Laura Berlinsky-Schine
star-svg
10

It may not be International Women's Day or Women's History Month, but that doesn't mean we can't celebrate our role models. These great leaders inspire us with their courage, strength, and wisdom in our career lives, personal lives, and beyond.

Continue reading for 48 motivational quotes from impressive leaders, entrepreneurs, and other successful women around the world who inspire us to live our best lives every day. From maintaining a work-life balance to the business world to women's health to achieving your personal vision of success, these inspirational, famous quotes tackle our hopes, fears dreams, and everything in between.

1. "Success as a woman has changed me. That's what I feel is the first thing. When I feel like a successful woman as a rounded human being, then it feeds my work in a broader way so it becomes more interesting."—Jacqueline Bisset

2. “I am willing to put myself through anything, temporary pain or discomfort means nothing to me as long as I can see that the experience will take me to a new level. I am interested in the unknown, and the only path to the unknown is through breaking barriers, an often painful process.”—Diana Nyad

3. “We teach girls to shrink themselves, to make themselves smaller. We say to girls, you can have ambition, but not too much. You should aim to be successful, but not too successful. Otherwise, you would threaten the man. Because I am female, I am expected to aspire to marriage. I am expected to make my life choices always keeping in mind that marriage is the most important.”—Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, We Should All Be Feminists

4. "I never dreamed about success. I worked for it."—Estée Lauder

5. "Figure out who are you separate from your family, and the man or woman you’re in a relationship with. Find who you are in this world and what you need to feel good alone. I think that’s the most important thing in life. Find a sense of self. With that, you can do anything else."—Angelina Jolie

6. “Some people only ask others to do something. I believe that, why should I wait for someone else? Why don’t I take a step and move forward. When the whole world is silent, even one voice becomes powerful.”—Malala Yousafzai

"I think self-awareness is probably the most important thing toward being a champion."—Billie Jean King

7. "One of the most important things I have learned is that businesses don't fail, entrepreneurs give up. Now sometimes, giving up is the right decision. But usually you just need to dig in and figure out how to make things better. Remember: Every day is a new opportunity to get up and do it better than yesterday!"—Adda Birnir

8. “Nothing is impossible; the word itself says ‘I’m possible’!”—Audrey Hepburn

9. "Just don’t give up trying to do what you really want to do. Where there is love and inspiration, I don’t think you can go wrong."—Ella Fitzgerald

10. "I have learned over the years that when one’s mind is made up, this diminishes fear; knowing what must be done does away with fear."—Rosa Parks

11. “Whatever women do they must do twice as well as men to be thought half as good. Luckily, this is not difficult.”—Charlotte Whitton

12. “Passion is energy. Feel the power that comes from focusing on what excites you.”—Oprah Winfrey

13. "Success and like ability are positively correlated for men and negatively for women. When a man is successful, he is liked by both men and women. When a woman is successful, people of both genders like her less."—Sheryl Sandberg

14. “A strong woman understands that the gifts such as logic, decisiveness, and strength are just as feminine as intuition and emotional connection. She values and uses all of her gifts.”—Nancy Rathburn

15. "Making the decision to not follow a system, or someone else's rules has allowed me to really dig into what my own strengths and gifts are without spending time feeling jaded or wasteful."—Ishita Gupta

16. “Woman must not accept; she must challenge.She must not be awed by that which has been built up around her; she must reverence that woman in her which struggles for expression.”— Margaret Sanger

17. “You can have unbelievable intelligence, you can have connections, you can have opportunities fall out of the sky. But in the end, hard work is the true, enduring characteristic of successful people.”—Marsha Evans

18. “You have to have confidence in your ability, and then be tough enough to follow through."—Rosalynn Carter

19. "Do you really want to look back on your life and see how wonderful it could have been had you not been afraid to live in?"—Caroline Myss

20. "Everyone has inside of her a piece of good news. The good news is that you don’t know how great you can be, how much you can love, what you can accomplish, and what your potential is."—Anne Frank

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

22. "Without leaps of imagination, or dreaming, we lose the excitement of possibilities. Dreaming, after all, is a form of planning."—Gloria Steinem

23. “My will shall shape the future. Whether I fail or succeed shall be no one’s doing but my own. I am the force. I can clear any obstacle before me or I can be lost in the maze. My choice. My responsibility. Win or lose; only I hold the key to my destiny.”— Elaine Maxwell

24. "You are more powerful than you know; you are beautiful just as you are."—Melissa Etheridge

25. “As a leader, I am tough on myself and I raise the standard for everybody; however, I am very caring because I want people to excel at what they are doing so that they can aspire to be me in the future.”—Indra Nooyi

26. "Courage allows the successful woman to fail and to learn powerful lessons from the failure so that in the end, she didn't fail at all."—Maya Angelou

27. 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 Curie

28. "If you are successful, it is because somewhere, sometime, someone gave you a life or an idea that started you in the right direction. Remember also that you are indebted to life until you help some less fortunate person, just as you were helped."—Melinda Gates

29. "Define success on your own terms, achieve it by your own rules, and build a life you’re proud to live."—Anne Sweeney

30. "Success is most often achieved by those who don’t know that failure is inevitable."—Coco Chanel

31. “The only way to do something in depth is to work hard. The moment you start being in love with what you’re doing, and thinking it’s beautiful or rich, then you’re in danger.”—Miuccia Prada

32. “I used to walk down the street like I was a super star….I want people to walk around delusional about how great they can be – and then to fight so hard for it every day that the lie becomes the truth.”—Lady Gaga

33. “You may not always have a comfortable life and you will not always be able to solve all of the world’s problems at once but don’t ever underestimate the importance you can have because history has shown us that courage can be contagious and hope can take on a life of its own."—Michelle Obama

34. “Do one thing every day that scares you.”—Eleanor Roosevelt

35. “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

36. "Far away there in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I may not reach them, but I can look up and see their beauty, believe in them, and try to follow where they lead."—Louisa May Alcott

37. "I believe in being strong when everything seems to be going wrong. I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls. I believe that tomorrow is another day, and I believe in miracles."—Audrey Hepburn

38. “Concrete examples of successful women and their stories of achievement are the best inspiration and means of empowerment for other women to seek the heights in their professional career and take a leading role in society."—Dalia Grybauskaite

39. "Life-fulfilling work is never about the money—when you feel true passion for something, you instinctively find ways to nurture it."—Eileen Fisher

40. "The difference between successful people and others is how long they spend time feeling sorry for themselves."—Barbara Corcoran

41. "What I wanted was to be allowed to do the thing in the world that I did best--which I believed then and believe now is the greatest privilege there is. When I did that, success found me."—Debbi Fields

42. “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 been opened for us.”—Helen Keller

43. "We need to accept that we won’t always make the right decisions, that we’ll screw up royally sometimes understanding that failure is not the opposite of success, it’s part of success."—Arianna Huffington

44. "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

45. “I always believed that one woman’s success can only help another woman’s success.”—Gloria Vanderbilt

46. “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

47. "Some failure in life is inevitable. It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all — in which case, you fail by default."—J.K. Rowling

48. "Dreams are lovely but they are just dreams. Fleeting, ephemeral, pretty. But dreams do not come true just because you dream them. It's hard work that makes things happen. It's hard work that creates change."—Shonda Rhimes

May these motivational quotes inspire you in business, your personal life, and beyond!

Share