Best 70 quotes by women to inspire, motivate and empower

Best 70 quotes by women to inspire, motivate and empower

Do you love a quote to inspire you, to focus you back on your dream and to motivate you to dig deeper and dare to be just that bit bolder and braver?

Some people find memes and quotes a bit trite, others love the dopamine hit they give you. Some like a quote with a bit more depth, to get you to rethink, reframe, reconsider. No matter a quote has to resonate with you, your thinking and belief systems, where you’re at in life.

Research has shown that motivational quotes make you feel like you have accomplished your dream. The unconscious mind cannot tell the difference between imagined and real and that is why continual exposure to affirmations and inspirational quotes can create such empowering beliefs.

And when the quote uses language techniques like rhyme, alliteration or metaphor, they can end up sticking and becoming your mantra. A good quote feels life affirming, that you’re not the only one stuck or thinking that, and it spurs you into action.

Are you too sick and tired of seeing mostly quotes from men? My mission is to prioritise quotes from women, to empower women to be just that bit braver.

Next time you need a quote for a presentation or a social post to give your idea authority, look further than the usual quotes by men, look to see what women have said and share their wisdom instead.  Together we can support women to rise up and share their greatness and keep empowering other women to share theirs and lift others with them.

I have collated my favourite quotes by women to inspire, motivate and empower in these categories:

Unleash your greatness

"The size of your dreams must always exceed your current capacity to achieve them. If your dreams do not scare you, they are not big enough."

“Dream and give yourself permission to envision a you that you choose to be.”

“If something doesn’t scare you a little, rarely is it worth doing. The sensation we as a Western culture label fear - a racing heart, sweaty palms, aching belly - can signal that danger looms ahead, but just as importantly it signals we are on the cusp of doing something great.”

“Goals are dreams with deadlines.”

“Your greatness is not what you have, but in what you give.”


“Define success on your own terms, achieve it by your own rules, and build a life you’re proud to live.”

"A successful life is one that is lived through understanding and pursuing one's own path, not chasing after the dreams of others.”

“We need to accept that we don’t always make the right decisions, that we’ll screw up royally sometimes. Understand that failure is not the opposite of success, it’s part of success.”

“Don’t be intimidated by what you don’t know. That can be your greatest strength and ensure that you do things differently from everyone else.”


“Leadership is about making others better as a result of your presence, and making sure that impact lasts in your absence.”

“True leaders understand that leadership is not about them but about those they serve. It is not about exalting themselves but about lifting others up.”

“With kids, they don’t do what you want them to do when you want them to do it. Organizations don’t necessarily, either. You’ve got to listen. You’ve got to learn how to influence.”

“I am one of those who wishes to walk hand in hand, not a step in front or a step behind,”

"If you think dealing with issues like worthiness and authenticity and vulnerability are not worthwhile because there are more pressing issues, like the bottom line or attendance or standardized test scores, you are sadly, sadly mistaken. It underpins everything.”

You are never too small to make a difference.”


“Take criticism seriously, but not personally. If there is truth or merit in the criticism, try to learn from it. Otherwise, let it roll right off you.”

“Do what you feel in your heart to be right - for you’ll be criticized anyway.”

“One of the criticisms I've faced over the years is that I'm not aggressive enough or assertive enough, or maybe somehow, because I'm empathetic, it means I'm weak. I totally rebel against that. I refuse to believe that you cannot be both compassionate and strong.”

“Fear cannot capture us, criticism cannot harm us, and pride cannot make us fall.”


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

“Stay afraid, but do it anyway. What’s important is the action. You don’t have to wait to be confident. Just do it and eventually the confidence will follow.”

“I was always looking outside myself for strength and confidence but it comes from within. It is there all the time.”

“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”

"Finally I was able to see that if I had a contribution I wanted to make, I must do it, despite what others said. That I was OK the way I was. That it was all right to be strong."


"Champions keep playing until they get it right.”

“Stand for something. Make your life mean something. Start where you are with what you have. You are enough.”

“One isn't necessarily born with courage, but one is born with potential. Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can't be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest.”

Taking action is hard, but know what? Enduring a bad situation can be its own hell.”


“We don’t see things as they are, we see things as we are.”

“Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.”

“Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.”

“Get comfortable with being uncomfortable!”

“We have the power to choose, moment by moment, who and how we want to be in the world.”


“If you think you're too small to have an impact, try going to bed with a mosquito.”

“You can never leave footprints that last if you are always walking on tiptoe.”

“You have what it takes. You are strong enough. You are brave enough. You are capable enough. You are worthy enough. It’s time to stop thinking otherwise and start believing in yourself because no one else has the dreams that you have. No one else sees the world exactly like you do, and no one else holds the same magic inside. It’s time to start believing in the power of your dreams, my beautiful friend. Not next year , not next month, not tomorrow, but now. You are ready. You are enough.”

“Trust yourself. Create the kind of self that you will be happy to live with all your life. Make the most of yourself by fanning the tiny, inner sparks of possibility into flames of achievement.”

“Always be a first rate version of yourself rather than a second rate version of someone else.”

“You are perfect. To think anything less is as pointless as a river thinking that it’s got too many curves or that it moves too slowly or that its rapids are too rapid.”

"Ignore the glass ceiling and do your work. If you’re focusing on the glass ceiling, focusing on what you don’t have, focusing on the limitations, then you will be limited."

“Love who you are, embrace who you are. Love yourself. When you love yourself, people can kind of pick up on that: they can see confidence, they can see self-esteem, and naturally, people gravitate towards you.”

“We do not need magic to transform our world. We carry all of the power we need inside ourselves already.”


“Think like a queen. A queen is not afraid to fail. Failure is another stepping stone to greatness.”

“Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will.”

“And you ask, ‘What if I fall?’ Oh, but my darling, what if you fly?”

“Next to trying and winning, the best thing is trying and failing.”

“When someone tells me ‘no,' it doesn't mean I can't do it, it simply means I can't do it with them.”


"I don't want to be better than you or her or him - I want to be better than I am right now."

“We need to do a better job of putting ourselves higher on our own 'to do' list.”

“Knowing what you admire in others is a wonderful mirror into your deepest, as yet unborn, self.”

“When we take care of ourselves, we are more effective, we are more creative, and we are more successful in a broad definition of the word.”

“No matter who you are, no matter what you did, no matter where you’ve come from, you can always change, become a better version of yourself.”

“It is only when you take responsibility for your life that you discover how powerful you truly are.”

How noble and good everyone could be if, every evening before falling asleep, they were to recall to their minds the events of the whole day and consider exactly what has been good and bad. Then without realizing it, you try to improve yourself at the start of each new day.”


“And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

“You don’t find out who you are unless you work at it.”

“People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within.”

“If every tiny flower wanted to be a rose, spring would lose its loveliness.”

“Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else.”


“A year from now you may wish you had started today.”

“Go on and do it, because nobody else is going to do it for you.”

It is never too late to be what you might have been.”

“The beginning is always today”.

“The most dangerous way we sabotage ourselves is by waiting for the perfect moment to begin. Nothing works perfectly the first time, or the first fifty times. Everything has a learning curve. The beginning is just that - a beginning.”

“It's not what you start in life, it's what you finish.”

“Life is short, and it is up to you to make it sweet.”


”Remember, you have been criticizing yourself for years, and it hasn’t worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens.”

“Using self-compassion doesn’t mean letting yourself off the hook for missteps, but owning them and still holding space to love yourself.“

“You are the only one in charge of your destiny. Unfair things may happen to you, unfortunate times may come to you, but you always get to choose how you respond. You can live in frustration and bitterness, or you can be the bigger person and just play the hell out of the cards you are dealt. The truth is that not a single person can choose the crds they receive, but everyone chooses how they play their cards.”

“You alone are enough. You have nothing to prove to anybody.”

“Unlike self-criticism, which asks if you're good enough, self-compassion asks, what's good for you?”

When you feel limited by the expectations of others or your own beliefs, read your favourite quote, tap into your courage and inner strength, and get ready to be your own champion. Choose a quote that works for you and make it your screen saver or find or make a printed version of it to put on your wall and inspire you every day.

Please share any other quotes you think belong here.

If you would like support to eradicate limiting beliefs and take your next bold step into leadership, I would love to help and invite you to book an Empower Hour with me. Imagine stepping into your future with confidence.

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