20 Quotes About Strength

Looking for motivation to take on something tough? Need help making an important decision? Craving comfort in the midst of a struggle? These quotes about strength will add oomph to your spirit.

Thoughtful Woman Standing Against Blue Wall
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Feeling a little weak or discouraged these days? It’s not just you: Things are tough right now. “I think it is safe to assume that most days for most people are challenging,” says Michael Westover, a counselor and the author of A Worthwhile Life: How to Find Meaning, Build Connection, and Cultivate Purpose. If you could use an extra pump of fortitude, one of the best things you can do is refer to quotes about strength to remind yourself that you are capable.

“Any type of self-affirmation, through positive phrases or statements, can help you challenge negative or unhelpful thoughts and grow stronger,” Westover says. “Even simple inward statements like ‘You got this’ have been shown to help people snap out of a funk and refocus.”

One way to get inspired to do this is by reading quotes about strength.

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Three ways reading quotes about strength can make you stronger

Westover suggests reading or hearing others’ inspiration about strength can be really powerful. He says reading strength quotes can:

  • Help motivate you when you already know what you need to do, but need help getting started.

  • Give you a push in the right direction when you can’t decide what you need to do and need help making a decision. “Quotes about strength in these situations can be more like loving advice.”

  • Offer comfort and encouragement after you’ve had a personal tragedy or setback that made you feel weak. In these situations, strength quotes can remind you that you’re not alone.

To get you started, we rounded up some of the best quotes about strength.

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Quotes about strength

1. Strength is as much mental as it is physical

“Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.” – Mahatma Gandhi

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2. You are being prepared for greatness

“Have you not learned that strength comes to an ordinary soul when given an extraordinary calling?” – Russell M. Nelson

Finding a higher purpose in suffering is one way to avoid getting trapped in a victim mentality and can help you find the strength you need to keep going.

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3. Broken bones heal stronger

“The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places.” – Ernest Hemingway

Simply going through the breaking isn’t enough—you have to focus on healing to become stronger.

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4. Struggles aren’t a flaw, they’re a feature

“Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength.” – Arnold Schwarzenegger

Struggling isn’t a sign you’re doing something wrong, in fact it can be a sign you’re doing things right by taking risks and learning new things. Strength is a daily process, building over time, and this is true for physical strength as much as mental. Start with these 5 Daily Habits that Keep Your Muscles Strong.

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5. You can’t choose not to suffer, but you can choose how you handle it

“You never know how strong you are until being strong is your only choice.” – Bob Marley

Try a few of these 9 Ways to Build Resilience, According to Mental Health Experts

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6. Some of the most admirable battles also happen to be the most private

“The strongest people are not those who show strength in front of us but those who win battles we know nothing about.” – Unknown

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7. Whether you’re building physical or mental strength, repetition is the key

“Strength does not come from what you can do. It comes from overcoming the things you once thought you couldn’t.” – Rikki Rogers

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8. “Just do it” isn’t just about shoes

“Strength is the product of struggle, you must do what others don’t to achieve what others won’t.” – Henry Rollins

As you stay the course, keep your stress in check with these 10 Science-Backed Ways to Lower Your Stress This Instant (Really!).

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9. You’re stronger than you think you are

“Courage isn’t having the strength to go on—it is going on when you don’t have strength.” – Napoleon Bonaparte

From the outside, it may look like the strongest people you know just came that way, straight from the womb, but the truth is that strong people are made, not born. If you feel like you’re not making progress getting stronger, try a guided meditation, journaling, or even just taking a walk to help you process your feelings.

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10. Adversity builds strength and strength builds character

“It’s your reaction to adversity, not adversity itself that determines how your life’s story will develop.” – Dieter F. Uchtdorf

Choosing to accept difficulty and see it as an opportunity to get stronger—rather than avoiding or denying it—is a sign that you are getting tougher already. Get more inspiration from these 18 Resilience Quotes to Help You Overcome Adversity.

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11. Building strength takes bravery

“Be strong enough to stand alone, smart enough to know when you need help, and brave enough to ask for it.” – Ziad K. Abdelnour

This is true when helping others but perhaps even more true when helping yourself. If you’re struggling to feel that you are worth fighting for, these powerful self-love quotes can help you build your self-esteem.

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12. Guilt and anger are the opposite of strength

“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.” – Mahatma Gandhi

Many people use feelings of shame, anger, guilt, and frustration as fuel to the fire that motivates them—but over time, these feelings take a toll. True strength lies in humility and being able to forgive others, and yourself, for mistakes.

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13. It doesn’t matter if you fall down 99 times as long as you get up 100 times

“The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.” – Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela himself is a great example of this quote—a lesson he obviously learned through living it. There are many beautiful stories of people conquering trials and becoming stronger—start with these people who’ve conquered mountains in their lives.

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14. There are many different types of strength

“Strength is the capacity to break a Hershey bar into four pieces with your bare hands—and then eat just one of the pieces.” – Judith Viorst

This beloved humorist and children’s book author who today is in her nineties is proof that strength means something unique to each of us…and that some struggles might offer a moment to stop and smile.

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15. All strength starts with a single thought

“You have power over your mind, not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.” – Marcus Aurelius

Whether it’s hitting the squat rack or the board room, before you can tackle something that will make you stronger, you have to think about doing it. Thinking constructive and productive thoughts is the first step to strength. However, only thinking positive thoughts isn’t the goal—that is called toxic positivity and it can cause more harm than good.

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16. Just keep swimming

“If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.” – Martin Luther King Jr.

Learning how to set goals can give you a direction to move in and the motivation to keep going, even if you’re moving slowly.

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17. All strength starts as weakness

“Sometimes you don’t realize your own strength until you come face to face with your greatest weakness.” – Susan Gale

Recognizing where you are weak is the first step to building true strength. Openly and honestly assessing weaknesses is one of the things successful people do every day.

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18. Despair is the ultimate enemy

“The greatest test of courage is to bear defeat without losing heart.” – Robert Green Ingersoll

Much time is wasted fighting others or yourself, but the true enemy of strength is despair. Fight losing hope with insights to improve your mental health.

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19. Be kind now to future you

“The struggle you’re in today is developing the strength you need for tomorrow.” – Unknown

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20. A life without difficulty isn’t worth living (and isn’t possible anyhow!)

“When we long for life without difficulties, remind us that oaks grow strong in contrary winds and diamonds are made under pressure.” – Peter Marshall

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Charlotte Hilton Andersen
Charlotte Hilton Andersen, MS, is an award-winning journalist, author, and ghostwriter who for nearly two decades has covered health, fitness, parenting, relationships, and other wellness and lifestyle topics for major outlets, including Reader’s Digest, O, The Oprah Magazine, Women’s Health, and many more. Charlotte has made appearances with television news outlets such as CBS, NBC, and FOX. She is a certified group fitness instructor in Denver, where she lives with her husband and their five children.