30 of the Best Quotes About Being Strong and Overcoming Strife

Have you ever met a truly resilient person?

Someone who seems to be able to thrive, no matter what life sends their way. They are able to not only roll with the punches but somehow come out stronger on the other side. 

You may think that resiliency is something you’re born with, that you either have it or you don’t. But that’s not the case—in fact, even the American Psychological Association argues that resiliency can be learned.

Becoming more resilient means you’ll be able to cope when life throws something unexpected in your path—whether that be a difficult breakup, the loss of a loved one, or a full-blown quarter-life crisis.   

Getting through tough times takes work, and even the most resilient people have to process their emotions, find inspiration and hope, and gather resources to help themselves. 

If you’re experiencing something difficult now, it may help you to hear the wise words of people who have developed this skill of resiliency.

We’ve gathered together some of our favorite quotes about being strong and overcoming challenges in life. We’ve categorized them into a few different groups, so you can hopefully find some that help you dust yourself off and find your inner strength in the darkness.


Quotes about being strong through hard times

Jodi Picoult
“Jodi Picoult March 2012” by Howard County Library System is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Like it or not, adversity is part of life. We will all face challenges at some point—in fact, it’s often our response to these challenges that truly shape who we are. 

The quotes here show us that through pain and strife comes an opportunity: to better ourselves, to rise from the ashes, and to move forward with our life stronger and more beautiful than before.  


I am thankful for my struggle, because without it, I wouldn’t have stumbled upon my strength. 

—Alex Elle 


Prosperity is a great teacher; adversity is greater. Possession pampers the mind; privation trains and strengthens it. 

—William Hazlitt


I learned there are troubles of more than one kind. Some come from ahead, others come from behind. But I’ve bought a big bat. I’m all ready, you see. Now my troubles are going to have trouble with me. 

—Dr. Seuss


Damaged people are dangerous. They know they can survive.

—Josephine Hart 


The human capacity for burden is like bamboo – far more flexible than you’d ever believe at first glance. 

—Jodi Picoult 


Quotes about being a strong woman

Melinda Gates
“Melinda Gates Addresses Every Woman Every Child Event” by United Nations Photo is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Historically, women have been told that being strong is a man’s job. This toxic notion has held many women back over the centuries, but fortunately society’s perspective is (slowly) changing.

Women have wells of strength inside them, and being able to tap into that resiliency can help them get through hard times. Here are some quotes from women who have acknowledged the true power and strength they contain.


A woman with a voice is by definition a strong woman. But the search to find that voice can be remarkably difficult. 

—Melinda Gates


Men are taught to apologize for their weaknesses, women for their strengths.

—Lois Wyse 


But who can remember pain, once it’s over? All that remains of it is a shadow, not in the mind even, in the flesh. Pain marks you, but too deep to see. Out of sight, out of mind. 

—Margaret Atwood


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


When I dare to be powerful—to use my strength in the service of my vision—then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid. 

—Audre Lorde


Quotes about being a strong man

Timothy Dalton
Timothy Dalton via Depositphotos.

Men get a mixed message about strength. Society often tells men that being tough and stoic should be valued above all else—but this sets men up for failure. 

Men who are able to be vulnerable, acknowledge their weaknesses, and express their emotions will develop resilience and strength as they grow. Here are some quotes that show how true this is.


A fear of weakness only strengthens weakness.

—Criss Jami 


Adversity toughens manhood, and the characteristic of the good or the great man is not that he has been exempt from the evils of life, but that he has surmounted them. 

—Patrick Henry


You can’t relate to a superhero, to a superman, but you can identify with a real man who in times of crisis draws forth some extraordinary quality from within himself and triumphs but only after a struggle.

—Timothy Dalton 


Men who do not turn to face their own pain are too often prone to inflict it on others. 

—Terrence Real


Being a man was not the opposite of being feminine or emotional. It was the opposite of being childish and immature. It meant having the courage to face your fears and responsibilities, but also not being afraid of your emotions or weaknesses. 

—Matthew Ryder


Quotes about being strong as a young adult

Barack Obama
“Barack Obama” by Joe Crimmings is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

People love to give teens and young adults a hard time when they say they are facing challenges. These so-called grown ups have forgotten that often, our younger years are when we face our greatest challenges. 

Things are always harder when you’re doing them for the first time, and as a young adult, you have a lot of first-time experiences coming your way. These quotes can help you understand that though things may be challenging now, you are building yourself into a better person. 


Don’t hope for a life without problems. There’s no such thing. Instead, hope for a life full of good problems. 

—Mark Manson


The hardest thing about adolescence is that everything seems too big. There’s no way to get context or perspective … No one can live like that forever, so experience finally comes to our rescue. We come to know what we can endure, and also that nothing endures.

—Sara Paretsky


I believe anyone can conquer fear by doing the things he fears to do, provided he keeps doing them until he gets a record of successful experience behind him. 

—Eleanor Roosevelet 


If you’re walking down the right path and you’re willing to keep walking, eventually you’ll make progress.

—Barack Obama 


There is a period near the beginning of every man’s life when he has little to cling to except his unmanageable dream, little to support him except good health, and nowhere to go but all over the place.

—E.B. White 


Quotes about being strong in the face of grief 

Alfred Tennyson
Alfred Tennyson via Depositphotos.

Grief is one of the most unwieldy and challenging experiences humans can have. And yet, it’s also one of the most universal. How you manage grief after loss will be completely unique to you, your experiences, and your journey. 

There are some universal truths about grief, however, that can bring us comfort when we are missing someone or something we lost. A few of those truths are captured here in these quotes about being strong even when grief feels overwhelming. 


Should you shield the valleys from the windstorms, you would never see the beauty of their canyons. 

—Elisabeth Kubler-Ross


Hope smiles from the threshold of the year to come, whispering, ‘It will be happier.’

—Alfred Tennyson 


The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.

—Khalil Gibran  


What we once enjoyed and deeply loved we can never lose, for all that we love deeply becomes part of us. 

—Helen Keller


I thought I could describe a state; make a map of sorrow. Sorrow, however, turns out to be not a state but a process. 

—C.S. Lewis


Quotes about being strong after failure

Maya Angelou
Maya Angelou via Depositphotos.

As we navigate adulthood, we are bound to make mistakes and experience failures. Sometimes, these moments can make us want to throw in the towel, go into hiding, or wallow in self-pity.

But to fail is to be human, and to succeed is to learn from your mistakes and move on even when the going is tough. These quotes may help you do just that.  


I really think a champion is defined not by their wins, but by how they can recover when they fall. 

—Serena Williams


You build on failure. You use it as a stepping stone. Close the door on the past. You don’t try to forget the mistakes, but you don’t dwell on it. You don’t let it have any of your energy, or any of your time, or any of your space. 

—Johnny Cash 


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’s fine to celebrate success, but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure. 

—Bill Gates


No human ever became interesting by not failing. The more you fail and recover and improve, the better you are as a person. Ever meet someone who’s always had everything work out for them with zero struggle? They usually have the depth of a puddle. Or they don’t exist. 

—Chris Hardwick