195 Words of Encouragement (Uplifting and Positive Sayings)

Sometimes we just need a bit of support and help to feel and do better again.

So today I’d like to share a collection of the best words of encouragement that I’ve found over the years.

195 supportive, kind and encouraging quotes and sayings that will help to:

  • Lift you or a loved one up on a bad day (or a week when life is hard and you need to stay strong).
  • Encourage you to take a leap and chance into something better.
  • Kick-start your personal growth if you’re in a rut.
  • Direct your thoughts and emotions into a more positive, motivated and centered headspace once again.

That is the first part of this post.

In the second part I’ll share my own 5 favorite words of encouragement that help me when I’m having a tough day, week or month.

Words of Encouragement for a Bad Day (or Week)

145 Words of Encouragement

“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson


“Tough times never last, but tough people do.”
– Robert H. Schuller

“It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all, in which case you have failed by default.”
– J.K. Rowling

“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

“A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable but more useful than a life spent in doing nothing.”
– George Bernard Shaw

“Make up your mind that no matter what comes your way, no matter how difficult, no matter how unfair, you will do more than simply survive. You will thrive in spite of it.”
– Joel Osteen

“A man may fail many times but he isn’t a failure until he begins to blame somebody else.”
– John Burroughs

“In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.”
– Albert Camus

“Although no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending.”
– Carl Bard

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

Word of Encouragement by Flavia Weedn

“If one dream should fall and break into a thousand pieces, never be afraid to pick one of those pieces up and begin again.”
– Flavia Weedn

“When one door of happiness closes, another opens, but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one that has been opened for us.”
– Helen Keller

“When you’re feeling your worst, that’s when you get to know yourself the best.”
– Leslie Grossman

“The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.
Is not the cup that holds your wine the very cup that was burned in the potter’s oven?
And is not the lute that soothes your spirit, the very wood that was hollowed with knives?
When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy. When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see in truth that you are weeping for that which has been your delight.”
– Kahlil Gibran

Word of Encouragement by Albert Einstein

“In the middle of every difficulty lies opportunity.”
— Albert Einstein

“Fall seven times, stand up eight.”
– Chinese Proverb

“Do what you feel in your heart to be right, for you’ll be criticized anyway. You’ll be damned if you do and damned if you don’t.”
– Eleanor Roosevelt

“I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”
– Michael Jordan

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

Word of Encouragement by Henry Ford

Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.”
– Henry Ford

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them 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; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he 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

“Life’s real failure is when you do not realize how close you were to success when you gave up.”
– Unknown

“With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts.”
– Eleanor Roosevelt

“I love the man that can smile in trouble, that can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection. ’Tis the business of little minds to shrink, but he whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves his conduct, will pursue his principles unto death.”
– Thomas Paine

Word of Encouragement by Samuel Beckett

“Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.”
– Samuel Beckett

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

“A hero is an ordinary individual who finds the strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles.”
– Christopher Reeve

“You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’”
– Eleanor Roosevelt

“Some of us think holding on makes us strong, but sometimes it is letting go.”’
– Hermann Hesse

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

Word of Encouragement by Christine Mason Miller

“At any given moment you have the power to say: This is not how the story is going to end.”
– Christine Mason Miller 

“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

Words of Encouragement for Work or School

“Do the hard jobs first. The easy jobs will take care of themselves.”
– Dale Carnegie

“Think of many things; do one.”
– Portuguese proverb

“Do not be embarrassed by your failures, learn from them and start again.”
– Richard Branson

Word of Encouragement by Stephen King

“Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work.”
– Stephen King

“Time is an equal opportunity employer. Each human being has exactly the same number of hours and minutes every day. Rich people can’t buy more hours. Scientists can’t invent new minutes. And you can’t save time to spend it on another day. Even so, time is amazingly fair and forgiving. No matter how much time you’ve wasted in the past, you still have an entire tomorrow.”
– Denis Waitley

“You’ve got to get up every morning with determination if you’re going to go to bed with satisfaction.”
– George Lorimer

“If you want to make an easy job seem mighty hard, just keep putting off doing it.”
– Olin Miller

“In a moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing to do, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing.”
– Theodore Roosevelt

“Follow effective actions with quiet reflection. From the quiet reflection will come even more effective action.”
– Peter Drucker

Word of Encouragement by Florence Nightingale

“I attribute my success to this: I never gave or took any excuse.”
– Florence Nightingale

“I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying.”
– Michael Jordan

“Nothing is less productive than to make more efficient what should not be done at all.”
– Peter Drucker

“If you don’t pay appropriate attention to what has your attention, it will take more of your attention than it deserves.”
– David Allen

“Success does not consist in never making mistakes but in never making the same one a second time.”
– George Bernard Shaw

“Try not to become a person of success, but rather try to become a person of value.”
– Albert Einstein

“The secret of success in life is for a man to be ready for his opportunity when it comes.”
– Benjamin Disraeli

“You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.”
– Martin Luther King, Jr.

“Take time to deliberate; but when the time for action arrives, stop thinking and go in.”
– Napoleon Bonaparte

Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle.”
– Abraham Lincoln

Word of Encouragement by Thomas Jefferson

“I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have.”
– Thomas Jefferson

“Much of the stress that people feel doesn’t come from having too much to do. It comes from not finishing what they started.”
– David Allen

“Doing the best at this moment puts you in the best place for the next moment.”
– Oprah Winfrey

“You have to learn the rules of the game. And then you have to play better than anyone else.”
– Albert Einstein

“If I had eight hours to chop down a tree, I’d spend six hours sharpening my ax.”
– Abraham Lincoln

“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

“Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.”
– Mark Twain

“The successful warrior is the average man, with laser-like focus.”
– Bruce Lee

“Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.”
Herman Cain

Word of Encouragement by Charles F. Kettering

“Keep on going, and the chances are that you will stumble on something, perhaps when you are least expecting it. I never heard of anyone ever stumbling on something sitting down.”
– Charles F. Kettering

“Nothing in the world can take the place of perseverance. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost legendary. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Perseverance and determination alone are omnipotent.”
– Calvin Coolidge

Words of Encouragement for a Loved One

“You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.”
– Buddha

“When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you, till it seems as though you could not hang on a minute longer, never give up then, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.”
– Harriet Beecher Stowe

“You have power over your mind – not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.”
– Marcus Aurelius

“That man is richest whose pleasures are cheapest.”
– Henry David Thoreau

You’re always with yourself, so you might as well enjoy the company.”
– Diane Von Furstenberg

“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

“Adversity is like a strong wind. It tears away from us all but the things that cannot be torn, so that we see ourselves as we really are.”
– Arthur Golden

Word of Encouragement by Napoleon Hill

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

“Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.”
– Maya Angelou

“It takes courage to love, but pain through love is the purifying fire which those who love generously know. We all know people who are so much afraid of pain that they shut themselves up like clams in a shell and, giving out nothing, receive nothing and therefore shrink until life is a mere living death.”
– Eleanor Roosevelt

The unhappy derive comfort from the misfortunes of others.”
– Aesop

“Never idealize others. They will never live up to your expectations. Don’t over-analyze your relationships. Stop playing games. A growing relationship can only be nurtured by genuineness. “
– Leo F. Buscaglia

Word of Encouragement by Drew Barrymore

“Life is very interesting. In the end, some of your greatest pains become your greatest strengths.”
– Drew Barrymore

“Love yourself first and everything else falls into line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.”
– Lucille Ball

“A healthy self-love means we have no compulsion to justify to ourselves or others why we take vacations, why we sleep late, why we buy new shoes, why we spoil ourselves from time to time. We feel comfortable doing things which add quality and beauty to life.”
– Andrew Matthews

“I found in my research that the biggest reason people aren’t more self-compassionate is that they are afraid they’ll become self-indulgent. They believe self-criticism is what keeps them in line. Most people have gotten it wrong because our culture says being hard on yourself is the way to be.”
– Kristen Neff

“Don’t wait. The time will never be just right.”
– Napoleon Hill

“Happiness is a state of activity.”
– Aristotle

Word of Encouragement by Gilbert K. Chesterton

“The way to love anything is to realize that it may be lost.”
– Gilbert K. Chesterton

“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

“Whenever you’re in conflict with someone, there is one factor that can make the difference between damaging your relationship and deepening it. That factor is attitude.”
– William James

“You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.”
– Dale Carnegie

“If you would be loved, love, and be loveable.”
– Benjamin Franklin

“Since you get more joy out of giving joy to others, you should put a good deal of thought into the happiness that you are able to give.”
– Eleanor Roosevelt

“What you do not want done to yourself, do not do to others.”
– Confucius

“When you hold resentment toward another, you are bound to that person or condition by an emotional link that is stronger than steel. Forgiveness is the only way to dissolve that link and get free.”
– Catherine Ponder

Word of Encouragement by Barbara De Angelis

“If you aren’t good at loving yourself, you will have a difficult time loving anyone, since you’ll resent the time and energy you give another person that you aren’t even giving to yourself.”
– Barbara De Angelis

“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.”
– Rumi

“When the Japanese mend broken objects, they aggrandize the damage by filling the cracks with gold. They believe that when something’s suffered damage and has a history it becomes more beautiful.”
– Barbara Bloom

“Love is not only something you feel, it is something you do.”
– David Wilkerson

“Every person has to love at least one bad partner in their lives to be truly thankful for the right one.”
– Unknown

“You know it’s love when all you want is that person to be happy, even if you’re not part of their happiness.”
– Julia Roberts

Word of Encouragement by Alfred Lord Tennyson

“’Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.”
– Alfred Lord Tennyson

“Just because it didn’t last forever, doesn’t mean it wasn’t worth your while.”
– Unknown

“The pleasure which we most rarely experience gives us greatest delight.”
– Epictetus

“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 compassions, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.”
– Elizabeth Kubler-Ross

“Don’t brood. Get on with living and loving. You don’t have forever.”
– Leo Buscaglia

Words of Encouragement for a Happy Life

“When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive – to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love.”
– Marcus Aurelius

Word of Encouragement by Dalai Lama

“Happiness is not something ready-made. It comes from your own actions.”
– Dalai Lama

“Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.”
– Buddha

“Maxim for life: You get treated in life the way you teach people to treat you.”
– Wayne Dyer

“If you want happiness for an hour — take a nap.’
If you want happiness for a day — go fishing.
If you want happiness for a year — inherit a fortune.
If you want happiness for a lifetime — help someone else.”
– Chinese Proverb

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

“It isn’t what you have, or who you are, or where you are, or what you are doing that makes you happy or unhappy. It is what you think about.”
– Dale Carnegie

“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

“If you always put limit on everything you do, physical or anything else. It will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.”
– Bruce Lee

“There is only one way to happiness and that is to cease worrying about things which are beyond the power of our will.”
– Epictetus

“The foolish man seeks happiness in the distance, the wise grows it under his feet.”
– James Oppenheim

Word of Encouragement by Wayne Gretzky

“You’ll always miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”
– Wayne Gretzky

“Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day-in and day-out.”
– Robert Collier

“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

“Be miserable. Or motivate yourself. Whatever has to be done, it’s always your choice.”
– Wayne Dyer

“It’s been my experience that you can nearly always enjoy things if you make up your mind firmly that you will.”
– L.M. Montgomery

“Plenty of people miss their share of happiness, not because they never found it, but because they didn’t stop to enjoy it.”
– William Feather

“I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be. Yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn’t arrived yet. I have just one day, today, and I’m going to be happy in it.”
– Groucho Marx

“There are more things to alarm us than to harm us, and we suffer more often in apprehension than reality.”
– Seneca

Word of Encouragement

“If you are too busy to laugh, you are too busy.”
– Proverb

“We tend to forget that happiness doesn’t come as a result of getting something we don’t have, but rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have.”
– Frederick Keonig

“Aim for success, not perfection. Never give up your right to be wrong, because then you will lose the ability to learn new things and move forward with your life. Remember that fear always lurks behind perfectionism.”
– David M. Burns

“To be kind to all, to like many and love a few, to be needed and wanted by those we love, is certainly the nearest we can come to happiness.”
– Mary Stuart

“No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.”
– Aesop

“Try a thing you haven’t done three times. Once, to get over the fear of doing it. Twice, to learn how to do it. And a third time to figure out whether you like it or not.”
– Virgil Thomson

“Never say never, because limits, like fears, are often just an illusion.”
– Michael Jordan

“Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.”
– Marthe Troly-Curtin

“The first recipe for happiness is: avoid too lengthy meditation on the past.”
– Andre Maurois

“You can’t really be strong until you can see a funny side to things.”
– Ken Kesey

“Success isn’t permanent and failure isn’t fatal.”
– Mike Ditka

Word of Encouragement by Zig Ziglar

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

“Loving people live in a loving world. Hostile people live in a hostile world. Same world.”
– Wayne Dyer

“Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow. It only saps today of its joy.”
– Leo Buscaglia

”Spend eighty percent of your time focusing on the opportunities of tomorrow rather than the problems of yesterday.”
– Brian Tracy

“Happiness is not in the mere possession of money; it lies in the joy of achievement, in the thrill of creative effort.”
– Franklin D. Roosevelt

“The only real failure in life is not to be true to the best one knows.”
– Buddha

“I’ve come to believe that all my past failure and frustrations were actually laying the foundation for the understandings that have created the new level of living I now enjoy.”
– Anthony Robbins

“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.”
– Harriet Tubman

Word of Encouragement by Jack Canfield

“Everything you want is on the other side of fear.”
– Jack Canfield

“There came a time when the risk to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”
– Anaïs Nin

“The happiest people in the world are those who feel absolutely terrific about themselves, and this is the natural outgrowth of accepting total responsibility for every part of their life.”
– Brian Tracy

“The best way to succeed in this world is to act on the advice you give to others.”
– Unknown

“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.”
– Edgar A. Guest

“A year from now you may wish you had started today.”
– Karen Lamb

Word of Encouragement by Joseph Campbell

“Follow your bliss and don’t be afraid, and doors will open where you didn’t know they were going to be.”
– Joseph Campbell

“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

“To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children… to leave the world a better place… to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Words of Encouragement to Help You Reach Your Dreams

Going for what you deep down want in life isn’t always easy.

So in this section I’d like to share a few handfuls of encouraging words to support you and guide you when you’re on such a journey.

“I know this setback hurts. But it’s just a stepping stone along the path towards your dream. So learn from it and then keep going.”

“Let go of the negative voices in your life. And add more positive vibes and voices that will support you instead of constantly drag you down into self-doubt.”

An image of words of encouragement about serious courage.

“It may sometimes feel lonely when you go down your own path. But it takes serious courage to do that and to stick with it. I am very proud of you.”

“Every morning is a fresh beginning. Make good use of this and let go of that negativity and keep on being you and doing what you do.”

“Your attitude determines the opportunities and solutions you’ll see in life. So keep your mind open and positive to give yourself the very best chance to succeed.”

“I know this totally sucks. But you totally don’t suck. And there’s a new day tomorrow when you can turn this around. I believe in you and in your dreams.”

“You can do amazing things! I know. I’ve seen it many times before. Just wanted to remind you of that.”

“I just know that this will pass and that the next chapter in life will be wonderful.”

“I am here, ready to listen and talk to you through your saddest moments and toughest days. So give me a call whenever you need to.”

An image of words of encouragement about making a fresh start tomorrow.

“Be kind to yourself now. Cut yourself some slack. You’ve worked hard. Recharge and then make a fresh start tomorrow.”

“When your week is dreary and gray, you gotta make your own sunshine, my friend.”

“No matter how this goes, know that you are unconditionally loved by us.”

“Take a deep breath. Take two. Find one positive thing in your life today. And remind yourself: it’s just a bad day.”

“The bad days are sometimes there to test us, to remind us of how much we want to reach that dream.”

“Forget about those naysayers. Listen to me and to yourself. You got this!”

“If you’re uncomfortable then you’re doing something right. Because the good stuff, the real progress happens outside of your comfort zone.”

“I am very proud of you. You should be so proud of yourself too.”

“The first two or three tries are just practice. Dust yourself off and try again.”

“You have to speak words of continuous encouragement in order to achieve whatever goals you’ve set for yourself.”
– Anquanette Gaspard

“The expert at anything was once a beginner.”
Helen Hayes

“Nobody cares if you can’t dance well. Just get up and dance. Great dancers are not great because of their technique, they are great because of their passion.”
– Martha Graham

A quote by Maya Angelou.

“No matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow.”
– Maya Angelou

Short Words of Encouragement

I’d like to end this post with a small collection of quick, powerful and encouraging sayings.

I hope you’ll find something here to help support you or a loved one.

“I believe in you. I believe in dreams. I believe in action. I believe in positive thinking. But mostly you.”

“Beginnings are always messy. That’s OK. The important thing is that you get started.”

“When life is tough, hope whispers: I’ll try again tomorrow.”

“I love you. I support you. And I think you’re facing this with so much courage.”

“Do one brave thing today.”

“Someone else’s script isn’t for. Write your own. Forge your own path in this life.”

“Time does not wait for anyone. Start today.”

“Each accomplishment and big milestone in life starts with just one small step.”

“Dream big, start small.”

“Quick reminder: I’m only a phone call away if you want to talk.”

“Breathe in. Breathe out. Then take it one step at a time.”

“It’s always darkest before the dawn. Things will be better soon.”

“I just wanted to say that we’re all rooting for you today!”

“I know you. You’ve handled worse before. Keep fighting.”

“Sometimes the only choice you have is to keep moving forward and have faith in the future.”

“It doesn’t matter if you’re moving slowly towards your goal. The important thing is to keep moving.”

“Work hard. Stay humble. And be kind to yourself and the people in your life.”

“Nothing ventured, nothing gained.”

“You’re stronger than you may think right now. I’ve seen your inner strength before and it is awesome.”

“Took a tumble and a fall? No matter. Learn from it. Then let go of it and move on.”

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

“When the wrong people leave your life, the right things start happening.”
– Zig Ziglar

“Instead of letting your hardships and failures discourage or exhaust you, let them inspire you.”
– Michelle Obama

“Sometimes when you are in a dark place, you think you have been buried, but actually you have been planted.”
– Christine Caine

“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”
– Eleanor Roosevelt

“It doesn’t matter who you are, where you come from. The ability to triumph begins with you. Always.”
– Oprah Winfrey

“The only time you run out of chances is when you stop taking them.”
– Alexander Pope

“Try to be a rainbow in someone else’s cloud.”
– Maya Angelou

If you found these sayings and quotes helpful then check out these two posts too: 105 Words of Encouragement for Men (to Help You or a Loved One) and 95 Words of Encouragement for Women (to Help You or Someone You Care About).

My Own 5 Favorite Words of Encouragement

1. Be realistic about your expectations to make your dream a reality.

When I feel disappointed or discouraged about how things are going with one of my goals or dreams then one thing that helps me and encourages me to keep going instead of giving up is this:

To tap into realistic expectations.

How do I do that?

Well, first I take a couple deep breaths to just calm down and center my mind.

Then I remind myself to not listen to:

  • Advertising and voices close to me or further away in the world that promises me quick and super-easy results.
  • The words and thoughts of perfectionism that sometimes bubble up within and outside of myself and that tell me that I must not make any mistakes or have any setbacks or failures.

And I remind myself to listen to people who have gone where I want to go. That’s where I find the realistic words of encouragement and reasonable expectations.

By listening to what they have to say in person or via books, podcasts, videos or websites I won’t get an exact step-by-step guide towards my goal.

But I’ll get a realistic and pretty accurate guidance on my journey.

Because I’ll get it from the people who already know what works and what does not (or works less well). And can tell me how I may sometimes stumble and fall and how much time my journey may realistically take.

2. It’s healthy and helpful to sometimes just let it out.

When I don’t feel like giving it one more shot or the path forward towards my goal simply seems insurmountable then one thing that truly helps is to just open up about it.

So I talk about it with my wife, a parent or a friend.

Sometimes I just vent and figure things out for myself as he or she listens.

At other times we discuss the issue at hand and he or she helps me to find a more grounded perspective again and to plan for how to move forward.

This renews my energy and motivation to keep going. And often helps me to find a smarter and better path towards where I want to go.

3. Remind yourself daily WHY you are doing what you are doing.

This is so easy to forget as you go through your daily life. And so you may lose your motivation and get off track.

Here’s one thing that helps me when I get stuck in such a place:

Find your top 3 reasons why you are doing what you are doing.

Maybe it’s to:

  • Keep your family supported, safe and healthy.
  • Live healthier and longer so you can watch your kids grow up or simply be able to experience more of life.
  • Travel and see the world and meet the people in it.

Whatever your answers may be, write them down.

I prefer to do it on a piece of paper. Or as a daily reminder on my smart phone. If I add the reasons to a paper note then I put it where I cannot avoid seeing it every day. Like the bottom of my computer screen.

Having such a reminder helps me to stay on track and to keep moving forward even on days when I feel unmotivated, lazy or low.

4. Tell yourself: just for today!

Here’s a little tip that I learned from Brian Tracy more than 10 years ago.

I tell myself: Just for today I will XX!

Replace that XX with what you will do just for today. Such as going out running, eating a healthy and reasonably sized dinner or working on your essay for school.

I get two good benefits from doing this:

  • The step or task feels lighter and my inner resistance to get it done lessens. Because now I’m just focusing on doing it today. And not also on the times I’ve done it in the past or the times I’m likely to do in the coming days, weeks and months.
  • If I am creating a new habit then I’m reminded that I do not have to do this by using willpower for the rest of my life. After I have strung together 30 days or so of doing it – running, flossing or eating a healthy dinner – then the habit will have become pretty automatic and it’s just another normal part of my life.

5. It’s always darkest before the dawn.

Finally, one thought and word of encouragement that has helped me many times when things have been truly tough.

It has kept me from giving up and on track until things have turned around.

Because I have found it to be true.

When things have been at the lowest point in my life not matter if that was with my physical fitness, my dating life when I was single, my business or just my motivation and drive in life something has always happened.

Oftentimes simply because being at such a low point has forced me to make a change in how I go about things.

When you’re at such a point then don’t have much choice and you say to yourself: “enough is enough”. And then you are open to bigger changes and new perspectives.

But maybe also because life seems to have a sort of balance. If I just keep on going and keep on taking action.

Instead of doing nothing and just giving up.

Because if I keep on moving forward – step by small or sometimes tiny step – something positive always happens.

This way of thinking helps me to keep going when I don’t feel like it.

And it brings me some comfort even when things look pretty dark.

Here’s the next step…

Now, you may think to yourself:

“This is really helpful information. But what’s the easiest way to put this into practice and actually make a real and positive change in my life?”

Well, I’ve got something special for you…

A free step-by-step checklist that include 14 of my best tips and habits for staying positive through the tough times… save it or print it out so you have it for your daily life and for the next time you need it.
Download it now by entering your email below.

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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.

  • Darshini

    Ur writings and thoughts just make me to go to a fresh mood just I love the way you convince or sayings……… Especially I loved this 145 encouragement thoughts

  • Daniel J Porter

    What a fantastically curated list, that I have booked marked and will keep handy always. I have sent it to my kids. You are a caring and gifted human Henrik – the veracity of your offerings stems from the authenticity of intent. I wish you all manner of good things.

  • Clive Hawes

    Thank you so much, Henrik. Your emails are among the few that I keep for inspiration – and there is a lot of inspiration in the 145 quotations! I truly appreciate the effort and dedication you put into your work.

  • Anna Abbott

    Thank you Henrik! Good advice and wake up calls. Right on the point! Good day!

  • Threset

    Superb reading !

  • Dawn

    Thanks for putting all these quotes together, great job and very inspiring. A good place to stop by daily and re read :) I changed my letter board at work to read “In the middle of every difficulty lies opportunity”. I’m sure I’ll post more of these on my board in the upcoming months :) Best wishes to you Henrik.

  • Kushal

    What a thoughtfuly curated post. Million thanks for writing this. I will bookmark this for sure. Thanks for writing this, sir.

  • Your blog provided us useful information. You have done an outstanding job

  • Thanks, very helpful.

  • I have read that your writing is very interesting…

  • Mary Beiermann

    Wonderful thoughts as I conquer graduate school in Healthcare Innovation at 62 years young.

  • There are no coincidences in life – this came to me just as I needed it most. Thank you so much Hendrik!

  • Newton

    You are doing a great job sir
    I rally do find your blog helpful

  • Thanks for compiling this awesome list!

    That second last quote by Mark Twain is something I need to cultivate more of in my life.

  • Thanks for your precious quotes. Liked it and hope to see others.