49 Michelle Obama Quotes on Holding to Your Beliefs and Moral Compass

Known worldwide as the former US First Lady, Michelle Obama’s influence and work began long before she even met the man who would go on to become her husband. Supported and encouraged by her family from a young age, Michelle excelled at school and University, earning her degree at Harvard Law School while also taking part in demonstrations for more opportunities for minority students and professors.

Invested in helping young people, MIchelle has campaigned for many causes, including healthy eating, improved education for girls, equal rights, and providing more help for families in poverty. Proving that a woman really can do it all if she really wants to, she is a best-selling author, lawyer, former First Lady, and mother, and she has done and continues to do them all with elegance and grace, making her the perfect role model for girls.

A powerful desire to inspire girls to take their education seriously is behind many of Michelle Obama quotes, and what she says will motivate you to be the best person you can become, whether that is through school, college, or self-education in the form of reading. She proves that you can smash the glass ceiling, even when you come from the most disadvantaged of backgrounds.

Michelle Obama Quotes to Live Your Life By

Michelle Obama Quotes

“I have learned that as long as I hold fast to my beliefs and values – and follow my own moral compass – then the only expectations I need to live up to are my own.” – Michelle Obama




“Failure is a feeling long before it becomes an actual result” – Michelle Obama

“One of the lessons that I grew up with was to always stay true to yourself and never let what somebody else says distract you from your goals. And so when I hear about negative and false attacks, I really don’t invest any energy in them, because I know who I am.” – Michelle Obama

“It’s the hopes of folks like my dad, who got up every day, do his job at the city water plant; the hope that one day his kids would go to college and have opportunities he never dreamed of. That’s the kind of hope that every single one of us—politicians, parents, preachers, all of us—need to be providing for our young people. Because that is what moves this country forward every single day: our hope for the future and the hard work that hope inspires. So that’s my final message to young people as First Lady. It is simple.” – Michelle Obama

“We have this window of opportunity; we have a chance to make something real happen. Something possible happen, to live beyond our fear — think about that, and help us. Help lift us up, help us fight this fight to change — transform — this country in a fundamental way…. This chance won’t come around again.” – Michelle Obama

“The one way to get me to work my hardest was to doubt me.” – Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama Quotes




“The difference between a broken community and a thriving one is the presence of women who are valued.” – Michelle Obama

“My father’s life is a testament to that basic American promise that no matter who you are or how you started out, if you work hard you can build a decent life for yourself and an even better life for your kids.” – Michelle Obama

“Being your First Lady has been the greatest honor of my life, and I hope I’ve made you proud.” – Michelle Obama

“The easiest way to disregard a woman’s voice is to package her as a scold.” – Michelle Obama

“Success doesn’t count unless you earn it fair and square.” – Michelle Obama

“If you are a person of faith, know that religious diversity is a great American tradition, too. In fact, that’s why people first came to this country: to worship freely. And whether you are Muslim, Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Sikh―these religions are teaching our young people about justice, and compassion, and honesty. So I want our young people to continue to learn and practice those values with pride.” – Michelle Obama




Michelle Obama Quotes

“The arts are not just a nice thing to have or to do if there is free time or if one can afford it. Rather, paintings and poetry, music and fashion, design and dialogue, they all define who we are as a people and provide an account of our history for the next generation.” – Michelle Obama

“Instead of letting your hardships and failures discourage or exhaust you, let them inspire you. Let them make you even hungrier to succeed.” – Michelle Obama

“To the young people here, and the young people out there: do not ever let anyone ever make you feel like you don’t matter, or like you don’t have a place in our American story—because you do. And you have a right to be exactly who you are. But I also want to be very clear: this right isn’t just handed to you. No, this right has to be earned every single day. You cannot take your freedoms for granted.” – Michelle Obama

“Do not bring people in your life who weigh you down, and trust your instincts. Good relationships feel good. They feel right. They don’t hurt. They’re not painful. That’s not just with somebody you want to marry, but it’s with the friends you choose. It’s with the people you surround yourself with.” – Michelle Obama

“How hard you work matters more than how much you make.” – Michelle Obama

“I am so tired of fear. And I don’t want my girls to live in a country, in a world, based on fear.” – Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama Quotes

“When girls are educated, their countries become stronger and more prosperous.” – Michelle Obama

“Am I good enough? Yes I am.” – Michelle Obama

“When you are struggling, and you start thinking about giving up, I want you to remember something that my husband and I have talked about since we first started this journey nearly a decade ago—something that has carried us through every moment in this White House and every moment of our lives—and that is the power of hope. The belief that something better is always possible if you’re willing to work for it and fight for it.” – Michelle Obama

“If I died, I didn’t want people remembering me for the stacks of legal briefs I’d written or the corporate trademarks I’d helped defend. I felt certain that I had something more to offer the world. It was time to make a move.” – Michelle Obama

“Everyone on Earth, they’d tell us, was carrying around an unseen history, and that alone deserved some tolerance.” – Michelle Obama

“Time, as far as my father was concerned, was a gift you gave to other people.” – Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama Quotes

“Just try new things. Don’t be afraid. Step out of your comfort zones and soar.” – Michelle Obama

“The truth is, in order to get things like universal health care and a revamped education system, then someone is going to have to give up a piece of their pie so that someone else can have more.” – Michelle Obama

“If your family doesn’t have much money, I want you to remember that in this country, plenty of folks, including me and my husband. We started out with very little. But with a lot of hard work and a good education, anything is possible—even becoming President. That’s what the American Dream is all about.” – Michelle Obama

“If my future were determined just by my performance on a standardized test, I wouldn’t be here. I guarantee you that.” – Michelle Obama

“It’s easier to hold onto your own stereotypes and misconceptions, it makes you feel justified in your own ignorance. That’s America. So the challenge for us is, are we ready for change?” – Michelle Obama

“I want our young people to know that they matter. That they belong. So don’t be afraid. Do you hear me? Young people, don’t be afraid. Be focused. Be determined. Be hopeful. Be empowered. Empower yourselves with a good education. Then get out there and use that education to build a country worthy of your boundless promise. Lead by example with hope, never fear, and know that I will be with you, rooting for you and working to support you for the rest of my life.” – Michelle Obama

“You can’t make decisions based on fear and the possibility of what might happen.” – Michelle Obama

“I come here tonight as a sister, blessed with a brother who is my mentor, my protector and my lifelong friend. And I come here as a wife who loves my husband and believes he will be an extraordinary president.” – Michelle Obama

“Barack and I were both raised by families who didn’t have much in the way of money or material possessions but who had given us something far more valuable – their unconditional love, their unflinching sacrifice, and the chance to go places they had never imagined for themselves.” – Michelle Obama

“We’re here because we believe that everyone in this country should do their fair share, plain and simple. Which means that teachers and firefighters shouldn’t pay higher taxes than millionaires and billionaires. Not in America. We believe that if you work hard, you shouldn’t go bankrupt because someone gets sick. You shouldn’t lose your home because someone loses a job. Not in America. And after a lifetime of hard work, you should be able to retire with some dignity and some security. That’s what we believe.” – Michelle Obama

“You may not always have a comfortable life and you will not always be able to solve all of the world’s problems at once but don’t ever underestimate the importance you can have because history has shown us that courage can be contagious and hope can take on a life of its own.” – Michelle Obama

“Success is only meaningful and enjoyable if it feels like your own.” – Michelle Obama

“I hate diversity workshops. Real change comes from having enough comfort to be really honest and say something very uncomfortable.” – Michelle Obama

“You see, our glorious diversity—our diversity of faiths, and colors and creeds―that is not a threat to who we are, it makes us who we are.” – Michelle Obama

“Barack and I were raised with so many of the same values, like you work hard for what you want in life. That your word is your bond; that you do what you say you’re going to do. That you treat people with dignity and respect, even if you don’t know them and even if you don’t agree with them.” – Michelle Obama

“People who are truly strong lift others up. People who are truly powerful bring others together.” – Michelle Obama

“Don’t ever make decisions based on fear. Make decisions based on hope and possibility. Make decisions based on what should happen, not what shouldn’t.” – Michelle Obama

“Studying in countries like China isn’t only about your prospects in the global marketplace. It’s not just about whether you can compete with your peers in other countries to make America stronger. It’s also about whether you can come together and work together with them to make our world stronger. It’s about the friendships you make, the bonds of trust you establish and the image of America that you project to the rest of the world.” – Michelle Obama

“Your story is what you have, what you will always have. It is something to own.” – Michelle Obama

“I am an example of what is possible when girls from the beginning of their lives are loved and nurtured by people around them. I was surrounded by extraordinary women in my life who taught me about quiet strength and dignity.” – Michelle Obama

“It is our fundamental belief in the power of hope that has allowed us to rise above the voices of doubt and division, of anger and fear that we have faced in our own lives and in the life of this country. Our hope that if we work hard enough and believe in ourselves, then we can be whatever we dream, regardless of the limitations that others may place on us.” – Michelle Obama

“I think that people are tired. They’re tired of the same old kind of politics. People want a new tone to politics.” – Michelle Obama

“Women in particular need to keep an eye on their physical and mental health, because if we’re scurrying to and from appointments and errands, we don’t have a lot of time to take care of ourselves. We need to do a better job of putting ourselves higher on our own ‘to do’ list.” – Michelle Obama

“For all the young people in this room and those who are watching, know that this country belongs to you—to all of you, from every background and walk of life. If you or your parents are immigrants, know that you are part of a proud American tradition—the infusion of new cultures, talents and ideas, generation after generation, that has made us the greatest country on earth.” – Michelle Obama

“Make no mistake about it, whether it’s health care, the economy, education or foreign policy, the choice we make in this election will determine nothing less than who we are as a country — but more importantly, who we want to be. Will we be a country that tells folks who have done everything right but are still struggling to get by, tough luck, you’re on your own? Is that who we are?… Or will we honor that fundamental American belief that I am my brother’s keeper, I am my sister’s keeper and if one of us is hurting then we’re all hurting? Who are we? That’s what this election is about.” – Michelle Obama

“This may be the fundamental problem with caring a lot about what others think: It can put you on the established path.” – Michelle Obama

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