Maureen Berkner Boyt

I want women playing big in this life, and that means taking risks. People may try and hold you back or dissuade you from being a risk taker, you might fear looking like an idiot or making mistakes, and you may have gotten burned when something risky you tried in the past that didn’t work out.

But you know what? It’s out on the skinny branches, where the risk is high but the opportunity and rewards are too, that the good stuff is found. That means taking a chance, ditching your fear of failure, and not letting time tick by until everything is ‘just right’. It never will be!

Sometimes all it takes is a good inspirational quote to inspire your risk-taking streak and your drive to follow through on your ideas — even the risky ones you’re somewhat afraid of. Use these quotes as fuel to move you forward help you take the risk that will likely lead to success!

1. “Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage.” — Anaïs Nin

2. “It takes a lot of courage to show your dreams to someone else.” — Erma Bombeck

3. “Trust the still, small voice that says, ‘this might work and I’ll try it.’” — Diane Mariechild

4. “I believe that the most important single thing, beyond discipline and creativity, is daring to dare.” — Maya Angelou

5. “The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity. The fears are paper tigers. You can do anything you decide to do. You can act to change and control your life; and the procedure, the process is its own reward.” — Amelia Earhart

6. “When you take risks you learn that there will be times when you succeed and there will be times when you fail, and both are equally important.” — Ellen DeGeneres

7. “There is freedom waiting for you, on the breezes of the sky, and you ask 'What if I fall?' Oh but my darling, what if you fly?" — Erin Hanson

8. “The only limits in your life are those that you set yourself.” — Celestine Chua

9. “You must accept that you might fail; then, if you do your best and still don't win, at least you can be satisfied that you've tried. If you don't accept failure as a possibility, you don't set high goals, and you don't branch out, you don't try--you don't take the risk.” — Rosalynn Carter

11. “That's the risk you take if you change: that people you've been involved with won't like the new you. But other people who do will come along.” — Lisa Alther

12. “Take chances, make mistakes. That's how you grow. Pain nourishes your courage. You have to fail in order to practice being brave.” — Mary Tyler Moore

13. “A ship in port is safe, but that's not what ships are built for.” — Rear Admiral Grace Murray Hopper

14. “Revolutionaries don't get job security.” — Ruby Dee

15. “Risk! Risk anything! Care no more for the opinions of others, for those voices. Do the hardest thing on earth for you. Act for yourself. Face the truth.” — Katherine Mansfield

16. “Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing. To keep our faces toward change and behave like free spirits in the presence of fate is strength undefeatable.” — Helen Keller

17. “Please know I am quite aware of the hazards. I want to do it because I want to do it. Women must try to do things as men have tried. When they fail, their failure must be but a challenge to others.” — Amelia Earhart

18. “I needed the push. Now, more than ever, young women need more seasoned women to provide that encouragement, to take a risk, to go for it. Once a glass ceiling is broken, it stays broken.” — Jennifer Grahnolm

19. “It's better to be a lion for a day than a sheep all your life.” — Sister Elizabeth Kenny

21. “If you don't go after what you want, you'll never have it. If you don't ask, the answer is always no. If you don't step forward, you're always in the same place.” — Nora Roberts

22. “If you don't risk anything, you risk even more.” — Erica Jong

23. “If you play it safe in life you've decided that you don't want to grow anymore.” — Shirley Hufstedler

24. “If you try to guard yourself against every unlikely danger, you'll never stretch beyond your comfort zone. Don't let the 'what-ifs' run your life. Follow your dreams and have at it.” — Diane Conway

25. “If it's a good idea, go ahead and do it. It's much easier to apologize than it is to get permission.” — Rear Admiral Grace Hopper

26. “The human soul has need of security and also of risk. The fear of violence or of hunger or of any other extreme evil is a sickness of the soul. The boredom produced by a complete absence of risk is also a sickness of the soul.” — Simone Weil

27. “Everybody knows if you are too careful you are so occupied in being careful that you are sure to stumble over something.” — Gertrude Stein

28. “Devote today to something so daring even you can't believe you're doing it.” — Oprah Winfrey

29. “Courage is not the towering oak that sees storms come and go; it is the fragile blossom that opens in the snow.” — Alice M. Swaim

31. “Accept that all of us can be hurt, that all of us can--and surely will at times--fail. I think we should follow a simple rule: if we can take the worst, take the risk.” — Joyce Brothers

31. “All my life I have gone out on a limb, but I have turned the limb into a bridge, and there is cool, clear water flowing under.” — Holly Near

33. "And then the day came, when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom." — Anais Nin

34. “The only real risk is the risk of thinking too small.” — Frances Moore Lappe

35. “We tend to be held back from our goals by the simplicity of our comfort zones… but just how comfortable are we? Wouldn’t we be more content living in our dreams?” — Michelle C. Ustaszeski

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

37. “Opportunity dances with those on the dance floor.” — Anonymous

38. “If you risk nothing, then you risk everything.” — Geena Davis

39. “Take risks: if you win, you will be happy; if you lose, you will be wise.” — Anonymous

41. “You can’t outwit fate by standing on the sidelines placing little sidebets about the outcome of life. Either you wade in and risk everything you have to play the game or you don’t play at all. And if you don’t play you can’t win.” — Judith McNaught

42. “Do the one thing you think you cannot do. Fail at it. Try again. Do better the second time. The only people who never tumble are those who never mount the high wire. This is your moment. Own it.” — Oprah Winfrey

43. “It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might has well not have lived at all, in which case you have failed by default.” — J.K. Rowling

44. “Only those who play win. Only those who risk win. History favors risk-takers. Forgets the timid. Everything else is commentary.” — Iveta Cherneva

45. “If we listened to our intellect, we’d never have a love affair. We’d never have a friendship. We’d never go into business because we’d be too cynical. Well, that’s nonsense. You’ve got to jump off cliffs all the time and build your wings on the way down.” — Annie Dillard

46. “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.” ― Helen Keller

47. “To say that one waits a lifetime for his soulmate to come around is a paradox. People eventually get sick of waiting, take a chance on someone, and by the art of commitment become soulmates, which takes a lifetime to perfect.” ― Criss Jami

48. “Don't be too timid and squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

49. “But if you're gonna dine with them cannibals Sooner or later, darling, you're gonna get eaten . . .” ― Nick Cave

51. “...If there is no risk, there is no reward.” ― Christy Raedeke

52. “This is our big chance to see what people think of us. The real us. We have to show em there's nothing to be afraid of. If we don't get over our fears, they never will.” ― Lisi Harrison

53. “There is strange comfort in knowing that no matter what happens today, the Sun will rise again tomorrow.” ― Aaron Lauritsen

54. “The reward is in the risk.” ― Rachel Cohn

55. “The struggles we endure today will be the ‘good old days’ we laugh about tomorrow.” ― Aaron Lauritsen

56. “Life's trials will test you, and shape you, but don’t let them change who you are.” ~ Aaron Lauritsen

57. “Without struggle, success has no value.” ― Aaron Lauritsen

58. “Life is sacrifice and risk-taking, and nothing that doesn't entail some moderate amount of the former, under the constraint of satisfying the latter, is close to what we can call life. If you do not undertake a risk of real harm, reparable or even potentially irreparable, from an adventure, it is not an adventure.” ― Nassim Nicholas Taleb

59. “The freedom of the open road is seductive, serendipitous and absolutely liberating.” ― Aaron Lauritsen

61. “Putting our art out there is one of the biggest risks we can take. It's a special kind of vulnerability. It takes guts to be an artist.” ― Teresa R. Funke

62. “People who swim very well in troubled waters are respected and celebrated than those who swim excellently in calm waters.” ― Israelmore Ayivor

63. “If you opt for a safe life, you will never know what it's like to win.” ― Richard Branson

64. “If we never take any risks, we’ll never fully experience what life offers to us in its entirety.” ― Nina Hrusa

65. “If you didn't take the risk how would you know what is good or bad, if you didn't take it, you will stay at the same point” ― Nourhan Mamdouh

66. “Safety is an illusion and perhaps it's better to challenge it sometimes, to see how far we can go, to learn about the stuff we are made of.” ― Tania Aebi

67. “Freedom is always associated with risk-taking, whether it leads to it or comes from it.” ― Nassim Nicholas Taleb

68. “Risks may make you win, or they will make you learn. Either of the benefits is worth daring for.” ― Israelmore Ayivor

69. “Don’t be too scared to calculate risks” ― Sunday Adelaja

71. “Everything is a risk. Not doing anything is a risk. It's up to you.” ― Nicola Yoon

72. “Successes are those highlights of life we look back on with a smile. But it's the day to day grind of getting them that defines the laugh lines etched until the end of time. Enjoy each moment along the way” ― Aaron Lauritsen

73. “And I'll tell you a secret. We're all afraid of failing. We're all scared of adventure.” ― Mary Ann Marlowe

74. “If you are trying to look clean, neat and avoid casting your nets in trouble waters, you will catch no fish.” ― Israelmore Ayivor

75. “People regret not achieving enough success in life, they should regret missing many opportunities in life.” ― Amit Kalantri

Go for it! The time is NOW — the long you wait, the more you’ll lose. You’ll never be this young again, and you don’t want to look back and regret playing it too safe with your life. It’s okay if you need to start small and build up your risk-taking tolerance. Just remember that you’re more likely to reach the success you’re eyeing if you can eliminate your fear of failure, run with your ideas, and not be afraid of taking a great risk. The only big mistake you’ll make is Take the plunge!

Mo is the Founder of The Moxie Exchange, a training and peer mentoring organization for companies who want to recruit, develop, promote and retain women and create inclusive workplaces. She’s an advisor to CEOs of the nation’s fastest growing companies and is the founder 5 successful businesses. She also been known to sing loudly, dance badly and curse like a sailor.