19 Resilience & Adversity Quotes That Will Inspire and Empower You

Building resilience is an important part of growth and change. There are several ways to cultivate and inspire resilience in people.

A good start is finding a sentence that resonates with you. It empowers you, motivates you, and becomes a mantra you internally chant to yourself every day. Words can make or break you and can change your mindset.

Before you read on, we thought you might like to download our 3 Resilience Exercises for free. These engaging, science-based exercises will help you to effectively deal with difficult circumstances and give you the tools to improve the resilience of your clients, students or employees.

You can download the free PDF here.

Here is a list of 16 resilience quotes you can start your weekend with:


“My barn having burned down, I can now see the moon.”

― Mizuta Masahide (17th century Japanese poet and samurai)

Mizuta Masahide


“The human capacity for burden is like bamboo – far more flexible than you’d ever believe at first glance.”

― Jodi Picoult, My Sister’s Keeper

Jodi Picoult


“It is really wonderful how much resilience there is in human nature. Let any obstructing cause, no matter what, be removed in any way, even by death, and we fly back to first principles of hope and enjoyment.”

― Bram Stoker, Dracula

Bram quotes about resilience


“If your heart is broken, make art with the pieces.”

― Shane Koyczan

Shane Koyczan


“The oak fought the wind and was broken, the willow bent when it must and survived.”

― Robert Jordan, The Fires of Heaven

Robert Jordan, The Fires of Heaven


“Strong people alone know how to organize their suffering so as to bear only the most necessary pain.”

― Emil Dorian

Emil Dorian resilience quote


“I spent my young adult years postponing many of the small things that I knew would make me happy…I was fortunate enough to realize that I would never have the time unless I made the time. And then the rest of my life began.”

― Chris Peterson

Chris Peterson quote


“Persistence and resilience only come from having been given the chance to work through difficult problems.”

― Gever Tulley

Gever Tulley persistence quote


“You may have to fight a battle more than once to win it.”

― Margaret Thatcher

Margaret Thatcher


“It’s your reaction to adversity, not adversity itself that determines how your life’s story will develop.”

― Dieter F. Uchtdorf

Dieter F. Uchtdorf adversity quote


“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


“The best people possess a feeling for beauty, the courage to take risks, the discipline to tell the truth, the capacity for sacrifice. Ironically, their virtues make them vulnerable; they are often wounded, sometimes destroyed.”

― Ernest Hemingway

Ernest Hemingway quote


“I can be changed by what happens to me. But I refuse to be reduced by it.”

― Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou


“Note to self: every time you were convinced you couldn’t go on, you did.”

― Unknown

note to self


“Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear.”

― Ambrose Redmoon

resilience quotes


“Rock bottom became the solid foundation in which I rebuilt my life.”

― J.K. Rowling

J.K. Rowling


“Someone I once loved gave me a box full of darkness. It took me years to understand that this, too, was a gift.”

― Mary Oliver

Mary Oliver


“My life was my life; I would have to stare it down, somehow, and make it work for me.”

― Paula McLain

Paula McLain


“She stood in the storm and when the wind did not blow her way, she adjusted her sails.”

― Elizabeth Edwards

Elizabeth Edwards quotes on resilience

Your turn. What’s your favorite resilience quote?

We hope you enjoyed reading this article. Don’t forget to download our 3 Resilience Exercises for free.

If you wish to learn more, our Realizing Resilience Masterclass© is a complete, science-based, 6-module resilience training template for practitioners that contains all the materials you’ll need to help your clients overcome adversity in a more resilient way.

About the Author

Seph Fontane Pennock, BBA, is the co-founder of PositivePsychology.com. Seph strongly believes that we can deal with most of life’s absurdities by leveraging human connection and challenging ourselves, instead of using dogma or pharmaceutical drugs.


  1. Zach Vokal

    Great quotes

  2. Tom Treiber

    The Hemingway quote can be summarized as “Don’t let any virtue get in the way of your survival or dreams”. You don’t need his words.

    This “wisdom” comes naturally and is the source of human evil.

    He avoided virtues and ended his life out in a field with a shotgun.

    God rest his soul.

  3. Victoria

    THATS GREAT!!!!!!! 🙂
    i feel inspired by these quotes like theirs something else out there in this world instead of the negative

  4. Grace

    I just got lifted after reading these great quotes! I am going up………….

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