33 Encouraging Quotes to Inspire Confidence and Growth

Animation courtesy of Kim Campbell

Following your dreams and finding success in your career, among all aspects of life, will inevitably lead to challenges and roadblocks. Whether you’re embarking on a new journey or simply need encouragement along the way, find inspiration from the women who have gone before you.

Unleash your self-confidence and overcome fear to discover the key to your own happiness. 

On self-confidence 

1. “Encourage yourself, believe in yourself, and love yourself. Never doubt who you are.”

—Stephanie Lahart, author an poet

—Melissa Etheridge, singer-songwriter, guitarist, and gay rights activist

3. “Be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else.”

—Judy Garland, award-winning actress, singer, and dancer

4. “A woman is the full circle. Within her is the power to create, nurture and transform.”

—Diane Mariechild, author and Buddhist lecturer 

5. “Owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it.”

—Brené Brown, author, research professor, holder of the

6. “Don’t look at your feet to see if you are doing it right. Just dance.”

—Anne Lamott, novelist, non-fiction writer, and progressive political activist

7. “I’m tough, I’m ambitious, and I know exactly what I want. If that makes me a bitch, okay.”

—Madonna, singer, songwriter, actress, and businesswoman

8. “One of the most courageous things you can do is identify yourself, know who you are, what you believe in and where you want to go.”

—Sheila Murray Bethel, Ph.D., entrepreneur, global leadership expert, award-winning speaker, and best-selling author

9. “I just want women to always feel in control. Because we’re capable, we’re so capable.”

—Nicki Minaj, award-winning rapper, singer, songwriter, and actress

On going after your goals

10. “A lot of people are afraid to say what they want. That’s why they don’t get what they want.”

—Madonna, singer, songwriter, actress, and businesswoman

11. “Instead of looking at the past, I put myself ahead twenty years and try to look at what I need to do now in order to get there then.”

—Diana Ross, singer, actress, record producer, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, and named one of the top five artists of the rock era (1955–present)

12. “Change your life today. Don’t gamble on the future, act now, without delay.”

—Simone de Beauvoir, writer, intellectual, existentialist philosopher, political activist, feminist, and social theorist

13. “A strong woman is a woman determined to do something others are determined not be done.”

—Marge Piercy, writer, poet, women’s activist, and New York Times bestselling-novelist 

14. “Power’s not given to you. You have to take it.”

—, singer, songwriter, record producer, dancer, and actress

15. “If it’s a good idea, go ahead and do it. It’s much easier to apologize than it is to get permission.”

—, pioneering computer scientist and rear admiral in the U.S. Navy 

16. “How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.”

—Anne Frank, writer and diarist

17. “If you don’t get out of the box you’ve been raised in, you won’t understand how much bigger the world is.”

—Angelina Jolie, award-winning actress, filmmaker, and humanitarian

18. “Women belong in all places where decisions are being made… It shouldn’t be that women are the exception.”

—, American lawyer, jurist, and Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court

19. “Whatever you do, be different – that was the advice my mother gave me, and I can’t think of better advice for an entrepreneur. If you’re different, you will stand out.”

—Anita Roddick, British businesswoman, human rights activist, environmental campaigner, and founder of

On overcoming fear of failure

20. “Even a stopped clock is right twice every day. After some years, it can boast of a long series of successes.”

—Marie Von Ebner-Eschenbach, writer regarded as one of the most important German-language writers of the latter portion of the 19th century

21. “You don’t always need a plan. Sometimes you just need to breathe, trust, let go, and see what happens.”

—Mandy Hale, bestselling author and creator of the social media movement “The Single Woman” 

22. “If you don’t risk anything, you risk even more.”

—Erica Jong, novelist, satirist, and poet

23. “Learn from the mistakes of others. You can’t live long enough to make them all yourself.”

—Eleanor Roosevelt, former First Lady of the United States and U.S. Delegate to the UN General Assembly

24. “Doubt is a killer. You just have to know who you are and what you stand for.”

—Jennifer Lopez, actress, singer, dancer, fashion designer, producer, and businesswoman

25. “I learned a long time ago that there is something worse than missing the goal, and that’s not pulling the trigger.” 

—Mia Hamm, retired professional soccer player, two-time Olympic gold medalist, and two-time FIFA Women’s World Cup champion

26. “All careers go up and down like friendships, like marriages, like anything else, and you can’t bat a thousand all the time.”

—Julie Andrews, actress, singer, and author 

27. “If you’re not making some notable mistakes along the way, you’re certainly not taking enough business and career chances.”

 —Sallie Krawcheck, CEO and co-founder ofand former president of the Global Wealth & Investment Management division of Bank of America 

28. “You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.”

—Maya Angelou, poet, singer, memoirist, and civil rights activist 

 On finding joy

29. “Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light. 

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

30. “You are the one that possesses the keys to your being. You carry the passport to your own happiness.

—Diane von Furstenberg, fashion designer

31. “Life was meant to be lived. Curiosity must be kept alive. One must never, for whatever reason, turn his back on life.”

—Eleanor Roosevelt, former First Lady of the United States and U.S. Delegate to the UN General Assembly  

32. “Taking joy in living is a woman’s best cosmetic.”

—Rosalind Russell, actress, comedian, screenwriter, and singer

—Dr. Mae Jemison, engineer, physician, and NASA astronaut

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