Looking for the best Eleanor Roosevelt quotes and sayings? Check out the collection I’ve put together below.
Eleanor Roosevelt, the longest serving First Lady in U.S. history was far more than the wife of President Franklin D. Roosevelt (1934-45). She was an outspoken public figure in her own right and is credited with transforming the role of the First Lady.
She tackled a diverse range of social causes, ultimately helping draft the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Eleanor Roosevelt was not content to stay in the background and didn’t allow the many critics who complained that she was overstepping her role to stop her from having an impact. She held her own press conferences, wrote her own newspaper column and frequently spoke out in favour of women’s rights, children’s issues, helping the poor, and combating racial discrimination. She did all of this while helping to raise six children.
Following her husband’s death, President Harry Truman appointed Eleanor as a delegate to the United Nations General Assembly, and she would later become chair of the U.N.’s Human Rights Commission.
Though controversial at the time, by the time of her death, Eleanor Roosevelt was regarded as “one of the most esteemed women in the world”; she was called “the object of almost universal respect” in her New York Times obituary. In 1999, she was ranked ninth in the top ten of Gallup’s List of Most Widely Admired People of the 20th Century.
The following Eleanor Roosevelt quotes will not only inspire the greatness within you but are also quotes to live by.
Inspirational Eleanor Roosevelt Quotes
1. “Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
2. “Friendship with one’s self is all important, because without it one can not be friends with anyone else in the world.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
3. “Do what you feel in your heart to be right — for you’ll be criticized anyway.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
4. “It is better to light a candle than curse the darkness.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
5. “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.’ You must do the thing you think you cannot do.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
6. “It isn’t enough to talk about peace. One must believe in it. And it isn’t enough to believe in it. One must work at it.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
7. “I believe anyone can conquer fear by doing the things he fears to do, provided he keeps doing them until he gets a record of successful experience behind him.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
8. “Since you get more joy out of giving joy to others, you should put a good deal of thought into the happiness you are able to give.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
9. “You wouldn’t worry so much about what others think of you if you realized how seldom they do.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
10. “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
11. “The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
12. “When you have decided what you believe, what you feel must be done, have the courage to stand alone and be counted.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
13. “The giving of love is an education in itself.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
14. “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
15. “A stumbling-block to the pessimist is a stepping-stone to the optimist.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
16. “You can often change your circumstances by changing your attitude.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
17. “Happiness is not a goal; it is a by-product.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
18. “A good leader inspires people to have confidence in the leader. A great leader inspires people to have confidence in themselves.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
19. “To handle yourself, use your head; to handle others, use your heart.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
20. “Do one thing every day that scares you.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
21. “You must do the things you think you cannot do.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
22. “Do the things that interest you and do them with all your heart. Don’t be concerned about whether people are watching you or criticizing you. The chances are that they aren’t paying attention to you.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
23. “Work is always an antidote to depression.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
24. “Life is what you make it. Always has been, always will be.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
25. “Since everybody is an individual, nobody can be you. You are unique. No one can tell you how to use your time. It is yours. Your life is your own. You mold it. You make it.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
26. “Only a man’s character is the real criterion of worth.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
27. “It is a brave thing to have courage to be an individual; it is also, perhaps, a lonely thing. But it is better than not being an individual, which is to be nobody at all.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
28. “Nothing has ever been achieved by the person who says, ‘It can’t be done’.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
29. “Anger is one letter short of danger.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
30. “The very next thing you need to be doing is the thing that terrifies you the most.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
31. “The mind must be trained, rather than the memory.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
32. “Success must include two things: the development of an individual to his utmost potentiality and a contribution of some kind to one’s world.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
33. “Do not stop thinking of life as an adventure. You have no security unless you can live bravely, excitingly, imaginatively; unless you can choose a challenge instead of competence.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
34. “I never waste time looking back.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
35. “I believe that anyone can conquer fear by doing the things he fears to do…” – Eleanor Roosevelt
36. “Your ambition should be to get as much life out of living as you possibly can, as much enjoyment, as much interest, as much experience, as much understanding. Not simply be what is generally called a ‘success’.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
37. “The future is literally in our hands to mold as we like. But we cannot wait until tomorrow. Tomorrow is now.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
38. “If someone betrays you once, it’s their fault; if they betray you twice, it’s your fault.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
39. “You have to accept whatever comes and the only important thing is that you meet it with courage and with the best that you have to give.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
40. “Before we can make friends with anyone else, we must first make friends with ourselves.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
41. “All of life is a constant education.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
42. “Never allow a person to tell you no who doesn’t have the power to say yes.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
43. “The basis of world peace is the teaching which runs through almost all the great religions of the world. Love thy neighbor as thyself.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
44. “If you lose money you lose much, If you lose friends you lose more, If you lose faith you lose all.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
45. “One’s philosophy is not best expressed in words; it is expressed in the choices one makes…and the choices we make are ultimately our responsibility.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
46. “What one has to do usually can be done.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
47. “It is not fair to ask of others what you are not willing to do yourself.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
48. “In the long run, we shape our lives, and we shape ourselves. The process never ends until we die. And the choices we make are ultimately our own responsibility.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
49. “Freedom makes a huge requirement of every human being. With freedom comes responsibility. For the person who is unwilling to grow up, the person who does not want to carry his own weight, this is a frightening prospect.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
50. “Someone once asked me what I regarded as the three most important requirements for happiness. My answer was: A feeling that you have been honest with yourself and those around you; a feeling that you have done the best you could both in your personal life and in your work; and the ability to love others.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
51. “When you cease to make a contribution, you begin to die.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
52. “It’s your life – but only if you make it so. The standards by which you live must be your own standards, your own values, your own convictions in regard to what is right and wrong, what is true and false, what is important and what is trivial. When you adopt the standards and the values of someone else…you surrender your own integrity. You become, to the extent of your surrender, less of a human being.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
53. “Learn from the mistakes of others. You can’t live long enough to make them all yourself.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
54. “One thing life has taught me: if you are interested, you never have to look for new interests. They come to you. When you are genuinely interested in one thing, it will always lead to something else.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
55. “I could not, at any age, be content to take my place by the fireside and simply look on. Life was meant to be lived. Curiosity must be kept alive. One must never, for whatever reason, turn his back on life.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
56. “What could we accomplish if we knew we could not fail?” – Eleanor Roosevelt
57. “We do not have to become heroes overnight. Just a step at a time, meeting each thing that comes up, seeing it as not as dreadful as it appears, discovering that we have the strength to stare it down.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
58. “A great deal of fear is a result of just not knowing. We do not know what is involved in a new situation. We do not know whether we can deal with it. The sooner we learn what it entails, the sooner we can dissolve our fear.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
59. “Comparison is the thief of joy.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
60. “Pit race against race, religion against religion, prejudice against prejudice. Divide and conquer! We must not let that happen here.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
61. “Never be bored, and you will never be boring.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
62. “Courage is more exhilarating than fear and in the long run it is easier. We do not have to become heroes overnight. Just one step at a time, meeting each thing that comes up, seeing it is not as dreadful as it appeared, discovering we have the strength to stare it down.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
63. “Remember always that you have not only the right to be an individual; you have an obligation to be one. You cannot make any useful contribution in life unless you do this.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
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