’s attention to the present without drifting into concerns about the past or future – which likely includes floundering on stage.

Here’s a nice example of guided meditation before public speaking:

2. Focus on your goal

One thing people with a fear of public speaking have in common is focusing too much on themselves and the possibility of failure.

Do I look funny? What if I can’t remember what to say? Do I look stupid? Will people listen to me? Does anyone care about what I’m talking about?’

Instead of thinking this way, shift your attention to your one true purpose – contributing something of value to your audience.

Advertising

Decide on the progress you’d like your audience to make after your presentation. Notice their movements and expressions to adapt your speech to ensure that they are having a good time to leave the room as better people.

If your own focus isn’t beneficial and what it should be when you’re speaking, then shift it to what does. This is also key to establishing trust during your presentation as the audience can clearly see that you have their interests at heart.[1]

3. Convert negativity to positivity

There are two sides constantly battling inside of us – one is filled with strength and courage while the other is doubt and insecurities. Which one will you feed?

‘What if I mess up this speech? What if I’m not funny enough? What if I forget what to say?’

It’s no wonder why many of us are uncomfortable giving a presentation. All we do is bring ourselves down before we got a chance to prove ourselves. This is also known as a self-fulfilling prophecy – a belief that comes true because we are acting as if it already is. If you think you’re incompetent, then it will eventually become true.

Motivational coaches tout that positive mantras and affirmations tend to boost your confidents for the moments that matter most. Say to yourself: “I’ll ace this speech and I can do it!”

Take advantage of your adrenaline rush to encourage positive outcome rather than thinking of the negative ‘what ifs’.

Here’s a video of Psychologist Kelly McGonigal who encourages her audience to turn stress into something positive as well as provide methods on how to cope with it:

4. Understand your content

Knowing your content at your fingertips helps reduce your anxiety because there is one less thing to worry about. One way to get there is to practice numerous times before your actual speech.

Advertising

However, memorizing your script word-for-word is not encouraged. You can end up freezing should you forget something. You’ll also risk sounding unnatural and less approachable.

“No amount of reading or memorizing will make you successful in life. It is the understanding and the application of wise thought that counts.” – Bob Proctor

Many people unconsciously make the mistake of reading from their slides or memorizing their script word-for-word without understanding their content – a definite way to stress themselves out.

Understanding your speech flow and content makes it easier for you to convert ideas and concepts into your own words which you can then clearly explain to others in a conversational manner. Designing your slides to include text prompts is also an easy hack to ensure you get to quickly recall your flow when your mind goes blank.[2]

One way to understand is to memorize the over-arching concepts or ideas in your pitch. It helps you speak more naturally and let your personality shine through. It’s almost like taking your audience on a journey with a few key milestones.

5. Practice makes perfect

Like most people, many of us are not naturally attuned to public speaking. Rarely do individuals walk up to a large audience and present flawlessly without any research and preparation.

In fact, some of the top presenters make it look easy during showtime because they have spent countless hours behind-the-scenes in deep practice. Even great speakers like the late John F. Kennedy would spend months preparing his speech beforehand.

Public speaking, like any other skill, requires practice – whether it be practicing your speech countless of times in front of a mirror or making notes. As the saying goes, practice makes perfect!

6. Be authentic

There’s nothing wrong with feeling stressed before going up to speak in front of an audience.

Many people fear public speaking because they fear others will judge them for showing their true, vulnerable self. However, vulnerability can sometimes help you come across as more authentic and relatable as a speaker.

Advertising

Drop the pretence of trying to act or speak like someone else and you’ll find that it’s worth the risk. You become more genuine, flexible and spontaneous, which makes it easier to handle unpredictable situations – whether it’s getting tough questions from the crowd or experiencing an unexpected technical difficulty.

To find out your authentic style of speaking is easy. Just pick a topic or issue you are passionate about and discuss this like you normally would with a close family or friend. It is like having a conversation with someone in a personal one-to-one setting. A great way to do this on stage is to select a random audience member(with a hopefully calming face) and speak to a single person at a time during your speech. You’ll find that it’s easier trying to connect to one person at a time than a whole room.

With that said, being comfortable enough to be yourself in front of others may take a little time and some experience, depending how comfortable you are with being yourself in front of others. But once you embrace it, stage fright will not be as intimidating as you initially thought.

Presenters like Barack Obama are a prime example of a genuine and passionate speaker:

7. Post speech evaluation

Last but not the least, if you’ve done public speaking and have been scarred from a bad experience, try seeing it as a lesson learned to improve yourself as a speaker.

Don’t beat yourself up after a presentation

We are the hardest on ourselves and it’s good to be. But when you finish delivering your speech or presentation, give yourself some recognition and a pat on the back.

You managed to finish whatever you had to do and did not give up. You did not let your fears and insecurities get to you. Take a little more pride in your work and believe in yourself.

Improve your next speech

As mentioned before, practice does make perfect. If you want to improve your public speaking skills, try asking someone to film you during a speech or presentation. Afterwards, watch and observe what you can do to improve yourself next time.

Here are some questions you can ask yourself after every speech:

Advertising

  • How did I do?
  • Are there any areas for improvement?
  • Did I sound or look stressed?
  • Did I stumble on my words? Why?
  • Was I saying “um” too often?
  • How was the flow of the speech?

Write everything you observed down and keep practicing and improving. In time, you’ll be able to better manage your fears of public speaking and appear more confident when it counts.

If you want even more tips about public speaking or delivering a great presentation, check out these articles too:

Reference

Read Next