Wisdom//

5 Inspiring Quotes from High-Achieving Women

Trailblazing leaders from TIME's FIRSTS initiative.

FIRSTS, a new multi-media project from TIME, highlights 46 women breaking boundaries in fields ranging from politics to television to sports. Featuring the likes of Hillary Clinton and philanthropist Melinda Gates, the project features trailblazing women speaking on finding motivation, overcoming challenges and finding balance in their lives. Here are 5 of the most inspiring quotes from women included in the project.

Shonda Rhimes, “First Woman to Create Three Hit Shows With More Than 100 Episodes Each”

“We’re not going to feel any wiser or any more ready in 10 years than we did 10 years ago, so we might as well just leap.” 

Hillary Rodham Clinton, “First Woman to Win a Major Party’s Nomination for President

“Too many women and too many young women labor under the belief that if they aren’t perfect, they’re not good enough. You do have to be well-prepared and highly competent and work hard—all of that is true, but you don’t have to be perfect.” 

Serena Williams, “First Tennis Player to Win 23 Grand Slam Singles Titles in the Open Era

“When criticism happens, I try to take a moment to appreciate myself. There will always be criticism—you have to have so much self-confidence and love for yourself. Once you have that wall of confidence, the criticism can hit against that wall and bounce right off.” 

Mae Jemison, “First Woman of Color in Space”

“Being first gives you a responsibility— you have a public platform, and you must choose how to use it. I use mine to help folks become more comfortable with the idea that science is integral to our world.” 

Nikki Haley, “First Indian-American Woman to be Elected Governor”

“Every person has war stories. Things happen in your life that change you and challenge you, and they’re uncomfortable, but when you get through them, you realize that they are the reason you are the way that you are.” 

View the complete list of TIME’s FIRSTS here.

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