Get inspired by these quotes from motivational speeches!
When we’re feeling unsure, burned out, or less than, some powerful words from a speaker who has been in our shoes can give us the push we need to become our best selves.
Motivational speeches often happen at times of great transition or strife.
Whether coming from a leader steeling their country during times of conflict, a coach giving hope to their players, or advice from someone successful to a group of new graduates, motivational speeches can breed optimism, ambition, and belief.
Motivational Speech Quotes About Overcoming Challenges and Risk
We often need motivation most when faced with a challenge or taking a risk.
1. “Sometimes the bravest and most important thing you can do is just show up.” ― Brené Brown
2. “Stop the crazy mind chatter in your head that tells you all the time that you are not good enough.” — Oprah Winfrey
3. “Trust your gut, keep throwing darts at the dartboard. Don’t listen to the critics, and you will figure it out.” — Will Ferrell
4. “You’ve got to suit up in your armor. You’ve got to get ready to sound like a total fool. Not having an answer isn’t embarrassing — it’s an opportunity.” — Matt Damon
5. “Don’t take anything personally. Accept both praise and criticism equally, but take neither to heart. There are many surprises awaiting you on the journey.” — Jon Bon Jovie
6. “Don’t be afraid of fear. Because it sharpens you, it challenges you, it makes you stronger; and when you run away from fear, you also run away from the opportunity to be your best possible self.” — Ed Helms
7. “But today, I tell you that whether you fear it or not, disappointment will come. The beauty is that through disappointment you can gain clarity, and with clarity comes conviction and true originality.” — Conan O’Brien
8. “Internally, knowing your limits keeps you humble, motivated, and focused on a goal to point your finger toward. Externally, knowing the limits that are set for you by others gives you a place to point a different finger — I am talking about the middle one.” — Michelle Yeoh
9. “I’ve found that nothing in life is worthwhile unless you take risks. Fall forward. Every failed experiment is one step closer to success. You’ve got to take risks…Never be discouraged. Never look back. Give everything you’ve got. And when you fall throughout life, fall forward.” — Denzel Washington
10. “You cannot let a fear of failure or a fear of comparison or a fear of judgment stop you from doing the things that will make you great. You cannot succeed without the risk of failure. You cannot have a voice without the risk of criticism. You cannot love without the risk of loss. You must take these risks.” — Charlie Day
Motivational Speech Quotes About Success
Redefine your definition of success and discover what it takes to make it with these motivational quotes.
11. “The road to success and the road to failure are almost exactly the same.” — Colin R. Davis
12. “Most people fail in life not because they aim too high and miss, but because they aim too low and hit.” ― Les Brown
13. “Success means having the courage, the determination, and the will to become the person you believe you were meant to be.” ― Darren Hardy
14. “If you are going to achieve excellence in big things, you develop the habit in little matters. Excellence is not an exception; it is a prevailing attitude.” — Colin Powell
15. “For every winner, there doesn’t have to be a loser. In fact, most success stories are less about competition and more about collaboration.” — Michelle Yeoh
16. “It’s your turn to choose and define what success means to you. Now, others will try to define it for you, but yours is the only voice that matters.” — Octavia Spencer
17. “Success is peace of mind, which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you made the effort to become the best of which you are capable.” — John Wooden
18. “My last piece of advice is the one I could have used the most. It took me a long time to learn. And it is this: You are not a slacker if you cut yourself some slack.” — Bill Gates
19. “I learned many great lessons from my father, not the least of which is that you can fail at what you don’t want, so you might as well take a chance on doing what you love.” — Jim Carrey
20. “You’re nothing if you’re not the truth. I’ve made a living, I’ve made a life – I’ve made a fortune, really – all good! – from being true to myself. If I can leave you with any message today: The biggest reward is not financial benefits, though it’s really good, you can get a lot of great shoes!” — Oprah Winfrey
Motivational Speech Quotes About Leadership
Conquer your fear of taking the lead with these motivational quotes about leadership.
21. “A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.” – John Maxwell
22. “Success is not just about what we achieve individually, but what we enable others to achieve.” — Satya Nadella
23. “Become the kind of leader that people would follow voluntarily, even if you had no title or position.” — Brian Tracy
24. “Leadership cannot just go along to get along. Leadership must meet the moral challenge of the day.” — Jesse Jackson
25. “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, concerned citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” — Margaret Mead
26. “A leader takes people where they want to go. A great leader takes people where they don’t necessarily want to go, but ought to be.” — Rosalynn Carter
27. “Good leaders build products. Great leaders build cultures. Good leaders deliver results. Great leaders develop people. Good leaders have vision. Great leaders have values. Good leaders are role models at work. Great leaders are role models in life.” — Adam Grant
28. “Passionately play your position no matter how bad things get. You are significant. Why we are here is not for our own glory. Ultimately, we’re here to lead and serve everybody else. By doing that, we encourage others to do the same.” — Vera Jones
29. “The most dangerous leadership myth is that leaders are born; there is a genetic factor to leadership. This myth asserts that people simply either have certain charismatic qualities or not. That’s nonsense; in fact, the opposite is true. Leaders are made rather than born.” — Warren Bennis
30. “Decisions are made by those who show up. Don’t ever forget that you’re a citizen of this world. Don’t ever forget that you’re a citizen of this world, and there are things you can do to lift the human spirit, things that are easy, things that are free, things that you can do every day: civility, respect, kindness, character.” — Aaron Sorkin
Motivation Speech Quotes About Life
These motivational quotes can help you push through all of life’s ups and downs.
31. “Joy is always in process. It’s always under construction.” — Matthew McConaughey
32. “Release the past, enjoy the present, and have faith in the future.” ― Gabrielle Bernstein
33. “You can go slow. Allow your dreams and goals to change, but live an intentional life.” — Kumail Nanjiani
34. “Take time to nurture your relationships, to celebrate your successes, and to recover from your losses.” — Bill Gates
35. “I encourage you to live with life. Be courageous, adventurous. Give us a tomorrow, more than we deserve.” — Maya Angelou
36. “The most important thing in your life is to live your life with integrity and not give into peer pressure to try to be something that you’re not.” — Ellen DeGeneres
37. “Keep choosing life and keep choosing connection. It will feel like you’re running out of time. But in all likelihood, you’ve got plenty of time.” — Lin Manuel Miranda
38. “Time is the most valuable resource on the planet. Some people realize this sooner, and these are the lucky ones. Others realize it too late when they lose someone or something.” — Volodymyr Zelenskyy
39. “Be present. I would encourage you with all my heart just to be present. Be present and open to the moment that is unfolding before you because, ultimately, your life is made up of moments. So don’t miss them by being lost in the past or anticipating the future.” — Jessica Lange
40. “Please be honest with yourself about what you think and how you feel about all of that, what you like and dislike, what angers you or scares you or saddens you or inspires you or delights you. Those feelings are called your instincts, and you ignore them at your own peril.” — Hank Azaria
Motivational Speech Quotes About Following Your Dreams
These motivational quotes encourage you to dare to dream.
41. “The biggest adventure you can ever take is to live the life of your dreams.” — Oprah Winfrey
42. “If something is important enough, even if the odds are against you, you should still do it.” — Elon Musk
43. “Taking the first step is the difference between actually pursuing your passion and just dreaming about it.” ― Jack Canfield
44. “I want you take the craziest dream you ever had, that dream that you’re too embarrassed to tell anyone about. And I want you to go after it.” — Sean Combs
45. “Believe you have it in you to make the world look better rather than worse seven generations from now. Figure out what that could look like. And then, if you’re lucky, you’ll find a way to live inside that hope, running down its hallways, touching the walls on both sides.” — Barbara Kingsolver
46. “Purpose is an essential element of you. It is the reason you are on the planet at this particular time in history. Your very existence is wrapped up in the things you are here to fulfill. Whatever you choose for a career path, remember, the struggles along the way are only meant to shape you for your purpose.” — Chadwick Boseman
47. “Believe and be you. Be unique. Be prepared to be alone sometimes when you’re unique. It’s not a bad thing. You could travel with the sheep, follow everybody else’s stuff, but then you’re not you. I guess if I want to say anything it’s ‘Be you.’ Be true to you, and that should make the ride a little more interesting.” — Whoopie Goldberg
48. “Don’t be lulled into the complacency of accepting a future or path that’s just okay and mediocre. It will seep into every aspect of your life. Your path, when rooted firmly in passion, will be filled with the most powerful catalyst to greatness: inspired action. I tell you this from my heart. My life is all about inspired action.” — Dwayne Johnson
49. “You’ve got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.” — Steve Jobs
50. “There’s a saying that if you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life. At Apple, I learned that’s a total crock. You’ll work harder than you ever thought possible, but the tools will feel light in your hands. As you go out into the world, don’t waste time on problems that have been solved... Look for the rough spots, the problems that seem too big, the complexities that other people are content to work around. It’s in those places that you will find your purpose. It’s there that you can make your greatest contribution.” — Tim Cooke
Getting Started is Half the Battle
Motivational speeches from people we admire can uplift and encourage us in profound ways.
Being on the receiving end of a motivational speech can feel like being given a permission slip to pursue your dreams and live the life you’ve always wanted.
For these encouraging effects to be lasting, we must take the wisdom imparted by the speaker to heart and turn that excitement into action in our lives.
If you’re at a crossroads in your life and need some guidance or a push, use these quotes to give you the courage to forge ahead!