List of Adversity Quotes (99+ Empowering Statements)
In this article, we give you some useful tips on how to find the will to keep going when life seems too hard to live.
We also collected some of the most beautiful adversity quotes, meant to motivate and empower you.
How do you get through difficult times?
Each of us goes through moments when we feel that life is unfair and that we are slipping through a black void with no light at the end of the tunnel.
Perhaps your partner has left you, you have lost your job, you no longer get along with your child or you have had a terrible argument with your mother or best friend.
The first reaction is to revolt, then to feel depressed. Then you will be looking for something to comfort you.
Good food, sweets, new clothes or jewelry, extravagant shoes – all are self-rewards that, for the moment, help you believe that life is still worth living.
But things cannot be solved through shopping.
The consequences of these behaviors, if they become a common response to any difficulty you encounter, can be disastrous for your body or personal budget. In addition, becoming a habit, they can play the role of dysfunctional defense mechanisms, which do not solve the problem, but only the momentary unhappiness.
During periods when you face a problem related to personal, social or professional life, your self-respect and self-confidence are also affected.
You feel vulnerable and negative thoughts take over you. It is natural to look for a way to regain your balance.
The aggression you suffer from others needs compensation, which will make you feel better.
Self-rewards are welcome and even recommended – it’s good to be tolerant with yourself and, especially, to know how to love yourself and meet your emotional needs from time to time.
But self-reward can be misleading. You feel a little better at the moment and this can make you postpone the real solution of the problem you are facing.
How can you face difficult moments other than through self-rewards?
Give yourself time to feel your sadness. It is a normal feeling when you suffer a loss or a disappointment.
If you ignore your sadness, it will not pass, but will only hide in a corner of your soul. And you don’t know when it will come to the surface again…
Everyone has negative thoughts. But, if these thoughts become a habit and you find it increasingly difficult to control them, it is better to admit that you have a problem and try to solve it.
Seek the advice of a psychotherapist or other mental health professional.
After crying, look for solutions. Reformulate, in a positive way, the negative thoughts and propose concrete steps to solve the situation you face.
Give up the idea that everything happens only to you. Life is unpredictable and its events influence us all.
Try to learn something about yourself, but also about those around you, from any negative situation you face.
From each experience you will have something to learn.
15 Adversity Quotes
- “As with the butterfly, adversity is necessary to build character in people.” – Joseph B. Wirthlin
- “The greater the obstacle, the more glory in overcoming it.” -Molière
- “Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.”– Robert Kennedy
- “Life keeps throwing me stones. And I keep finding the diamonds.”– Ana Claudia Antunes
- “One who conquers the sea today is ready to conquer the ocean tomorrow.”– Matshona Dhliwayo
- “The broken heart. You think you will die, but you keep living, day after day after terrible day.”– Charles Dickens
- “We don’t develop courage by being happy every day. We develop it by surviving difficult times and challenging adversity.”– Barbara De Angelis
- “Fire is the test of gold; adversity, of strong men.”– Martha Graham
- “Hang on to your hat. Hang on to your hope. And wind the clock, for tomorrow is another day.”– E.B. White
- “Show me someone who has done something worthwhile, and I’ll show you someone who has overcome adversity.”– Lou Holtz
- “You’ll never find a better sparring partner than adversity.”– Golda Meir
- “There’s nothing that cleanses your soul like getting the hell kicked out of you.”– W. Hayes
- “There is no better than adversity. Every defeat, every heartbreak, every loss, contains its own seed, its own lesson on how to improve your performance the next time.”– Malcolm X
- “We must embrace pain and burn it as fuel for our journey.”– Kenji Miyazawa
- “Adversity has the same effect on a man that severe training has on the pugilist: it reduces him to his fighting weight.”– Josh Billings
20 Adversity Quotes
- “We become wiser by adversity; prosperity destroys our appreciation of the right.”– Lucius Annaeus Seneca
- “There is no education like adversity.”– Benjamin Disraeli
- “The most beautiful people I’ve known are those who have known trials, have known struggles, have known loss, and have found their way out of the depths.”– Elizabeth Kübler-Ross
- “The gem cannot be polished without friction, nor man perfected without trials.”– Chinese Proverb
- “Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you’re doing the impossible.”– Francis of Assisi
- “Turn your wounds into wisdom.”– Oprah Winfrey
- “Take a limitation and turn it into an opportunity. Take an opportunity and turn it into an adventure by dreaming BIG!”– Jo Franz
- “He who doesn’t want to face his challenges shall always face challenges!”– Ernest Agyemang Yeboah
- “Because some people see a wall, and assume that’s the end of their journey. Others see it, and decide it’s just the beginning.”– Angeline Trevena
- “I don’t run away from a challenge because I am afraid. Instead, I run towards it because the only way to escape fear is to trample it beneath your foot.” – Nadia Comaneci
- “A challenge only becomes an obstacle when you bow to it.”– Ray Davis
- “To be tested is good. The challenged life may be the best therapist.”– Gail Sheehy
- “If you are facing a new challenge or being asked to do something that you have never done before don’t be afraid to step out. You have more capability than you think you do but you will never see it unless you place a demand on yourself for more.”– Joyce Meyer
- “A new challenge keeps the brain kicking and the heart ticking.”– E. A. Bucchianeri
- “Let your joy scream across the pain.”– Terri Guillemets
- “Be of good cheer. Do not think of today’s failures, but of the success that may come tomorrow. You have set yourself a difficult task, but you will succeed if you persevere, and you will find a joy in overcoming obstacles.”– Helen Keller
- “There are many people in the world who have succeeded in climbing the ladder of achievement. Some of these people have persevered throughout their career having met what appeared insurmountable obstacles yet overcome these challenges to keep moving forward.”– Byron Pulsifer
- “Life’s challenges are not supposed to paralyze you, they’re supposed to help you discover who you are.”– Bernice Johnson Reagon
- “And once the storm is over, you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.”– Haruki Murakami
- “If it scares you, it might be a good thing to try.”– Seth Godin
- “Always listen to experts. They’ll tell you what can’t be done, and why. Then do it.”– Robert A. Heinlein
- “Some people will just go with the flow of things and sway in life, while others will fight against the currents and go upstream to reach their destiny.”– Anthony Liccione
- “You can’t cross the sea merely by standing and staring at the water.”– Rabindranath Tagore
- “When we least expect it, life sets us a challenge to test our courage and willingness to change; at such a moment, there is no point in pretending that nothing has happened or in saying that we are not yet ready. The challenge will not wait. Life does not look back.”– Paulo Coelho
- “Those who wish to sing, always find a song.”– Swedish Proverb
35 Adversity Quotes
- “It’s part of life to have obstacles. It’s about overcoming obstacles; that’s the key to happiness.”– Herbie Hancock
- “Conquering any difficulty always gives one a secret joy, for it means pushing back a boundary-line and adding to one’s liberty.”– Henri Frederic Amiel
- “Strength doesn’t come from what you can do. It comes from overcoming the things you once thought you couldn’t.”– Rikkie Rogers
- “We acquire the strength we have overcome.”– Ralph Waldo Emerson
- “Strength and courage aren’t always measured in medals and victories. They are measured in the struggles they overcome. The strongest people aren’t always the people who win, but the people who don’t give up when they lose.”– Ashley Hodgeson
- “In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.” – Albert Camus
- “I really believe in the old expression that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. It’s through adversity that you find the strength you never knew you had.”– Christie Brinkley
- “The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places.”– Ernest Hemmingway
- “A truly strong person does not need the approval of others any more than a lion needs the approval of sheep.”– Vernon Howard
- “He who believes is strong; he who doubts is weak. Strong convictions precede great actions.”– Louisa May Alcott
- “You have power over your mind – not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.”– Marcus Aurelius
- “There is a saying in Tibetan, ‘Tragedy should be utilized as a source of strength.’ No matter what sort of difficulties, how painful experience is, if we lose our hope, that’s our real disaster.”– Dalai Lama XIV
- “Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.”– Mahatma Gandhi
- “Temper us in fire, and we grow stronger. When we suffer, we survive.”– Cassandra Clare
- “Keep your fears to yourself, but share your courage with others.”– Robert Louis Stevenso
- “Be strong. Live honorably and with dignity. When you don’t think you can, hold on.”– James Frey
- “Sometimes you don’t realize your own strength until you come face to face with your greatest weakness.”– Susan Gale
- “Risk anything! Care no more for the opinion of others … Do the hardest thing on earth for you. Act for yourself. Face the truth.”– Katherine Mansfield
- “Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars.”– Khalil Gibran
- “A hero is an ordinary individual who finds the strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles.”– Christopher Reeve
- “All the adversity I’ve had in my life, all my troubles and obstacles, have strengthened me…. You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you.”– Walt Disney
- “Anyone can give up; it is the easiest thing in the world to do. But to hold it together when everyone would expect you to fall apart, now that is true strength.”– Chris Bradford
- “You can’t really be strong until you can see a funny side to things.”– Ken Kesey
- “The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.” ― Elisabeth Kübler-Ross
- “Keep Going
Your hardest times often lead to the greatest moments of your life. Keep going. Tough situations build strong people in the end.” ― Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart
- “Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” ― Abraham Lincoln
- “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
- “Never lose hope. Storms make people stronger and never last forever.” ― Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart
- “Never to suffer would never have been blessed.” ― Edgar Allan Poe
- “Everyone wants to ride with you in the limo, but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down.” ― Oprah Winfrey
- “These are the times that try men’s souls.” ― Thomas Paine
- “When the going gets tough, put one foot in front of the other and just keep going. Don’t give up.” ― Roy T. Bennett
- “It isn’t as bad as you sometimes think it is. It all works out. Don’t worry. I say that to myself every morning. It all works out in the end. Put your trust in God, and move forward with faith and confidence in the future. The Lord will not forsake us. He will not forsake us. If we will put our trust in Him, if we will pray to Him, if we will live worthy of His blessings, He will hear our prayers.” ― Gordon B. Hinckley
- “You’ll learn, as you get older, that rules are made to be broken. Be bold enough to live life on your terms, and never, ever apologize for it. Go against the grain, refuse to conform, take the road less traveled instead of the well-beaten path. Laugh in the face of adversity, and leap before you look. Dance as though EVERYBODY is watching. March to the beat of your own drummer. And stubbornly refuse to fit in.” ― Mandy Hale, The Single Woman: Life, Love, and a Dash of Sass
- “If the road is easy, you’re likely going the wrong way.” ― Terry Goodkind
40 Adversity Quotes
- “Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty… I have never in my life envied a human being who led an easy life. I have envied a great many people who led difficult lives and led them well.” ― Theodore Roosevelt
- “However mean your life is, meet it and live it; do not shun it and call it hard names. It is not as bad as you think. It looks poorest when you are richest. The fault-finder will find faults even in paradise. Love your life, poor as it is. You may perhaps have some pleasant, thrilling, glorious hours, even in a poorhouse. The setting sun is reflected from the windows of the almshouse as brightly as from the rich man’s abode; the snow melts before its door as early in the spring. I do not see but a quiet mind may live as constantly there, and have as cheering thoughts, as in a palace.” ― Henry David Thoreau, Walden
- “Whenever something bad happens, keep calm, take a few deep breaths and shift the focus to something positive.” ― Roy T. Bennett
- “Sometimes things have to go wrong in order to go right.” ― Sherrilyn Kenyon
- “No matter how bad things are, you can always make things worse.” ― Randy Pausch, The Last Lecture
- “I love those who can smile in trouble…” ― Leonardo da Vinci
- “Adversity is like a strong wind. I don’t mean just that it holds us back from places we might otherwise go. It also tears away from us all but the things that cannot be torn, so that afterward we see ourselves as we really are, and not merely as we might like to be.” ― Arthur Golden, Memoirs of a Geisha
- “Hardships make or break people.” ― Margaret Mitchell, Gone with the Wind
- “Difficulties strengthen the mind, as labor does the body.” ― Lucius Annaeus Seneca
- “If a man cannot understand the beauty of life, it is probably because life never understood the beauty in him.” ― Criss Jami, Killosophy
- “But if everything was always smooth and perfect, you’d get too used to that, you know? You have to have a little bit of disorganization now and then. Otherwise, you’ll never really enjoy it when things go right.” ― Sarah Dessen, The Truth About Forever
- “Often those that criticise others reveal what he himself lacks.” ― Shannon L. Alder
- “I suppose sooner or later in the life of everyone comes a moment of trial. We all of us have our particular devil who rides us and torments us, and we must give battle in the end.” ― Daphne Du Maurier, Rebecca
- “You can’t be brave if you’ve only had wonderful things happen to you.” ― Mary Tyler Moore
- “When things do not go your way, remember that every challenge — every adversity — contains within it the seeds of opportunity and growth.” ― Roy T. Bennett
- “Challenge and adversity are meant to help you know who you are. Storms hit your weakness, but unlock your true strength.” ― Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart
- “I think that little by little I’ll be able to solve my problems and survive.” ― Frida Kahlo
- “Your friends will believe in your potential, your enemies will make you live up to it.” ― Tim Fargo
- “The roughest roads often lead to the top.” ― Christina Aguilera
- “You never really know what’s coming. A small wave, or maybe a big one. All you can really do is hope that when it comes, you can surf over it, instead of drown in its monstrosity.” ― Alysha Speer
- “If for a while the harder you try, the harder it gets, take heart. So it has been with the best people who ever lived. (The Inconvenient Messiah, BYU Speeches, Feb 15, 1982)” ― Jeffrey R. Holland
- “There had been times when he knew, somewhere in him, that he would get used to it, whatever it was, because he had learnt that some hard things became softer after a very little while.” ― Nick Hornby, About a Boy
- “When you experience loss, people say you’ll move through the 5 stages of grief….
Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, Acceptance
….. What they don’t tell you is that you’ll cycle through them all every day.” ― Ranata Suzuki
- “The real glory is being knocked to your knees and then coming back. That’s real glory. That’s the essence of it.” ― Vince Lombardi
- “Extraordinary people survive under the most terrible circumstances and they become more extraordinary because of it.” ― Robertson Davies
- “Finding the lesson behind every adversity will be the one important thing that helps get you through it.” ― Roy T. Bennett
- “Sweet are the uses of adversity
Which, like the toad, ugly and venomous,
Wears yet a precious jewel in his head.” ― William Shakespeare, As You Like It
- “When emerging from humble beginnings, those around you tend to underestimate your authenticity because they knew you before you were ‘somebody’.” ― Criss Jami, Killosophy
- “It takes darkness to be aware of the light.” ― Treasure Tatum
- “It takes no more time to see the good side of life than to see the bad.” ― Jimmy Buffett
- “May your life be filled, as mine has been, with love and laughter; and remember, when things are rough all you need is … Chocolate.” ― Geraldine Solon, Chocolicious
- “Even in its darkest passages, the heart is unconquerable. It is important that the body survives, but it is more meaningful that the human spirit prevails.” ― Dave Pelzer, A Child Called “It”
- “It is in the whole process of meeting and solving problems that life has meaning. Problems are the cutting edge that distinguishes between success and failure. Problems call forth our courage and our wisdom; indeed, they create our courage and our wisdom. It is only because of problems that we grow mentally and spiritually. It is through the pain of confronting and resolving problems that we learn.” ― M. Scott Peck
- “Times of great calamity and confusion have been productive for the greatest minds. The purest ore is produced from the hottest furnace. The brightest thunder-bolt is elicited from the darkest storm.” ― Charles Caleb Colton
- “Sometimes, you will go through awful trials in your life and then a miracle happens–God heals you. Don’t be disheartened when the people you love don’t see things like you do. There will be Pharisees in your life that will laugh it off, deny that it happened, or will mock your experience based on righteousness they think you don’t possess. God won’t deny you a spiritual experience because you are not a spiritual leader. He loves everyone equally. The only people that really matter in life are the people that can “see” your heart and rejoice with you.” ― Shannon L. Alder
- “Thunderstorms are as much our friends as the sunshine.” ― Criss Jami, Killosophy
- “Adversity draws men together and produces beauty and harmony in life’s relationships, just as the cold of winter produces ice-flowers on the window-panes, which vanish with the warmth.” ― Søren Kierkegaard
- “So it is more useful to watch a man in times of peril, and in adversity to discern what kind of man he is; for then at last words of truth are drawn from the depths of his heart, and the mask is torn off, reality remains.” ― Lucretius
- “Helen Keller became deaf, dumb, and blind shortly after birth. Despite her greatest misfortune, she has written her name indelibly in the pages of the history of the great. Her entire life has served as evidence that no one is ever defeated until defeat has been accepted as reality.” ― Napoleon Hill, Think and Grow Rich: The Landmark Bestseller Now Revised and Updated for the 21st Century
- “All events are blessings given to us to learn from.” ― Elizabeth Kubler-Ross
45 Adversity Quotes
All the adversity I’ve had in my life, all my troubles and obstacles, have strengthened me….You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you.
There’s nothing that cleanses your soul like getting the hell kicked out of you.
Have the courage to face a difficulty lest it kick you harder than you bargained for.
Damaged people are dangerous. They know they can survive.
When it is dark enough, you can see the stars.
—Ralph Waldo Emerson
Every flower must grow through dirt.
Failure is the condiment that gives success its flavor.
If you’re going through hell, keep going.
We must embrace pain and burn it as fuel for our journey.
I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.
I hated every minute of training, but I said, “Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.”
The turning point in the process of growing up is when you discover the core of strength within you that survives all hurt.
Let your joy scream across the pain.
Adversity has the same effect on a man that severe training has on the pugilist: it reduces him to his fighting weight.
Adversity is like a strong wind. It tears away from us all but the things that cannot be torn, so that we see ourselves as we really are.
And once the storm is over, you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.
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.
The most beautiful people I’ve known are those who have known trials, have known struggles, have known loss, and have found their way out of the depths.
Every trial endured and weathered in the right spirit makes a soul nobler and stronger than it was before.
Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of overcoming it.
Laugh in the face of adversity, and leap before you look. Dance as though EVERYBODY is watching. March to the beat of your own drummer. And stubbornly refuse to fit in.
Use what you’ve been through as fuel, believe in yourself and be unstoppable!
If you do not believe that hearts can bloom suddenly bigger, and that love can open like a flower out of even the hardest places, then I am afraid that for you the road will be long and brown and barren, and you will have trouble finding the light.
But if you do believe, then you already know all about magic.
Little minds are tamed and subdued by misfortune, but great minds rise above them.
If you live long enough, you’ll make mistakes. But if you learn from them, you’ll be a better person. It’s how you handle adversity, not how it affects you. The main thing is never quit, never quit, never quit.
The greater the obstacle, the more glory in overcoming it.
A problem is a chance for you to do your best.
Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.
—Francis of Assisi
Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome.
—Booker T. Washington
Always bear in mind that your own resolution to success is more important than any other one thing.
Turn your wounds into wisdom.
There is no education like adversity.
I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.
Believe you can and you’re halfway there.
If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.
All the world is full of suffering. It is also full of overcoming.
When adversity strikes, that’s when you have to be the most calm. Take a step back, stay strong, stay grounded and press on.
—LL Cool J
Overcoming my dad telling me that I could never amount to anything is what has made me the megalomaniac that you see today.
It’s part of life to have obstacles. It’s about overcoming obstacles; that’s the key to happiness.
Brave men rejoice in adversity, just as brave soldiers triumph in war.
—Lucius Annaeus Seneca
It is courage, courage, courage, that raises the blood of life to crimson splendor. Live bravely and present a brave front to adversity.
Fire is the test of gold; adversity, of strong men.
Adversity is the diamond dust Heaven polishes its jewels with.
Conquering any difficulty always gives one a secret joy, for it means pushing back a boundary-line and adding to one’s liberty.
– Henri Frederic Amiel
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We all have moments when we feel lost, confused and unsure what we should do next.
You are not alone, and there is help available if you are feeling like you have no direction.
We hope that this blog and our collection of adversity quotes, gave you hope and made you feel at least a little better.
Don’t hesitate to share your favorite adversity quote in the comments section below.