100 Fierce Quotes About Overcoming Adversity
The Best Adversity Quotes to Get You Through Hard Days
Most of us would agree… It has been a tough time. Conflict, loss, setbacks, and challenges seem abundant these days. And for some, it feels like one thing after another on this crazy journey called life.
So today, we’re exploring quotes about overcoming adversity that can get you through even the toughest of times. Because sometimes a soft nudge is required to continue taking our small steps forward.
First, What is Adversity?
Adversity is anything in life that causes you to stumble. It’s the hard times, the challenges, and the losses.
Why is Overcoming Adversity Important?
Adversity is like a fist punch to the stomach. But overcoming hard times is what builds resiliency in us. The speed in which we bounce back from life’s harshest disappointments determines the overall success and happiness we have in life.
Now, most adversity is not easy to come back from. But doing hard things is what being a strong person is all about.
And the benefits of being resilient are a longer life, better health, lower rates of depression, and higher satisfaction in life (source).
So, develop your resiliency now. Start with these quotes about overcoming adversity, facing challenges, and finding strength!
Quotes About Thriving in Adversity
1. “Show me someone who has done something worthwhile, and I’ll show you someone who has overcome adversity.” – Lou Holtz
2. “Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit.” – Napoleon Hill
3. “Prosperity is no just scale; adversity is the only balance to weigh friends.” – Plutarch
4. “Rock bottom became the solid foundation in which I built my life.” – J.K. Rowling (Check out her book on my list of inspiring reads for women)
5. “Fresh activity is the only means of overcoming adversity.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
6. “Adversity causes some men to break; others to break records.” – William Arthur Ward
7. “Adversity has ever been considered the state in which a man most easily becomes acquainted with himself.” – Samuel Jackson
8. “Prosperity is not without many fears and distates; adversity not without many comforts and hopes.” – Francis Bacon
9. “There are uses to adversity, and they don’t reveal themselves until tested. Whether it’s serious illness, financial hardship, or the simple constraint of parents who speak limited English, difficulty can tap unexpected strengths.” – Sonia Sotomayor
11. “Hard times don’t create heroes. It is during the hard times when the “hero” within us is revealed.” – Bob Riley
12. “Adversity is the first path to truth.” – Lord Byron
13. “The most successful people see adversity not as a stumbling block, but as a stepping-stone to greatness.” – Shawn Anchor
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14. “Acceptance of what has happened is the first step to overcoming the consequences of any misfortune.” – William James
15. “Fire is the test of gold. Adversity, of strong men.” – Martha Graham
16. “Sometimes good comes through adversity. I would not be who I am today had it not been for the internment, and I like who I am.” -Ruth Asawa
17. “One thing about championship teams is they’re resilient. No matter what is thrown at them, no matter how deep the hole, find a way to bounce back and overcome adversity.” – Nick Saban
18. “We don’t develop courage by being happy every day. We develop it by surviving difficult times and challenging adversity.” – Barbara De Angelis
19. “Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved.” – Hellen Keller
20. “In spite of discouragement and adversity, those who are happiest seem to have a way of learning from difficult times, becoming stronger, wiser and happier as a result.” – Joseph B. Wirthlin
21. “I haven’t always acted or reacted in a way that made me proud, but I didn’t make that same mistake twice, and I think that’s what I love about adversity is that it always reminds me of what’s really valuable in life.” – Sandra Bullock
23. “It is your reaction to adversity, not the adversity itself, that determines how your life story will develop.” – Dieter F. Uchtdorf
24. “You can’t be brave if you’ve only had wonderful things happen to you.” – Mary Tyler Moore
25. “Sometimes adversity is what you need to face in order to become successful.” – Zig Ziglar
26. “Adversity is preparation for greatness.” – Andy Andrews
27. “You can’t calm the storm, so stop trying. What you can do is calm yourself. The storm will pass.” – Timber Hawkeye (Check out this list of self-care ideas for stress)
28. “One’s best success comes after their greatest disappointments.” – Henry Ward Beecher
*For specific tips on keeping your inspiration up, see: How to Motivate Yourself Every Day and this Free Daily Motivation Checklist
29. “Adversity introduces a man to himself.” – Albert Einstein
30. “In times of adversity and change, we really discover who we are and what we’re made of.” – Howard Schultz
31. “The knowledge that you have emerged wiser and stronger from setbacks means that you are, ever after, secure in your ability to survive.” – J.K. Rowling
32. “Think like a queen. A queen is not afraid to fail.” – Oprah Winfrey
33. “Had I really succeeded at anything else, I might never have found the determination to succeed in the one arena I believed I truly belonged.” – J.K. Rowling
34. “I can be changed by what happens to me, but I refuse to be reduced by it.” – Maya Angelou (For more self-love, check out these beautiful affirmations and a 30-day challenge)
36. “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
37. “Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.” -Robert F. Kennedy
38. “We must embrace pain and burn it as fuel for our journey.”– Kenji Miyazawa
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Check out the free 2 page self-care kit for ways to show yourself more kindness during hard times. Or see the 59 page self-care planner HERE for more!
Quotes on Facing Challenges
39. “Challenges are gifts that force us to search for a new center of gravity. Don’t fight them. Just find a new way to stand.” – Oprah Winfrey
40. “Challenge and adversity are meant to help you know who you are. Storms hit your weakness, but unlock your true strength.” – Roy T. Bennett
41. “Life’s challenges are not supposed to paralyze you, they’re supposed to help you discover who you are.” -Bernice Johnson Reagon
* See quotes to inspire your growth mindset HERE >>
42. “When we least expect it, life sets up a challenge to test our courage and willingness to change; at such a moment, there is no point in pretending that nothing has happened or in saying that we are not yet ready. The challenge will not wait. Life does not look back.” – Paulo Coelho
43. “The key to life is accepting challenges. Once someone stops doing this, he’s dead.” – Bette Davis
44. “Our very survival depends on our ability to stay awake, to adjust to new ideas, to remain vigilant and to face the challenge of change.” – Martin Luther King Jr.
46. “If you aren’t in over your head, how do you know how tall you are? “-T.S. Eliot
47.“The gem cannot be polished without friction, nor man perfected without trials.”– Chinese Proverb
48. “He who doesn’t want to face his challenges shall always face challenges!”– Ernest Agyemang Yeboah
49. “Because some people see a wall, and assume that’s the end of their journey. Others see it, and decide it’s just the beginning.”– Angeline Trevena
50. “A challenge only becomes an obstacle when you bow to it.”– Ray Davis
51. “If you are facing a new challenge or being asked to do something that you have never done before don’t be afraid to step out. You have more capability than you think you do but you will never see it unless you place a demand on yourself for more.”– Joyce Meyer
52. “A new challenge keeps the brain kicking and the heart ticking.”– E. A. Bucchianeri
53. “Be of good cheer. Do not think of today’s failures, but of the success that may come tomorrow. You have set yourself a difficult task, but you will succeed if you persevere, and you will find a joy in overcoming obstacles.”– Helen Keller
54. “Some people will just go with the flow of things and sway in life, while others will fight against the currents and go upstream to reach their destiny.”– Anthony Liccione
55. “It’s part of life to have obstacles. It’s about overcoming obstacles; that’s the key to happiness.”– Herbie Hancock
57. “In the middle of a difficulty lies opportunity.” – Albert Einstein
*To help you face challenges, read this post about naturally boosting your energy and these ways to encourage a growth mindset.
Strength Through Adversity Quotes
58. “Stand up straight and realize who you are, that you tower over your circumstances.” – Maya Angelou
59. “The most beautiful people I’ve known are those who have known trials, have known struggles, have known loss, and have found their way out of the depths.” – Elizabeth Kübler-Ross
60. “A woman is like a tea bag – you never know how strong she is until she gets in hot water.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
61. “You never know how strong you are until being strong is your only choice.”– Bob Marley
63. “My attitude is that if you push me towards something that you think is a weakness, then I will turn that perceived weakness into a strength.”– Michael Jordan
64. “There is in every woman’s heart a spark of heavenly fire which lies dormant in the broad daylight of prosperity, but which kindles up and beams and blazes in the dark hour of adversity.” – Washington Irving
65. “Difficulties strengthen the mind, as labor does the body.” – Lucius Annaeus Seneca
66. “You can’t really be strong until you can see a funny side to things.”– Ken Kesey
68. “A hero is an ordinary individual who finds the strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles.” – Christopher Reeve
69. “Be strong, be fearless, be beautiful. And believe that anything is possible when you have the right people there to support you.” – Misty Copeland
71. “Be sure you put your feet in the right place, then stand firm.” – Abraham Lincoln
72. “Strength and growth come only through continuous effort and struggle.” – Napoleon Hill
73. “Life doesn’t get easier or more forgiving, we get stronger and more resilient.” – Steve Maraboli
74. “Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength.” – Mahatma Gandhi
75. “Life is very interesting. In the end, some of your greatest pains become your greatest strengths.”– Drew Barrymore
Quotes on Adversity and Resilience
Finally, these quotes help you thrive and give you hope in hard times.
76. “In our personal and professional lives, we are constantly hit with one adversity after the other, most of which we have no control over. But the four things we have total control over is how we react, how we adapt, how we breathe, and how we take action.” – Diamond Dallas Page
77. “As with the butterfly, adversity is necessary to build character in people.” – Joseph B. Wirthlin
78. “Everyone is handed adversity in life. No one’s journey is easy. It’s how they handle it that makes people unique.” – Kevin Conroy
79. “You should never view your challenges as a disadvantage. Instead, it’s important for you to understand that your experience facing and overcoming adversity is actually one of your biggest advantages.” – Michelle Obama
80. “Just as we develop our physical muscles through overcoming opposition – such as lifting weights – we develop our character muscles by overcoming challenges and adversity.” – Stephen Covey
82. “Hardships often prepare ordinary people for an extraordinary destiny.” – C.S. Lewis
83. “All the adversity I’ve had in my life, all my troubles and obstacles, have strengthened me… You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you.” – Walt Disney
84. “Adversity, similar to lava, appears to destroy everything in its way. But out of the ashes and smoke, new, better, and stronger things emerge that may have not been born in any other way.” – Zoe V
85. “Any man can win when things go his way, it’s the man who overcomes adversity that is the true champion.” – Jock Ewing
86. “In times of great stress or adversity, it’s always best to keep busy, to plow your anger and your energy into something positive.” – Lee Iacocca
87. “You’ll never find a better sparring partner than adversity.” – Golda Meir
88. “Brave men rejoice in adversity, just as brave soldiers triumph in war.” – Lucius Annaeus Seneca
89. “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
90. “Opportunities to find deeper powers within ourselves come when life seems most challenging.” – Joseph Campbell
91. “Always seek out the seed of triumph in every adversity.” – Og Mandino
93. “Let me embrace thee, sour adversity, for wise men say it is the wisest course.” – William Shakespeare
94. “Adversity has the same effect on a man that severe training has on the pugilist: it reduces him to his fighting weight.”—Josh Billings
95. “The journey is never ending. There’s always gonna be growth, improvement, adversity; you just gotta take it all in and do what’s right, continue to grow, continue to live in the moment.” – Antonio Brown
96. “Use what you’ve been through as fuel, believe in yourself and be unstoppable!”—Yvonne Pierre
97. “The eagle has no fear of adversity. We need to be like the eagle and have a fearless spirit of a conqueror.” – Joyce Meyer
98. “Good things are often birthed from adversity.” – Robert A. Schuller
99. “Adversity, and perseverance and all these things can shape you. They can give you a value and a self-esteem that is priceless.” – Scott Hamilton
To Consider With Overcoming Adversity Quotes
Surprisingly, this article began with Warren Buffett. In reference to the pandemic, he said…
So, remember this. Whatever crisis and adversity you’re going through, use it. Find the lessons. Find the silver lining. And develop your character to withstand the storm.
You’ll be shocked at your progress and satisfaction when you come out on the other side.
What are your favorite quotes about overcoming adversity?
Other Personal Development Posts to Enjoy…
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- Good Daily Habits List to Change Your Life – habits that will transform you for the better.