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20 Inspirational Quotes from Smart Women

20 Inspirational Quotes from Smart Women

Everyday we go to work, do our jobs, go home and do it all over again the next day. Sometimes ambition takes a backseat once we have gotten comfortable in our jobs. Whether it's the start of new year, a new project, or a new season or show, we periodically are reminded of why we chose this profession in the first place. While every industry and workplace is different, we possess a lot of the same skills that help us succeed. Every now and then when our work and life seems to be in a lull, an inspiring quote can click in our minds at just the right moment to change our perspective and reinvigorate our ambition. I personally love listening to interviews with powerful, smart women and feeding off their wisdom and experience to help me perservere towards my goals and dreams. Below are some of my favorite quotes that have resonated with me and motivated me to always be pursuing the best version of myself and life.

On hard work:

“Work harder than everybody. You’re not going to get it by whining, and you’re not going to get it by shouting, and you’re not going to get it by quitting. You’re going to get it by being there.”
Barbara Walters

“All we can do to create change is work hard. That’s my advice: Just do what you do well. If you’re a producer, you’ve got to produce. If you’re a writer, you’ve got to write. If you’re in corporate America, keep working hard to bust through the glass ceiling. If you want our voices to be represented in government—and I think we’re all getting behind that idea now—encourage women to run and help them with their campaigns. If you’re one of those people who has that little voice in the back of her mind saying, “Maybe I could do [fill in the blank],’” don’t tell it to be quiet. Give it a little room to grow, and try to find an environment it can grow in.” - Reese Witherspoon

On vulnerability:

“Vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity and change.” ― Brene Brown

‘A key component of wisdom is fearlessness. Which is not the absence of fear, but rather not letting our fears get in the way.’ - Ariana Huffington

On picking the right friends:

"Do not bring people in your life who weigh you down. And trust your instincts … good relationships feel good. They feel right. They don’t hurt. They’re not painful. That’s not just with somebody you want to marry, but it’s with the friends that you choose. It’s with the people you surround yourselves with.” - Michelle Obama

‘What I have discovered, is this: You can’t do it alone. As you navigate through the rest of your life, be open to collaboration. Other people and other people’s ideas are often better than your own. Find a group of people who challenge and inspire you, spend a lot of time with them, and it will change your life.’ - Amy Poehler

On finding the right partner:

”When looking for a life partner, my advice to women is date all of them: the bad boys, the cool boys, the commitment-phobic boys, the crazy boys. But do not marry them. The things that make the bad boys sexy do not make them good husbands. When it comes time to settle down, find someone who wants an equal partner. Someone who thinks women should be smart, opinionated and ambitious. Someone who values fairness and expects or, even better, wants to do his share in the home. These men exist and, trust me, over time, nothing is sexier!” - Sheryl Sandberg

“Run away from a man who can’t handle your ambition. Run. So many men think ambition is awesome and sexy!” - Reese Witherspoon

On dealing with sexism:

"My unsolicited advice to women in the workplace is this: When faced with sexism, or ageism, or lookism, or even really aggressive Buddhism, ask yourself the following question: “Is this person in between me and what I want to do?” If the answer is no, ignore it and move on. Your energy is better used doing your work and outpacing people that way. Then, when you’re in charge, don’t hire the people who were jerky to you." - Tina Fey

"I’ve yet to be on a campus where most women weren’t worrying about some aspect of combining marriage, children and a career. I’ve yet to find one where many men were worrying about the same thing." - Gloria Steinhem

On self care:

Whether you are a stay-at-home mum, or on the red carpet, or in Afghanistan, the better you feel, the better you do your job.’ - Bobbi Brown

“When you’re doing the work you’re meant to do, it feels right and every day is a bonus, regardless of what you’re getting paid.” – Oprah Winfrey

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

On confidence:

“Speak in statements instead of apologetic questions. No one wants to go to a doctor who says, ‘I’m going to be your surgeon? I’m here to talk to you about your procedure? I was first in my class at Johns Hopkins, so?’ Make statements, with your actions and your voice.” — Tina Fey

"While I want to encourage women to be very confident, I think you can be quietly confident. If you're just like, 'R-E-S-P-E-C-T' around everyone, that's very unbecoming. Quiet confidence is the thing we need to be telling girls about, not shout-it-from-the-rooftops confidence, and that's how I think you can really succeed." - Mindy Kaling

"Women need to shift from thinking “I’m not ready to do that” to thinking “I want to do that- and I’ll learn by doing it." - Sheryl Sandberg

On change:

“I used to dream about one day being at Wimbledon. I could taste the strawberries and cream I could see myself curtseying there at center court. And I didn’t make it there, obviously, as a tennis player, but let me tell you even though I had a mic in my hand instead of a tennis racket for ESPN when I went to cover it for the first time; to me it was like ‘check! Wimbledon.’ You have to be creative in reaching your goals and I think that’s what really helped me so much in my life both professionally and personally. Just not being too rigid. Having goals and setting goals, but being flexible with them and knowing that it might not quite look like how I think it’s going to look and that’s okay.” — Robin Roberts

"What is perfection, anyway? It's the death of creativity, that's what I think, while change on the other hand, is the cornerstone of new ideas. God knows I want new ideas and new experiences." - Diane Keaton

On dealing with criticism: 

“A woman is like a tea bag; you never know how strong it is until it’s in hot water.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

Take criticism seriously, but not personally. If there is truth or merit in the criticism, try to learn from it. Otherwise, let it roll right off you. - Hillary Clinton

 

Top photo of Ingrid Bergman on the set of "We, the Women" in 1953

 

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