12 Brilliant Quotes About Being Mentally Resilient

Words of wisdom to live by.

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Many have struggled and been at the mercy of a seemingly chaotic reality. Setbacks make us depressed, and frightening futures make us anxious. Many have spoken about the power of resilience and methods for developing this part of us. I dove into several books to extract the best, most helpful nuggets.

Here are 12 brilliant quotes about being mentally resilient:

1. From Michael A. Singer’s book, The Untethered Soul

Singer shares a vital aspect of mental resilience: “You are not your thoughts; you are the observer of your thoughts. When you realize this, you reclaim your power to direct your life and find inner peace."


When in an unhelpful emotional state, take a breath and step outside of your thoughts. You’ll see that you can. When you do, you can watch your peace return.

RELATED: How To Stop Your Negative Thoughts And Improve Your Quality Of Life

2. From Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl

“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms — to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s way.”

Frankl, who survived the WW2 concentration camps, emphasizes the significance of understanding how our experience is very much in our own hands. We decide how things are to be by the attitude we bring.




3. From the book The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson

Manson wrote, “The desire for a more positive experience is itself a negative experience. And, paradoxically, the acceptance of one’s negative experience is itself a positive experience.”

This approach would stop most of us in our tracks. In our pursuit of happiness, are we making ourselves less happy?

4. From Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol S. Dweck

“Why waste time proving over and over how great you are when you could be getting better? Why hide deficiencies instead of overcoming them? Why look for friends or partners who will just shore up your self-esteem instead of ones who will also challenge you to grow?”


Her writings on the growth mindset helped me rediscover a sense of powerful responsibility in my life again. Instead of reaffirming why I am the way I am (or think I am), I looked for opportunities to grow.

RELATED: 10 Simple Ways To Overcome Your Fear Of Being Judged By Others

5. From Brené Brown’s Braving the Wilderness

Brown wrote, “True belonging doesn’t require us to change who we are; it requires us to be who we are.”

There’s nothing more misery-inducing than changing who you are to fit in. Even if the intentions are good, putting on a mask will eat you from the inside. True resilience and joy come from revealing more of ourselves — including our flaws — rather than hiding them.




6. From Ryan Holiday’s The Obstacle Is the Way

“The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way.”

I love this one because it turns what once appeared as a roadblock into an opportunity. Every challenge can be re-envisioned as a message from which to learn. That’s the beauty of human creativity. And creativity sits at the heart of resilience.

7. From Eckhart Tolle’s A New Earth

Tolle said, “The primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation but your thoughts about it. Be aware of the thoughts you are thinking. Separate them from the situation, which is always neutral, and you will find contentment and resilience.”


This is an essential understanding underpinning resilience because it means we can change our experience of an event through how aware we choose to be.

8. From Dan Millman’s The Way of the Peaceful Warrior

“The journey is what brings us happiness, not the destination. When you embrace the present moment and fully engage in the process of growth and self-discovery, you cultivate a deep sense of resilience and fulfillment.”

This one might sound a bit cliché, but I wanted to include it here because clichés are such for a reason. If we’re too hung up on the destination, we miss what’s happening right now. We live in an illusion. The joy you are looking for is in being here — no matter what here is.

RELATED: 11 Tiny Habits That Will Make You 98% More Resilient Than Everyone Else


9. From Don Miguel Ruiz in his book The Four Agreements

“Don’t take anything personally. Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their reality, their dream.”

I love this one. I see how many people, including myself, often take things personally and inadvertently worsen an interaction or experience. As Ruiz said, nothing others do is because of you. This turns so many potentially negative experiences into something completely different.



10. From The Seat of the Soul by Gary Zukav

“The more you align your thoughts, words, and actions with the truth of your soul, the more resilient you become. You realize that you are a spiritual being having a human experience, and nothing can shake your inner peace.”


I haven’t seen many people connect our actions and our sense of resilience. But he’s correct. You can’t be resilient just thinking about being resilient. You must live a congruent life — one that expresses an honest portrayal of your values and genuine beliefs. Act in any other way and you will diminish yourself. You will be living a lie, and that will break you.

11. From Joseph Campbell's seminal The Power of Myth

Joseph Campbell echoed Zukav when he said, “Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors where there were only walls. When you align with your true purpose and passion, you tap into a reservoir of inner strength and resilience.”

12. From Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse

I loved the story Siddhartha and have read it several times. In it, Hesse wrote: “The secret of happiness is not in seeking more, but in developing the capacity to enjoy less. When you let go of attachments and desires, you discover a profound sense of resilience and contentment within.”


This is a powerful, counterintuitive statement in a world where so many of us pursue happiness, thinking that it will come to us when our conditions are just right. The truth is that happiness is already within us. This doesn’t mean we need to stop striving for new achievements. I believe we must. But we needn’t have our sense of joy depend on their acquirement. Instead, we set goals and create new things precisely because we are happy. Understanding this is how to remain resilient through thick and thin. If we knew we could enjoy less and still be okay, what would this mean for the quality of our journey?

RELATED: 5 Thought-Provoking Books That Will Instantly Make You Smarter

Alex Mathers is a writer and coach who helps you build a money-making personal brand with your knowledge and skills while staying mentally resilient.