50 Inspiring Quotes to Help You Overcome Adversity

Adversities are exhausting, but they teach you to face challenges and triumph in tough conditions. Consequently, you emerge stronger and more confident.

Adversities shouldn’t stop you from finding happiness and heading towards your goals.

The courage to overcome difficult situations lies within you. It is easy to feel overwhelmed in the face of hardships, yet you need to push yourself to go on.

Quotes About Overcoming Adversity

Here are 50 inspirational quotes from eminent personalities to make you smile even in the face of adversity so that you will never give up.

1. “Adversity has the same effect on a man that severe training has on the pugilist: it reduces him to his fighting weight.” Josh Billings

2. “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

3. “What lies behind you and what lies in front of you, pales in comparison to what lies inside of you.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

4. “Damaged people are dangerous. They know they can survive.” Josephine Hart

5. “And once the storm is over, you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.” Haruki Murakami

6. “When life gives you a hundred reasons to cry, show life that you have a thousand reasons to smile.” Unknown

7. “When it is dark enough, you can see the stars.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

8. “You’ll learn, as you get older, that rules are made to be broken. Be bold enough to live life on your terms, and never, ever apologize for it. Go against the grain, refuse to conform, take the road less traveled instead of the well-beaten path. Laugh in the face of adversity, and leap before you look. Dance as though EVERYBODY is watching. March to the beat of your own drummer. And stubbornly refuse to fit in.” Mandy Hale

9. “Adversity is like a strong wind. It tears away from us all but the things that cannot be torn, so that we see ourselves as we really are.” Arthur Golden, Memoirs of a Geisha

10. “When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it.” Henry Ford

11. “If you live long enough, you’ll make mistakes. But if you learn from them, you’ll be a better person. It’s how you handle adversity, not how it affects you. The main thing is never quit, never quit, never quit.” Bill Clinton

12. “Tough times never last, but tough people do.” Robert Schuller

13. “You have to get hurt. That’s how you learn. The strongest people out there – the ones who laugh the hardest with a genuine smile, those are the people who have fought the toughest battles. Because they’ve decided they’re not going to let anything hold them down, they’re showing the world who’s the boss.” Unknown

14. “Trouble is the common denominator of living. It is the great equalizer.” Soren Kierkegaard

15. “If you’re going through hell, keep going.” Winston Churchill

16. “Every trial endured and weathered in the right spirit makes a soul nobler and stronger than it was before.” James Buckham

17. “I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” Michael Jordan

18. “Little minds are tamed and subdued by misfortune, but great minds rise above them.” Washington Irving

19. “I hated every minute of training, but I said, ‘Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.’” Muhammad Ali

20. “Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.” Francis of Assisi

21. “I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.” Jimmy Dean

22. “It is courage, courage, courage, that raises the blood of life to crimson splendor. Live bravely and present a brave front to adversity.” Horace

23. “We have to continually be jumping off cliffs and developing our wings on the way down.” Kurt Vonnegut

24. “Adversity causes some men to break, others to break records.” William A. Ward

25. “When walking through the ‘valley of shadows,’ remember, a shadow is cast by a light.” H.K Barclay

26. “The willow which bends to the tempest, often escapes better than the oak which resists it; and so in great calamities, it sometimes happens that light and frivolous spirits recover their elasticity and presence of mind sooner than those of a loftier character.” Sir Walter Scott

27. “We are always on the anvil; by trials God is shaping us for higher things.” Henry Ward Beecher

28. “A small trouble is like a pebble. Hold it too close to your eye and it fills the whole world and puts everything out of focus. Hold it at a proper distance and it can be examined and properly classified. Throw it at your feet and it can be seen in its true setting, just one more tiny bump on the pathway of life.” Celia Luce

29. “The only thing that overcomes hard luck is hard work.” Harry Golden

30. “There are hurdles, there are handicaps, hardships you have to face in life, but you hope for a great future.” Anil Kapoor

31. “An arrow can only be shot by pulling it backward. So when life is dragging you back with difficulties, it means that it’s going to launch you into something great.” Unknown

32. “Don’t settle. Don’t finish crappy books. If you don’t like the menu, leave the restaurant. If you’re not on the right path, get off it.” Chris Brogan

33. “Challenges make you discover things about yourself that you never really knew. They’re what make the instrument stretch, what make you go beyond the norm.” Cicely Tyson

34. “Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength.” Arnold Schwarzenegger

35. “He who knows no hardships will know no hardihood. He who faces no calamity will need no courage. Mysterious though it is, the characteristics in human nature which we love best grow in a soil with a strong mixture of troubles.” Harry Emerson Fosdick

36. “You normally have to be bashed about a bit by life to see the point of daffodils, sunsets and uneventful nice days.” Alain de Botton

37. “A bend in the road is not the end of the road… unless you fail to make the turn.” Unknown

38. “All life demands struggle. Those who have everything given to them become lazy, selfish, and insensitive to the real values of life. The very striving and hard work that we so constantly try to avoid is the major building block in the person we are today.” Ralph Ransom

39. “Enclose your heart in times of need with the steel of your determination and your strength. In doing this, all things will be bearable.” Lora Leigh, Broken Wings

40. “You have come into a hard world. I know of only one easy place in it, and that is the grave.” Henry Ward Beecher

41. “If you can find a path with no obstacles, it probably doesn’t lead anywhere.” Frank A. Clark

42. “When written in Chinese the word ‘crisis’ is composed of two characters – one represents danger and the other represents opportunity.” John F. Kennedy

43. “Every problem has in it the seeds of its own solution. If you don’t have any problems, you don’t get any seeds.” Norman Vincent Peale

44. “Suffering is above, not below. And everyone thinks that suffering is below. And everyone wants to rise.” Antonio Porchia

45. “Convert difficulties into opportunities, for difficulties are divine surgeries to make you better.” Unknown

46. “God uses suffering as a whetstone, to make men sharp with.” Henry Ward Beecher

47. “At times, challenges hit with the force of a roaring, rushing waterfall. The true test, however, is whether you can put your arms up and enjoy the feel of the water.” Aviva Kaufman

48. “When life takes the wind out of your sails, it is to test you at the oars.” Robert Brault

49. “Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith.” Steve Jobs

50. “There is no better than adversity. Every defeat, every heartbreak, every loss, contains its own seed, its own lesson on how to improve your performance the next time.” Malcolm X


Life is a mixed bag. Sometimes you experience profound joys and at other times, you face adversities. Nevertheless, you must learn along the way.

These quotes about overcoming adversity from well-known public figures will help you smile through hard times and remind you to take obstacles in your stride.