Since the pandemic started, I have struggled both professionally and personally. When I am not in the mood to read a book, an article or watch a motivational video, I turn to inspirational quotes. They are usually concise, insightful and they always provide me with the instant morale boost I crave.
After having memorized hundreds of citations over the past two years, seven of them seem to be helpful to eighty percent of my challenges. Yes, the Pareto law at work! If you are a high achiever tackling difficult projects characterized by constant setbacks, you will find these seven quotes useful. These are notorious lines which you may already be familiar with, but that doesn’t diminish the value of the present article. You’ll need to refer to them frequently on your journey toward greatness.
1. Hardship and Feeling of Helplessness
This Serenity Prayer often attributed to Reinhold Niebuhr is amongst the most powerful and illuminating quotes, helpful across a wide variety of life challenges. It’s easy to feel at the top of the world when we are succeeding, however, when the going gets tough, that’s when staying confident becomes a challenge. Of course, memorizing three simple sentences won’t make your problems go away, but it will enable you to focus your energy where it matters most.
“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.” — Reinhold Niebuhr
2. Fear of failure
Among the multitude of quotes on failure I have come across, Henry Ford’s excerpt captures failure and its two most important facets. First, failure is an opportunity. If we change our mindset about disappointment, we should be able to face failure more courageously and not engage in many self-sabotaging thoughts and behaviors. Second, failure gives us the possibility to start over, better and stronger than before. This is the true purpose of failure. Failure isn’t meant to bring you down, but to strengthen your resolve and propel you to your goal.
“Failure is only the opportunity to begin again, only this time more wisely.” — Henry Ford
3. Fear of success
Never thought I would include a quote about the fear of success. As a life coach, I realize that the fear of victory is a genuine issue that many face. Remember those moments when the sight of the finish line created all those self-doubts and limiting beliefs? Many strive to reach a lofty goal, only to feel insecure and undeserving when they close in on their target. When hesitance creeps in, remember that you are “powerful beyond measure,” and you were “born to shine.” Therefore, instead of selling yourself short, go full strength and enjoy the massive success that’s rightfully yours.
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our Light, not our Darkness, that most frightens us.” — Marianne Williamson
4. Fear of criticism
This quote is simple, yet powerful. It takes no effort to descend into oblivion when someone criticizes us. Always remember that it’s easier for the average individual to chastise than to compliment. People often criticize to fill their own void. You should use it to your advantage. Ask yourself: how can I grow from that criticism? In the same vein, you must frame your criticism constructively to instruct, not to disparage.
“Criticism is information that will help you grow.” — Hendrie Weisinger
Boredom and procrastination are two enemies to expect when working toward a worthwhile goal. Regardless of one’s level of motivation and passion for a subject, there are days when they won’t feel like lifting a feather. Commit this quote to memory and refer to it whenever the weight of laziness drags you down.
“Never put off for tomorrow what you can do today.” — Thomas Jefferson
Many times we become impatient when we have put in the hard work and aren’t seeing any results. But remember that nature doesn’t operate linearly, so cultivate patience. Mother nature doesn’t worry, why should you?
“Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.” — Lao Tzu
7. Heightened Sense of Superiority
Just as we may experience a sense of inferiority to others, as we become more knowledgeable, many develop the superiority complex. This is particularly common for those of us in leadership roles and whose ideas matter a great deal. An article published in Harvard Business Review by Bill Taylor reported that when students at MIT Sloan School of Management were asked what it meant to be promoted to the rank of manager, without hesitation they replied: “It means I can now tell others what to do.” This exemplifies the value of learning to be humble when in a position of authority. As one climb the ladder of success, humility is the chief skill we must learn. May your effort, your failure and Socrates’ words remind you that like everyone else, you are a work in progress.
“True knowledge exists in knowing that you know nothing.” Socrates
Those are troublesome times, the best we can do is to strive to strengthen our spirit and elevate others. This is the purpose of this article. I hope these quotes help you stay grounded on your journey toward success as they have for me.