It’s easy to have strong role models, and to look up to women who have a powerful voice in our society, but the key to becoming strong women ourselves is harder to master. Difficult it may be, but being a strong woman is an essential prerequisite to getting everything out of life that we deserve.
As women, we know that the world is harsh and that it expects a lot from us. It’s easy to feel beaten down by just going to the mall and seeing the advertisements of gorgeous, perfectly-toned women plastered on every store window. These 15 quotes of women who have faced the same trials and difficulties: living in a world where we are valued for our looks over our thoughts. Here’s a virtual pep talk by generations of women who are to be admired…
1. “If you want to achieve greatness, stop asking for permission.”
-Sydney Leroux, professional soccer player and Olympic gold medalist
This is one of my primary flaws. I have several aspirations, but I think I can’t improve or make progress if people aren’t constantly flattering me or cheering me on. The only way to meet your goals is to give yourself permission to seek them, and that can’t come from anyone else.
2. “My coach said I run like a girl, and I said if he ran a little faster he could too.”
– Mia Hamm, professional soccer player and two time olympic gold medalist and FIFA Women’s World Cup winner
Who decided that being a woman meant being inherently weaker? The human body, regardless of sex, is capable of incredible strength. It shouldn’t matter if you’re a woman because you are still lapping the guy sitting on his ass and being lazy.
3. “For me, exercise is more than just physical—it’s therapeutic.”
It’s time to look at exercise as a therapy instead of a punishment. It’s empowering to test the limits of your body and to recognize your strengths and weaknesses. One could argue that it is essential to knowing who you are as a person.
4. “Passion first, and everything else will fall into place.”
-Holly Holm, MMA fighter
If you are pursuing your passions no matter the cost, the rest of your life will mold around them. Being passionate means prioritizing whatever it is that makes you feel that life is worth living.
5. “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”
– Eleanor Roosevelt
Most of us have heard this one, and its truth is significant. People’s words will only damage us if we already feel self-conscious or unsatisfied with ourselves.
6. “A woman with a voice is, by definition, a strong woman.”
– Melinda Gates, wife of Bill Gates, co-founder of Bill & Melinda Gates foundation
Women are capable of so much. Women who fight for what they want or argue against injustice are called bitches. But if that’s what it takes to get shit done, so be it.
7. “I don’t sweat for pounds, or inches, or a dress size. I sweat to make my outside match my inside.”
– Amber Dawn Hunter, business owner, endurance athlete and fitness coach
Training your body to fit into a specific size isn’t realistic because no one is genetically engineered for only one waist size. Things change but the important thing is to fight for strength mentally but physically.
8. “My mom was a source of strength. She showed by example that women, regardless of how difficult life may get, can do it all.”
– Gloria Estefan
First of all, moms are the best example of women who can handle their shit. They have literally grown a child inside of them for nine months. Not only that, they put up with everyone else, juggle careers, and make us feel loved. What’s more inspirational than that?
9. “I love to see a young girl go out and grab the world by the lapels. Life’s a bitch. You’ve got to go out and kick ass.”
– Maya Angelou, author, poet, and civil rights activist
With a can-do attitude, anything is possible. Women have fought and still fight to get what we want out of life.
10. “My confidence comes from the daily grind…training my butt off day in and day out.”
– Hope Solo, American soccer goalkeeper, a two-time Olympic gold medalist and a World Cup gold medalist
Pushing yourself to the limits is one of the most gratifying feelings because it lets you define your own strength and willpower. Knowing you are a hard worker is powerful. It means you can achieve anything you want to.
11. “Just seize every opportunity you have, embrace every experience. Make a mark, for all the right reasons.”
– Chrissie Wellington, English former professional triathlete and four-time Ironman Triathlon World Champion
A woman who throws herself into the arms of opportunity is likely to be successful. Don’t ever fear taking risks because something good will certainly come out of it.
12. “I think self-awareness is probably the most important thing towards being a champion”
– Billie Jean King, former World No. 1 professional Tennis Player
Despite having success and being confident, it is important to always be humble. That is what makes a woman truly strong and admirable.
13. “You have to believe in yourself when no one else does. That makes you a winner right there.”
– Venus Williams, Professional Tennis Player
Being a champion is a matter of self-dedication. You have to commit to doing the best thing for yourself and your body in order to meet your goals and to make your dreams part of your reality.
14. “I think my goal is a goal, and not all my goals are pretty.”
– Alex Morgan, American soccer player, Olympic gold medalist, and FIFA Women’s World Cup champion
Goals are what will drive you forward, and they are never easy. They take work and commitment, but they are achievable as long as you dedicate yourself to them.
15. “The history of all times and of today especially, teaches that…women will be forgotten if they forget to think about themselves.”
– Louise Otto, founder of Germany’s women’s movement
Ladies, it’s time to focus on ourselves. We spend so much time living for other people that we forget what it is that makes us happy. It is not selfish to focus on who we are and who we want to become—it’s human.