For women, being ambitious is often portrayed as a negative thing, but in truth, the drive to pursue success, or to want to do something meaningful or important with your life, is just as natural for women as it is for men. Still, sometimes women with that drive need a little extra boost along the way, to counteract all the messages that tell women they should be settling instead. To help you out with that, here are some feminist quotes for ambitious women from many of the successful women who have come before you. Because no matter what the world tells you, women have been driven to achieve greatness for a long, long time.
Society doesn't really know what to do with ambitious women. We've more or less come around to the idea that women can — and maybe even should — have jobs and careers, but we still aren't necessarily comfortable with the idea that women might be just as interested in their own advancement as men are. Women, society seems to say, should be focused on other things. Women shouldn't have big dreams. Women should be OK with settling.
And when that's all you're working with in terms of societal messages, it can get exhausting. So to counteract that, here are some quotes from women who have pursued their dreams to help you. Whether it's providing inspiration, helping you cope with bumps in the road, or just making sure you don't feel alone as an ambitious woman in the world, hopefully these quotes can help see you through on your way to the top.
1. "There's nothing wrong with being driven. And there's nothing wrong with putting yourself first to reach your goals." — Shonda Rhimes
2. “I love to see a young girl go out and grab the world by the lapels. Life's a bitch. You've got to go out and kick ass.” — Maya Angelou
3. "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
4. "If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun." — Katharine Hepburn
5. "I'm tough, ambitious, and I know exactly what I want. If that makes me a bitch, okay." — Madonna
6. "The most difficult thing is the decision to act. The rest is merely tenacity. The fears are paper tigers. You can do anything you decide to do. You can act to change and control your life and the procedure. The process is its own reward." — Amelia Earhart
7. "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 fail by default." — J.K. Rowling
8. "Disappointment and uncertainty are constant companions in life's pursuits. Being a little frightened is natural and unavoidable." — Sonia Sotomayor
9. "Difficulties happen and you get through them." — Gloria Estefan
10. "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
11. "In entering upon the great work before us, we anticipate no small amount of misconception, misrepresentation, and ridicule; but we shall use every instrumentality within our power to effect our object." — Declaration of Sentiments, Seneca Falls Convention
12. "Of course I am not worried about intimidating men. The type of man who will be intimidated by me is exactly the type of man I have no interest in."―Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
13. "Life shrinks or expands according to one's courage." — Anais Nin
14. "It took me quite a long time to develop a voice, and now that I have it, I am not going to be silent." —Madeleine Albright
15. "A woman with a voice is, by definition, a strong woman." —Melinda Gates
16. "The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don't have any." — Alice Walker
17. "Energy rightly applied and directed will accomplish anything." — Nellie Bly
18. "Long ago, I made up my mind that when things were said involving only me, I would pay no attention to them, except when valid criticism was carried by which I could profit." — Eleanor Roosevelt
19. "In every position that I have been in, there have been naysayers who don't believe I'm qualified or don't believe I can do the work. And I feel a special responsibility to prove them wrong." — Sonia Sotomayor
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