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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 January 16, 2020

12 Simple Ways to Boost Your Confidence Right Now

12 Simple Ways to Boost Your Confidence Right Now

The way you feel about yourself greatly influences how you live and interact with others. If you are confident about yourself, you tend to see yourself positively and actually enjoy spending time with and around people. You don’t feel self-conscious or awkward around others, and that allows you to live your fullest and happiest life.

However, if you’re drowning in a sea of self-doubt, hesitancy and shyness, you often withdraw and isolate yourself from others and avoid interacting and connecting with people. That anxiety you feel in the pit of your stomach when you are around people is holding you back greatly and it is not good for your emotional health and overall well-being. You need to do something about it if you are low in self-confidence or have friends or family members who are not confident.

“Confidence isn’t walking into a room thinking you’re better than everyone, it’s walking in not having to compare yourself to anyone” – Anonymous

Here are simple, practical tips to boost your confidence right now and make you feel and act your best.

1. Stop labeling yourself as awkward, timid or shy.

When you label yourself as awkward, timid or shy, you sub-consciously tell your mind to act accordingly and psychologically feel inclined to live up to those expectations. Instead of labeling and entertaining negative self-talk, visualize and affirm yourself as confident and strong. Close your eyes for a minute and visualize yourself in different situation as you would like to be.

Be your own cheerleader. Experts believe that positive affirmation and good mental practices like picturing yourself winning or achieving a goal can lead to greater feelings of self-assurance and prepare your brain for success.[1] As the saying goes, “seeing is believing.” Picture yourself as confident and soon enough you will begin to manifest behavior that gives evidence to this new ‘fact.’

2. Recognize that the world is not focused on you (unless, of course, you are Kanye West).

That means you don’t have to be excessively sensitive about who you are or what you are doing (or not doing). You are not on the center stage; there is no need for preoccupation with self and perfectionism. As rap music star Rocko sings, “You just do you and I will do me, aight?”

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Forget about trying to please everyone or being perfect. Trying to be perfect and being a people-pleaser puts too much pressure on you and creates unnecessary anxiety. Besides, people are too preoccupied with their own issues to pay much attention to your every move unless, of course, you are a mega famous, super celebrity like Beyonce or Kanye West.

3. Focus on other people as opposed to yourself.

If you are low on confidence, self-conscious, nervous and shy in social situations, focus your attention on other people and what they are saying or doing instead of focusing on your own awkwardness.

For example, think about what it is that is interesting about the person who’s the centre of the party or the guy or girl you are talking with. Prompt them to talk more about themselves and be genuinely curious and interested in what they say. You will instantly come across as confident and warmhearted.

People generally want to talk about themselves, be heard and understood. They will love it when you’re eager and willing to listen to them and really hear what they have to say.

This habit of focusing more on what you love in others as opposed to what you dislike in yourself will not only help you become more assertive and comfortable in virtually all social situations, but also instantly make you feel great about yourself.

4. Know (and accept) yourself for who you are.

Chinese military general, strategist and philosopher Sun Tzu, author of the internationally acclaimed book The Art of War, said, “Know yourself and you will win all battles.” Even in the battle with lack of confidence, you will need to know yourself to win.

Knowing yourself starts with understanding that people are not all the same, neither are all social situation suitable for everyone. You might not be confident in large gatherings, but you could be bold and confident in one-on-one and small group interactions. We all have our own unique gifts and unique ways of expressing ourselves. Embrace yours!

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Introverts, for example, have a quiet confidence that is, unfortunately, often confused for shyness. They are naturally low key and prefer to spend time alone. However, this natural disposition affords them certain unique gifts, such as an ability to listen better than most people and notice things that others don’t.

Your uniqueness is where your strength and advantage lies. You won’t be comfortable and confident in all situations all the time. Albert Einstein said,

“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”

5. Crack a smile.

If there is one sure way to instantly boost your confidence, it’s cracking a smile. Christine Clapp, a public speaking expert at The George Washington University, says that flashing those pretty, pearly white teeth will immediately make you appear both confident and composed. But, the effect of smiling is not just external. Studies show that smiling can also help nix feelings of stress and pave the way for a happier and more relaxed you.[2]

Not a bad return for something seemingly so trite, wouldn’t you agree?

6. Break a sweat—with exercise.

Working out is another great way to make yourself feel amazing and confident. Science has shown that exercising increases your endorphins, helps reduce stress, tones your muscles and makes you feel happy and confident.[3]

And hey, all you have to do is take a walk a few times a week and you’ll see the benefits. What seems to matter—as far as your confidence goes—is whether you break a sweat, not how strenuous your session is, which is pretty cool. Start working out now.

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7. Groom yourself.

This might seem mundane, but it’s amazing how much of a difference a shower and shave can have on your confidence and self-image. And when you spritz on a scent, the boost on confidence and self-esteem is incredible. As it turns out, your favorite fragrance does more than make you smell oh-so-nice.

A study found that a fragrance can inspire confidence in men. Interestingly, the study also found that the more a man likes the fragrance, the more confident he might feel. Another study found that 90% of women feel more confident while wearing a scent than those who go fragrance-free.

8. Dress nicely.

Another one that might seem trite, but it works. If you dress nicely, you’ll instantly feel good about yourself and give your confidence a real boost. That is largely because you’ll feel attractive, presentable and sometimes even successful in nice clothes.

While dressing nicely means something different for everyone, it does not necessarily mean wearing $500 designer outfits. It means wearing clothes that are clean, that you are comfortable in and that are nice-looking and presentable, including casual clothes.

9. Do activities you enjoy.

Whether it is reading a book, playing a musical instrument, riding your bicycle or going fishing, do what you really enjoy and what makes you truly happy often. It will boost your self-esteem, soothe your ego and allow you to identify with your gifts and talents. That will in turn bolster your self-belief and grow your confidence exponentially.

You might not become popular for doing what you love, but you might not even want to be popular at all. Being popular doesn’t make you happy; doing what you love does.

10. Prepare for the possibility of rejection / setback.

Late World No. 1 professional tennis player Arthur Ashe said, “One important key to success is self-confidence. A key to self-confidence is preparation.” You need to prepare for the possibility of rejection and setback.

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Why?

Everybody suffers rejection and setback at one point or another. You are not exempted. The question on your mind, therefore, should not be if you will be rejected, but how you will handle rejection when it comes.

Prepare yourself adequately in every situation to minimize the risk and effect of rejection and so that your confidence is not broken. For example, learn public speaking and rehearse what you are going to say beforehand if you have landed a public speaking engagement. That way, you are sure of yourself and confident you have what it takes to hack it. If you are rejected, don’t take it personally.

Rejection and setbacks happen to the best of us. Take it as a learning experience. Learn from your mistakes and move on.

11. Face uncomfortable situations square in the face.

Don’t run away from uncomfortable situations. Running away from people or situations because you feel scared, shy or timid only confirms and reinforces your shyness. Instead, face the situation that makes you uneasy square in the face. For example, go ahead and talk to that person you are afraid to approach, or go straight to the front of your yoga class! What’s the worst that can happen?

Prepare and be ready for any eventuality. The more you face your fears, the more you realize you are stronger than you thought and the more confident you get. This simple, yet admittedly courageous, act makes you unstoppable. You get comfortable being uncomfortable and begin to feel like you can take on the world. And that is the hallmark of someone destined for great things.

12. Sit up straight and walk tall—you are awesome!

Yes, sit up straight and believe you are awesome. Don’t slump in your chair or slouch your shoulders. Experts say the right stance can not only keep your self-esteem and mood lifted, but also lead to more confidence in your own thoughts.[4]

The way to sit is to open up your chest and keep your head level so that you look and feel poised and assured. And when you get up, stand tall and walk like you’re on a mission. People who sit up straight and walk tall are more attractive and instantly feel more confident. Try it now: you’ll feel fierce and confident just by sitting up straight and walking tall.

Featured photo credit: Freshh Connection via unsplash.com

Reference

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