19 Inspiring Quotes From Female Titans Who Dominate Their Industry

“I don’t like to gamble, but if there’s one thing I’m willing to bet on, it’s myself.”

My mom's side of the family is ruled by outspoken, confident, and ambitious women — and I was lucky to meet three generations of them.

My mom was the first person in her family to go to college. She rebelled against what everyone had planned for her future and went on to study chemical engineering. She taught me to think independently, follow my ambition, and understand that there is nothing I can't learn.

My grandmother was a single, working mom in a time when divorce was taboo. From her, I learned the sheer power of will. No matter the circumstances, you can always start over.

My great-grandmother lived through World War II, got married for love against her parents' wishes, and she always, always, always had a smile on her face. She taught me to approach life with a certain light-heartedness especially in the face of darkness.

I've been inspired by so many women — some I'm related to, some I've interviewed, and some I've never even met.

In honor of International Women's Day on March 8, I have compiled 19 quotes by the female titans who have propelled our society forward.

“Happiness comes from being who you actually are instead of who you think you are supposed to be.” — Shonda Rhimes, TV showrunner, executive producer, and writer

“Don't be intimidated by what you don't know. That can be your greatest strength and ensure that you do things differently from everyone else.” — Sara Blakely, founder and CEO of Spanx

"The more you adapt, the more interesting you are." — Martha Stewart, entrepreneur

"Bravery is not the absence of fear, it is overcoming it.” — Mellody Hobson, president and co-CEO of Ariel Investments

"Goals are only wishes if you do not have a plan." — Melinda Gates, philanthropist and investor

“In most of our decisions, we are not betting against another person. Rather, we are betting against all the future versions of ourselves that we are not choosing.” — Annie Duke, author and poker player

“If somebody says no, you’re talking to the wrong person.” — Kris Jenner, the mastermind of the Kardashian-Jenner empire

“You develop confidence after the successful repetition of any endeavor.” — Debbie Millman, designer

“Love rests on two pillars: surrender and autonomy. Our need for togetherness exists alongside our need for separateness.” — Esther Perel, renowned couples therapist

“My life was narrated for me by others. Their voices were forceful, emphatic, absolute. It had never occurred to me that my voice might be as strong as theirs.” — Tara Westover, author of Educated

“Our ability to bounce back is part of what’s so cool. You can endure a lot if you set your mind to it and push through." — Courtney Dauwalter, elite ultra-runner

“Forgiveness doesn't sit there like a pretty boy in a bar. Forgiveness is the old fat guy you have to haul up a hill.” — Cheryl Strayed, author of Wild

"If you can listen to your intuition rather than your ego, you will almost always end up where you’re meant to be." — Katie Arnold, journalist and ultra-runner

"If you don't like the road you're walking, start paving another one." — Dolly Parton, singer-songwriter and business owner

“Fight for the things that you care about, but do it in a way that will lead others to join you.” — Ruth Bader Ginsburg, U.S. Supreme Court justice

“Perfectionism is the belief that something is broken — you. So you dress up your brokenness with degrees, achievements, accolades, pieces of paper, none of which can fix what you think you are fixing.” — Edith Eva Eger, psychologist and Holocaust survivor

"You are not the opinion of someone who doesn't know you." — Taylor Swift, singer-songwriter

“I make friends with pain. We spend so much time trying to avoid pain, yet it’s something that teaches us so many lessons.” — Amelia Boone, corporate attorney and obstacle endurance racer

“I don’t like to gamble, but if there’s one thing I’m willing to bet on, it’s myself.” — Beyoncé, singer-songwriter


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