Resilience Quotes To Inspire You

Medically reviewed by April Justice, LICSW
Updated February 22, 2024by BetterHelp Editorial Team

Resilience is defined as an ability to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change. Understanding the resilience definition gives us an idea of how much resilience is essential in life and that it's a critical life skill since we'll all inevitably face challenges and unexpected or even painful evolutions from time to time. Embracing our human capacity for burden and developing coping mechanisms help us learn from these situations and recover so we can move forward, rather than letting them keep us down or hold us back.

Let’s take a look at a few quotes about the nature of resilience to help us better understand what it means, and then consider a few tips for increasing one’s levels of resilience after that.

For some, discussing emotions can be uncomfortable

Understanding resilience through inspirational quotes

Sometimes, a short quote on a topic that's relevant to our life at a given time can be highly impactful and really stick with us. If you've been pondering how increasing your personal levels of resilience could impact your life, the following resilience quotes from well-known public figures could provide inspiration. These quotes remind us of the greatest glory in overcoming challenges; that struggles develop a hidden strength in embracing our greatest challenges, and that there is power in the quiet voice within ourselves as we forge our own reality and grow through adversity. As stated by Isabel Allende, “We don't even know how strong we are until we are forced to bring that hidden strength forward.” Even as ordinary individuals, our own nature is more capable than we often give it credit for.

"Persistence and resilience only come from having been given the chance to work through difficult problems." – Gever Tulley

The above quote was said by Gever Tulley, an American writer, entrepreneur, and computer scientist. Tulley's statement simply affirms that resilience can breed more resilience. It reminds us to not shy away from challenges, but to see them as opportunities to learn, grow, and better prepare ourselves for those that may come in the future.

“Do not judge me by my success; judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again.” – Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela, well-known activist and former president of South Africa, said this to point out the importance of not letting difficult situations defeat us. Many of life’s circumstances are out of our control; what’s within our control is how we respond to them. Cultivating healthy coping mechanisms and choosing to work toward overcoming problems and issues can show strength of character and help us prepare ourselves for other challenges that may come our way down the road. 

"The human capacity for burden is like bamboo—far more flexible than you'd ever believe at first glance." – Jodi Picoult

This quote comes from Jodi Picoult, an American author. Through a simple simile, Picoult points out that people often are more resilient than they expect when faced with a challenging situation. Next time you’re in a tough spot, consider past challenges that you were able to handle and come out on the other side of.

Building resilience can help you in the future, but so can being kind to yourself and remembering that you’ve already proven your strength by getting this far in life.

"The oak fought the wind and was broken the willow bent when it must and survived." –Robert Jordan

In this quote, Robert Jordan speaks to the idea that it is not always our strength but rather our adaptability and flexibility that we rely on in times of difficulty. We often have to make hard decisions or modify how we approach a problem in order to survive. This doesn't mean we're weak; it means that we are human and capable of adaptation. It's important to remember that all living things must adjust in order to survive, and this is a skill we should embrace when looking for ways to cope with the hardships life throws our way.

My scars remind me that I did indeed survive my deepest wounds. That in itself is an accomplishment. And they bring to mind something else, too. They remind me that the damage life has inflicted on me has, in many places, left me stronger and more resilient.

"What hurt me in the past has actually made me better equipped to face the present."  –Steve Goodier

Steve Goodier, an American author and speaker, is the one who said this. He's right; our scars are a reminder of where we have been and how far we have come. Each challenge that we overcome is a testament to our strength, resilience, and courage. It's important to remember this when going through tough times – your past successes are proof that you have what it takes to make it through.

"Resilience means accepting your new reality, even if it's less good than the one you had before." -- Elizabeth Edwards

Elizabeth Edwards, the former wife of John Edwards, said this in one of her books. She was speaking of how resilience has to do with our ability to adapt to change and move forward even when it's painful or difficult. It's important to remember that life is unpredictable, but we can still choose how we respond to the events around us.

“‎Hold yourself responsible for a higher standard than anybody else expects of you. Never excuse yourself. Never pity yourself. Be a hard master to yourself and be lenient to everybody else.” – Henry Ward Beecher

Henry Ward Beecher was a prominent American abolitionist and clergyman, who expressed the importance of holding oneself to a high standard. Self-discipline is key in rising up to challenges and becoming resilient. If you have strong personal values, it can help guide your decisions, even in difficult times. It’s also important to be patient and compassionate with yourself and not to expect too much of yourself at once. Self-forgiveness can go a long way in cultivating resilience.

"Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly." - Robert F. Kennedy

This quote from Robert F. Kennedy speaks to the idea that failure is a necessary part of growth and success. It's ok to make mistakes and try something new; you won't know what works for you until you take risks, even if those risks don't always pay off. Failing isn't necessarily a bad thing; it might just be the start of something great.

How to increase resilience

Inspirational quotes can help us understand resilience on a theoretical level and feel motivated to cultivate a stronger sense of it. The next step would be to take concrete actions to build this trait up in ourselves. Here are a few tips to try if you’re looking to increase your resilience. 

Accept the inevitability of change

As the saying goes, change is the only constant in life, reflecting the ever-evolving human nature. By understanding that both good things and trials are temporary, we lay a solid foundation for resilience. Accepting these universal truths, we can fully appreciate happiness in the moment and maintain a realistic perspective during hardship. Acknowledging that life's story is constantly plowing ahead helps us forget failures and remember that good times are likely to come around again.

Practice self-compassion

Being kind to ourselves can achieve greatly in recovering from difficult situations and improving outcomes. Researchers have found that self-compassion correlates to successful goal pursuit, resilience when goals are not met, less procrastination, and less fear of failure. Practicing self-kindness enhances our human capacity to meet challenges, overcome them, and recover quickly when things don't go well.

Build a support system

Research endorses the fact that building a strong support system can help us be more resilient in the face of stress and trials in our lives.
Close family and/or friends can be people to lean on in times of trouble. They may be able to offer emotional support, a listening ear, or a piece of advice. They can help us be more compassionate to ourselves and remind us that we don’t have to face our problems alone. Having this kind of support may help us get through and bounce back from challenges more readily. 

Cultivate a meditation practice

There’s a growing body of research to support the fact that practicing meditation regularly—especially mindfulness meditation—can bring about a host of positive benefits. One study found that practicing body scan meditation in particular can help increase well-being and decrease reactivity to stress. It’s likely because this technique is all about building a stronger sense of awareness so we’re better able to engage with the present moment. This ability can help us get better at noticing and discarding negative, unhelpful thoughts and keeping a more realistic perspective on our situation.

For some, discussing emotions can be uncomfortable

How therapy can help you build resilience

Another way to learn to build resilience is by speaking with a therapist. First, they can help you improve skills in areas like communication and conflict resolution so you can be better equipped to handle challenges. Next, they can teach you strategies to recover from setbacks more quickly and healthily, such as emotional control techniques and an awareness of the pitfalls of common cognitive distortions. Finally, they can work with you to address any other issues that may be making it difficult for you to move forward in life, such as low self-esteem or past trauma. 

If a mental health condition like depression, for instance, is making it harder for you to handle life’s challenges, a qualified therapist can also help you learn to manage your symptoms. However, you don’t need to have a mental health condition to benefit from therapy. Virtually anyone can gain strength and useful insights and tools this way, and many find it to be a valuable form of ongoing mental health maintenance. 

If you’d like to meet with a therapist, you can locate an in-person provider in your area or seek one out virtually. Research suggests that both formats can provide similar benefits in many cases, so you typically have the freedom to choose the one that feels most comfortable for you. If you’re interested in the relative availability and affordability of online therapy, you might consider trying a platform like BetterHelp. After filling out a brief questionnaire about your needs and preferences, you can get matched with a licensed mental health professional who you can meet with via phone, video call, and/or online chat to address the challenges you may be facing. If you’re looking to build resilience, a therapist may be able to help—whether you meet with them in person or online. 


Resilience is a valuable single skill that helps us stay grounded during tough times and recover from challenges more easily. Life's story is filled with overwhelming obstacles, and by applying first principles, we can develop various strategies to build our sense of resilience. From cultivating a strong support system to meeting with a qualified therapist, even if some approaches may sound strange initially, they contribute to enhancing our ability to navigate life's ups and downs.

Cultivate emotional resilience with a professional
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