63 Eleanor Roosevelt Quotes on Leadership, Education, and Overcoming Your Fears

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Are you looking for Eleanor Roosevelt quotes to give you courage to face your fears and realize your dreams?

Eleanor Roosevelt was wife of the 32nd president of the United States, Franklin D. Roosevelt. She was also the longest serving First Lady. During her tenure, she devoted her time to public service, championed women’s rights, and was of assistance to people in poverty.

Her influence is felt even today.

The 63 Eleanor Roosevelt quotes featured in this post aim to inspire you to become a good leader; discover the true purpose of education; help you overcome your fears to live a life in keeping with your personal truth; and discover true happiness.

Let’s first dive into Eleanor Roosevelt quotes on leadership. May her wise words show you what qualities a true leader should possess.

Eleanor Roosevelt Quotes on Leadership

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.

The giving of love is an education in itself.

To handle yourself, use your head; to handle others, use your heart.

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“A good leader inspires people to have confidence in the leader, a great leader inspires people to have confidence in themselves.”

I could not at any age be content to take my place in a corner by the fireside and simply look on.

Learn from the mistakes of others. You can’t live long enough to make them all yourself.

It is better to light a candle than curse the darkness.

No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.

Do what you feel in your heart to be right – for you’ll be criticized anyway. You’ll be damned if you do, and damned if you don’t.

The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.

It takes as much energy to wish as it does to plan.

People grow through experience if they meet life honestly and courageously. This is how character is built.

What could we accomplish if we knew we could not fail?

It is not fair to ask of others what you are unwilling to do yourself.

I think that somehow, we learn who we really are and then live with that decision.

When you say that someone is a good leader, what qualities does he or she possess? Do you find yourself agreeing with Eleanor Roosevelt’s take on leadership?

In addition to politics, the topic of education was something close to Eleanor Roosevelt’s heart. She is of the belief that good leaders are the product of their education.

It is also her belief that the purpose of education is to produce good citizens. And what is a good citizen? It is someone who has a well-developed sense of creativity, an eagerness to learn and be curious, and profound respect for life. Her quotes on education reflect these convictions.

Eleanor Roosevelt Quotes on Education

The mind must be trained, rather than the memory.

Perhaps the most essential thing for a continuing education is to develop the capacity to know what you see and to understand what it means. Many people seem to go through life without seeing.

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“All of life is a constant education.”

It seems to me of great importance to teach children respect for life.

Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.

Never mistake knowledge for wisdom. One helps you make a living; the other helps you make a life.

“I think, at a child's birth, if a mother could ask a fairy godmother to endow it with the most useful gift, that gift would be curiosity.

I am convinced that every effort must be made in childhood to teach the young to use their own minds. For one thing is sure: If they don't make up their minds, someone will do it for them.

One of the best ways of enslaving a people is to keep them from education.

There is not human being from whom we cannot learn something if we are interested enough to dig deep.

What counts, in the long run, is not what you read; it is what you sift through your own mind; it is the ideas and impressions that are aroused in you by your reading. It is the ideas stirred in your own mind, the ideas which are a reflection of your own thinking, which make you an interesting person.

It seems to me of great importance to teach children respect for life. Towards this end, experiments on living animals in classrooms should be stopped. To encourage cruelty in the name of science can only destroy the finer emotions of affection and sympathy, and breed an unfeeling callousness in the young towards suffering in all living creatures.

Education is the cornerstone of liberty.

Each time you learn something new you must readjust the whole framework of your knowledge.

A democratic form of government, a democratic way of life, presupposes free public education over a long period; it presupposes also an education for personal responsibility that too often is neglected.

He who learns but does not think is lost. He who thinks but does not learn is in great danger.

I feel that the care of libraries and the use of books, and the knowledge of books, is a tremendously vital thing, and that we who deal with books and who love books have a great opportunity to bring about something in this country which is more vital here than anywhere else, because we have the chance to make a democracy that will be a real democracy.

We obtain our education at home, at school, and, most important, from life itself.

Eleanor Roosevelt was known for her humanitarian efforts. She advocated for the poor and those in the minority, including women who, at that time, were not very active in the political arena.

Foreign dignitaries acknowledged her power and took her counsel.

The work she did required a lot of courage. She overcame a lot of personal challenges, including depression, to become one of the most influential women in the world.

May her words about courage give you strength to overcome your own personal struggles.

Eleanor Roosevelt Quotes on Courage

The very next thing you need to be doing is the thing that terrifies you the most.

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.

Courage is exhilarating.

You must do the thing you think you cannot do.

Do one thing every day that scares you.

When you have decided what you believe, what you feel must be done, have the courage to stand alone and be counted.

The answer to fear is not to cower and hide; it is not to surrender feebly without contest. The answer is to stand and face it boldly. Look at it, analyze it, and, in the end, act.

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.

I believe that 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.

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.

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“Courage is more exhilarating than fear, and in the long run, it is easier.”

Looking back I see that I was always afraid of something: of the dark, of displeasing people, of failure. Anything I accomplished had to be done across a barrier of fear.

We gain courage and wisdom from every instance in which we stop to look fear in the face.

Be confident, not certain.

When she was young, Eleanor Roosevelt suffered immense grief caused by the deaths of those dearest to her.

From an early age, and because of what she had gone through, Eleanor Roosevelt had a deeper understanding about life—the joys and the sorrows.

May her words about life add a deeper dimension to your own view of existence.

Eleanor Roosevelt Quotes About Life

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.

Life is like a parachute jump, you’ve got to get it right the first time.

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.

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“If life were predictable it would cease to be life, and be without flavor.”

When life is too easy for us, we must beware or we may not be ready to meet the blows which sooner or later come to everyone, rich or poor.

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.

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.

Today is the oldest you've ever been, and the youngest you'll ever be again.

Life was meant to be lived, and curiosity must be kept alive. One must never, for whatever reason, turn his back on life.

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.

Today is the oldest you've ever been, and the youngest you'll ever be again.

You can never really live anyone else's life, not even your child's. The influence you exert is through your own life, and what you've become yourself.

Nothing alive can stand still, it goes forward or back. Life is interesting only as long as it is a process of growth; or, to put it another way, we can only grow as long as we are interested.

Eleanor Roosevelt will be best remembered for her refusal to conform to other people’s expectations and standards. She was a trailblazer, unafraid to explore new paths. And she was not merely content with exhortations. She was also a woman of action.

When she was 78 years old, she wrote the book You Learn by Living: Eleven Keys for a More Meaningful Life. In the book, she shared what she considered to be the key to happiness.

Her quotes on happiness continue to inspire many today to live with integrity, and to do things that contribute to the common good of all humanity. Here are some of those inspiring words.

Eleanor Roosevelt Quotes on Happiness

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.

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“Happiness is not a goal; it is a by-product of a life well lived.”

Since you get more joy out of giving joy to others, you should put a good deal of thought into the happiness that you are able to give.

If anyone were to ask me what I want out of life I would say- the opportunity for doing something useful, for in no other way, I am convinced, can true happiness be attained.


There you have it—63 Eleanor Roosevelt quotes to inspire you to live a more meaningful life.

Was there a specific quote that resonated with you? Or do you have a favorite quote from her that wasn’t featured here? We’d love to know your thoughts. Feel free to share them here.

Speaking of sharing, if you love any of the artwork in this post, we’d greatly appreciate a share through your favorite social media platform.

If you’re inspired by Eleanor Roosevelt’s pursuit of an authentic life, you might want to check out this post featuring 33 self-awareness activities you can do to get to know yourself deeper.

Finally, if you want to use these quotes to make a lasting change to your life, then watch this free video that details the 7-minute habit for planning your day to focus on what's truly important to you..

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