11 Quotes That Will Boost Confidence And Inspire You

We all have those times where we’ve lost the fire.

Light Bulb.

Inspiration

Whether we’ve been knocked to our knees by defeat, or caught in the slog of a seemingly endless grind, or the mountain just keeps being too high to climb, or despite all our best cajoling the muse has escaped into the ethers and refuses to return, sometimes we need a little oomph to spur us back on.  A method for how to regain self-confidence.

At least I know I do.

And so often, I find inspiration in the words of others who have gone before me.  They learned/earned their truths.  I gain by their wisdom, their courage.  And can pull myself up by bootstraps that others have worn well.

When wondering if all the work matters, I remember these truths:

“No matter how small and unimportant what we are doing may seem, if we do it well, it may soon become the step that will lead us to better things.”

― Channing Pollock, Magician

Or as philosopher and psychologist William James said, Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does.

As a novelist, I spent many decades questioning my path.  As anyone in the arts can attest, you’re constantly bombarded by well-meaning (or not) friends and family, by the culture itself, actually, with variations of: “Well, now, sweetie, that writing (painting, music, etc.) is all well and good, but don’t you think it’s time you get a real job?  You know, grow up and become a successful member of society?”

And while yes, a girl does have to eat! Tossing out the creative for the “mature” way of living life will dry out the artistic persona to dust.  

As playwright George Bernard Shaw said, “Life isn’t about finding yourself.  Life is about creating yourself.”

Whatever you perceive yourself to be.

Because life is in the becoming, no?

I love the teachings of Behavioral Science Academic and Author Steve Maraboli: Make a pact with yourself today to not be defined by your past. Sometimes the greatest thing to come out of all your hard work isn’t what you get for it, but what you become for it.”

But of course, all of this comes with obstacles, with falling down, with failures.  It’s in the picking up of ourselves we learn the most.  Often, though, I need a bit of a boost to keep going, a ‘how to increase confidence levels’ after said fall.

One thing that always sticks with me is from Zig Ziglar: When obstacles arise, you change your direction to reach your goal; you do not change your decision to get there.

And even though I would love just catching a broom and flying to the highest peak, I know that’s not where the magic lies.

As Helen Keller said, “The marvelous richness of human experience would lose something of rewarding joy if there were no limitations to overcome. The hilltop hour would not be half so wonderful if there were no dark valleys to traverse.

Perhaps Andy Rooney hit its essence: “Everyone wants to live on top of the mountain, but all the happiness and growth occurs while you’re climbing it.”

And sometimes when weighing the risks, I think I should have my head examined.  To look into the abyss, to feel the cold dark pull of what lies in the deep, and to jump anyway . . .  Well, the rational side of me—the one learned via the over-culture of our world—tells me I’m nuts.

But then I’m warmed by the words of Holocaust survivor and Nobel laureate Ellie Wiesel: “We must understand that there can be no life without risk—and when your spirit is strong, everything else is secondary, even the risks.

He certainly knows a thing or two about risks.

But Author Friedrich Nietzsche speaks to my heart about this: “You must have chaos within you to birth a dancing star.”

Ah, yes, that is how it is  . . .

To be able to let that chaos live takes a certain amount of trust as well.

Or as Steve Jobs said:

You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.”

Isn’t it amazing to think of Steve Jobs dealing with trust?  Somehow that just soothes my soul.   

And when I need to put life all into perspective, I come back to Author and Philosopher Og Mandino’s words:

“Remember that even the most successful lives contain chapters of failure just as any good novel does, but how the book ends depends on us.  We are the authors of our years, and our failures and defeats are only steps to something better.”

Wise words help us go on in times of trouble.  To double down on our commitments.  To not let this crazy world we live in stand in the way of our dreams and goals and the pursuit of ideals we cherish in our hearts.

To know that we all matter.

Because maybe all the sages are right; maybe life isn’t about the happy ending.

[Tweet “Because maybe all the sages are right; maybe life isn’t about the happy ending.”]

Maybe, just maybe, it’s all about the story.  

About the Author Susan Malone

Award-winning writer and editor Susan Mary Malone is the author of the novels, "I Just Came Here to Dance" and "By the Book," as well as four co-authored nonfiction books, including "What’s Wrong with My Family?" and many published short stories. Forty-plus Malone-edited books have now sold to traditional publishers.

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28 comments
Beth Niebuhr says January 13, 2016

I like to read quotes but you made your article so much more fun to read because of sharing your personal tidbits and thoughts. I especially like ” “Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.”

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Teresa Salhi says January 13, 2016

Thank for the nice article and quotes. I have the Bernard Shaw one in my kitchen. 🙂

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Sabrina Quairoli says January 13, 2016

I love these quotes. They are very inspiring to never give up. I especially love the one from Zig Ziglar: “When obstacles arise, you change your direction to reach your goal; you do not change your decision to get there.” I have to keep reminding myself of this. Thanks for sharing.

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Susan Malone says January 13, 2016

I love the Ziglar one too, Sabrina. It comes in handy!

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Brenda says January 13, 2016

Thanks for the post. These are great to remember when striving for a goal, especially those that are outside our comfort zone or different from the norm. And a comforting thought to know when we are in those valleys, that we are not alone. Many are there with us and have gone before us.

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    Susan Malone says January 14, 2016

    That’s what bolsters me the most, Brenda–that others have walked these paths and survived 🙂 And you’re so right–it’s those goals outside our comfort zones that we find so daunting.

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GiGi Eats says January 13, 2016

I love that quote about our PASTS. I never ever live in the past. I have learned from everything I have gone through and look towards the future with a positive mindset! It makes a HUGE difference on my outlook and mood forsure! 🙂

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    Susan Malone says January 14, 2016

    You are so aware, Gigi! I love your insights. Looking toward the future with a positive mindset does make a huge difference!

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Liz Mays says January 14, 2016

I have definitely learned the most from failures and hard times. As hard as they are, they help in the long run.

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    Susan Malone says January 14, 2016

    Isn’t that just truth, Liz. Failures and hard times have been my best teachers as well 🙂

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Judy Peterson says January 14, 2016

Thank you for putting to words what we all wonder. Sometimes, the hardest days are the best days, upon reflection. We would never know how good good feels if we didn’t have sadness and despair. We learn as we go each and every day.

Thank you again, Susan. Your writing continues to make me smile. 🙂

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    Susan Malone says January 14, 2016

    So very true, Judy. The pairs of opposites illuminate our lives, and by going through sadness, the joy glows so much brighter.
    Thank you!

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Roslyn Tanner Evans says January 14, 2016

The novelist in you presented these wonderful quotes in such an inspiring way. You told a story with these quotes. Some were unfamiliar & I may create memes with them.

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    Susan Malone says January 14, 2016

    The storyteller in me tends to come out 🙂 And I look forward to seeing the memes you create, Roslyn!

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Beverley Golden says January 14, 2016

Love how you used your own personal life to create a lovely story that just happened to include these powerful quotes, Susan. Many of them I am familiar with and adore. Some are new and, like Roslyn, I just might make graphics with quotes from them. It is wonderful to have such a vast array of inspiring quotes for a variety of our human experiences. One phrase I love to use is “human becomings”, which I was reminded of as I was reading your post. Wonderful read!

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    Susan Malone says January 15, 2016

    I just love “human becomings,” Beverley! What a fabulous phrase. That just says so much!

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Jessica says January 14, 2016

I liked all of these quotes, but I think the one that had the most effect on me was by Ellie Wiesel. “There can’t be life without risk”. I really like it! Thank you so much for sharing these inspirational quotes with us.

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    Susan Malone says January 15, 2016

    Don’t you just love, Ellie Wiesel, Jessica. One of my true heroes! And such wisdom always comes from him.

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Joan Potter says January 14, 2016

I love using quotes and little snippets of a larger narrative. For instance, one of my favorite quotes is from Alice in Wonderland: “Imagination is the only weapon in the war against reality.” I like to use quotes to cheer myself up, and I love seeing them as epigraphs in books (I used several in my own novel, Sweet Dreams). These little verbal soundbites/thought-bites are as good as poetry for depicting lots of sentiment in just a few words.

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    Susan Malone says January 15, 2016

    Perfectly said, Joan! Great quotes are poetic, aren’t they. I love the Alice in Wonderland one!
    And I’m going to have to check out your novel!

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Lisa Swanson says January 15, 2016

What a creative way to put together all of these quotes. Together seem to have so much more meaning than when read separately. Love some of the ideas here to put them into graphics… may do the same here! LOL One thing I love to do when a quote really resonates with me is to post it where I will always see to help me through a rough patch; because we all have rough patches, right?

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    Susan Malone says January 18, 2016

    Oh, I do the same thing, Lisa! I’ll print out a quote and put it on the computer monitor. Or the bathroom mirror 🙂

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Kristen Wilson says January 17, 2016

Just like the proof is in the pudding.. I do think and agree that is does have to do with the story. So many folks have a great story and don’t think to share it.

Motivation is key… we all need it.. thanks for sharing yours.

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    Susan Malone says January 18, 2016

    We all have a story, no? Sharing our stories makes us more human to one another 🙂 Thanks, Kristen!

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Kathy @ SMART Living 365 says July 8, 2016

Hi Susan! I missed this one the first time around so thank you for relinking it on FB book. Really, really good reminders. ~Kathy

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