We all fall down; we all make mistakes; we all suffer setbacks and sometimes, we all feel lost and hopeless. The good news is, we also bounce back; we get up, we start fresh, we regain confidence and we learn from our missteps. And that is the true test of a person’s character—how you recover from adversity and failure, not whether or not you fail in the first place. We’ve all heard about the importance of being resilient, but what does that even mean? According to Neil Farber M.D, Ph.D., psychologist and author, in an article for Psychology Today, “resilience is a dynamic process of continuing to pursue your core objective by positive behavioral adaptations in the face of stress, threats, and adversity.” Resilience is how you recover from mistakes and bounce back after you flounder, and it’s a crucial part of living a fulfilling and happy life because it helps you cope with stress, loss, frustration and failure. And the reality of life is we will all experience those obstacles at one time or another.

So how do you bounce back? It’s not always easy, in fact, it’s usually really tough; it can be emotional, but you need to process all of your emotions (positive and negative) to move forward. And it can be disheartening to face failure, rejection and negativity, but as you work past those challenges you’ll come out more creative, more capable, stronger and more inspired. And when you need some help—and we all need some help sometimes—you can turn to these 10 powerful quotes to help you through your tough times.  

Read Related: Embracing Your Inner Khaleesi: How to Empower Yourself


“Nobody’s journey is seamless or smooth. We all stumble. We all have setbacks. It’s just life’s way of saying, ‘Time to change course.’” – Oprah Winfrey
If Oprah knows one thing for sure, it’s that messing up is a part of the path to success in almost every circumstance, no matter what you are trying to achieve. And when you do hit roadblocks it’s an opportunity to try something new, go in a new direction, and learn from those experiences. Don’t be afraid to change your course, and remind yourself that you’re not alone—everyone goes through those challenges at some point, and we all find our way back on track.

“It’s fine to celebrate success but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure.” – Bill Gates
While being successful is important in many ways, instead of only focusing on the moments where you are successful, it’s crucial to also focus on what you can learn from failure. When you do, that’s when you’ll experience the ultimate satisfaction in your career and your life. Messing up is not a bad thing if you take time to learn from your experiences and get back on your feet to move forward…and we trust Bill Gates when it comes to being successful.


“You might never fail on the scale I did, but some failure in life is inevitable. It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all – in which case, you fail by default.” – J.K. Rowling
While failure can be scary and the prospect of being publicly embarrassed is too much for some people to handle, if you don’t take chances then you’ll never live to your potential; and according to J.K. Rowling, regret is actually a worse fate than failure.

“Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” – Thomas Edison
If achieving success were simple or easy then everyone would be wildly successful with minimal effort. Expect to be challenged every step of the way, and be prepared mentally and emotionally to move forward anyway. You’ll get there, and if you’re struggling you’re getting close.


“It always seems impossible until it’s done.” – Nelson Mandela
Need we say more?

“For my first show at ‘SNL’, I wrote a Bill Clinton sketch, and during our read-through, it wasn’t getting any laughs. This weight of embarrassment came over me, and I felt like I was sweating from my spine out. But I realized, ‘Okay, that happened, and I did not die.’ You’ve got to experience failure to understand that you can survive it.” — Tina Fey
Tina Fey, like a boss…saying it like it is and reminding us that she’s a total badass. One of our worst nightmares is being publicly shamed while filming a live comedy show, and it happened to her, and somehow she kept it all in perspective. Her jokes fell flat, she survived, she moved on, and now she’s a freakin’ superstar.


“I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying.” — Michael Jordan
No matter what you do, and regardless of whether or not you do it well, you need to try. You can always move past failure, but you’ll always regret if you didn’t give it your best effort.

“We gain strength, and courage, and confidence by each experience in which we really stop to look fear in the face. We must do that which we think we cannot.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
Instead of harping on your failures and all the things you either did wrong or all the things you were too afraid to do, make today the day you start embracing everything that terrifies you. Attack those experiences head on; it will liberate you and make you feel like you can do anything. And guess what, you can.


“When you take risks you learn that there will be times when you succeed and there will be times when you fail, and both are equally important.” – Ellen DeGeneres
Ellen is an absolute pro when it comes to speaking her mind (she’s pretty good at lip sync battle and dance offs too) and being eloquent and wise. And we love how she places equal emphasis on being successful and messing up. Because both types of experiences will shape who you are and who you become if you let them.

“When I’m not feeling my best I ask myself, ‘What are you gonna do about it?’ I use the negativity to fuel the transformation into a better me.” – Beyoncé
Wait, what? Even Beyoncé has bad days? Say it ain’t so. Just knowing that Queen Bey is human is a win in our book, and knowing that she handles those human moments full of insecurity and doubt with such grace and positivity makes us love her even more. All hail the queen.