100 Inspirational Quotes for Women (with Desktop Backgrounds!)


International Women’s Day is dedicated to celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women around the world. In this time of celebration, it can be helpful to turn to the words of inspiring women and learn from their experiences.

Whether you’re facing a challenge or just need some day-to-day encouragement, quotes can help spark ideas and give insight we were previously lacking. Browse through to find the inspiration you didn’t know you needed.

If you’d like to carry the words with you throughout the day, download the desktop backgrounds. Want to share the wisdom with others? Write a quote on a note card and send it with flowers to a woman that inspires you.


  • “No one changes the world who isn’t obsessed.” – Billie Jean King

  • “It’s not the absence of fear, it’s overcoming it. Sometimes you’ve got to blast through and have faith.” – Emma Watson

  • “You are the one that possesses the keys to your being. You carry the passport to your own happiness.” – Diane von Furstenberg

  • “Make the most of yourself by fanning the tiny, inner sparks of possibility into flames of achievement.” – Golda Meir

  • “Power’s not given to you. You have to take it.” – Beyoncé Knowles Carter

  • “When the whole world is silent, even one voice becomes powerful.” – Malala Yousafzai

  • “Knowing what must be done does away with fear.” – Rosa Parks

  • “I didn’t get there by wishing for it or hoping for it, but by working for it.” – Estée Lauder

  • “When we do the best we can, we never know what miracle is wrought in our life, or in the life of another.” – Helen Keller

  • “You can never leave footprints that last if you are always walking on tiptoe.” – Leymah Gbowee


  • “Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.” – Anais Nin

  • “The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity.” – Amelia Earhart

  • “The difference between successful people and others is how long they spend time feeling sorry for themselves.” – Barbara Corcoran

  • “You can waste your lives drawing lines. Or you can live your life crossing them.” – Shonda Rhimes

  • “I’d rather regret the things I’ve done than regret the things I haven’t done.” – Lucille Ball

  • “Beware of monotony; it’s the mother of all the deadly sins.” – Edith Wharton

  • “Life was meant to be lived. Curiosity must be kept alive. One must never, for whatever reason, turn his back on life.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

  • “I have stood on a mountain of no’s for one yes.” – B. Smith

  • “What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.” – Jane Goodall

  • “If you don’t like the road you’re walking, start paving another one.” – Dolly Parton


  • “The challenge is not to be perfect…it’s to be whole.” – Jane Fonda

  • “No matter how difficult and painful it may be, nothing sounds as good to the soul as the truth.” – Martha Beck

  • “When you’re through changing, you’re through.” – Martha Stewart

  • “Cherish forever what makes you unique, ‘cuz you’re really a yawn if it goes.” – Bette Midler

  • “Style is a way to say who you are without having to speak.” – Rachel Zoe

  • “Whenever you are blue or lonely or stricken by some humiliating thing you did, the cure and the hope is in caring about other people.” – Diane Sawyer

  • “I need to listen well so that I hear what is not said.” – Thuli Madonsela

  • “Step out of the history that is holding you back. Step into the new story you are willing to create.” – Oprah Winfrey

  • “I try to live in a little bit of my own joy and not let people steal it or take it.” – Hoda Kotb


  • “If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun.” – Katharine Hepburn

  • “I learned compassion from being discriminated against. Everything bad that’s ever happened to me has taught me compassion.” – Ellen DeGeneres

  • “Many receive advice, only the wise profit from it.” – Harper Lee

  • “Done is better than perfect.” – Sheryl Sandberg

  • “One of the secrets to staying young is to always do things you don’t know how to do, to keep learning.” – Ruth Reichl

  • “One cannot accomplish anything without fanaticism.” – Eva Peron

  • “It took me quite a long time to develop a voice, and now that I have it, I am not going to be silent.” – Madeleine Albright

  • “I firmly believe you never should spend your time being the former anything.” – Condoleezza Rice

  • “A good compromise is one where everybody makes a contribution.” – Angela Merkel

  • “You can’t please everyone, and you can’t make everyone like you.” – Katie Couric


  • “Learn from the mistakes of others. You can’t live long enough to make them all yourself.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

  • “Hold your head and your standards high even as people or circumstances try to pull you down.” – Tory Johnson

  • “The best thing to hold onto in life is each other.” – Audrey Hepburn

  • “Normal is not something to aspire to, it’s something to get away from.” – Jodie Foster

  • “I am always busy, which is perhaps the chief reason why I am always well.” – Elizabeth Cady Stanton

  • “I learned a long time ago that there is something worse than missing the goal, and that’s not pulling the trigger.” –Mia Hamm

  • “When I’m hungry, I eat. When I’m thirsty, I drink. When I feel like saying something, I say it.” – Madonna

  • “Owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it.” – Brené Brown

  • “I do not try to dance better than anyone else. I only try to dance better than myself.” – Arianna Huffington

  • “I’m always perpetually out of my comfort zone.” – Tory Burch


  • “In order to be irreplaceable one must always be different.” – Coco Chanel

  • “If you can’t go straight ahead, you go around the corner.” – Cher

  • “Don’t look at your feet to see if you are doing it right. Just dance.” – Anne Lamott

  • “If you don’t get out of the box you’ve been raised in, you won’t understand how much bigger the world is.” – Angelina Jolie

  • “If you’re someone people count on, particularly in difficult moments, that’s a sign of a life lived honorably.” – Rachel Maddow

  • “You can’t be that kid standing at the top of the water slide, overthinking it. You have to go down the chute.” – Tina Fey

  • “There are two kinds of people, those who do the work and those who take the credit. Try to be in the first group; there is less competition there.” – Indira Gandhi

  • “All careers go up and down like friendships, like marriages, like anything else, and you can’t bat a thousand all the time.” – Julie Andrews

  • “If you find someone you love in your life, then hang on to that love.” – Princess Diana

  • “A strong woman is a woman determined to do something others are determined not be done.” – Marge Piercy


  • “Taking joy in living is a woman’s best cosmetic.” – Rosalind Russell

  • “The question isn’t who’s going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me.” – Ayn Rand

  • “I choose to make the rest of my life the best of my life.” – Louise Hay

  • “Drama is very important in life: You have to come on with a bang. You never want to go out with a whimper.” – Julia Child

  • “Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier.” – Mother Teresa

  • “When we speak we are afraid our words will not be heard or welcomed. But when we are silent, we are still afraid. So it is better to speak.” – Audre Lorde

  • “Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim.” – Nora Ephron

  • “You should treat your marriage like a business that you wouldn’t want to let fail.” – Lisa Ling

  • “Change your life today. Don’t gamble on the future, act now, without delay.” – Simone de Beauvoir

  • “If you’re not making some notable mistakes along the way, you’re certainly not taking enough business and career chances.” – Sallie Krawcheck


  • “The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.” – Alice Walker

  • “A surplus of effort could overcome a deficit of confidence.” – Sonia Sotomayor

  • “Doubt is a killer. You just have to know who you are and what you stand for.” – Jennifer Lopez

  • “You can be the lead in your own life.” – Kerry Washington

  • “Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but the moments that take our breath away.” – Maya Angelou

  • “If you don’t like being a doormat then get off the floor.” – Al Anon

  • “Whatever you do, be different – that was the advice my mother gave me, and I can’t think of better advice for an entrepreneur. If you’re different, you will stand out.” – Anita Roddick

  • “A lot of people are afraid to say what they want. That’s why they don’t get what they want.” – Madonna

  • “A woman is like a tea bag — you never know how strong she is until she gets in hot water.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

  • “Destiny is a name often given in retrospect to choices that had dramatic consequences.” – J.K. Rowling


  • “Everyone shines, given the right lighting.” – Susan Cain

  • “A strong woman understands that the gifts such as logic, decisiveness, and strength are just as feminine as intuition and emotional connection. She values and uses all of her gifts.” – Nancy Rathburn

  • “I want to do it because I want to do it. Women must try to do things as men have tried. When they fail, their failure must be but a challenge to others.” – Amelia Earhart

  • “The best protection any woman can have…is courage.” – Elizabeth Cady Stanton

  • “We must believe that we are gifted for something, and that this thing, at whatever cost, must be attained.” – Marie Curie

  • “Success breeds confidence.” – Beryl Markham

  • “The way in which we think of ourselves has everything to do with how our world sees us and how we see ourselves successfully acknowledged by the world.” – Arlene Rankin

  • “Whatever women do they must do twice as well as men to be thought half as good. Luckily, this is not difficult.” – Charlotte Whitton

  • “If you look at what you have in life, you’ll always have more. If you look at what you don’t have in life, you’ll never have enough.” – Oprah Winfrey

  • “People think at the end of the day that a man is the only answer [to fulfillment]. Actually, a job is better for me.” – Princess Diana


  • “If you don’t risk anything, you risk even more.” – Erica Jong

  • “You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.” – Maya Angelou

  • “Women are never stronger than when they arm themselves with their weaknesses.” – Madame Marie du Deffand

  • “When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us.” – Helen Keller

  • “Courage is like a muscle. We strengthen it by use.” – Ruth Gordon

  • “Always go with the choice that scares you the most, because that’s the one that is going to require the most from you.” – Caroline Myss

  • “Stop wearing your wishbone where your backbone ought to be.” – Elizabeth Gilbert

  • “One of the most courageous things you can do is identify yourself, know who you are, what you believe in and where you want to go.” – Sheila Murray Bethel

  • “It takes a great deal of courage to stand up to your enemies, but even more to stand up to your friends.” – J.K. Rowling

  • “A woman with a voice is by definition a strong woman. But the search to find that voice can be remarkably difficult.” – Melinda Gates

  • “A man’s got to do what a man’s got to do. A woman must do what he can’t.” – Rhonda Hansome

  • “You have to have confidence in your ability, and then be tough enough to follow through.” – Rosalynn Carter

  • “One is not born, but rather becomes, a woman.” – Simone de Beauvoir

Let these inspiring quotes motivate you—not just on International Women’s Day, but every day! Take action by sending same-day delivery flowers with a quote to a loved one who could use a pick-me-up.