20+ Uplifting Quotes About Being a Survivor


Are you or a friend going through a hard time and you need the inspiration to keep fighting? You could listen to songs about not giving up, such as “Don’t Stop Believin’” by Journey or “Don’t Give Up” by Peter Gabriel. You could watch movies like “Unbroken” or read uplifting quotes that will help you fight. 

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Here are some words to encourage you to keep fighting no matter your struggle. If you need to be uplifted and inspired, keep reading these words of wisdom from other survivors and great thinkers. 

Quotes About Surviving Cancer

Example of a quote about surviving cancer with an image of the sky in the background

A cancer diagnosis is not a death sentence, but fighting for remission is rarely easy. Here are some quotes about staying strong, even when you feel physically exhausted and you aren’t sure you can continue the battle. You may also appreciate this list of cancer poems that reminds you of your strength. 

1. “Let go of the things you cannot control.” — Nate Battle

People who have cancer often describe how life gets simpler during their illness. They learn about the essential things in life and they learn that there are many things out of their control. How wonderful it would be to learn these truths without a cancer diagnosis.

2. “Just because I can’t control what life throws at me doesn’t mean I can’t control how I handle it.” — Devin Duncan

What will others learn about your character as you face cancer treatment? Will they be reminded of your positive attitude and zest for life? Will they learn about your strong inner spirit? 

3. “If something doesn’t nourish you, leave it behind.” — Elizabeth Nikol

Make every minute count! Learn to leave behind the negativity in your life, whether the source of that negativity comes from a person or another source.

4. “We must embrace pain and burn it as fuel for our journey.” — Kenji Miyazawa

It’s hard to remain optimistic about everything that happens to your body as you undergo treatment for cancer, but we love how this quote puts a positive spin on pain. 

5. “The most important thing in illness is never to lose heart.” — Nikolai Lenin

Do what you can to remain positive and optimistic when undergoing cancer treatment, which may be easier said than done. Rely on others to help you stay positive.

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Quotes About Surviving an Accident

Example of a quote about surviving an accident with an image of the sky and mountains in the background

Your physical struggles may be the result of an accident instead of a disease. Here are some quotes about strength and survival that will inspire you to work hard, remain positive, and keep your eye on your goals.

You may be suffering mentally from your accident as well. Make sure you seek out the help that is readily available to assist you through your mental recovery. 

6. “Always remember you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, smarter than you think and twice as beautiful as you’d ever imagined.” — Rumi

Post this quote on your mirror, on your refrigerator, and any other place that you will be able to be inspired by it multiple times per day. Whether you are going through a difficult time or not, these are great words of advice.

7. “Grace woke you up this morning, grace started you on your way and grace enabled you to survive until this very moment.” — Charles E. Blake

If you believe that grace enabled you to survive until this very moment, don’t you need to do your best to keep the recovery going?

If your faith is important to you, lean on it during your recovery. Talk with your spiritual leader to guide you through your rehabilitation journey.

8. “From every wound, there is a scar, and every scar tells a story. A story that says, I survived.” — Craig Scott

Don’t be embarrassed by your scars. Scars are signs of healing and survival. 

9. “We can do this! Each of us has the power to do whatever it takes to make it through our challenges in life.” — Iyanla Vanzant

As you go throughout your day, make sure your inner dialog is healthy and positive. Tell yourself that you have the strength, endurance, and stamina to endure whatever it takes to get better. 

10. “Feel pain, grieve, be hurt and embrace it... but never give up hope. Things will be better. The world will be better.” — Cameron Kasky

When you are at your lowest, it is hard to imagine being able to laugh again. Remind yourself that things will be better, even though it may never be the same.

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Quotes About Surviving Abuse

Example of a quote about surviving abuse with an image of the sky in the background

Being an abuse victim is a traumatic event and one you won’t recover from overnight. Seek out the wisdom of a counselor or medical professional to help you in your recovery. Go to support groups. Talk with your religious leader and recite inspirational prayers

Here are some thoughts about surviving either mental or physical abuse. 

11. “You don’t develop courage by being happy in your relationships every day. You develop it by surviving difficult times and challenging adversity.” — Epicurus

It takes an extremely positive person to find the silver lining in every cloud. It may be months or years later until you are able to realize how courageous you have become as a result of the trauma.

12. “In the dark times, if you have something to hold on to, which is yourself, you’ll survive.” — Whoopi Goldberg

Whoopi Goldberg learned that she had to rely on her inner strength to survive the negative situations in her life. 

13. “Do not look for healing at the feet of those who broke you.” — Rupi Kaur

One often-quoted definition of insanity is doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting different results. You may have to cut ties with the abuser in your life. 

14. “Instead of saying, ‘I’m damaged, I’m broken, I have trust issues,’ say ‘I’m healing, I’m rediscovering myself, I’m starting over.’” — Horacio Jones

Make sure you use these positive statements in your internal dialog as well. 

15. “You are not the darkness you endured. You are the light that refused to surrender.” — John Mark Green

Try not to define yourself by the trauma you suffered. You are a survivor and you refused to surrender. 

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Inspirational Quotes About Being a Survivor

Example of a quote about being a survivor with an image of the sky in the background

Be proud of your survival, even if you received help from others throughout the process. Share your story with others who may be going through a similar situation. These survivor quotes will encourage you as you go through your struggle.

16. “And so rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.” — J.K. Rowling

The author of the Harry Potter series was a single mom who had many financial struggles before her books were sold to a publisher. Perhaps you can use your own “rock bottom” as the turning point for your life. 

17. “Strength doesn’t come from what you can do. It comes from overcoming the things you once thought you couldn’t.” — Rikki Rogers

No one said that life was going to be easy. You may have to do things that make you uncomfortable to overcome your challenge.

18. “I am not what happened to me. I am what I choose to become.” — Carl Jung

Carl Jung founded the practice of analytical psychology. In this quote, Jung may be saying that instead of viewing yourself as a cancer patient or a victim of abuse, think of yourself as a survivor of those traumatic events. 

19. “A hero is an ordinary individual who finds the strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles.” — Christopher Reeve

The word “hero” is used a lot but Christopher Reeve’s definition is excellent. 

20. “Even though my past was dark, my future is so bright.” — Wilnisha Sutton

Read survival stories for inspiration. People who had it worse than you have been able to achieve great things.

Final Thoughts

Doing well in the face of adversity takes a great deal of inner strength and fortitude, but it is also important to surround yourself with positive people. If you are lucky enough to have a wonderful family and supportive friends, express gratitude for this gift every day.

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