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………….

  5. Ryan

    I am a grade 7 student working on resilience on my next topic this helped a lot thanks 🙂

  6. Rajagopalan K R

    Nice collection of inspiring quotes…

  7. #girlbyeiluvtfboys:)

    Hi, I’m a primary 6 student who is researching in resilence. This has been a great help to me. Thx!;)

  8. Deepali

    very inspiring

  9. shivangi sharma

    very nice collection of quotes.
    keep spreading the love.

  10. Aideen

    Strength is within you, it’s not until you have to dig deep that you will find it.

  11. Isagani R. Macasaet

    The best is yet to come..Thank you so much!

  12. Risha

    oww I just love those quotes, thanks for sharing

  13. Thobeka

    One of my favourites ~she stood in the storm and when the wind did not blow her way, she adjusted her sails

  14. Megyn Blanchard

    That’s my quote above ???????? And suddenly she found herself grateful. Please credit accordingly. Google the quote you’ll find the original quote with my name that’s been pinned all over Pinterest I can also link to it for you and send my work.

  15. Bonnie

    Hello, I am a middle school student doing a project about resilience so I just want to say thank you for these amazing quotes as they helped me heaps with everything !!!!!!! Thanks so much x love your blog so much ! From Bonnie

    • Dillion

      Lol me too

  16. Ranjana Pandey

    “And she knew without a doubt, that all the broken, shattered forgotten pieces of her soul were worth putting back together again” – This line just get me, do you have any idea who wrote this.

    • megyn Blanchard

      Yes, I did. Megyn Blanchard. You can find the original quote on my website and Pinterest. @megynblanchard on IG and Im on Facebook too. This is my quote, just search “and suddenly she found herself grateful” My original quote with website should come up. http://www.megynblanchard.com

  17. william

    what do you love, what do you love? who am i to ask such a thing. i am no one i am garbage you are also garbage it is with this truth that we can rebuild our crap lives, begone thot never come back now be gone trash!

  18. Yanglish

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

  19. Prisca

    “Someone I once loved gave me a box full of darkness. It took me years to understand that this, too, was a gift.” This quote is from Mary Oliver (not “unknown”)

    • Jessie van den Heuvel

      Hi Prisca, I will make this correction ASAP. Thanks!

  20. Stephen Mills

    In harmony with Angela, the Hemingway quote wakens a triumphal song within, as if the strings and drum-skins were always waiting for his words. His thoughts remind me of a phrase one of my mentors often stated as if it arose from some other author. I have never yet found his phrase attributed to another. It went like this, “On rough seas are good Captains made.”
    Thank you for compiling so many inspiring thinkers and those who live with resilience.

  21. Suzanne Phillips

    I love this: “She stood in the storm and when the wind did not blow her way, she adjusted her sails.”
    This resonates strongly with me. It makes me feel like I can weather any storm and come out stronger every time.

  22. Vrinda

    This is my favorite.”Rock bottom became the solid foundation in which I rebuilt my life.”

    • Reham Al Taher

      I really like that quote as well. I’m a huge fan of J.K. Rowling, so I know quite a bit about her life growing up and she truly is resilient.

  23. Angela

    I loved the Hemmingway quote. It resonated with me. Having survived three life threatening illnesses including severe clinical depression i continue to work with people and am able to form a deep connection,compassion and strong empathy largely because of my own suffering and how this is revealed s authenticity. Am stronger because of my vulnerabilities.

    • Reham Al Taher

      Hi Angela, I love that, thank you so much for sharing it with me. I understand where you’re coming from because it is often the people who have suffered the most that can connect with others and understand what they’re going through. As a child, it is all about “Me, me, me” because he/she simply has not met any challenges, yet. As they go through life they (hopefully) learn to empathize and understand others because of what they themselves have gone through. Sadly, there are those who become bitter, hopeless, and angry. But, I still believe that if they practice resilience exercises, they can change, too.

  24. Annapurna

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

    • Reham Al Taher

      I love it, too!


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