Dubbed the “Queen of All Media” with 18 Daytime Emmy Awards, a Presidential Medal of Freedom, induction into the National Women’s Hall of Fame, and many more impressive accolades, there are few people who don’t recognize the name Oprah Winfrey. She’s best known for her popular talk show, The Oprah Winfrey Show, but Oprah is also a producer, actress, author, and dedicated philanthropist. Oprah Winfrey quotes speak out against racism, promote emotional health, and spread important messages about self-improvement and mindfulness.
Oprah was North America’s first black multi-billionaire, but her earliest experiences were shrouded in poverty. She was born to a single teenage mother in rural Mississippi and spent the first six years of her life living in extreme poverty with her grandmother. She eventually moved back with her mother in Milwaukee, but continued financial strain sent her to live with the man she recognizes as her father in Tennessee.
Despite life’s many challenges, Oprah landed a job at a radio station while in high school. She became a co-anchor for evening news at only 19 years old, earned a full collegiate scholarship to study communications, and built her personal talk show with her own ideas and determination.
Throughout her prominent career, Oprah has spoken openly about being sexually abused as a child and her experiences facing racism and sexism. Many say her talk show was as popular as it was because of Oprah’s way of focusing on emotions and being sincere and honest with her audience. She’s now one of the most recognized people in the world, and Oprah Winfrey quotes are shared even by people who have never seen her show.
Here are the most notable Oprah Winfrey quotes spanning her entire career.
1. “Turn your wounds into wisdom.”
2. “When you undervalue what you do, the world will undervalue who you are.”
3. “One of the hardest things in life to learn are which bridges to cross and which bridges to burn.”
4. “Challenges are gifts that force us to search for a new center of gravity. Don’t fight them. Just find a new way to stand.”
5. “The great courageous act that we must all do, is to have the courage to step out of our history and past so that we can live our dreams.”
6. “Everyone wants to ride with you in the limo, but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down.”
7. “You get in life what you have the courage to ask for.”
8. “Forgiveness is giving up the hope that the past could have been any different.”
9. “Everybody has a calling. And your real job in life is to figure out as soon as possible what that is, who you were meant to be, and to begin to honor that in the best way possible for yourself.”
10. “Breathe. Let go. And remind yourself that this very moment is the only one you know you have for sure.”
11. “Luck is a matter of preparation meeting opportunity.”
12. “It doesn’t matter who you are, where you come from. The ability to triumph begins with you, always.”
13. “Where there is no struggle, there is no strength.”
14. “You look at yourself and you accept yourself for who you are, and once you accept yourself for who you are, you become a better person.”
15. “It makes no difference how many peaks you reach if there was no pleasure in the climb.”
16. “You are responsible for your life. You can’t keep blaming somebody else for your dysfunction. Life is really about moving on.”
17. “I have crossed over on the backs of Sojourner Truth, Harriet Tubman, Fannie Lou Hamer, and Madam C.J. Walker. Because of them I can now live the dream. I am the seed of the free, and I know it. I intend to bear great fruit.”
18. “The way to choose happiness is to follow what is right and real and the truth for you. You can never be happy living someone else’s dream. Live your own. And you will for sure know the meaning of happiness.”
19. “Your calling isn’t something that somebody can tell you about. It’s what you feel. It is the thing that gives you juice. The thing that you are supposed to do. And nobody can tell you what that is. You know it inside yourself.”
20. “Don’t worry about being successful, but work toward being significant, and the success will naturally follow.”
21. “Think like a queen. A queen is not afraid to fail. Failure is anther stepping stone to greatness.”
22. “If a man wants you, nothing can keep him away. If he doesn’t want you, nothing can make him stay.”
23. “I have a lot of things to prove to myself. One is that I can live my life fearlessly.”
24. “Step out of the history that is holding you back. Step into the new story you are willing to create.”
25. “If you are still breathing, you have a second chance.”
26. “If you don’t heal the wounds of your childhood, you bleed into the future.”
27. “Do the one thing you think you cannot do. Fait at it. Try again. Do better the second time. The only people who never tumble are those who never mount the high wire. This is your moment. Own it.”
28. “I trust that everything happens for a reason, even if we are not wise enough to see it.”
29. “Follow your feelings. If it feels right, move forward. If it doesn’t feel right, don’t do it.”
30. “Turn your wounds into wisdom.”
Whether through her talk show, her book, or her general public presence, Oprah has influenced countless lives. If you found meaning in any of these Oprah Winfrey quotes, be sure to share them with friends and family.