Daunting challenges, crushing setbacks, and heartbreak all bow to the one who bows to what is. Acceptance might be the last thing we want to do in moments of trial, but it is a powerful stance that fosters resilience. This is why I’m sharing these resilience quotes with you today: If we keep the doors open, so to speak, and show up with enough presence, we won’t merely survive our falls; we will continue to rise.
“Owning our story and loving ourselves through that process is the bravest thing that we’ll ever do.” — Brené Brown
Resilience isn’t about pushing, struggling, and fighting our way to where we want to be. It’s about honoring the struggle. It’s about softening into the questions without fighting for all the answers. We grow better, not bitter. We accept rather than complain, and then we try to put together something that’s good.
Whether it’s trauma or rejection, we must keep our willingness to be vulnerable. We must reclaim, or proclaim for the very first time, an openness of the heart. Hardening our hearts, closing the door, building a wall—whatever metaphor you’d like to use, you know how that feels—it’s all easy, but the easy road has rarely been the road of inner ease, for me.
If we feel like we’re being broken apart, hey, maybe we’re being given a chance to see what we’re made of so that we can build ourselves all over again, this time with more intention and precision than ever before.Perhaps we don’t need thicker skin. We might need a larger perspective. Click To Tweet
I’m not saying there’s never a right time to let go of something, either. Resilience might mean holding on because there’s a shred of hope worth living for, and resilience could also mean knowing when to let go and summoning the courage to do it because there’s something else to live for.
Resilience is less about the act of struggling and more about the way we honor the struggle.
Let these resilience quotes encourage you to keep climbing the mountains without carrying them on your shoulders. And if you do feel like you’re carrying the weight of the Universe on your back, see this as a chance to turn weight into wings, and to let them guide you to who you can now be.
Happiness, I have found, is not only in reaching the top of that mountain but in knowing that you made your own way up there.
All that, and you’re still standing.
25 Resilience Quotes to Help You Honor the Struggle and Move Forward
1. “Resilience is the capacity of a system, enterprise, or person to maintain its core purpose and integrity in the face of dramatically changed circumstances.” — Andrew Zolli and Ann Marie Healy, Resilience: Why Things Bounce Back
2. “Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired, and success achieved.” — Helen Keller, Helen Keller’s Journal
3. “Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars.” — Kahlil Gibran
4. “One small crack does not mean that you are broken, it means that you were put to the test and you didn’t fall apart.” — Linda Poindexter
5. “Adversity is like a strong wind. I don’t mean just that it holds us back from places we might otherwise go. It also tears away from us all but the things that cannot be torn, so that afterward we see ourselves as we really are, and not merely as we might like to be.” — Arthur Golden“Rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.” — J.K. Rowling Click To Tweet
7. “There is nothing beautiful about the wreckage of a human being. There is nothing pretty about damage, about pain, about heartache. What is beautiful is their strength, their resilience, their fortitude as they display an ocean of courage when they pick through the wreckage of their life to build something beautiful brand new, against every odd that is stacked against them.” — Nikita Gill, Wreckage
8. “When you open up your capacity to experience pain and bow to it, you can see all of life itself. There is no birth of consciousness without pain and no growth of consciousness without pain.” — David McCauley, Addiction to Recovery
9. “And one has to understand that braveness is not the absence of fear, but rather the strength to keep on going forward despite the fear.” — Paulo Coelho
10. “The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.” — Elisabeth Kübler-Ross
11. “Do you not see how necessary a world of pains and troubles is to school an intelligence and make it a soul?” — John Keats
12. “Something very beautiful happens to people when their world has fallen apart: a humility, a nobility, a higher intelligence emerges at just the point when our knees hit the floor.” — Marianne Williamson“I can be changed by what happens to me. But I refuse to be reduced by it.” @DrMayaAngelou Click To Tweet
14. “As my sufferings mounted I soon realized that there were two ways in which I could respond to my situation—either to react with bitterness or seek to transform the suffering into a creative force. I decided to follow the latter course.” — Martin Luther King, Jr.
15. “I love the man that can smile in trouble, that can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection.” — Thomas Paine, The Crisis
16. “Resilience is accepting your new reality, even if it’s less good than the one you had before. You can fight it, you can do nothing but scream about what you’ve lost, or you can accept that and try to put together something that’s good.” — Elizabeth Edwards
17. “The human capacity for burden is like bamboo—far more flexible than you’d ever believe at first glance.” — Jodi Picoult
18. “One’s doing well if age improves even slightly one’s capacity to hold on to that vital truism: ‘This too shall pass.’” — Alain de Botton“A good half of the art of living is resilience.” — Alain de Botton Click To Tweet
20. “To live greatly, we must develop the capacity to face trouble with courage, disappointment with cheerfulness, and triumph with humility.” — Thomas S. Monson
21. “Even when you felt you weren’t strong enough to survive, somehow you found the strength to survive anyway. What does that say about you other than you are made from the blood of stars, with enough iron in your veins to make ten swords, and the same carbon that makes impossible to break diamonds?” — Nikita Gill, Your Strength
22. “If you feel lost, disappointed, hesitant, or weak, return to yourself, to who you are, here and now and when you get there, you will discover yourself, like a lotus flower in full bloom, even in a muddy pond, beautiful and strong.” — Masaru Emoto
23. “You may encounter many defeats but you must not be defeated. It may even be necessary to encounter the defeat, so that we can know who we are. So that we can see, ‘Oh, that happened, and I rose. I didn’t run away—I rose right where I’d been knocked down.’ And then that’s how you get to know yourself.” — Maya Angelou, in an interview with Marianne Schnall“Never to suffer would have been never to have been blessed.” — Edgar Allan Poe, Mesmeric Revelation Click To Tweet
25. “Resilience is knowing that you are the only one that has the power and the responsibility to pick yourself up.” — Mary Holloway
- Think of one terribly challenging, almost-soul-crushing experience. How did you make it through, even when you weren’t sure that you could?
- If you had the chance to offer one snippet of advice to someone who’s climbing their mountain and can’t see the top, what would you say to them?
Please share your thoughts, favorite resilience quotes, hopes and dreams, invaluable lessons learned from moments of trial, and inspiring stories with me in the comments.
Turn trial into a source of strength; send these resilience quotes to someone who has a lot to hope for, even still.
Become better, not bitter.