It seems nearly impossible these days to login to any of our chosen social media accounts without seeing a bombardment of inspirational quotes across our screens. You know the ones – beautiful photographs with (somewhat accurate) paraphrased quotes by figures of the past, meant to motivate us throughout our day.
Given their overabundance, they are likely lost on many, and it’s often easy to dismiss their message. But at a time when we may be at a crossroads in life – choosing to pursue our passions and follow what we love – our fears often rear their ugly heads and can scare us back into our holes, so-to-speak, hindering our growth and personal development. In these times we can find value in other peoples’ experiences and find inspiration in their words.
Now, more than at any time in history, women are at the forefront of so many industries and are finally being recognized and celebrated for their achievements.
This, as we know, did not happen overnight and women all over the world continue to fight for their rights and for their voices to be heard. There is value in hearing words from strong, influential women because they were up against the same struggles that all women face and have powered through, relentlessly, to achieve their goals and shine in a world that often seems to be against them.
There is also no shortage of female presence in the media, but more often than not, their value still seems to be tied to their appearance; their worth intertwined with their sexuality, or representation thereof. And while proud, sexually empowered women are certainly nothing to be ashamed of, it’s this strictly one-dimensional view of women being pushed ad infinitum that ends up actually boring some of us, frustrating others and getting entirely ignored by the majority (believe it or not, nearly 3 decades worth of data suggests that sex doesn’t sell).
For this reason, it’s important to seek out other voices and other stories by women who are much more than their appearance, much more than their roles at home, and unapologetic forces to be reckoned with.
Here are some valuable life lessons from some our of world’s most inspiring women. Enjoy!
- “I’ve come to believe that each of us has a personal calling that’s as unique as a fingerprint – and that the best way to succeed is to discover what you love and then find a way to offer it to others in the form of service, working hard, and also allowing the energy of the universe to lead you.” ~ Oprah Winfrey
- “We must believe that we are gifted for something, and that this thing, at whatever cost, must be attained.” ~ Marie Curie
- “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
- “It takes a great deal of courage to stand up to your enemies, but even more to stand up to your friends.” ~ J. K. Rowling
- “When the whole world is silent, even one voice becomes powerful.” ~ Malala Yousafzai
- “If you don’t like the road you’re walking, start paving another one.” ~ Dolly Parton
- “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
- “You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do. ” ~ Eleanor Roosevelt
- “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 these moments, that’s when you have a breakthrough.” ~ Marissa Mayer
- “I think people who are creative are the luckiest people on earth. I know that there are no shortcuts, but you must keep your faith in something Greater than You, and keep doing what you love. Do what you love, and you will find the way to get it out to the world.” ~ Judy Collins
- “Don’t try to be young. Just open your mind. Stay interested in stuff. There are so many things I won’t live long enough to find out about, but I’m still curious about them. You know people who are already saying, ‘I’m going to be 30 – oh, what am I going to do?’ Well, use that decade! Use them all!” ~ Betty White
- “Fear can be one of the most destructive emotions. It is, of course, also very important, in that fear sometimes stops you from doing stupid things. But it can also stop you from doing creative or exciting or experimental things. It can cloud your judgment of others, and lead to all kinds of evil. The control and understanding of our personal fears is one of the most important undertakings of our lives.” ~ Helen Mirren
- “Cautious, careful people always casting about to preserve their reputation or social standards never can bring about reform. Those who are really in earnest are willing to be anything or nothing in the world’s estimation, and publicly and privately, in season and out, avow their sympathies with despised ideas and their advocates, and bear the consequences.” ~ Susan B. Anthony
- “One is not born, but rather becomes, a woman.” ~ Simone de Beauvoir
- “For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone.” ~ Audrey Hepburn
We all need a little motivation from time to time. What better way than to start your day off with words from strong, inspiring women that have made this world a better place.
Of course, we can all make a difference in this world in our own, unique way; it is simply a matter of turning within and finding our own voice. Writing is a beautifully organic way of working through our thoughts.
So, perhaps after reading these motivating words, you yourself will be inspired to write your own ideas and experiences, in order that, one day, other young women can learn from you.