If ever you need a boost of confidence, look no further than to these Serena Williams' quotes. The tennis all-star, who has 23 major single titles under her belt (the most by anyone in the Open Era), has worked hard to achieve success — but not without her own hurdles and obstacles along the way.
Nevertheless, Williams has persisted through racism, sexism and even life-threatening health issues. And she's still standing tall to inspire other women, like you. Here are 35 Serena Williams quotes to light a fire under you.
1. “Strong is beautiful.”
2. “I love my body, and I would never change anything about it. I’m not asking you to like my body. I’m just asking you to let me be me.”
3. “Overpower. Overtake. Overcome.”
4. “If Plan A isn’t working, I have Plan B, Plan C and even Plan D.”
5. “I always believe I can beat the best, achieve the best. I always see myself in the top position.”
6. “I’m just opening the next door for the next person.”
7. “I’ve always been a fighter and I’ve always fought through things my whole life.”
8. “I am who I am. I love who I am.”
9. “Family first, and that’s what matters most. we realize that our love goes deeper than the tennis game.”
11. “I’m really excited. I smile a lot, and I win a lot.”
12. “If anything, you know, I think losing makes me even more motivated.”
13. "I don’t like to lose — at anything. Yet I’ve grown most not from victories, but setbacks. If winning is God’s reward, then losing is how he teaches us."
14. “Luck has nothing to do with it, I have spent many, many hours, countless hours, on the court working for my one moment in time, not knowing when it would come.”
15. “Everything comes at a cost. Just what are you willing to pay for it?”
16. "Think of all the girls who could become top athletes but quit sports because they’re afraid of having too many defined muscles and being made fun of or called unattractive."
17. “What’s going to make me happy is going on the court and holding up trophies, singles and doubles.”
18. “I’m a perfectionist. I’m pretty much insatiable. I feel there are so many things I can improve on.”
19. “There’s one thing I’m really good at, and that’s hitting the ball over a net, in a box. I’m excellent.”
21. “I am lucky that whatever fear I have inside me, my desire to win is always stronger.”
22. “I decided I can’t pay a person to rewind time, so I may as well get over it.”
23. "I just never give up. I fight to the end. You can’t go out and say, ‘I want a bag of never-say-die spirit.’ It’s not for sale. It has to be innate."
24. “Nothing comes to a sleeper but a dream.”
25. “Victory is very, very sweet. It tastes better than any dessert you’ve ever had.”
26. “You can be whatever size you are, and you can be beautiful both inside and out. We’re always told what’s beautiful and what’s not, and that’s not right.”
27. “Don’t let anybody work harder than you do.”
28. “Am I the greatest? I don’t know. I’m the greatest that I can be.”
29. “I really think a champion is defined not by their wins, but by how they can recover when they fall.”
31. “I love who I am, and I encourage other people to love and embrace who they are. But it definitely wasn’t easy, it took me a while.”
32. “You can become strong, and powerful and beautiful.”
33. “Is greatness winning? Is it losing? Is it recovery? It’s all of them, plus being good to yourself.”
34. “You have to be fearless to have success.”
35. “The success of every woman should be the inspiration to another. We should raise each other up. make sure you’re very strong, be extremely kind and, above all, be humble.”
AnnaMarie Houlis is a feminist, a freelance journalist and an adventure aficionado with an affinity for impulsive solo travel. She spends her days writing about women’s empowerment from around the world. You can follow her work on her blog, HerReport.org, and follow her journeys on Instagram @her_report, Twitter @herreportand Facebook.