There are days in life when absolutely nothing seems to work. During these horrible days, setbacks and failures accompany every single one of your steps. Bigger than life obstacles loom on the horizon and great disappointments come your way. It might even feel as if a storm of trials and tribulations is raining down upon you. As terrible as these days are, they cannot be avoided. However, when you’re having a bad day, some encouraging words can greatly lift your spirits. In the following, you can find a hand-picked selection of truly marvelous words of encouragement that will not only brighten your day but it will also lift you up.
Every once in a while, we all need some encouraging words that lift us up. These are the days when it feels as if the entire universe is conspiring against you. It may even feel as if you’re trapped in quicksand – the more you struggle to get out of it, the deeper you sink into it.
“The greater the obstacle, the more glory in overcoming it.”
During these difficult phases in life, it can make a great difference to have a couple of inspiring and encouraging words at hand. These words of encouragement by some of the wisest men and women that ever lived on this planet will remind you that we all struggle every once in a while. Even more importantly, these fantastic words will motivate you to keep fighting and to never give up, no matter what happens.
That’s why reading encouraging quotes can make such a great difference. Words of encouragement will inspire you to keep going and to remain persistent in the pursuit of your goals.
65 Wonderful Words of Encouragement to Lift You up
In the following, you can find a selection of the most powerful words of encouragement. Almost all of them originate from individuals who themselves had to deal with great challenges and difficulties during their lifetime. You will soon see that their insights about life are quite remarkable. In fact, learning from those who emerged victorious from times of hardship and struggle is perhaps one of the best ways to develop a similar resilience.
Enjoy the following words of encouragement!
1. Albert Einstein on difficulties
“In the middle of every difficulty lies opportunity.”
Going through a difficult time in life is not at all pleasurable. In fact, most people would give everything to avoid hardship and struggle. All too often, however, we forget that with every difficult situation we face, opportunities are introduced to us. We may not always see these opportunities for what they are. Similarly, we may only realize many months later that hardship introduced important opportunities to our lives. But these kinds of opportunities exist.
When you’re confronted with difficulties, always remind yourself that there are opportunities to be found in a struggle.
2. Charles Swindoll on what happens in life
“Life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it.”
Charles R. Swindoll
It is not so important what exactly happens to you in life. In most cases, you cannot change it anyways. However, what is really important is how you think about the events in your life. Even more so, it is of the greatest importance how you react to the things that happen in your life.
How you think about what happens to you and how you respond to it can greatly shape your entire life. The way you respond can either make or break your life. It can determine if you allow failures and setbacks to break you or if you use these experiences to grow stronger. The choice is always yours.
3. Doe Zantamata on discovering your true strength
“It is only in our darkest hours that we may discover the true strength of the brilliant light within ourselves that can never, ever, be dimmed.”
A life that is always lived on the sunny side can be quite comfortable and joyful. But only if you are challenged by incredibly difficult situations you will ever grow as a person. There’s nothing to be learned on the sunny side of life. In fact, the strongest characters that ever lived are seared with scars. Truly successful people are those who always get back up on their feet whenever life pushes them to the ground.
Always remind yourself of this fact when you’re going through difficult times. Keep fighting and you will eventually rise as a stronger person from the ground.
4. John Wooden on the things you cannot do
“Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.”
Let’s face it, there are many situations in life where you think you are unable to bring about positive change. You may be confronted with intimidating obstacles that make it seem as if there’s nothing you can do about them. However, this is not always the case.
While it is quite important to develop an understanding of the things you cannot do, it is equally important to know what you can do. If you only think about what you cannot do, you will be more likely to give up. But if you do realize that you will always find a way to affect positive changes, you will eventually be able to break free from the difficulties that drag you down. All that matters is to be persistent and to keep looking for solutions.
5. Calvin Coolidge on persistence
“Press on – nothing can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Perseverance and determination alone are omnipotent.”
There are many people who are incredibly skilled and well-educated. Their talents are vast and impressive. Yet, many of them struggle greatly simply because they do not know how important it is to be persistent. These people are used to the fact that things came relatively easy to them during childhood and adolescence. In real life, however, only those who are the most persistent will succeed. And in many cases, a lack of talent or ingenuity can be overcome by willpower and persistence.
6. Joseph Campbell on going down into the abyss
“It is by going down into the abyss that we recover the treasures of life. Where you stumble, there lies your treasure.”
Most people hate difficulties. This is quite understandable. Struggles and difficulties can inflict great emotional pain upon us, which is why we try to avoid them as best as we can. At the same time, there’s also a positive aspect to the situations in life when you are pushed to the ground. Many important lessons can be learned from times of hardship. So instead of lamenting about the difficulties of life that cannot be avoided, try to use these experiences to learn important lessons about life. If you are able to uncover the hidden blessings that can be found in difficulties, you will eventually come to understand that everything that has happened to you – no matter how difficult – ultimately served you.
7. Napoleon Hill on the way to attain success
“Most great people have attained their greatest success one step beyond their greatest failure.”
There’s one commonality between almost all incredibly successful individuals: they all consider failure as a stepping stone to success. While most gave up when confronted with struggles, difficulties, and failures, those who are successful persisted. Whenever you’re confronted with failure, see how you can use it to become more successful in the future.
8. Henry Ford on facing great difficulties
“When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it.”
There are situations in life where it seems as if the universe is conspiring against you. During these difficult situations, it can be quite helpful to remind yourself that challenges will ultimately make you stronger. That’s because difficulties will force you to go outside your comfort zone. In fact, difficult times will challenge you to go to your limits and beyond. And that’s what will greatly help you to be more successful in the future.
9. Michael Jordan on obstacles
“Obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it.”
It is always easier to give up when you are confronted with an obstacle. In fact, that’s the most comfortable option there is. Unfortunately, turning around and giving up will never bring you closer to your goals and dreams. Continuously giving up when the going gets tough will make it even more difficult for you to reach your goals in the long run.
Instead of giving up when confronted with difficulties, see what you can do to overcome the obstacle. Sometimes, you have to climb the obstacle, in other situations, you have to dig underneath it. Whatever it is, be persistent and try to find the solution that helps you to overcome what is standing in your way.
10. Leroy Paige on letting your head hang down
“Never let your head hang down. Never give up and sit down and grieve. Find another way.”
Leroy Satchel Paige
The more obstacles you are confronted with and the more obstacles you are forced to overcome, the more you will realize that there’s always another way. Things may look grim at the moment and it may even seem as if there’s nothing you can do about it. Sooner or later, however, you will discover new ways to overcome the difficulties you’re confronted with.
11. Harriet Stowe on giving up
“When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you, till it seems as though you could not hang on a minute longer, never give up then, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.”
Harriet Beecher Stowe
Only if you keep going you have a chance of succeeding. If you give up, you deprive yourself of that chance – you have already lost before even trying.
12. Tony Robbins on directing your life
“In essence, if we want to direct our lives, we must take control of our consistent actions. It’s not what we do once in a while that shapes our lives, but what we do consistently.”
The behaviors you repeatedly engage in will ultimately shape your entire life. It does not matter so much if you fail here or struggle there. Similarly, it does not matter if you occasionally have a bad day during which nothing seems to work. What matters is that you are consistently pursuing your goals. If you do that, nothing can stand in your way. Consistency is the great key here.
13. Les Brown on opportunities
“In every day, there are 1,440 minutes. That means we have 1,440 daily opportunities to make a positive impact.”
Be sure to make use of these opportunities.
14. Paolo Coelho on difficulties in life
“There are moments when troubles enter our lives and we can do nothing to avoid them. But they are there for a reason. Only when we have overcome them will we understand why they were there.”
You may not always understand why you’re going through a difficult time. This is quite natural. Perhaps, it’s not even your own fault that you are confronted with these difficulties. When you’re confronted with such a situation, it’s important to keep going. Complaining and lamenting about it will not lead you anywhere. Only by taking action you can gradually work yourself out of the trouble you are confronted with.
And once you’ve overcome these setbacks, you will gradually begin to discover the important lessons that came with it.
15. Donald Trump on moving forward
“Get going. Move forward. Aim High. Plan a takeoff. Don’t just sit on the runway and hope someone will come along and push the airplane. It simply won’t happen. Change your attitude and gain some altitude.”
There’s a way to force your luck: taking massive action.
16. Nelson Mandela on the greatest glory in life
“The greatest glory in living lies not in never failing, but in rising every time we fail.”
If you’re an attentive person, you will see that life knocks all of us down every once in a while. What is worse, you will also see that life gives its very best to keep us down on the ground. By observing life, you will understand that setbacks and failures cannot be avoided. However, you may also realize that those who rise to great success are almost always the ones who always got back up on their feet after life knocked them down.
17. James Faust on challenges and difficulties
“Everybody in this life has their challenges and difficulties. That is part of our mortal test. The reason for some of these trials cannot be readily understood except on the basis of faith and hope because there is often a larger purpose which we do not always understand. Peace comes through hope.”
James E. Faust
Taking a reflective approach to life can be quite important. It will help you to understand that whatever happened to you – no matter how difficult – served a purpose. These situations were definitely not easy for you but they all made you stronger, in one way or the other.
18. Napoleon Hill on adversity
“Every adversity, every failure and every heartache carries with it the seed of an equivalent or a greater benefit.”
As already mentioned, many great opportunities arise from times of hardship. Similarly, many important lessons can be learned during times of great challenges. If you internalize this, you will no longer complain about how bad life treats you. Instead, you will begin looking for the helpful opportunities and lessons that come with difficult times.
19. Thomas Edison on the greatest weakness
“Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.”
Thomas A. Edison
These inspiring words of encouragement come from a man who failed more than 1000 times before he finally found a way to create a light bulb.
20. Mary Engelbreit on changing what you don’t like
“If you don’t like something change it; if you can’t change it, change the way you think about it.”
There are many things in life you cannot change. Most people allow the things they cannot change to drag them down. Don’t be one of them! Instead of being overwhelmed about what you cannot change, learn to think differently about it.
21. Anne Frank on making the world a better place
“How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.”
Sometimes, it seems as if there’s nothing you can do to make the world a better place. There are so many problems that need to be addressed but so little you can do about them. You might even feel quite powerless about being unable to affect positive changes in the world. Luckily, not all hope is lost. You may not be able to solve every single problem the world is struggling with. However, what you can do is that you can help to make this world a better place, one step at a time. As Mother Teresa stated, helping others is not a numbers game. What is important is to help one person after another.
22. Epictetus on difficulties and glory
“The greater the difficulty, the more glory in surmounting it. Skillful pilots gain their reputation from storms and tempests.”
Always try to remember that difficulties are in many cases opportunities for you to prove yourself. These difficult situations may be challenging but they will also force you to go to your limits.
23. Frederick Douglas on struggle
“If there is no struggle, there is no progress.”
Many of the greatest innovations stem from the mind of a person that was struggling with a particular aspect of life. Without these struggles, the inventor would not have been challenged to find a solution to the problems they were confronted with.
Never forget that challenging situations in your life help you to make important progress.
24. Mary Radmacher on courage
“Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day, saying, “I will try again tomorrow.”
Mary Anne Radmacher
There will be days in your life when you go to bed knowing that you have been painfully defeated. These days cannot be avoided. What matters, however, is to never allow these experiences to stop you from pursuing your dreams.
25. Alexander Bell on doors that close
“When one door closes another door opens; but we so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us.”
Alexander Graham Bell
It can be greatly painful to come to the conclusion that a certain door in your life has closed and will never open again. When faced with such a situation, you have two options. First, you can complain all day long about what has happened. Second, you can accept that the door has closed and move on with your life. The second option will save you a lot of time and nerves. It’s the attitude that is required to identify the various opportunities that come to you when a door closes.
26. Helen Keller on developing character
“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.”
The greatest lessons of life come during times of hardship and trial. Eventually, the difficult times will be overcome but the strength of character you gained as a result of these situations will last a lifetime.
27. Albert Schweitzer on inspiration and encouragement
“Sometimes our light goes out, but is blown again into instant flame by an encounter with another human being.”
There are situations in life when the company of other people is the only thing that can really help us to recover. When confronted with such a situation, it’s important to seek those who can ignite that spark of inspiration and motivation within you once more.
28. John F. Kennedy on his insights about crisis
“When written in Chinese the word “crisis” is composed of two characters – one represents danger and the other represents opportunity.”
John F. Kennedy
With every difficulty, there comes an opportunity. All you need is the courage to see these opportunities for what they are.
29. Martin Luther King on accepting disappointment
“We must accept finite disappointment, but we must never lose infinite hope.”
Martin Luther King
Learn to accept setbacks and failures but never lose the hope of accomplishing your dreams.
30. John Di Lemme on persistence
“They key of persistence opens all door closed by resistence.”
John Di Lemme
If you are willing to persist, every obstacle that stands in your way can be overcome.
31. Thomas Watson on the formula for success
“Would you like me to give you a formula for success? It’s quite simple, really. Double your rate of failure. You are thinking of failure as the enemy of success. But it isn’t at all. You can be discouraged by failure or you can learn from it, So go ahead and make mistakes. Make all you can. Because remember that’s where you will find success.”
Thomas J. Watson
These remarkable parts of encouragement highlight once more the great importance of how you interpret what happens to you. If you see failure as something designed to punish you, it will break you. But if you learn to think more positively about it, you will see the lessons and opportunities that come with it.
32. Nelson Mandela on things that seem impossible
“It always seems impossible until it’s done.”
You’ll always be confronted with naysayers who tell you that it is impossible to do a certain thing. Don’t allow these people to stop you from pursuing your dreams. If you are determined enough to do everything it takes to see these dreams realized, you will succeed.
33. Dale Carnegie on discouragement and failure
“Discouragement and failure are two of the surest stepping stones to success.”
These words of encouragement are simply wonderful. Dale Carnegie’s words will make you realize that whenever you fail, you learn how it’s not done. The more often you fail, the better your understanding of what it takes to succeed.
34. Winston S. Churchill on success and failure
“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”
Winston S. Churchill
Never allow failure to stop you and never allow success to make you complacent. Accept that you have failed (and be thankful for what you have accomplished) but always seek to continue. If you live by these beautiful words of encouragement, you will thrive.
35. Criss Jami on being an outcast
“A young outcast will often feel that there is something wrong with himself, but as he gets older, grows more confident in who he is, he will adapt, he will begin to feel that there is something wrong with everyone else.”
There will be days when you’re wondering yourself what is wrong with you. These days will eventually subside and you will begin to be more confident with who you are.
36. Robert Schuller on doing something great
“I’d rather attempt to do something great and fail than to attempt to do nothing and succeed.”
Robert H. Schuller
If you don‘t have the courage to reach for the stars, you will always get what you’ve always got.
37. Eleanor Roosevelt on doing what you can’t
“You must do the thing you think you cannot do.”
Have the courage to confront your fears and learn to overcome every single one. If you are brave enough to do so, you will never again run away from your fears.
38. Wally Amos on things that cannot be done
“It doesn’t matter how many say it cannot be done or how many people have tried it before; it’s important to realize that whatever you’re doing, it’s your first attempt at it.”
These are magnificent words of encouragement!
Isn’t it amazing how these words totally change your perspective on the things that presumably cannot be done?
39. John Milton on having to go a long way
“Long is the way and hard, that out of Hell leads up to light.”
The path to greatness is spiked with great challenges, difficulties, and setbacks. Most people simply choose to lie on the road because they are tired of these challenges. But those who have the courage to keep going will be rewarded greatly.
40. Thich Nhat Hanh on hope
“Hope is important because it can make the present moment less difficult to bear. If we believe that tomorrow will be better, we can bear a hardship today.”
Thich Nhat Hanh
Hope is what will keep you going.
41. Kenji Miyazawa on pain
“We must embrace pain and burn it as fuel for our journey.”
Pain cannot be avoided but it can be used to fuel the pursuit of your goals.
42. Og Mandino on persistence
“If I persist long enough I will win.”
Those who are the most persistent are most likely to be the ones who succeed.
43. Vince Lombardi on believing in yourself
“A man can be as great as he wants to be. If you believe in yourself and have the courage, the determination, the dedication, the competitive drive and if you are willing to sacrifice the little things in life and pay the price for the things that are worthwhile, it can be done.”
Wonderful words of encouragement!
44. Corrie Boom on worrying
“Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength. ”
The great problem about worrying too much is that it will stop you from taking action.
45. Ed Sheeran on having a positive outlook
“Everything will be okay in the end. If it’s not okay, then it’s not the end.”
Always keep these words of encouragement in mind when you are struggling in life.
46. E.B. White on books
“A library is a good place to go when you feel unhappy, for there, in a book, you may find encouragement and comfort. A library is a good place to go when you feel bewildered or undecided, for there, in a book, you may have your question answered. Books are good company, in sad times and happy times, for books are people – people who have managed to stay alive by hiding between the covers of a book.”
Reading a good book will not only lift your spirits but it will also inspire you to take action.
47. Henry Longfellow on great heights
“The heights by great men reached and kept were not attained in sudden flight but, they while their companions slept, they were toiling upwards in the night.”
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
48. Morgan Mat on important opportunities
“If you have the opportunity to work on your gifts, it seems like a crime not to. I mean, it’s just weakness to quit because something becomes too hard…”
Don’t just quit when the going gets tough. Keep going and see where it gets you.
49. Frank Sinatra on success
“The best revenge is massive success.”
50. Winston Churchill on the times you go through hell
“If you are going through hell, keep going.”
The best way to overcome misery is to work yourself out of it.
51. William Faulkner on taking risks
“You cannot swim for new horizons until you have the courage to lose sight of the shore.”
Sometimes, you have to risk losing something in order to gain something better.
52. Duke Ellington on what a problem really is
“A problem is a chance for you to do your best.”
In fact, problems challenge you to give your very best.
53. L.M. Montgomery on trying and winning
“Next to trying and winning, the best thing is trying and failing.”
If you never risk something by trying, you will definitely not be confronted with failure. However, you will also not be able to succeed.
54. August Wilson on confronting your dark side
“Confront the dark parts of yourself, and work to banish them with illumination and forgiveness. Your willingness to wrestle with your demons will cause your angels to sing.”
55. Charles Glassman on finding a way
“I will always find a way and a way will always find me.”
Charles F. Glassman
Always remember these words of encouragement when confronted with difficulties that you feel are unable to overcome.
56. Dalai Lama on finding hope in darkness
“I find hope in the darkest of days, and focus in the brightest. I do not judge the universe.”
57. Patrick Gentempo on the way you think
“What you thought before has led to every choice you have made, and this adds up to you at this moment. If you want to change who you are physically, mentally, and spiritually, you will have to change what you think.”
58. Fyodor Dostoevsky on counting your troubles
“Man is fond of counting his troubles but he does not count his joys. If he counted them up, as he ought to, he would see that every lot has enough happiness provided for it.”
It’s called negativity bias. What it does is that it makes you overestimate the difficulties in your life while underestimating the marvelous and beautiful aspects of it.
59. Confucius on moving forward
“It doesn’t matter how slow you go, as long as you don’t stop.”
60. Mario Fernandez on rising above the storm
“Rise above the storm and you will find the sunshine.”
61. Eleanor H. Porter on the importance of encouragement
“What men and women need is encouragement. Their natural resisting powers should be strengthened, not weakened … Instead of always harping on a man’s faults, tell him of his virtues. Try to pull him out of his rut … Hold up to him his better self, his real self that can dare and do and win out! … People radiate what is in their minds and in their hearts.”
Eleanor H. Porter
62. Harriet Tubman on big dreams
“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.”
63. Criss Jami on what happens when you fall
“The harder you fall, the heavier your heart; the heavier your heart, the stronger you climb; the stronger you climb, the higher your pedestal.”
64. Theodore Roosevelt on living a life of ease
“Never throughout history has a man who lived a life of ease left a name worth remembering.”
65. Ralph Waldo Emerson on conducting experiments
“All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make, the better.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson
I hope you enjoyed this collection of beautiful words of encouragement.