In Becoming, Obama chronicles her life to this point, opening up about her journey from the South Side of Chicago to the White House. If you already consider her the “Forever First Lady,” her story will only solidify those feelings. Her candid recollections and reflections feel as if they’re coming from a close friend, and they cover relatable topics such as self-doubt, grief, work, and family.
There’s a lot to learn in Becoming — not just about Obama but about America. By sharing her unique experiences, she passes on lessons she has learned about unity, change, and hope. Her takeaways are valuable, and true to form, Obama comes across as wise and yet still human. Fans won’t be disappointed.
Obama is always quotable, and so it’s no surprise that her memoir offers numerous inspiring gems. Read on for 15 of our favorite quotes from her new memoir, Becoming.
1. “There’s still a lot I don’t know about America, about life, about what the future might bring. But I do know myself.”
2. “Your story is what you have, what you will always have. It is something to own.”
3. “I’ve been lucky enough now in my life to meet all sorts of extraordinary and accomplished people. … What I’ve learned is this: All of them have had doubters.”
4. “There are simply other ways of being.”
5. “This may be the fundamental problem with caring a lot about what others think: It can put you on the established path.”
6. “It was one thing to get yourself out of a stuck place, I realized. It was another thing entirely to try and get the place itself unstuck.”
7. “I now tried out a new hypothesis: It was possible that I was more in charge of my happiness than I was allowing myself to be.”
8. “My job, I realized, was to be myself, to speak as myself. And so I did.”
9. "Even if we didn’t end up winning, we were making progress that mattered.”
10. “If there’s one thing I’ve learned in life, it’s the power of using your voice.”
11. “Am I good enough? Yes I am.”
12. “Life was teaching me that progress and change happen slowly. We were planting the seeds of change, the fruit of which we might never see. We had to be patient.”
13. “We needed now to be resolute, to keep our feet pointed in the direction of progress.”
14. “For me, becoming isn’t about arriving somewhere or achieving a certain aim. I see it instead as forward motion, a means of evolving, a way to reach continuously toward a better self. The journey doesn’t end.”
15. “There’s power in allowing yourself to be known and heard, in owning your unique story, in using your authentic voice. And there’s grace in being willing to know and hear others.”