101 Courage Quotes That Will Motivate and Inspire You

Today I’d like to share 101 of the best and most powerful courage quotes that I’ve found.

Timeless thoughts that will inspire and help you to take that big – or sometimes small – leap that you need to take to move forward towards a dream or goal.

These thought-provoking quotes will help you to build your own courage in life no matter if you need it in your love life or relationships, to go after what you want at work or in your business or to make positive change in your life.

And to not give up even when things are tough and you may feel like giving in and going home.

NOTE: The original version of this post from way back in 2008 contained only 14 quotes on courage but it has now been updated with 87 additional quotes.

Courage Quotes That Will Help You to Make Your Dreams Real

46 Courage Quotes That Will Motivate and Inspire You (2020 Update)

“One isn’t necessarily born with courage, but one is born with potential. Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can’t be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest.”
Maya Angelou

“Without courage, wisdom bears no fruit.”
Baltasar Gracian

“Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.”
Anais Nin

“You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do.”
Eleanor Roosevelt

“A ship is safe in harbor, but that’s not what ships are for.”
John A. Shedd

“Courage isn’t having the strength to go on – it is going on when you don’t have strength.”
Napoléon Bonaparte

“Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.”
Lao Tzu

“When things go wrong as they sometimes will,
When the road you’re trudging seems all uphill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit
Rest if you must, but don’t you quit.
Success is failure turned inside out,
The silver tint on the clouds of doubt,
And you can never tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems afar.
So, stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit
It’s when things go wrong that you mustn’t quit.”
John Greenleaf Whittier

“Of all forms of caution, caution in love is perhaps the most fatal to true happiness.”
Bertrand Russell

Courage Quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Do the thing you fear and the death of fear is certain.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson

“It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends.”
J.K. Rowling

“The best way out is always through.”
Robert Frost

“Don’t get discouraged; it is often the last key in the bunch that opens the lock.”

“You cannot swim for new horizons until you have courage to lose sight of the shore.”
William Faulkner

“When a resolute young fellow steps up to the great bully, the world, and takes him boldly by the beard, he is often surprised to find it comes off in his hand, and that it was only tied on to scare away the timid adventurers.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Keep your fears to yourself but share your courage with others.”
Robert Louis Stevenson

“To dare is to lose one’s footing momentarily. To not dare is to lose oneself.”
Soren Kierkegaard

“It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.”
E.E. Cummings

“If you’re not willing to risk, you cannot grow. If you cannot grow, you cannot be your best. If you cannot be your best, you cannot be happy. If you cannot be happy, what else is there?”
Les Brown

“To overcome fear, here’s all you have to do: realize the fear is there, and do the action you fear anyway.”
Peter McWilliams

Courage Quote by Diane Mariechild

“Trust the still, small voice that says, “this might work and I’ll try it.”
Diane Mariechild

“So many of our dreams at first seem impossible, then they seem improbable, and then, when we summon the will, they soon become inevitable.”
Christopher Reeve

“Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.”
Marie Curie

“Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything – all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important.”
Steve Jobs

“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

“The greatest test of courage on the earth is to bear defeat without losing heart.”
R. G. Ingersoll

“Curiosity will conquer fear even more than bravery will.”
James Stephens

“Obstacles are like wild animals.  They are cowards but they will bluff you if they can.  If they see you are afraid of them… they are liable to spring upon you; but if you look them squarely in the eye, they will slink out of sight.”
Orison Swett Marden

“The best years of your life are the ones in which you decide your problems are your own. You do not blame them on your mother, the ecology, or the president. You realize that you control your own destiny.”
Albert Ellis

“If you’re going through hell, keep going.”
Winston Churchill

“It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could have done better.
The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes short again and again, who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause, who at best knows achievement and who at the worst if he fails at least fails while daring greatly so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.”
Theodore Roosevelt

Courage Quote by Unknown

“Remember that failure is an event, not a person.”

“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”
Nelson Mandela

“Anyone can hide. Facing up to things, working through them, that’s what makes you strong.”
Sarah Dessen

“Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude.”
Zig Ziglar

“Never be afraid to try something new. Remember, amateurs built the ark, professionals built the Titanic.”

“Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that? We must have perseverance and, above all, confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for something, and that this thing, at whatever cost, must be attained.”
Marie Curie

“Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm.”
Winston Churchill

“We are more often frightened than hurt; and we suffer more from imagination than from reality.”

“It takes more courage to reveal insecurities than to hide them, more strength to relate to people than to dominate them, more ‘manhood’ to abide by thought-out principles rather than blind reflex. Toughness is in the soul and spirit, not in muscles and an immature mind.”
Alex Karras

“It’s your life; you don’t need someone’s permission to live the life you want. Be brave to live from your heart.”
Roy T. Bennett

“Believe you can and you’re halfway there.”
Theodore Roosevelt

Courage Quote by Mark Twain

“Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear – not absence of fear.”
Mark Twain

“Courage is found in unlikely places.”
J.R.R. Tolkien

“Some people believe holding on and hanging in there are signs of great strength. However, there are times when it takes much more strength to know when to let go and then do it.”
Ann Landers

“Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.”
Andre Gide

“The most courageous act is still to think for yourself. Aloud.”
Coco Chanel

“Always do the things you fear the most. Courage is an acquired taste, like caviar.”
Erica Jong

“What would life be if we had no courage to attempt anything?”
Vincent Van Gogh

“Where your fear is, there is your task.”
Carl Jung

“I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It’s when you know you’re licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and see it through no matter what.”
Atticus Finch

“Have courage for the great sorrows of life and patience for the small ones; and when you have laboriously accomplished your daily task, go to sleep in peace. God is awake.”
Victor Hugo

“You never change your life until you step out of your comfort zone; change begins at the end of your comfort zone.”
Roy T. Bennett

Courage Quote by Shannon L. Alder

“One of the greatest regrets in life is being what others would want you to be, rather than being yourself.”
Shannon L. Alder

“You can’t be brave if you’ve only had wonderful things happen to you.”
Mary Tyler Moore

“No one knows what he can do till he tries.”
Publius Syrus

“All happiness depends on courage and work.”
Honoré de Balzac

“One’s dignity may be assaulted, vandalized and cruelly mocked, but it can never be taken away unless it is surrendered.”
Michael J. Fox

“Have the courage to be who you are, not what people expect you to be.”
David Goggins

“We can’t be afraid of change. You may feel very secure in the pond that you are in, but if you never venture out of it, you will never know that there is such a thing as an ocean, a sea. Holding onto something that is good for you now, may be the very reason why you don’t have something better.”
C. JoyBell C.

“Courage is knowing what not to fear.”

“Remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see and wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious. And however difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at.
It matters that you don’t just give up.”
Stephen Hawking

“Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway.”
John Wayne

“Understand: we are all too afraid – of offending people, of stirring up conflict, of standing out from the crowd, of taking bold action.”
Robert Greene

Courage Quote by Thucydides “Self-control is the chief element in self-respect, and self-respect is the chief element in courage.”

“Have the courage to say no. Have the courage to face the truth. Do the right thing because it is right. These are the magic keys to living your life with integrity.”
W. Clement Stone

“Courage is a love affair with the unknown.”

“Owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it. Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy—the experiences that make us the most vulnerable. Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.”
Brene Brown

“The more you are motivated by love, the more fearless and free your action will be.”
Dalai Lama

“Either life entails courage, or it ceases to be life.”
E. M. Forster

“Sometimes, making the wrong choice is better than making no choice. You have the courage to go forward, that is rare. A person who stands at the fork, unable to pick, will never get anywhere.”
Terry Goodkind

“Courage doesn’t happen when you have all the answers. It happens when you are ready to face the questions you have been avoiding your whole life.”
Shannon L. Alder

“Courage is the commitment to begin without any guarantee of success.”
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

“It takes courage…to endure the sharp pains of self discovery rather than choose to take the dull pain of unconsciousness that would last the rest of our lives.”
Marianne Williamson

Courage Quote by Brene Brown

“If you’re not in the arena also getting your ass kicked, I’m not interested in your feedback.”
Brené Brown

“Courage is the only virtue you can’t fake.”
Nassim Nicholas Taleb

“Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak. Courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.”
Winston Churchill

“When we least expect it, life sets us a challenge to test our courage and willingness to change; at such a moment, there is no point in pretending that nothing has happened or in saying that we are not yet ready. The challenge will not wait. Life does not look back. A week is more than enough time for us to decide whether or not to accept our destiny.”
Paulo Coelho

“A man with outward courage dares to die; a man with inner courage dares to live.”
Lao Tzu

“Freedom lies in being bold.”
Robert Frost

“A hero is no braver than an ordinary man, but he is brave five minutes longer.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Believe in yourself. You are braver than you think, more talented than you know, and capable of more than you imagine.”
Roy T. Bennett

“It takes a lot of courage to show your dreams to someone else.”
Erma Bombeck

“Just because you fail once doesn’t mean you’re gonna fail at everything.”
Marilyn Monroe

Courage Quote by Ursula K. Le Guin

“Nobody who says, ‘I told you so’ has ever been, or will ever be, a hero.”
Ursula K. Le Guin

“I have accepted fear as part of life – specifically the fear of change… I have gone ahead despite the pounding in the heart that says: turn back….”
Erica Jong

“Courage means doing what’s right no matter what they say.”
Maxime Lagacé

“I don’t really want to become normal, average, standard. I want merely to gain in strength, in the courage to live out my life more fully, enjoy more, experience more. I want to develop even more original and more unconventional traits”
Anaïs Nin

“It is curious that physical courage should be so common in the world and moral courage so rare.”
Mark Twain

“It takes a lot of courage to release the familiar and seemingly secure, to embrace the new. But there is no real security in what is no longer meaningful. There is more security in the adventurous and exciting, for in movement there is life, and in change there is power.”
Alan Cohen

“My great hope is to laugh as much as I cry; to get my work done and try to love somebody and have the courage to accept the love in return.”
Maya Angelou

“You can choose to let this thing bother you or let this be an adventure and welcome the challenge.”
Fred Rogers

“Stand for something or you will fall for anything. Today’s mighty oak is yesterday’s nut that held its ground.”
Rosa Parks

Courage Quote by Pema Chödrön

“Trying to run away is never the answer to being fully human.”
Pema Chödrön

“Courage starts with showing up and letting ourselves be seen.”
Brené Brown

“Most of us have far more courage than we ever dreamed we possessed.”
Dale Carnegie 

“Success means having the courage, the determination, and the will to become the person you believe you were meant to be.”
George Sheehan

“Whatever you do, you need courage. Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising that tempt you to believe your critics are right.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”
Winston Churchill

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
Mark Twain

Courage Quote by Mary Anne Radmacher

“Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, “I will try again tomorrow.”
Mary Anne Radmacher

[Note: this post originally contained 46 quotes but I’ve added 55 more on courage in 2021).

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About the Author

Henrik Edberg is the creator of the Positivity Blog and has written weekly articles here since 2006. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Gothenburg and has been featured on Lifehacker, HuffPost and Paulo Coelho’s blog. Click here to learn more…

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • The best way out is always through.
    Robert Frost

    Awesome quote!

  • I love quotes! I think nothing gets the point across like a good quote. Here’s one of my favourites (I forget who first said it):

    “Fear knocked on the door. When courage answered, nobody was there.”


  • great stuff here very inspiratonal

  • Thanks you for your kind words and for the good quotes.

  • [a}

    I love Churchill’s quote! Very helpful & true!

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