I’ve referenced Maya Angelou in the majority of articles I’ve written for Goalcast.

Along my journey she has been one of the brightest rainbows in my cloud — guiding me from the dark cloud of where I was over the rainbow to where I am today.

Her words still guide me, though. Daily. We all have lessons to learn from her; particularly the one she learnt from her grandmother and passed on to her readers, that “When you learn, teach. When you get, give.”

This is my giving, to you: whoever is reading. Here is a selection of quotations from Angelou’s work (poetry, prose and speech) that have kept me going in times of adversity, with hope that they will offer the same motion to you.

10 Maya Angelou Quotes to Give You Backbone in Times of Struggle 2

Let gratitude be the pillow upon which you kneel to say your nightly prayer. And let faith be the bridge you build to overcome evil and welcome good.

Dignity doesn’t just mean always being stiff and composed. It means a belief in oneself, that one is worthy of the best. Dignity means that what I have to say is important, and I will say it when it’s important for me to say it. Dignity really means that I deserve the best treatment I can receive. And that I have the responsibility to give the best treatment I can to other people.

My wish for you
Is that you continue


To be who and how you are
To astonish a mean world
With your acts of kindness.

There is no failure as long as you learn from your experience, continue to work, and continue to press on for success.

Stand up straight and realize who you are, that you tower over your circumstances. You are a child of God. Stand up straight.

You have been paid for. Each of you, Black, White, Brown, Yellow, Red—whatever pigment you use to describe yourselves—has been paid for. But for the sacrifices made by some of your ancestors, you would not be here; they have paid for you. So, when you enter a challenging situation, bring them on the stage with you; let their distant voices add timbre and strength to your words. For it is your job to pay for those who are yet to come.

Maya Angelou quotes for adversity - Stand up straight and realize who you are, that you tower over your circumstances

If one has courage,
nothing can dim
the light which shines
from within.

Once when Oprah Winfrey was upset by a story in a tabloid I encouraged her to understand, ‘You’re not in it. People will try to peck you to death like a duck but you’re not in it.’ This is my advice to all of you when others dare to disgrace your name.

It is always about the work. In the latter years of your life, your happiness and your self-esteem will be determined by the mountains you surmounted, the valleys you climbed out of, and the life and/or career that you forged for yourself.

When my bones are stiff and aching,
And my feet won’t climb the stair,
I will only ask one favor:
Don’t bring me no rocking chair.
When you see me walking, stumbling,
Don’t study and get it wrong.
‘Cause tired don’t mean lazy
And every goodbye ain’t gone.
I’m the same person I was back then,
A little less hair, a little less chin,
A lot less lungs and much less wind.
But ain’t I lucky I can still breathe in.

READ: 25 Maya Angelou Quotes to Inspire Your Life