198 Mental Toughness Quotes for Cultivating a Steel Mindset

Don’t give up!  Easier said than done. If you ask any of the greatest achievers, they will state, unequivocally, that mindset is what makes the difference when all else is equal. It goes without saying that a winning mindset is crucial to personal and professional success. So, how do you go about forging such a mind of steel? Check out this selection of 198 Mental Toughness quotes for inspiration!

Mental fortitude is inseparable from certain key elements. I will share such key elements with you in this article of 198 quotes from exceptional individuals with an extraordinary mindset, including top-level athletes who have achieved legendary victoriesgreat artists who have persevered and broke through in a dog-eat-dog industry; figures equipped with superhuman-like ability and prowess; leaders who have stood up to harsh criticism and succeeded in effectuating seemingly impossible change; seasoned entrepreneurs who have endured the unrelenting pressure and resistance of the ferociously competitive business world; personal development experts and experienced “mental” trainers, and more!

In short, so many personalities from whom to draw inspiration for greater reflection and awareness. So many quotes that will undoubtedly resonate with you, motivate you, and strengthen your warrior mentality! Each category of quotes is theme-specific to help further forge that much sought-after mind of steel.

I hope this selection of mental strength quotes will help you to realize your greatest potential and to live out your both professional and personal ambitions, whether that be some sporting triumph or entrepreneurial success. Moreover, a mind of steel is an invaluable asset when it comes to coping with a heavy mental load in everyday life, the weight of family responsibilities, excessive pressure at work, freeing yourself from the gaze of others, or going through painful ordeals in life.

Surpassing Oneself

Build a mind of steel and push past your limits with the following quotes!

Mental Toughness Quotes
  • “The only person you should try to be better than, is the person you were yesterday.” – Anonymous
  • “‘I can,’ the two most powerful words in any language.”- David Laroche
  • “Whoever wants to see the rainbow must learn to love the rain.” – Paulo Coehlo
  • “Believe you can, and you are halfway there.” – Theodore Roosevelt
  • “They did not know it was impossible, so they did it.” – Mark Twain
  • “Between possible and impossible, two letters and a state of mind.” – Charles de Gaulle
  • “Proving yourself is not about winning over others, but about surpassing your own limitations.”- Anonymous
  • “When you’ve gone so far that you can’t take another step, you’ve only done half of what you’re capable of doing.” – Greenlandic proverb
  • “The first and greatest victory is to conquer yourself.” – Plato
  • “The greatest thing you can do is surprise yourself.”- Steve Martin
  • “If there is one thing I have learned in all of this training, it is that we are always better than we think.”- Arnold Schwarzenegger
  • “Only those who risk going too far will know how far one can go.” – Thomas Stearns Eliot
  • “We know what we are, but know not what we may be.”- William Shakespeare
  • “The greatest thing you can do is surprise yourself.” – Steve Martin
  • “Pushing one’s limits is the only way to know oneself and to grow as a human being.” – Mike Horn
  • “The hardest fights are the ones you get the most pleasure out of winning.” – Evander Holyfield

Courage Gained from Hardship

How we react to hardship says a lot about our mentality. Enlighten yourself with the following quotes.

  • “Obstacles cannot crush me. Every obstacle yields to stern resolve. He who is fixed to a star does not change his mind.” – Leonard de Vinci
  • “If you hit a wall, don’t give up. Find a way to climb it, cross it, or work around it.” – Michael Jordan
  • “Being challenged in life is inevitable, being defeated is optional.” – Roger Crawford
  • “Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength.” – Arnold Schwarzenegger
  • “Where there is a will, there is a way.” – Winston Churchill
  • “An athlete cannot arrive at a competition highly motivated if he has never been put to the test.” – Seneca
  • “I know I’m on the right path because everything stopped being easy.” – Anonymous
  • “A champion is someone who gets up when he can’t.” – Jack Dempsey
  • “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” – Thomas Edison
  • “There is no substitute for hard work.” – Thomas Edison
  • “Success is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration.” – Anonymous
  • “Celebrate yesterday’s victory today to have more strength for tomorrow’s battle.” – Anonymous
  • “Everything negative – pressure, challenges – is all an opportunity for me to rise.” – Kobe Bryant
  • “A champion is defined not by their wins but by how they can recover when they fall.” – Serena Williams
  • “Think back five years ago. Think of where you’re at today. Think ahead five years and what you want to accomplish. Be unstoppable.” – Dwayne John
  • “A loss leads to victory, being fired leads to a dream job. I find comfort in believing that good things can grow out of tragedy.” – Ronda Rousey
  • “One by one, all obstacles give way before those who do not stop en route, for they have set the powerful laws of life in motion.” – Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov
  • “Even after a thousand failures and a thousand defeats, nothing is ever definitively lost.” – Bernard Tapie

Resilience: The Courage to Keep Going When You Feel Like Quitting

Mental Toughness Quotes

The following quotes illustrate how resilience – the courage to go on despite trials and tribulations – shapes your iron mindset!

  • “That which does not kill me makes me stronger.” – Friedrich Nietzsche
  • “Only a man who knows what it is like to be defeated can reach down to the bottom of his soul and come up with the extra ounce of power it takes to win when the match is even.” – Muhammad Ali
  • “No one can go back, but everyone ca go forward. And tomorrow, when the sun rises, all you have to say to yourself is: I am going to think this day as the first day of my life.” – Paulo Coelho
  • “We are liberated by what we accept, but we are prisoners of what we refuse.” – Swami Prajnanpad
  • “What cannot be eschewed must be embraced.” – William Shakespeare
  • “Accept that we may never heal from our deficiencies or wounds, assume that the blows of the past can haunt a soul to open us to the gifts of the day and, why not, share them.” – Alexandre Jollien
  • “If there be real worth in you, the more are circumstances against you, the more will that inner power manifest itself.” – Swami Vivekananda
  • “We all bear scars from our life wounds. We can choose to regard them as paralyzing, pitying the reasons that caused them, or we can decide to honor them for they also remind us that we have survived and that they may have made us stronger or more lucid. Hardships, when we overcome them, allow us to grow.” – Jacques Salomé
  • “The right to fail is fundamental: it enables clear-sighted people with a strong soul to bounce back and go further.” – Bernard Tapie
  • “It’s never too late to become what you could have been.” – George Eliot
  • “What helps you persevere is resilience and commitment.” – Roy T. Bennett
  • “In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer.” – Albert Camus
  • “It’s during our very worst fall that we either die or learn to fly.” – Sira Masetti
  • “What hurt me in the past has actually made me better equipped to face the present.” – Steve Goodier
  • “Resilience is knowing that you are the only one who has the power and the responsibility to pick yourself up.” – Mary Holloway
  • “Without hardship, success doesn’t have the same taste.” – Anonymous
  • “Success is not final, failure is not fatal, it is the courage to continue that counts.” – Winston Churchill

Ambition and the Will to Win

Ambition and the desire for victory provide motivation and determination, two key factors in building a mind of steel. The quotes below echo this sentiment.

  • “Become the person no one thought you could be.” – Anonymous
  • “Ambition is the path to success. Persistence is the vehicle you arrive in.” – Bill Bradley
  • “The ambitious are always ridiculed, until they’re successful.” – Anonymous
  • “Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that. The really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.” – Mark Twain
  • “Champions aren’t made in gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them-a desire, a dream, a vision.” – Muhammad Ali
  • “Don’t be afraid to be ambitious about your goals. Hard work never stops, neither should your dreams.” – Dwayne Johnson
  • “Winning isn’t everything, but wanting to win is.” – Vince Lombardi
  • “You have to think big. I still believe no one is better than me, at least on the field.” – Cristiano Ronaldo
  • “It is the victorious mentality, the awareness of its power, the feeling of mastery, that does great things in this world.” – Orison S. Marden
  • “When you’re about to give up, think back to what got you started in the first place.” – Anonymous


The following self-affirming quotes inspire belief in oneself and in one’s ability to realize any dream and any goal, whatever the circumstances, which is crucial to developing a strong and determined mentality.

  • “You have to believe in yourself when no one else does.” – Serena Williams
  • “Believe in your dreams and they may come true. Believe in yourself and they will surely come true.” – Martin Luther King
  • “Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.” – Martin Luther King
  • “The body achieves what the mind believes.” – Anonymous
  • You were created to win, to triumph, to conquer. You should never dwell on failure, loss, scarcity, or limitations of any kind.” – John Murphy
  • “Success is a state of mind. If you want to succeed, start by thinking of yourself as a winner.” – Joyce Brothers
  • “If you believe you can win, you can win. Faith is necessary for victory.” – William Hazlitt
  • “True strength is the strength we exert at every moment over our thoughts, our feelings, and our actions.” – Morikei Ueshiba
  • “There is a powerful driving force inside every human being that, once unleashed, can make any vision, dream, or desire a reality.” – Tony Robbins

Patience and Perseverance

The following quotes demonstrate how patience and perseverance are part and parcel of mental strength and play a huge role in achieving results.

  • “The keys to victory are tenacity and perseverance. Let us not leave any cause for regret behind. Those who refuse to give up will ultimately triumph.” – Daisaku Ikeda
  • “No one succeeds without effort … Those who succeed owe their success to perseverance.” – Ramana Maharshi
  • “A row of small wills make a big result.” – Charles Baudelaire
  • “The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones.” – Confucius
  • “Success is the sum of small efforts repeated day in and day out.” – Léo Robert Colliet
  • “I do not think that there is any other quality so essential to success of any kind as the quality of perseverance.” – David Rockefeller
  • “Without perseverance, you will fail before you have started.” – Napoleon Hill
  • “Success isn’t overnight. It’s when everyday you get a little better than the day before.” – Dwayne Johnson
  • “Perseverance is not a long race; it is many short races one after the other.” – Walter Elliot
  • “Entrepreneurs average 3.8 failures before final success. What sets the successful ones apart is their amazing persistence.” – Lisa M. Amos
  • “In the confrontation between the river and the rock, the river always wins…not through strength but by perseverance.” – Jackson Brown
  • “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence is not an act, but a habit.” – Aristotle
  • “It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.” – Confucius
  • “The ability to discipline yourself to delay gratification in the short term in order to enjoy greater rewards in the long term is indispensable.”- Brian Tracy

Striving towards Self-Efficacy

Everyone has their dramas and problems, some more than others. However, that hasn’t stopped everybody from succeeding. These quotes are from those who have gone from nothing to something; being decisive and determined despite all hurdles are key characteristics of the steel mindset.

  • “It is our choices that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.” – JK Rowling
  • “I start early and stay late, day after day, year after year. It took me 17 years and 114 days to succeed overnight.” – Lionel Messi
  • “The humiliation of failure is less perverse than the frustration of not trying.” – Bernard Tapie
  • “We do today what they won’t – so tomorrow we can accomplish what they can’t.” – Dwayne Johnson
  • “The real question is not whether you can change but whether you want to change.” – Anonymous
  • “Success is built in the hours when no one is watching.” – Anonymous
  • “Everything is hard before it is easy.” – Thomas Fuller
  • “The first step in achieving your goal is to take a moment to respect your goal. Know what it means to you to achieve it.” – Dwayne Johnson
  • “If something stands between you and your success – move it.” – Dwayne Johnson
  • “Blood, sweat, and respect. First two you give, last one you earn.” – Dwayne Johnson
  • “Everyone is an athlete. The only difference is that some of us are in training, and some are not.” – George Sheehan
  • “Every man must decide for himself whether he shall master his world or be mastered by it.” – James Cash Penney
  • “There are only two conducts with life: Either we dream it, or we accomplish it.” – René Char
  • “I am not what happened to me, I am what I choose to become.” – Carl Gustav Jung
  • “Life is too short to spend it regretting everything that we have the bravery to try.” – Marie-Claude Bussières-Tremblay
  • “No mastery is acquired without practice.” – Annie Marquier
  • “What can you do today that will make you proud of yourself tonight?” – David Laroche
  • “The future depends on what we do in the present.” – Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi
  • “Man’s power to move towards a better life lies in his repeated efforts every day. It is the mastery of these little things that grants the ability to master the big things.” – Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov

Concentration, Visualization, and Mental (Re)programming

The following quotes demonstrate the extent to which a positive and focused mentality contributes to an unbreakable mindset that is the mind of steel.

  • “Rule your mind, or it will rule you.” – Horace
  • “Your body can handle almost anything, it’s your mind that needs convincing.” – Anonymous
  • “If you can imagine it, you can achieve it; if you can dream it, you can become it.” – William Arthur Ward
  • “What you think, you become; what you feel, you attract, and what you imagine, you create.” – Buddha
  • “Formulate and stamp indelibly on your mind a mental picture of yourself as succeeding. Hold this picture tenaciously. Never permit it to fade. Your mind will seek to develop the picture.” – Norman Vincent Peale
  • “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t – you’re right.” – Henry Ford
  • “Concentrate your thoughts on the particular thing that interests you most, and ideas will come in abundance and open the door to a dozen ways of achieving your goal.” – Robert Collier
  • “My experience is that you cannot have everything you want but you can have anything you really want, you just need to decide what it is and then plan your exit from the comfort zone.” – Jonathan Farrington
  • “Keep your eyes on the finish line and not on the hustle and bustle around you.” – Rihanna

Self-Discipline and Self-Control

Self-discipline, sticking to a routine, a program, controlling your actions, mastering your stress, and your energy levels: the following quotes relate to these areas.

  • “Respect your efforts, respect yourself. Self-respect leads to self-discipline. When you have both firmly under your belt, that’s real power.” – Clint Eastwood
  • “You will never have a greater or lesser dominion than that over yourself.” – Leonard de Vinci
  • “In reading the lives of great men, I found that the first victory they won was over themselves… self-discipline with all of them came first.” – Harry Truman
  • “We all have dreams. But in order to make dreams come into reality, it takes an awful lot of determination, dedication, self-discipline, and effort.” – Jesse Owens
  • “With self-discipline most anything is possible.”- Theodore Roosevelt
  • “Self-discipline equates to self-control. Your ability to control yourself and your actions, control what you say and do, and ensure that your behaviors are consistent with long-term goals and objectives is the mark of a superior person.” – Brian Tracy
  • “Self-discipline is a key to many doors. Not least of which is one that leads to a better, stronger, and healthier version of yourself.” – Zero Dean
  • “I think self-discipline is like a muscle. The more you exercise it, the stronger it gets.” – Daniel Goldstein
  • “Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishments.” – Jim Rohn
  • “Self-discipline is doing what needs to be done when it needs to be done, even when you don’t feel like doing it.” – Anonymous
  • “Without self-discipline, success is impossible. Period.” – Lou Holtz
  • “We must all suffer from one of two pains: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret. The difference is discipline weighs ounces while regret weighs tons.” – Anonymous
  • “All success begins with self-discipline. It starts with you.” – Dwayne Johnson
  • “Self-discipline is about having the ability to control your desires and impulses to stay focused on what needs to get done to successfully achieve a goal.” – Adam Sicinski
  • “Willpower and self-discipline are more effective than intellect and talent.” – Akiroq Brost
  • “Great leaders always have self-discipline, without exception.” – John C. Maxwell
  • “Your level of success is determined by your level of self-discipline and perseverance.” – Anonymous
  • “You will never have a greater or lesser dominion than that over yourself.” – Leonard de Vinci
  • “Self-discipline is the mother of success.”- Aeschylus
  • “Happiness depends on self-discipline. We are the biggest obstacles to our own happiness. It is much easier to do battle with society and with others than to fight our own nature.” – Dennis Prager
  • “I could only achieve success in life through self-discipline, and I applied it until my wish and will became one.” – Nikola Tesla

Stepping Out of Your Comfort Zone and Overcoming Your Fears

A mind of steel is forged through discomfort and battling fear: this is the idea conveyed by the following quotes, which encourage you to do what you’ve never done in order to become the person you’ve never been.

  • “The biggest rewards in life are found outside your comfort zone. Live with it. Fear and risk are prerequisites if you want to enjoy a life of success and adventure.” – Jack Canfield
  • “To achieve something you’ve never achieved before, you must become someone you’ve never been before.” – Brian Tracy
  • “Always do what you are afraid to do.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • “The best things in life are often waiting for you at the exit ramp of your comfort zone.”- Karen Salmansohn
  • “I don’t think you can create anything interesting from a comfort zone. You have to work from a place of fear and failure.” – Charlize Theron
  • “Courage is not the absence of fear, but the ability to overcome it.” – Nelson Mandela
  • “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.” – Tony Robbins
  • “Just try new things. Don’t be afraid. Step out of your comfort zones and soar, all right?” – Michelle Obama
  • “The definition of insanity is doing the same the over and over and expecting different results.”- Albert Einstein
  • “Most learning happens at the edge of the comfort zone.” – Anders Ericsson
  • “Everything you always wanted is beyond your fear.” – Georges Addair
  • “My comfort zone is like a little bubble around me, and I’ve pushed it in different directions and made it bigger and bigger until these objectives that seemed totally crazy eventually fall within the realm of the possible.” – Alex Honnold
  • “What we fear the most in doing is usually what we need to do the most.” – Tim Ferriss
  • “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain
  • “Whenever you feel uncomfortable, instead of retreating back into your old comfort zone, pat yourself on the back and say, ‘I must be growing,’ and continue moving forward.” – T. Harv Eker
  • “Do one thing every day that scares you.”- Eleanor Roosevelt
  • “Before anything great is really achieved, your comfort zone must be disturbed.” – Ray Lewis
  • “All your dreams await just on the other side of your fear.” – Grant Cardone
  • “Move out of your comfort zone. You can only grow if you are willing to feel awkward and uncomfortable when you try something new.” – Brian Tracy
  • “Doing the difficult things that you’ve never done awakens the talents you never knew you had.” – Robin Sharma
  • “We cannot become what we want by remaining what we are.” – Max DePree

Loser vs. Winner

You’ve probably heard of the dichotomy between the loser and winner mentality/mindset! The following quotes should help shed some light on what sets them apart.

  • “Self-discipline is what separates the winners and the losers.” – Thomas Peterffy
  • “Winners find ways, losers find excuses.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt
  • “Failure inspires winners. Failure defeats losers.” – Robert T. Kiosaki
  • “A winner is just a loser who tried one more time.” – George M. Moore
  • “There’s a thin line between losing & winning. Losing breeds winners. The main recipe to success is through failures and hardships!” – Anonymous
  • “It’s not the will to win that makes you victorious; it’s the refusal to lose.” – Anonymous
  • “I don’t let the fear of losing outweigh the excitement of winning.” – Robert T. Kiyosaki

Never Give Up!

These quotes are designed to give you the mental fortitude to persevere! Use them to stay motivated!

  • “Cowards never start, the weak never finish and winners never quit.” – Anonymous
  • “The strongest people are not always the people who win, but the people who don’t give up when they lose.” – Ashley Hodgeson
  • “Winners are not those who never fail, but those who never quit.” – Anonymous
  • “Pain is temporary. It may last a minute, or an hour, or a day, or a year, but eventually, it will subside and something else will take its place. If I quit, however, it lasts forever. That surrender, even the smallest act of giving up, stays with me. So, when I feel like quitting, I ask myself, which would I rather live with?” – Lance Armstrong
  • “Successful people do what unsuccessful people are not willing to do.” – Anonymous
  • “Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.” – Thomas A. Edison
  • “Whenever you feel like giving up, that is when you need to try as hard as possible.” – Anonymous
  • “I don’t stop when I’m tired, I stop when I’m done.” – David Goggins
  • “If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run walk, if you can’t walk crawl, but by all means keep moving.” – Martin Luther King
  • “If you give up once, it can become a habit. Never give up.” – Michael Jordan
  • “Obstinacy is the path to success.” – Charlie Chaplin
  • “Failure is part of the process of success, abandonment is not.” – Anonymous
  • “But in good time you’ll see that sometimes what matters isn’t what one gives but what one gives up.” – Carlos Ruiz Zafon
  • “A winner is a dreamer who never gives up.” – Anonymous
  • “I think anything is possible to anyone who dreams, dares, works and never gives up.” – Xavier Dolan
  • “And there will be a time, a week, a month, or a year, when you will be able to completely fulfill what you were meant to be.” – David Grossman
  • “Don’t give up. Normally it is the last key on the ring which opens the door.” – Paulo Coelho

Impossible is Nothing!

With an iron will, nothing seems impossible! Need inspiration? Read these compelling quotes below.

  • “Impossible means that you haven’t found a solution yet.” – Goulwenn Tristant
  • “I only want people around me who can do the impossible.” – Elizabeth Arden
  • “The only place where your dreams are impossible is in your head.” – Robert Schuller
  • “There is nothing impossible to him who will try.” – Alexander the Great
  • “The difficult we do at once. The impossible takes a little longer.” – Fridtjof Nansen.
  • “I have learned to use the word ‘impossible’ with the greatest caution.” – Wernher von Braun
  • “Without faith nothing is possible, with faith nothing is impossible.” – Mary Jane McLeod Bethune
  • “Only he who can see the invisible can do the impossible.” – Frank Gaines
  • “The young do not know enough to be prudent, and therefore they attempt the impossible – and achieve it, generation after generation.” – P. S. Buck
  • “They did not know it was impossible, so they did it.” – Mark Twain
  • “It’s either easy or impossible.” – Salvador Dali
  • “Most of the things worth doing in the world had been declared impossible before they were done.” – L. D. Brandeis
  • “The difference between the impossible and the possible lies in a person’s determination.” – T. Lasorda
  • “There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.” – Paulo Coelho
  • “Impossible is a word to be found only in the dictionary of fools.” – Napoleon Bonaparte
  • “It always seems impossible until you achieve it.” – Nelson Mandela
  • “You can have everything you want if you give up the belief that you can’t have it.” – Dr. Robert Anthony
  • “We begin by saying: this is impossible in order to dispense with attempting it, and it, indeed, becomes impossible precisely because we don’t attempt it.” – Charles Fourier
  • “The only impossible journey is the one you never begin.” – Tony Robbins

No more excuses! Take inspiration from all the above quotes to forge your mind of steel, to remain determined, and to achieve your goals. Post them, repeat them. And please let us know in the comments which quote(s) resonates most with you or share some new ones!

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