53 Quotes About Overcoming Adversity And Difficulty In Your Life

When was the last time you heard of a successful person who had never experienced adversity?

With or without the advantage of wealthy parents or some other leg up, those who experience true success have to pass through fire first.

This is not to prove their worthiness but to forge them into someone who can rise from the ashes and transform their emotional pain into character.

The following quotes about overcoming adversity celebrate true resilience and reveal the mindset behind it. 

How These Positive Work Quotes Can Inspire Success 

Our minds direct our moods. We're more active, hopeful, and successful when we think about positive, affirming, productive things.

Moreover, there's a psychophysiological link: feel-good hormones and mindset go hand-in-hand. They feed one another. How does it work?

  1. When “the darkness” descends and occupies the mind, it keeps us scattered, unfocused, lethargic, and resigned. 
  2. Descending into this low vibrational state triggers various “survival” hormones, like adrenaline and cortisol. While effective for giving you a boost in genuinely dangerous situations, “overdosing” on the stuff wreaks havoc on the endocrine system and clouds your thinking, resulting in sub-par work.
  3. However, when we believe in ourselves and focus on the “sunny side of the street” (but not to a disengaged degree), our bodies treat us to endorphins — the happy hormones.
  4. When we're hopped up on serotonin and other natural (healthy) “uppers,” we operate at our highest levels — and may sometimes even “wow” ourselves upon realizing our own power, talent, and capacity to overcome hardships.

Practically, what does all this mean for people focused on professional goals?

In short, motivated minds unfettered by self-doubt perform better. And one way to help keep you on the right track is feeding your brain positive, motivating thoughts and ideas — which is where quotes about work come in.

Quotes aren’t just for reading. Let’s explore four ways to use motivational quotes related to work.

  • Share on Social Media: It’s important to be mindful of social media consumption. Too much can be a problem. But sharing motivational quotes is a win-win. It gives you a boost and may inspire others.
  • Use as a Mindfulness Mantra: Have you ever tried using a pithy quote as a mindfulness mantra for meditation? It helps a lot of people.
  • Use as a Journaling Prompt: Writing and thinking about profound quotes is an excellent way to internalize the message. Do a journaling deep dive. Why does the quote resonate with you?
  • Make Art: Even if you’re not artistic, it can be cathartic to incorporate ideas and thoughts into paintings, sculptures, crafts, writing, sound, and movement. Using quotes as inspiration for pieces can be a great starting point.

Why Having A Growth Mindset Is Important in Overcoming Adversity

Your mindset ultimately determines your resilience in the face of adversity — or, to put it another way, your adversity quotient (AQ).

And, yes, that’s a thing. Essentially, your AQ is the measure of your ability to overcome adversity or emotional pain.

That measure of resilience has everything to do with your mindset. 

With a fixed mindset, you see every failure as proof that your intelligence and other gifts aren’t enough.

And since those virtues are fixed, every failure shows you the outer limits of your potential. Every failure makes the box you live in grow smaller. 

But with a growth mindset, you see your intelligence, talents, and other gifts as something constantly developing and adapting to circumstances.

You might fail in one thing, but then you pivot and find a new strength that enables you to reach even greater heights. 

You can learn more about the importance in overcoming adversity by reading this growth mindset post. 

Here are 50 quotes to strengthen your growth mindset and inspire you to meet adversity with tenacity.

53 Motivational Quotes About Overcoming Adversity

Instead of just reading these quotes once and forgetting about them, use them to actively to build a growth mindset. Consider the following ideas:

  • Repeat your favorite quotes out loud to yourself in front of a mirror like an affirmation.
  • Write the quotes in a journal and write about how they apply to your life.
  • Write your favorites on sticky notes and post them around the house where you'll see them.
  • Have a coffee mug or tea cup printed with the most inspiring quote to read every morning.
  • Find a quote that serves as your motto for the year, and brainstorm ways to live your life in alignment with the ideas in the quote.

Now you know what to do with these quotes, so read on and find the ones you love.

“Adversity introduces a man to himself.” — Albert Einstein

“Adversity is the first path to truth.”– Lord Byron

“Believe you can and you’re halfway there.” —Theodore Roosevelt

“People can grow from adversity as much as they do from prosperity.” — Andrew Yang

“The only thing that overcomes hard luck is hard work.” – Harry Golden

“Prosperity makes friends, adversity tries them.”  — Publilius Syrus

“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power.” ― Abraham Lincoln

“There are uses to adversity, and they don’t reveal themselves until tested. Whether it’s serious illness, financial hardship, or the simple constraint of parents who speak limited English, difficulty can tap unexpected strengths.” — Sonia Sotomayor

“Never to suffer would never to have been blessed.”― Edgar Allan Poe

“If the road is easy, you're likely going the wrong way.” ― Terry Goodkind

“Sometimes things have to go wrong in order to go right.” — Sherrilyn Kenyon

“Although the world is full of suffering, it is full also of the overcoming of it.” —Helen Keller

“Adversity is the diamond dust Heaven polishes its jewels with.”—Thomas Carlyle

“Adversity, which looks and feels like such a determined enemy, can become a valuable ally. Only you can decide which it will be.” — Joni Eareckson Tada

“Adversity reveals genius, prosperity conceals it.” — Horace

“Prosperity is a great teacher; adversity a greater” — William Hazlitt

“Adversity has a way of introducing a man to himself.” — Shia LaBeouf

“He who does not tire, tires adversity.” — Martin Farquhar Tupper

“You know, you have to have some inner philosophy to deal with adversity.”– Kirk Douglas

“You've got to learn to laugh in the face of adversity.”– Emily Atack

“You're going to face adversity. It's not if – it's when.” — Andre Ward

“Good things are often birthed from adversity.” — Robert Schuller

“A man is insensible to the relish of prosperity until he has tasted adversity.”– Rosalind Russell

“Adversity cause some men to break; others to break records.”– William Arthur Ward

“Adversity precedes growth.” —  Rosemarie Rossett

“When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it.” — Henry Ford

“Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit.” – Napoleon Hill

“Everyone is handed adversity in life. No one’s journey is easy. It’s how they handle it that makes people unique.” – Kevin Conroy

“Your hardest times often lead to the greatest moments of your life. Keep going. Tough situations build strong people in the end.” – Roy T. Bennett

“Overcoming adversity not only makes you stronger, it makes you more hopeful.” — Valerie Jarrett

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“Everyone goes through adversity in life, but what matters is how you learn from it.”– Lou Holtz

“When adversity strikes, that's when you have to be the most calm. Take a step back, stay strong, stay grounded and press on.”– LL Cool J

“It is courage, courage, courage, that raises the blood of life to crimson splendor. Live bravely and present a brave front to adversity.” —Horace

“I don't define myself by my successes. I define myself by adversity and how I've persevered.” — Shaquem Griffin

“Grit your teeth and smile. In the face of adversity, go. They don't deserve you.” — Christine Lagarde

“In adversity you have to become stronger and make sure you don't make those mistakes again so you learn from it.” — Iker Casillas

“Laugh in the face of adversity, and leap before you look. Dance as though everybody is watching. March to the beat of your own drummer. And stubbornly refuse to fit in.” — Mandy Hale

“Adversity isn't an obstacle that we need to get around in order to resume living our life. It's part of our life.” — Aimee Mullins

“I know exactly what it is like to fight against the odds and to overcome adversity.” — Karen Handel

“Any man can win when things go his way. It’s the man who overcomes adversity that is the true champion.”– Jack Ewing

“If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.” — Abraham Maslow

“If you decide and will not to be defeated by adversity, good things will happen.” — Dr. T. P. Chia

“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.” — Michael Jordan

“Adversity often activates a strength we did not know we had.” — Joan Walsh Anglund

“It’s all about overcoming adversity. It’s about being down and coming back.” — Kip Carpenter

“Nothing is predestined: The obstacles of your past can become the gateways that lead to new beginnings.” — Ralph Blum

“You will never truly know yourself or the strength of your relationships until both have been tested by adversity.” — J. K. Rowling

“Challenges are what makes life interesting and overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.” — Joshua J. Marine

“Sometimes, adversity is what you need to face in order to become successful.” — Zig Ziglar

“Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all.” — Dale Carnegie

“Adversity in our life may seem like a problem, however, adversity can make us grow and learn, an opportunity that we may never have experienced. It all depends on how you look at it.”  — Catherine Pulsifer

Final thoughts

Use these adversity quotes to improve your mindset.

Now that you’ve looked over these quotes about overcoming adversity, which ones stood out for you the most? Which do the best job of expressing what you’ve learned from overcoming your own obstacles?

Adversity quotes mean more from those who’ve had to overcome emotional pain and get back up after being knocked down. 

Their words remind you of why you keep going. They challenge your old ideas about what you’re capable of and how you should live your life. 

Only when you’ve been through the fire does it become absolutely necessary to have a growth mindset if you want more than survival. And I’m betting you do. 

Keep the most meaningful quotes where you’ll see them every day, to remind you to check your mindset and internal dialogue. 

And may you meet every challenge with the belief that you can grow from it.