Resilience is the art of turning setbacks into opportunity. However, sometimes it can be hard to deal with life changes and difficulties. These seven quotes on resilience from Calvin Holbrook may inspire you to find your perseverance and keep moving forward. 


Resilience is an essential skill of strength that we need to develop in order to live and thrive successfully. It's necessary to find this skill of perseverance because throughout our lives we will face continual setbacks, problems and challenges. Resilience refers to our capacity to recover from these difficulties, find our inner strength and bounce back. Sometimes just reading a quote about resilience may help us to access that willpower to keep going.

Indeed, instead of simply surviving or burying our heads in the sand – which can lead to depression and anxiety – resilience determines whether we become defeated by life obstacles or fight through them and grow stronger, hopefully learning life lessons along the way. 

RELATED: Building resilience – 5 strategies for thriving


Building resilience techniques helps us to cope with the inevitable challenges that life will constantly hurl our way. The great thing is, every single one of us possesses the ability to access the mental strength that exists within us – even though it may not feel like it in the moment. So, if you’re experiencing a hard time and need some inspiration to stay tough and keep going, these seven powerful resilience quotes may inspire you to find that inner strength. 


Resilience quotes: 7 powerful sayings


1. “A good half of the art of living is resilience.” Alain de Botton

In this quote, the British-Swiss philosopher and author Alain de Botton recognises that staying resilient is an essential life skill, one that we all will need to use on a regular basis. Why? Well, because staying resilient helps us to recover from setbacks and/or failure, and it also helps us to deal with change. These are both things we will have to deal with continuously at all stages of our life, so it makes sense that resilience makes up such a vital part of the art of living successfully. 

In fact, resilient people will not let adversity define them. They find and develop their resilience by moving towards a goal beyond themselves, overcoming grief and pain by perceiving difficult times as the temporary state of affairs that they are. 



2. “Rock bottom became the solid foundation in which I rebuilt my life.” J.K. Rowling

This resilience quote comes from one of the best-selling authors on the planet, Harry Potter creator J.K. Rowling. Before finding success she was a single mum living on state benefits in Edinburgh, Scotland, after returning home from a failed marriage while living abroad in Portugal.

Her first Potter book was rejected by 12 different publishers but that didn’t stop her giving up on her dream. Later, when her mother died, she even developed suicidal thoughts. Nowadays, Rowling sites these difficult times as the foundation for rebuilding her life. She even has one of her rejection letters – which advises her to join a writers group to develop more experience – framed and displayed on her wall as a reminder of her resilience!


3. “If your heart is broken, make art with the pieces.” Shane Koyczan

This quote around persevering and staying strong comes from the award-winning spoken word poet and author Shane Koyczan. Our hearts can be broken for many different reasons: grief, failure, the end of a relationship. Koyczan suggests that we take the pain and put it to good use: by being creative with it.

Getting over heartache is tough, but chanelling your pain into something creative helps you to get over it and move on, as well as getting into something new, whether that be poetry, singing, making a painting or drawing. Indeed, heartbreak can be a source of motivation and inspiration.


Just take a look at the British musician Sam Smith. Back in 2015 he won four Grammy awards for his work, an album he had completed while he was going through relationship struggles. During his acceptance speech for one of the Grammys, Smith stated: “I want to thank the man who this record is about, who I fell in love with last year. Thank you so much for breaking my heart, because you got me four Grammys.” Now that's a resilience quote!



4. “Never cease chiseling your own statue.” Plotinus

Plotinus was a philosopher who lived in Roman Egypt. The issue of happiness was one of his greatest imprints on Western thought, and Plotinus was one of the first thinkers to introduce the idea that eudaimonia (happiness) is attainable only within consciousness.


“Building resilience techniques helps us to cope with the inevitable challenges that life will hurl our way. These seven powerful resilience quotes may inspire you to find your inner-strength.”

This resilience quote is about self-improvement and continued self-awareness in a bid to become the person you want to be. We all have things about ourselves that we don’t like. These things can potentially keep us down and hold us back from growth.

Plotinus suggests, “Cut away all that is excessive, straighten all that is crooked, bring light to all that is overcast, labor to make all one glow or beauty and never cease chiseling your statue, until there shall shine out on you from it the godlike splendor of virtue.”



5. “Do not judge me by my success, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again.” Nelson Mandela

This resilience quote from the revered former President of South Africa will surely resonate with many of us. It suggests that resilience and strength are powerful human traits, more valuable than success itself. Mandela was knocked down many times in his long and illustrious life, and kept fighting despite all the odds.

So, if you’re struggling with failure or being beaten down, let Mandela’s words inspire you to never give up. His resilience quote reminds me of another well-known saying about staying resilient that’s also important to remember: “If at first you don't succeed, try, try again.”



6. “Discipline equals freedom.” Jocko Willink

Have you struggled to reach your goals or ambitions because of procrastination or failure to focus on the task at hand? Then this resilience quote from Jocko Willink could inspire you to work harder. Willink is a retired American Navy SEAL officer who now works as a podcaster and author.


“Instead of burying our heads in the sand – which can lead to depression and anxiety – resilience determines whether we become defeated by life obstacles or fight through them.”

While serving in the Navy, Willink rose through the ranks to become a commander. He lives by his “discipline equals freedom” mantra, imposing mental and physical disciplines he imposes on himself in order to achieve freedom in all aspects of life. His quote about being resilient suggests that you have to stay disciplined and focused to achieve what you want. And then, when you finally get there, the achievement will bring you freedom and happiness. 



7. “My barn having burned down, I can now see the moon.” Mizuta Masahide

If you currently need a reminder that every cloud has a silver lining, this is it! This resilience quote comes from Mizuta Masahide, a 17th-century Japanese poet and samurai. The saying suggests that when something bad happens, we should shift our focus away from the negative and try to see the positive in the situation.

Indeed, changing perspective and reframing a situation can help us to stay strong and move on from whatever is causing us pain. It helps us to stay resilient and gives us hope for the future.



Do you have any favourite quotes about resilience that you turn to in times of difficulty? Share them with the community in the comments below! | The fine art of being: learn, practise, share

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Written by Calvin Holbrook

calvin.holbrook.jpegCalvin edits our online magazine, makes art, and is a lover of swimming, yoga, dancing to house/techno, and all things vintage! Find out more.




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Thanks for add me to see how to powerful sayings

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Some lovely resilience quotes here!

Here's another one I like:


Resilience is accepting your new reality, even if it’s less good than the one you had before.

You can fight it, you can do nothing but scream about what you’ve lost or you can accept that and try to put together something that’s good.

- Elisabeth Edwards

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A lot of really powerful resilience quotes, and I think they are much needed at the moment ? I find them really inspiring and motivating, and it is such an important reminder to try and focus on the good, or try and find even the tiniest silver lining when everything seems to be going wrong. Looking back, I think many of us realize that it was after a horrible moment in our lives, or 'rock bottom' as mentioned in the second resilience quote, that something positive happened! ? Sending so much strength to anyone who might need it right now!

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The resilience quote "discipline equals freedom" seems so boring at first glance

and yet if I look at my life it really is true

It still sounds boing - I wonder at which point and why discipline got a bad reputation...

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I have to remember some of these resilience quotes as I've been going through a hard time lately. Sometimes I feel so overwhelmed with life, but even reading some of the sayings on staying strong helps me. It may sound strange, but they really do help me if I concentrate on them. The one from Alain de Botton is particularly relevant: I've had so many issues to deal with in my life, so it's been useful to realize early on that resilience is an essential life skill. Sending love and support to all those that are seeking support at the moment. Much strength to you all. ??

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