55 Powerful Quotes from Inspirational Women

March 8, 2018

If you’ve been on the internet at some point throughout the day of March 8th, you’re likely to have seen recognition to many brilliant and inspirational women across the world. Behold, it’s International Women’s Day.

Although this day was founded in the early 1900’s, protests for women’s rights still take place across the world. Furthermore, there is another kind of energy that is present, and I’ve seen it more on this 2018’s Women’s International Day than I have previously. Maybe I’m mistaken, but there is a specific vibe going around, and it is less of the fighter mentality and more about spreading the love for the ladies. Don’t get me wrong, I’m aware of some of the warrior women in current events, but what I’m seeing more of and what I’m learning to enjoy more of is the spread of encouragement, patience, and compassion. And frankly, it’s a beautiful thing.

At the end of the day, love always wins.

At the end of THIS day, I’ve gathered a list of my favorite quotes about happiness, love, self-worth, professional success, personal growth, and overall life.

If you’ve seen my Pinterest, I  l-o-v-e  quotes. They’re small gifts of life lessons passed down from more experienced minds and assorted into pretty word-cocktails. This list has content from celebrated women in the past with whom I give thanks and respect to, as well as women of the present that I am honored to share this earth with during such an empowering period (no pun intended) for women.

Before I share the list, I need to shout out a group of women I spent the last two-and-a-half years in PA school with. We went through HUNDREDS of tests, dozens of lab sessions learning anatomy and practicing skills on each other, and hundreds of hours training in hospitals and clinics. We graduated in December 2017, so these women are currently landing jobs across America and in ALL different medical and surgical specialties. I am fortunate and proud to know the newest female faces in medicine. They are going to touch so many lives.
Read more here if you’re wondering what on earth a PA is.


Without further ado, here is a collection of my favorite quotes from powerful women across the globe. I specifically chose only the quotes that touch me the most and carry the strongest messages. How many of these women can you recognize?!


For those women you’re unfamiliar with, I’ve incorporated a brief description of who they are. I personally learned a lot doing this research so I hope to pass it forward. If deceased, I included the dates they were still with us, although their words remain with a powerful impact today. I’ve also added their nationalities but would love to learn more and broaden my horizon (you’ll see many Americans), so please comment below and enlighten me to expand this list.  Check out what these fascinating ladies have to say:

On Happiness

1. “Taking joy in living is a woman’s best cosmetic.”

Rosalind Russell, American actress, (1907 – 1976)

2. “Don’t live life in the past lane.”

Samantha Ettus, bestselling American author/ speaker about self-improvement and work/life balance

3. “Forgiveness is a virtue of the brave.”

Indira Gandhi, only female Prime minister of India (1917 – 1984)

4. “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, American author/ first deaf-blind person to earn a bachelor of arts (1880 – 1968)

5. “If you don’t like the road you’re walking, start paving another one.”

Dolly Parton, American country singer/songwriter

6. “You are the one that possesses the keys to your being. You carry the passport to your own happiness.”

Diane von Furstenberg, Belgian-American fashion designer and former Princess of Fürstenberg

7. “Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim.”

Nora Ephron, American writer/filmmaker (1941 – 2012)

On Self-Confidence

8. “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, American bestselling author and motivational speaker on leadership

9. “Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.”

Anaïs Nin, French-born novelist and eroticist known for her journals of self-discovery (1903 – 1977)

10. “The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.”

Alice Walker, American author of The Color Purple

11. “A surplus of effort could overcome a deficit of confidence.”

Sonia Sotomayor, first US Justice of Supreme Court of Hispanic descent

13. “Doubt is a killer. You just have to know who you are and what you stand for.”

Jennifer Lopez, American singer/actress

14. “Nothing in life is to be feared. It is only to be understood.”

Marie Curie, Polish-French physicist and chemist (1867 – 1934)

On Empowerment

15. “As movements like #MeToo and #TimesUp demonstrate, when we band together as women, our voices can be heard all over the world.”

Yuwanda Black, American writer/blogger, you can read more of her article on empowerment from female bloggers here

16. “Don’t let anyone tell you you’re weak because you’re a woman.”

Mary Kom, Indian Olympic boxer

17. “There is a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women.”

Madeleine Albright, Czechoslovak-American, first woman to be US Secretary of State

18. “I raise up my voice – not so I can shout but so that those without a voice can be heard. We cannot succeed when half of us are held back.”

Malala Yousafzai, Pakistani activist/ youngest Nobel Prize laureate

19. “Celebrating another woman’s triumph or success will never take away from your shine or glory. If anything, it’ll add to it and create more light.”

Alex Elle, American writer/ wellness consultant

20. “What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.”

Jane Goodall, British primatologist/ anthropologist

21. “Most comedy is based on getting a laugh at somebody else’s expense. And I find that that’s just a form of bullying in a major way. So I want to be an example that you can be funny and be kind, and make people laugh without hurting somebody else’s feelings.”

Ellen Degeneres, American comedian/ TV host

22. “Women’s Liberation is just a lot of foolishness. It’s the men who are discriminated against. They can’t bear children. And no one’s likely to do anything about that.” (this one just makes me giggle)

Golda Meir, fourth Prime Minister of Israel (1898 – 1978)

On Growth

23. “Always go with the choice that scares you the most, because that’s the one that is going to require the most from you.”

Caroline Myss, American five-time New York Times bestselling author

24. “Growth and comfort do not coexist.”

Ginni Rometty, American business executive, CEO of IBM

26. “You take your life in your own hands, and what happens? A terrible thing, no one to blame.”

Erica Jong, American novelist and poet

27. “It’s not the absence of fear, it’s overcoming. Sometimes you’ve got to blast through and have faith.”

Emma Watson, British actress

28. “Learn from the mistakes of others. You can’t live long enough to make them all yourself.”

Eleanor Roosevelt, American longest-serving First Lady (1884 – 1962)

29. “Hard work keeps the wrinkles out of the mind and spirit.”

Helena Rubinstein, Polish cosmetics entrepreneur (1870 – 1965)

30. “You can’t be that kid standing at the top of the waterslide, overthinking it. You have to go down the chute.”

Tina Fey, American actress/comedian

31. “If you don’t get out of the box you’ve been raised in, you won’t understand how much bigger the world is.”

Angelina Jolie, American actress

32. “At the end of the day we can endure much more than we think we can.”

Frida Kahlo, Mexican artist (1907 – 1954)

On Success

33. “You have to reach a level of comfort with that risk.”

Sally Ride, first American woman in space

34. “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, and what you can rise from, and how you can still come out of it.”

Maya Angelou, American poet and civil rights activist (1928 – 2014)

35. “Do what you love and success will follow. Passion is the fuel behind a successful career.”

Meg Whitman, American business executive/ CEO

36. “If you want to achieve something in life, you have to take risks.”

Dipa Karmakar, first Indian female Olympic gymnast

37. “The question isn’t who’s going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me.”

Ayn Rand, Russian-American novelist/ philosopher/ screenwriter (1905 – 1982)

38. “If you’re not making some notable mistakes along the way, you’re certainly not taking enough business and career chances.”

Sallie Krawcheck, American CEO and co-founder of Ellevest (digital financial advisor for women)

40. “I learned a long time ago that there is something worse than missing the goal, and that’s not pulling the trigger.”

Mia Hamm, American FIFA Women’s World Cup champion/ Olympic gold medalist soccer player

41. “Women asking for raises should not only know their value, but they should ask with the confidence that they’re helping the company to be successful.”

Kirsten Gellibrand, American attorney/ senator

42. “Knowing what must be done does away with fear.”

Rosa Parks, American civil rights movement activist (1913 – 2005)

43. “I didn’t get there by wishing for it or hoping for it, but by working for it.”

Estée Lauder, American business executive/ beautician (1908 – 2004)

44. “I may be wearing makeup, but I can throw a fastball by you at the same time.”

Jennie Finch, American Olympian softball pitcher.

45. “When I’m tired, I rest. I say, “I can’t be a superwoman today.”

Jada Pinkett Smith, American actress

On Life & Love

46. “It’s one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself, to forgive. Forgive everybody.”

Maya Angelou, American poet and civil rights activist (1928 – 2014)

47. “If you find someone you love in your life, then hang on to that love.”

Princess Diana of Wales (1961 – 1997)

48. “I need to listen well so that I hear what is not said.”

Thuli Madonsela, South African advocate/ former Public Protector

49. “Despite everything, I believe that people are really good at heart.”

Anne Frank, German-born diarist, Jewish victim of the Holocaust

50. “I learned compassion from being discriminated against. Everything bad that’s ever happened to me has taught me compassion.”

Ellen DeGeneres, American comedian/ TV host

51. “Dying seems less sad than having lived too little.”

Gloria Steinem, American journalist

52. “Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.”

Mother Teresa, Albanian-Indian Roman Catholic Saint, nun, and missionary, and Nobel Peace Prize laureate (1910-1997)

53. “All careers go up and down like friendships, like marriages, like anything else, and you can’t bat a thousand all the time.”

Julie Andrews, English actress/ author/ singer

54. “The best thing to hold onto in life is each other.”

Audrey Hepburn, British actress/ model (1929 – 1993)

55. “Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier.”

Mother Teresa, Albanian-Indian Roman Catholic Saint, nun, and missionary, and Nobel Peace Prize laureate (1910 – 1997)

There you have it. 55 of my favorite inspirational sayings from some unquestionably powerful women. Please don’t hold back if you have a favorite quote from a special woman that didn’t make the cut. Even if it’s your mamma, I would love to hear.

Continue to spread love and make the world a better place. ♥ Carlie


Comments (2)

  • Yuwanda Black

    March 9, 2018 at 5:16 pm

    Carlie the first thing I must say is “Wow!” I am so humbled to be on this list. I simply can’t believe I’m on ANYTHING with names like Maya Angelou and Alice Walker. My mind is blown — so thank you!

    In a bit of “life irony, ” I worked as a waitress in B. Smith’s restaurant on 8th Ave and 43rd St. in NYC in the 90s. Talk about life coming full circle. Thank you for putting this list together. I couldn’t pick out a favorite if my life depended on it they’re all so good.

    Now I’m off to Pin it, and share it in a few FB groups I belong to.

    And BTW, I’m stealing the word “hangry” and I f-ing love your “About” page. This line is so me: “Other days I’m really F-ing sarcastic and have the mouth of a sailor with a gnarly beard and empty bottle of rum.”

    Your blog is awesome!

    1. Carlierose24

      March 9, 2018 at 6:31 pm

      Yuwanda I was just heading over to the group to tell you it was up and published! Thank you so much for your kind words. As a brand new blogger, I can’t tell you the value of a writer like you enjoying the content here! And so happy my gnarly bearded sailor is relatable, it’s a match 🙂

      I obviously collected the quotes from already-shared resources, and then I came across your post at the perfect timing as I was putting it all together. Your quote really did resonate with me and a light bulb went off in my head when I was commenting that I needed to share it. I feel like it fits perfectly at the start of the Empowerment section! And thank you so much for sharing, as you can see I’m still putting the blog together so it means the world to me!

      Also, how exciting that you worked at B. Smith’s restaurant!! I looked up each and every woman on this list even if I knew who they were to make sure I had the right description, and I was saddened to hear her dementia story (I actually worked with dementia patients for a few years). But I skimmed over and deleted A LOT of quotes from other people, so I really loved what she had to say.

      It’s such a pleasure meeting you. I’m excited to learn from your content and what you have to offer on your page. Stay in touch!

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