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Adversity Quotes Honoring Your Ability to Overcome Anything

Norbert Juma, Editor
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These “adversity quotes” will help bring out the best in you.

Everyone experiences adversity at some point in life.

It comes upon you in an unfamiliar and unexpected manner.

But although it’s always stressful and chaotic at first, adversity is how we learn and grow.

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A study by the University of California, Berkeley, found that reading quotes that resonate with our values and goals can increase our motivation and sense of purpose. 

The study suggests that overcome adversity quotes can help individuals connect with their goals, thus motivating them to persevere through adversity.

As the saying goes, what does not kill you makes you stronger.

After a difficult challenge or moment, we develop a resiliency that helps us deal with other challenges in life. 

Hardships hurt but they can also bring out the best in us.

Although bad experiences make us suffer from mental, physical, and spiritual pain, that suffering helps us develop a greater understanding of hardship and makes us more prepared for when it comes again.

You cannot control the pain that comes with adversity but you can control your response and have more courage and strength in the face of it.

In honor of your ability to overcome hardship, below is our collection of inspirational, brave, and uplifting adversity quotes, adversity proverbs, and adversity sayings, collected from a variety of sources over the years.

Check out our most popular quote article, a list of short inspirational quotes for daily inspiration. 

Our inspirational quotes category page has all of our motivational quotes for all the different areas of life.

Adversity quotes honoring your ability to overcome anything

According to a survey by the American Psychological Association, 75% of adults reported experiencing challenges in the past month, thus requiring effective coping strategies like adversity quotes.

The survey findings suggest that overcome adversity quotes can provide comfort and inspiration to help individuals build resilience.

1. “The journey is never ending. There’s always gonna be growth, improvement, adversity; you just gotta take it all in and do what’s right, continue to grow, continue to live in the moment.” – Antonio Brown

adversity quotes to live in the moment

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2. “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

adversity quotes to improve your performance the next time

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3. “Brave men rejoice in adversity, just as brave soldiers triumph in war.” – Lucius Annaeus Seneca

Adversity quotes honoring your ability to overcome anything

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4. “You should never view your challenges as a disadvantage. Instead, it’s important for you to understand that your experience facing and overcoming adversity is actually one of your biggest advantages.” – Michelle Obama

adversity quotes about challenges

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5. “We don’t develop courage by being happy every day. We develop it by surviving difficult times and challenging adversity.” –  Barbara De Angelis

adversity quotes about challenging adversity

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6. “The friend in my adversity I shall always cherish most. I can better trust those who helped to relieve the gloom of my dark hours than those who are so ready to enjoy with me the sunshine of my prosperity.” – Ulysses S. Grant

adversity quotes to enjoy with me the sunshine of my prosperity

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7. “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

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8. “No difficulty can discourage, no obstacle dismay, no trouble dishearten the man who has acquired the art of being alive. Difficulties are but dares of fate, obstacles but hurdles to try his skill, troubles but bitter tonics to give him strength; and he rises higher and looms greater after each encounter with adversity.” –  Ella Wheeler Wilcox

adversity quotes to try his skill, troubles but bitter tonics to give him strength

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9. “Adversity causes some men to break; others to break records.” – William Arthur Ward

adversity quotes about Adversity causes some men to break; others to break records

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10. “As with the butterfly, adversity is necessary to build character in people.” –  Joseph B. Wirthlin

adversity quotes about As with the butterfly, adversity is necessary to build character in people

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Adversity quotes that will make you stronger and wiser

A study by the University of Michigan found that reading inspiring quotes can increase creativity and cognitive flexibility. 

Based on the study, positive affirmations such as overcome adversity quotes can help individuals approach challenges with a more open and creative mindset, leading to more innovative solutions.

11. “The eagle has no fear of adversity. We need to be like the eagle and have a fearless spirit of a conqueror.” – Joyce Meyer

adversity quotes to be like the eagle and have a fearless spirit of a conqueror

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12. “Fire is the test of gold; adversity, of strong men.” – Martha Graham

adversity quotes about Fire is the test of gold; adversity, of strong men

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13. “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.” – William J. Clinton

adversity quotes about never quit

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14. “Sometimes adversity is what you need to face in order to become successful.” –  Zig Ziglar

adversity quotes about Sometimes adversity is what you need to face in order to become successful

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15. “Always seek out the seed of triumph in every adversity.” – Og Mandino

Adversity quotes that will make you stronger and wiser

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16. “In times of great stress or adversity, it’s always best to keep busy, to plow your anger and your energy into something positive.” –  Lee Iacocca

adversity quotes to plow your anger and your energy into something positive

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17. “One thing about championship teams is that they’re resilient. No matter what is thrown at them, no matter how deep the hole, they find a way to bounce back and overcome adversity.” –  Nick Saban (see more Nick Saban quotes)

adversity quotes about championship teams

18. “I’ve learned that everything happens for a reason,” the yogi Krishnan told him. “Every event has a why and all adversity teaches us a lesson… Never regret your past. Accept it as the teacher that it is.” – Robin Sharma

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19. “Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit.” – Napoleon Hill

adversity quotes that Napoleon Hill

20. “Show me someone who has done something worthwhile, and I’ll show you someone who has overcome adversity.” – Lou Holtz

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Adversity quotes to help bring out the best in you

21. “In our personal and professional lives, we are constantly hit with one adversity after the other, most of which we have no control over. But the four things we have total control over is how we react, how we adapt, how we breathe, and how we take action.” –  Diamond Dallas Page

adversity quotes about control over

22. “Let me embrace thee, sour adversity, for wise men say it is the wisest course.” – William Shakespeare

Adversity quotes to help bring out the best in you

23. “There is in every true woman’s heart, a spark of heavenly fire, which lies dormant in the broad daylight of prosperity, but which kindles up and beams and blazes in the dark hour of adversity.” – Washington Irving

adversity quotes about the dark hour of adversity

24. “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

adversity quotes to be the most calm

25. “What defines someone as a ‘man’ should not be the clothes they wear or how deep their voice is. It should be the content of his character, his strength in the face of overwhelming adversity, and his ability to still love and help others when the world has turned its back on him.” – Karamo Brown

adversity quotes about the content of his character

If you’re enjoying these quotes, make sure to read our collection of character quotes about the power of integrity.

26. “Sometimes good comes through adversity. I would not be who I am today had it not been for the internment, and I like who I am.” – Ruth Asawa

27. “Everyone is handed adversity in life. No one’s journey is easy. It’s how they handle it that makes people unique.” – Kevin Conroy

28. “There are uses to adversity, and they don’t reveal themselves until tested. Whether it’s serious illness, financial hardship, or the simple constraint of parents who speak limited English, difficulty can tap unexpected strengths.” – Sonia Sotomayor

29. “Just as we develop our physical muscles through overcoming opposition – such as lifting weights – we develop our character muscles by overcoming challenges and adversity.” – Stephen Covey

30. “You’ll never find a better sparring partner than adversity.” –  Golda Meir

Adversity quotes to help you learn and grow

31. “Good things are often birthed from adversity.” – Robert A. Schuller

32. “Adversity, and perseverance and all these things can shape you. They can give you a value and a self-esteem that is priceless.” – Scott Hamilton

33. “The bravest sight in the world is to see a great man struggling against adversity.” – Lucius Annaeus Seneca

34. “I learned to take those experiences that were difficult in my life and in the adversity that I had overcome to use it for a positive change.” – Dominique Moceanu

35. “Goals give you a mark to shoot for and keep you motivated when you face adversity.”  – Benjamin Watson

Adversity quotes to help you learn and grow

36. “Hardships often prepare ordinary people for an extraordinary destiny.” – C.S. Lewis

37. “The beauty of the soul shines out when a man bears with composure one heavy mischance after another, not because he does not feel them, but because he is a man of high and heroic temper.” – Aristotle

38. “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

39. “It is your reaction to adversity, not the adversity itself that determines how your life’s story will develop.” – Dieter F. Uchtdorf

40. “Any man can win when things go his way, it’s the man who overcomes adversity that is the true champion.” – Jock Ewing

Adversity quotes on overcoming hardship

41. “Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength.” – Mahatma Gandhi

42. “Opportunities to find deeper powers within ourselves come when life seems most challenging.” – Joseph Campbell

43. “Adversity, similar to lava, appears to destroy everything in its way. But out of the ashes and smoke, new, better, and stronger things emerge that may have not been born in any other way.” – Zoe V

44. “Hang in there. Trust that those winds of adversity are blowing away what’s not needed while making you stronger.” – Anonymous

45. “Adversity introduces a man to himself.”  – Albert Einstein

adversity quotes on overcoming hardship

46. “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

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47. “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

48. “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

49. “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

50. “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

Adversity quotes about life struggles

51. “Failure is the condiment that gives success its flavor.”—Truman Capote

52. “I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.”—Jimmy Dean

53. “We must embrace pain and burn it as fuel for our journey.”—Kenji Miyazawa

54. “All the world is full of suffering. It is also full of overcoming.”—Helen Keller

55. “The turning point in the process of growing up is when you discover the core of strength within you that survives all hurt.”—Max Lerner

56. “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

57. “Adversity has the same effect on a man that severe training has on the pugilist: it reduces him to his fighting weight.”—Josh Billings

58. “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”– Winston Churchill

59. “Use what you’ve been through as fuel, believe in yourself and be unstoppable!”—Yvonne Pierre

60. “In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing.” — Theodore Roosevelt

Thought-provoking adversity quotes

61. “The greater the obstacle, the more glory in overcoming it.”- Molière

62. “Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all.” – Dale Carnegie

63. “Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.”- Robert Kennedy

64. “In the middle of a difficulty lies opportunity.” – Albert Einstein

65. “Although the world is full of suffering, it is full also of the overcoming of it.” —Helen Keller

66. “Victory is always possible for the person who refuses to stop fighting.” – Napoleon Hill

67. “It’s part of life to have obstacles. It’s about overcoming obstacles; that’s the key to happiness.”- Herbie Hancock

68. “I think whether you’re having setbacks or not, the role of a leader is to always display a winning attitude.” – Colin Powell

69. “Every trial endured and weathered in the right spirit makes a soul nobler and stronger than it was before.”- James Buckham

70. A setback is a setup for a comeback.” – T.D. Jakes

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More adversity quotes and sayings

71. “Today’s tears water tomorrow’s gardens.” – Matshona Dhliwayo

72. “Hope is holding on to the promises of God.” – Lailah Gifty Akita

73. “Every challenge, every adversity, contains within it the seeds of opportunity and growth.” – Roy Bennett

74. “When all seems to be against you, remember, a ship sometimes has to sail against the current, not with it.” – Matshona Dhliwayo

75. “When life hands you dirt plant seeds.” – Matshona Dhliwayo

76. “The road to success is paved with doubters and haters.” – Matshona Dhliwayo

77. “Bad things happen, and sometimes a bad thing, later on down the line, turns out to not be bad at all, even though at the time you wouldn’t have known it.” – Kenneth Arthur

78. “When you fall on your face, rise on your feet!” – Matshona Dhliwayo

79. “Overcome your crosses. Earn your crown.” – Matshona Dhliwayo

80. “Be like stars; instead of cursing the darkness, shine.” – Matshona Dhliwayo

Adversity Quotes about Overcoming Obstacles

81. “Prosperity is no just scale; adversity is the only balance to weigh friends.” Plutarch

82. “Rock bottom became the solid foundation in which I built my life.” – J.K. Rowling

83. “Fresh activity is the only means of overcoming adversity.” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

84. “Adversity has ever been considered the state in which a man most easily becomes acquainted with himself.” – Samuel Jackson

85. “Prosperity is not without many fears and distates; adversity not without many comforts and hopes.” – Francis Bacon

86. “There is no education like adversity.” Benjamin Disraeli

87. “Hard times don’t create heroes. It is during the hard times when the “hero” within us is revealed.” – Bob Riley

88. “Adversity is the first path to truth.” Lord Byron

89. “The most successful people see adversity not as a stumbling block, but as a stepping-stone to greatness.” – Shawn Anchor

90. “Turning feelings into words can help us process and overcome adversity.” – Sheryl Sandberg

Overcome Adversity Quotes To Help You Through Hard Times

91. “Life is truly known only to those who suffer, lose, endure adversity and stumble from defeat to defeat.” ― Anais Nin

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92. “You should always want your coach to be critical. It gives you an opportunity to learn and to overcome adversity.” ― Steve Nash

93. “All adverse and depressing influences can be overcome, not by fighting, by rising above them.” ― Charles Caleb Colton

94. “In adversity, remember to keep an even mind.” ― Horace

95. “A man is insensible to the relish of prosperity until he has tasted adversity.” ― Saadi

96. “The people who best use their advantages, or overcome adversity, and work honestly are those most worthy of admiration.” ― Ben Bernanke

97. “I’ve never known anybody to achieve anything without overcoming adversity.” ― Lou Holtz

98. “I consider adversity to be good sometimes, you know.” ― Brett Favre

99. “I want to be a Role Model and I want to show kids that you can be strong and overcome adversity.” ― Paula Creamer

100. “Those who have succeeded have also had the ability to overcome adversity, disappointment, and even tragedy in their lives.” ― LaVell Edwards

Overcome Adversity Quotes That Makes You Stronger

101. “You don’t develop courage by being happy in your relationships every day. You develop it by surviving difficult times and challenging adversity.” — Epicurus

102. “Adversity, which looks and feels like such a determined enemy, can become a valuable ally. Only you can decide which it will be.” — Joni Eareckson Tada

103. “Mentally strong people overcome setbacks with confidence because adversity only makes them better.” — Amy Morin

104. “Challenge and adversity are meant to help you know who you are. Storms hit your weakness, but unlock your true strength.” ― Roy T. Bennett

105. “Adversity is preparation for greatness.” — Andy Andrews

106. “We become wiser by adversity; prosperity destroys our appreciation of the right.” — Lucius Anneaus Seneca

107. “One thing I’ve learned in the face of adversity is that better things lie ahead, you just go through some hell to get to your heaven.” — Jessica Coston

108. “Let not adversity oppress thee: be rather like unto the nail; the farther ’tis hammered, the firmer it holds.” — Ivan Panin

109. “Every adversity brings new experiences and new lessons.” ― Lailah Gifty Akita

110. “Adversity increases your resourcefulness.” —  Simon Wright

Overcome Adversity Quotes To make You Tougher

111. “If you have a strong belief in yourself, in what you are doing and what you want to do, no adversity is too difficult to overcome.” — Napoleon Hill

112. “Finding the lesson behind every adversity will be the one important thing that helps get you through it.” ― Roy T. Bennett

113. “I don’t define myself by my successes. I define myself by adversity and how I’ve persevered.” — Shaquem Griffin

114. “No one’s life is a smooth sail; we all come into stormy weather. But it’s this adversity – and more specifically our resilience – that makes us strong and successful.” — Tony Robbins

115. “Within every adversity is an equal and opposite benefit.” — Napoleon Hill

116. “Face adversity head on in your training and you will conquer it smoothly in your fight.” — Conor McGregor

117. “Adversity is life’s change agent trying to help us improve and make wiser decisions in this life.” ― Asa Don Brown

118. “There is a value to adversity. We learn more from tough times than from easy ones.” ― Vincent H. O’Neil

119. “Pursue your goals even in the face of difficulties, and convert adversities into opportunities.” — Dhirubhai Ambani

120. “With every adversity and trial comes the opportunity to grow stronger and learn from your circumstance.” — O. J. Brigance

Overcome Adversity Quotes to Conquer Challenges

121. “The firmest of friendships have been formed in mutual adversity, as iron is most strongly united by the fiercest flame.” ― Charles Caleb Colton

122. “If we had not winter, the spring would not be so pleasant; if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome.” ― Anne Bradstreet

123. “Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” ― Abraham Lincoln

124. “Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it.” ― Michael Jordan

125. “Adversity has the effect of eliciting talents which, in prosperous circumstances, would have lain dormant.” ― Horace

126. “In the dark times, if you have something to hold on to, which is yourself, you’ll survive.” ― Whoopi Goldberg

127. “Obstacles can’t stop you. Problems can’t stop you. Most of all, other people can’t stop you. Only you can stop you.” ― Jeffrey Gitomer

128. “You will fall many times in life, but you will pick yourself up and become stronger and wiser for each trouble you pass.” ― Leon Brown

129. “Throughout the journey of my life, I have maintained a strong faith in the power of the human spirit to overcome adversity. I deeply believe in one’s own positive will to overcome even the most daunting challenges.” ― Farrah Fawcett

130. “Winning takes character. Workers get the most out of themselves. When a body has limited talent, it must muster all its resources of character to overcome adversity.” ― Pete Carril

Which of these adversity quotes resonated with you best?

No matter what adverse events you experience, there is a purpose behind each one.

Without adversity, change and growth would not occur.

Although it can become a big headache in your life, your adversity is a blessing in disguise.

It will eventually make you stronger and wiser.

Hopefully, the above quotes have made you realize how strong you can be in the face of adversity.

Did you enjoy these adversity quotes?

Which of the quotes resonated best with you?

Tell us in the comment section below.

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