As a Black woman, we all know life gets rough sometimes. Whether it’s our careers, our relationships, or just the everyday struggle of trying to stay positive, we could all use a little encouragement and motivation to keep us going every now and then. In times of distress and confusion, it’s important that we seek positivity so we can persevere through whatever obstacles we may be facing.
These 10 inspirational quotes by 10 iconic Black women are sure to give some, if not all of the motivation we need.
“Do the one thing you think you cannot do. Fail at it. Try again. Do better the second time. The only people who never tumble are those who never mount the high wire. This is your moment. Own it.” – Oprah Winfrey
Winfrey encourages us to never be too afraid to try, and even if we don’t succeed, we should be resilient enough to try again. Success comes after numerous trial and errors and we owe it ourselves to make the effort.
“Women have to throw out the fairy tale ending. I think they have to decide what their fairy tale ending is – and not go with the standard one that everyone’s told them they’re supposed to have.” – Shonda Rhimes
From the house, the husband, the children, or the job, we’ve been given unsolicited advice on what the life of a woman should entail since the beginning of time. But Shonda Rhimes encourages us to create the lives we want for ourselves. She says that the real happiness comes from within.
“Women have been trained in our culture and society to ask for what we want instead of taking what we want. We’ve been really indoctrinated with this culture of permission. I think it’s true for women, and I think it’s true for people of color. It’s historic, and it’s unfortunate and has somehow become part of our DNA. But that time has passed.” – Ava DuVernay
While men are encouraged to go after what they desire, women are often expected to ask permission and accept what is given. DuVernay encourages us to boldly seek out the desires of our heart.
“I need to see my own beauty and to continue to be reminded that I am enough, that I am worthy of love without effort, that I am beautiful, that the texture of my hair and that the shape of my curves, the size of my lips, the color of my skin, and the feelings that I have are all worthy and okay.” – Tracee Ellis Ross
Tracee Ellis Ross reminds us all to appreciate our own beauty and uniqueness. In a world full of constant judgement and critics, it’s important for us as women to embrace ourselves for everything we are.
“I always believed that when you follow your heart or your gut, when you really follow the things that feel great to you, you can never lose, because settling is the worst feeling in the world.” – Rihanna
Bad Gal Riri has always been known for marching to the beat of her own drum. With her unapologetic approach to life, Rihanna encourages us all to follow our heart and do what feels right to us as opposed to settling.
“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
The late Maya Angelou said that making mistakes and failing is what makes us who we are. The lessons we learn from our failures set the tone for our life, and teach us how to conquer what may stand in our way.
“We give a lot of others significance in our lives even when they don’t deserve it. It doesn’t matter if they’re family or if you’ve known them forever. If they’re not good for you, they’ve got to go.” – Gabrielle Union
It’s important to reevaluate the people in your circle during every chapter of your life. The people you surround yourself with have a great impact on the projection of your life and we should be mindful of who we are letting in our space. While it may be difficult at times, sometimes we need to let old friends or family members go for the benefit of our mental state and happiness.
“If I didn’t define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people’s fantasies for me and eaten alive.” – Audre Lorde
The late Audre Lorde encourages us all to define ourselves and to be okay with that definition. If we waited on the acknowledgment and acceptance of society, we would all be miserable.
“I gave myself permission to feel and experience all of my emotions. In order to do that, I had to stop being afraid to feel. In order to do that, I taught myself to believe that no matter what I felt or what happened when I felt it, I would be okay.” – Iyanla Vanzant
Iyanla Vanzant says there is power in your emotions. Contrary to popular opinion, embracing your emotions is healthy and having feelings simply makes us human; and that is nothing to be fearful of.
“One thing my mom used to tell me was to look to the other side, and know that my present is not going to be everything. So if I’m having a bad day, she goes, ‘Just imagine tomorrow. This is going to be over. This is going to be done with.'” – Tyra Banks
As the saying goes, “this too shall pass.” When we go through hardships in our life, it always seems like it will last forever. It never does. When we’re faced with pain or disappointment, it’s important to understand that dwelling on our current situation is pointless because it is only temporary.