No matter your fear – be it public speaking, taking a pay cut for a role in a different industry, or explaining your gap – chances are you are not the only one feeling apprehensive.

Take Arianna Huffington, Thrive Global. In her book, “On Becoming Fearless, In Work, Life, and Love,” she writes, “When I finally got into Cambridge, I instantly fell in love with the Cambridge Union, the university’s famed debating society. But, to put it mildly, the Cambridge Union did not instantly fall in love with me. Even before starting my unrequited love affair, I had to overcome the barrier of having a heavy Greek accent in a world where accents really mattered. More important, I had to overcome the fear of criticism and ridicule. If I didn’t, I knew I would never be able to speak fearlessly in public.”

While the path to fearlessness is unique to the individual, read on for quotes from prominent women who elegantly put into words ways to deal with self-doubt.

“Fortune does favor the bold, and you’ll never know what you’re capable of if you don’t try.”

-Sheryl Sandberg, COO, Facebook and Author, Lean In

“Fearlessness is like a muscle. I know from my own life that the more I exercise it the more natural it becomes to not let my fears run me.”

-Arianna Huffington, Founder and CEO, Thrive Global, and Author, On Becoming Fearless, In Work, Life, and Love

“I learned a long time ago that there is something worse than missing the goal, and that’s not pulling the trigger.”

Mia Hamm, Soccer Player, Two-Time Olympic Gold Medalist

“A lot of people are afraid to say what they want. That’s why they don’t get what they want.”


“Don’t be intimidated by what you don’t know. That can be your greatest strength and ensure that you do things differently from everyone else.”

-Sara Blakely, Founder and CEO, Spanx

“If you’re not making some notable mistakes along the way, you’re certainly not taking enough business and career chances.”

-Sallie Krawcheck, CEO and Co-Founder, Ellevest

“It’s not the absence of fear, it’s overcoming it. Sometimes you’ve got to blast through and have faith.”

-Emma Watson, Actor and UN Goodwill Ambassador

“I think every working mom probably feels the same thing which is you go through big chunks of time where you’re just going ‘This is impossible – Oh, this is impossible.’ And then you just keep going and keep going and you sort of do the impossible.”

-Tina Fey, Actor, Writer and Producer

“Fear is at the root of so many of the barriers that women face. Fear of not being liked. Fear of making the wrong choice. Fear of drawing negative attention. Fear of overreaching. Fear of being judged. Fear of failure. and the holy trinity of fear: the fear of being a bad mother/wife/daughter.”

-Sheryl Sandberg, Lean In