Confidence-boosting quotes to fuel your self-esteem

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"No one can make you feel inferior without your consent" - so said the infinitely quotable Eleanor Roosevelt.

Low self-esteem can be crippling but sometimes all it takes is an insightful saying or glimmer of wisdom from those in the know to restore our sense of worth and remind us who we are and where we're going.

The following figures are all influential on their own fields, be they writers, activists, business leaders, politicians or adventurers. And they've all overcome their own personal, and sometimes formidable, challenges to get where they are today. They know what it's like to fail and move onward and upwards (and perhaps even have a little laugh along the way).

Read on to find out their tips on confidence, self-assurance and powering through the hard times...

Photos: Rex Features

  • Oprah Winfrey

    "Think like a queen. A queen is not afraid to fail. Failure is another stepping stone to greatness"

  • Eleanor Roosevelt

    "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent."

  • Lauren Bacall

    "I am not a has-been. I am a will be."

  • Maya Angelou

    "Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it."

  • Drew Barrymore

    "I've been through way too much f**king sh*t to be insecure. I've got huge balls"

  • Sir Edmund Hillary

    "It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves"

  • David Nicholls (in One Day)

    "You're gorgeous, you old hag, and if I could give you just one gift ever for the rest of your life it would be this. Confidence. It would be the gift of confidence. Either that or a scented candle."

  • Toni Morrison

    "You wanna fly, you got to give up the shit that weighs you down."

  • Coco Chanel

    "The most courageous act is still to think for yourself. Aloud"

  • Annie Lennox

    "You have to face things, have faith in what you do and go for it. Think, 'What's the worst that could happen?'"

  • JK Rowling

    "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."

  • Helen Keller

    "Never bend your head. Hold it high. Look the world straight in the eye"

  • Madonna

    "I'm tough, I'm ambitious, and I know exactly what I want. If that makes me a bitch, okay."

  • Arianna Huffington

    "Fearlessness is like a muscle. I know from my own life that the more I exercise it the more natural it becomes to not let my fears run me."

  • A. A. Milne (creator of Winnie-the-Pooh)

    "You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think"

  • Elizabeth Taylor

    "I don't entirely approve of some of the things I have done, or am, or have been. But I'm me. God knows, I'm me"

  • Winston Churchill

    "The pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty"

  • Michelle Obama

    "Whether you come from a council estate or a country estate, your success will be determined by your own confidence and fortitude"

  • Marie Curie

    "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 must be attained"

  • Sophia Loren

    "Sex appeal is fifty percent what you've got and fifty percent what people think you've got"

  • Amelia Earhart

    "The most effective way to do it, is to do it"

  • Vincent Van Gogh

    "If you hear a voice within you say 'you cannot paint,' then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced"

  • Sylvia Plath

    "The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt"

  • Aung San Suu Kyi

    "The only real prison is fear, and the only real freedom is freedom from fear"

  • Simone de Beauvoir

    "To lose confidence in one's body is to lose confidence in oneself"

  • Portia de Rossi

    "Life can take so many twists and turns. You can’t ever count yourself out. Even if you’re really afraid at some point, you can’t think that there’s no room for you to grow and do something good with your life"

  • Louisa May Alcott

    "I am not afraid of storms, for I am learning how to sail my ship"

  • Queen Latifah

    "Finally it occurred to me, I’m either going to love me or hate me. And I chose to love myself. Then everything kind of sprung from there. Things that I thought weren’t attractive became sexy. Confidence makes you sexy"

  • Diane von Furstenberg

    "You’re always with yourself, so you might as well enjoy the company"

  • Henry David Thoreau

    "Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you've imagined"

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