54 Inspirational Coaching Quotes and Do They Ring True?

inspiring coaching quotesEvery coach will tell you that everyone needs a coach.

Most coaches have a coach.

In addition to fully processing what is in our heads, everyone can benefit from these uplifting human beings. A coach will stand in your corner, to show you what you are capable of in life.

Who, exactly, seeks out a coach? If you ask a coach the answer is usually the same: Winners who want even more out of life.

Abigail Pickus, 2000

This article is a collection of quotes to inspire coaches and their clients. Quotes are usually uplifting, abundant, and helpful in the thought-provoking process of coaching.

Use these to motivate, excite, and provoke more thought for you and those around you. Let them inspire you to ignite the changes that need to be made to get you to a state of flourishing.

Before you continue, we thought you might like to download our three Positive Psychology Exercises for free. These science-based exercises will explore fundamental aspects of positive psychology including strengths, values, and self-compassion, and will give you the tools to enhance the wellbeing of your clients, students, or employees.

Best Life Coaching Quotes

We can all fall victim to self-serving bias. Life coaching allows us to be open to the connectedness between us all. Infusing positivity into intentions and actions creates more space for personal thriving and achievement in all aspects of life.

The powerful process of coaching enables the inspiration to ignite change. With all of the plentiful distractions of modern life, a great life coach will help clarity to develop within their clients. Those who have clarity around purpose, personal values, and personal priorities can, in turn, interact with the world as their highest self.

A life coach does for the rest of your life what a personal trainer does for your health and fitness.

Elaine MacDonald, Canadian activist

Only when your consciousness is totally focused on the moment you are in can you receive whatever gift, lesson, or delight that moment has to offer.

Barbara de Angelis, author, TV personality, and relationship consultant

Life’s short. Live passionately.

Marc A. Pitman, author, and fundraising coach

It takes someone with a vision of the possibilities to attain new levels of experience. Someone with the courage to live his dreams.

Les Brown, motivational speaker and leader

You can’t stop negative thoughts from coming in, but you can make sure they leave as quickly as they enter.

Nkem Mpamah, The Art of Achievement and Fulfillment, 2013

When you encourage others, you in the process are being encouraged because you’re making a commitment to that person’s life. Encouragement really does make a difference.

Zig Ziglar, author, salesman, and motivational speaker

Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.

Carl Jung, Swiss psychiatrist, Letters, 1973

Opportunities don’t knock, they whisper. So shut up and listen.

Thomas Leonard, founding father of professional life coaching

I suppose it is tempting, if the only tool you have is a hammer, to treat everything as if it were a nail.

Abraham Maslow, psychologist, Toward a Psychology of Being, 1962

To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.

Ralph Waldo Emerson, American transcendentalist, essayist, and author

These quotes ring true because life coaching is a holistic process of change. When a person can examine the changes they need to make, their whole life will be influenced. Anyone wanting to make a change could benefit from these perspectives.

 

Motivational Coaching Quotes

Motivation must be sparked from within. Great coaches ask broad enough questions for their clients to explore what is most important to them. Knowing that there are many different psychological theories of motivation, a well-informed coach can help clients to better understand themselves.

Higher levels of achievement will inevitably follow the hierarchy of needs, and creating goals that adhere to these various levels will better enable a client to reach what they need. With Maslow’s theory in mind, motivation can look like a checklist that opens doors to higher levels with each achievement. Action begets action.

There are no failures – just experiences and your reactions to them.

Tom Krause, motivational speaker and author, Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul III, 2012

If it doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you.

Fred DeVito, VP of Mind–Body training for Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health

It is action that creates motivation.

Steve Backley, Olympic athlete

In a growth mindset, challenges are exciting rather than threatening. So rather than thinking, oh, I’m going to reveal my weaknesses, you say, wow, here’s a chance to grow.

Carol Dweck, author and researcher, 2012

Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.

Neale Donald Walsh, author

Being ourselves means sometimes having to find the courage to stand alone, totally alone.

Brené Brown, author and researcher, Finding Our Way to True Belonging, 2017

A bird sitting on a tree is never afraid of the branch breaking, because its trust is not on the branch, but on its own wings. Always believe in yourself.

Charlie Wardle

These quotes ring true because change is not easy, especially in the beginning. Just ask anyone starting a new workout regimen. It hurts! Motivation is so subjective, but getting out of our own way and embracing that failure are parts of success that can ignite so many in moving forward.

 

10 Philosophical Coaching Quotes

There’s an interesting movement in self-help that is about harnessing philosophical genius to shape the lives of modern people. These quotes have stood the test of time.

They are universal and show that no matter how technologically advanced humanity becomes, progress will always depend on how Chris Peterson summarized positive psychology: “other people matter.”

Whosoever is delighted in solitude is either a wild beast or a god.

Aristotle, Greek philosopher

Know how to listen and you will profit even from those who talk badly.

Plutarch, Greek philosopher and Roman citizen

I learned this, at least, by my experiment; that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.

Henry David Thoreau, transcendentalist and American philosopher

He who is not a good servant will not be a good master.

Plato, Greek philosopher

The unexamined life is not worth living.

Socrates, Greek philosopher

Even while they teach, men learn.

Seneca the Younger, Roman Stoic philosopher

Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.

Confucius, Chinese philosopher

The bravest are surely those who have the clearest vision of what is before them, glory and danger alike, and yet notwithstanding, go out to meet it.

Thucydides, Greek philosopher

The greater the difficulty, the more glory in surmounting it. Skillful pilots gain their reputation from storms and tempests.

Epictetus, Greek philosopher

A great nation is like a great man: When he makes a mistake, he realizes it. Having realized it, he admits it. Having admitted it, he corrects it. He considers those who point out his faults, as his most benevolent teachers. He thinks of his enemy as the shadow that he himself casts.

Lao Tsu, Chinese philosopher and founder of Taoism

These great thinkers faced dangers that modern man cannot fathom, yet they knew the value of their words. The simplicity of bravery and the understanding of greatness ring true today. For life satisfaction to improve, all humans need to embrace the deep understanding that vision, purpose, and mindful understanding of each other are necessary parts of the process of self-mastery.

 

10 Executive Coaching and Business Quotes

Many executives and business coaches can inspire from experience and gritty attitudes. It is widely believed that personal success comes from a place of grit.

Angela Duckworth’s work is undoubtedly inspiring, even if it has its scientific limitations. If someone seeking success can leave behind social comparison and be “gritty” in private, it will ignite progress and allow for maintained wellbeing along the path.

Success is hard work and often requires sacrifice. Being attuned to what is allowed to be sacrificed is vital to the realization of success. Defining that success is tremendously subjective and must be factored into your path to “greatness.”

Nobody wants to show you the hours and hours of becoming. They’d rather show you the highlight of what they’ve become.

Angela Duckworth, Grit: Passion, Perseverance, and the Science of Success, 2016

Habits are like financial capital – forming one today is an investment that will automatically give out returns for years to come.

Shawn Anchor, The Happiness Advantage: How a Positive Brain Fuels Success in Work and Life, 2010

Incremental change is better than ambitious failure… success feeds on itself.

Tony Schwartz (as cited in Tal Ben-Shahar, Happier: Learn the Secrets to Daily Joy and Lasting Fulfillment, 2007)

If you’re not in the arena getting your ass kicked, I’m not interested in or open to your feedback.

Brené Brown, Dare to Lead: Brave Work, Tough Conversations, Whole Hearts, 2018

Coaching is unlocking people’s potential to maximize their own performance. It is more often helping them to learn rather than teaching them.

John Whitmore, author and founder of the GROW model of coaching, Coaching for Performance, 2010

Don’t find fault, find a remedy; anybody can complain.

Henry Ford, founder of Ford Motor Company

Business opportunities are like buses, there’s always another one coming.

Richard Branson, owner of Virgin airlines

Growth and comfort do not coexist.

Ginni Rometty, CEO of IBM

Chains of habit are too light to be felt until they are too heavy to be broken.

Samuel Johnson

We need to accept that we won’t always make the right decisions, that we’ll screw up royally sometimes – understanding that failures are not the opposite of success –  it’s part of success.

Arianna Huffington, CEO of Thrive Global

It is fine to celebrate success, but it is more important to heed the lessons from failure.

Bill Gates, cofounder of Microsoft

The business world is tough and requires a particular type of resilience. No business mogul was made overnight. The grit that they have in going after goals usually surpasses that of the average person. The mindsets and perspectives of successful people help inspire those who are at the beginning of a business journey. Developing the grit and the acceptance of inevitable pitfalls will help people reach their goals.

 

A Look at Quotes on Career Coaching

Finding the right fit in a career is sometimes a lifelong pursuit. While financial needs vary, finding purpose in your vocation seems to be universal. Whether you’re cleaning the hospital or providing treatment to patients, having a perspective of how much your work matters makes an overall difference in how you show up at your job.

Careers develop over time and flourish in a state of purpose. Each vocation has a path, and finding one that both fulfills and pays the bills can be elusive. In any career though, knowing where you want to be will help develop stronger career goals.

The crowning fortune of a man is to be born to some pursuit which finds him employment and happiness, whether it be to make baskets, or broadswords, or canals, or statues, or songs.

Ralph Waldo Emerson, transcendentalist

Let me fall if I must fall. The one I become will catch me.

Baal Shem Tov, 18th century Jewish philosopher

I think everyone should experience defeat at least once during their career. You learn a lot from it.

Lou Holtz, football coach, player, and analyst

Dreams are extremely important. You can’t do it unless you imagine it.

George Lucas, director, business owner, overall film genius

The test of success is not what you do when you’re on top. Success is how high you bounce when you hit the bottom.

General George Patton, American general

If you want to be happy, set a goal that commands your thoughts, liberates your energy, and inspires your hopes.

Andrew Carnegie, Scottish-born industrialist and philanthropist

There is the true joy of life, to be used by a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; to be thoroughly worn out before being thrown on the scrap heap; to be a force of nature instead of a feverish, selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that life will not devote itself to making you happy.

George Bernard Shaw, Irish playwright

When people fully realize their values, adhere to them, and pursue a career from that focus, the purpose is less elusive. Using strengths and personal values in a career will create a more fulfilling outcome. These quotes ring true for the fulfilled career seeker.

 

Powerful Leadership Coaching Quotes

The term natural leader is somewhat of a misnomer. Leadership is learned, and it must also be earned. There are countless leadership training options across the globe. A good leader will always adhere to the notion that leading properly is always about other people.

To build a strong team, you must see someone else’s strength as a complement to your weakness, and not a threat to your position or authority.

Christine Caine, founder of Propel Women

Good leadership isn’t about advancing yourself. It’s about advancing your team.

John C. Maxwell, American author of many books on leadership

Good leadership consists of showing average people how to do the work of superior people.

John D. Rockefeller, American industrialist

A leader takes people where they want to go. A great leader takes people where they don’t necessarily want to go, but ought to be.

Rosalynn Carter, Former First Lady of the United States of America

In the past a leader was a boss. Today’s leaders must be partners with their people… they no longer can lead solely based on positional power.

Ken Blanchard, American author of over 60 books on leadership

Extraordinary people are ordinary people making extraordinary decisions.

Sharon Pearson, author of Disruptive Leadership

If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.

African proverb

I am not afraid of an army of lions led by a sheep; I am afraid of an army of sheep led by a lion.

Alexander the Great, Macedonian and Persian military leader and king

Great leaders know how to listen, stay open to possibility, and create trust with the people they are leading. These quotes encapsulate the essence of what a true leader does. The greatest leaders do so with integrity that never needs to be questioned.

 

A Take-Home Message

If at first you don’t succeed, try doing what your coach told you to do the first time.

Unknown, but funny

Coaches have a unique and special role in serving others. Quotes can be such powerful words to live by and use to develop a growth mindset. So many brilliant individuals have imparted their wisdom so that others may follow.

Quotes inspire and can shape pathways to success with unique voracity. Choose one that personally resonates and keep it with you. It can serve as a mantra for personal growth.

For even more inspirational quotes, have a look at our selection of best therapy quotes and emotional intelligence quotes.

Thanks for reading!

We hope you enjoyed reading this article. Don’t forget to download our three Positive Psychology Exercises for free.

If you wish for more, our Positive Psychology Toolkit© contains over 370 science-based positive psychology exercises, interventions, questionnaires, and assessments for practitioners to use in their therapy, coaching, or workplace.

  • Anchor, S. (2010). The happiness advantage: How a positive brain fuels success in work and life. Crown.
  • Ben-Shahar, T. (2007). Happier: Learn the secrets to daily joy and lasting fulfillment. McGraw Hill.
  • Brown, B. (2017, September 11). Finding our way to true belonging. We Humans. Retrieved May 14, 2021, from https://ideas.ted.com/finding-our-way-to-true-belonging/
  • Brown, B. (2018). Dare to lead: Brave work, tough conversations, whole hearts. Random House.
  • Duckworth, A. (2016). Grit: The power of passion and perseverance. Scribner.
  • Dweck, C., & Carmichael, S. G. (2012, January). The right mindset for success [podcast]. Harvard Business Review.
  • Jung, C. (1973). Letters (vol. 2). Princeton University Press.
  • Krause, T. (2012). Inspirations. In J. Canfield, M. V. Hansen, & K. Kirberger (Eds.), Chicken soup for the teenage soul III: More stores of life, love and learning. Chicken Soup for the Soul.
  • Maslow, A. H. (1962). Toward a psychology of being. Van Nostrand.
  • Mpamah, N. (2013). The art of achievement and fulfillment: Fundamental principles to overcome obstacles and turn dreams into reality! Balboa Press.
  • Pickus, A. (2000, December 17). A coach in your corner. Chicago Tribune. Retrieved from https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct-xpm-2000-12-17-0012170504-story.html
  • Whitmore, J. (2010). Coaching for performance (5th ed.). Nicholas Brealey.

About the Author

Kelly Miller is a graduate of the Flourishing Center’s CAPP program and published author of Jane's Worry Elephant. She is currently the owner of A Brighter Purpose, LLC, a provider in positive psychology coaching services. When she isn’t gleefully helping humans move toward flourishing, she enjoys National Park hikes and spending quality time with her adventurous family.

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