55 Survival Quotes to Make You Tough in 2023

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The past couple of years hasn’t been the kindest.

A global pandemic and some turbulent recent events have reminded us all of the necessity to be tough and prepared for the downsides. Life is not supposed to be easy – if you’re on the quest for fulfillment and to reach your full potential then there are some things you’re going to need – grit, perseverance, and toughness.

While it’s always good to talk about how wonderful and lovely things are, that doesn’t mean we should lose our edge and become complacent.

Why Read Survival Quotes

The fact is, survival quotes can put us in touch with a part of ourselves that’s very powerful. That raw primal force within us that refuses to accept defeat. The power that humans have to adapt to any circumstance and any challenge or disability.

While the media revels in telling us horrific stories, for every one tragedy there are ten more stories about people overcoming incredible odds. In much of the world (but not all of it) life isn’t quite as challenging as it used to be.

Just a few generations ago, people had to be tough to survive. While no one wants to go back to those times, it’s important to recognize that we shouldn’t take our modern comforts for granted or become dependent on them.

Life will always have its challenges – but if we have the right mindset and look after ourselves properly then we will always have the capability to match any difficulty.

These survival quotes will help you tap into that mindset and set the seeds to become much tougher in the face of whatever next year has in store for you. After all, no one can predict what’s going to happen, but how you prepare today will determine the quality of your tomorrow.

55 Survival Quotes to Make You Tough in 2023

1. “Life tries to crush her, but only succeeded in making a diamond.” – John Green

2. “It’s not the most powerful animal that survives. It’s the most efficient.” – Georges St-Pierre

3. “Extinction is the rule. Survival is the exception.” Carl Sagan

4. “Love when you can, cry when you have to, be who you must, that’s a part of the plan. Await your arrival with simple survival, and one day we’ll all understand.” – Dan Fogelberg

5. “Victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory however long and hard the road may be; for without vicory there is no survival.” – Winston S. Churchill

6. “The ability to sympathize with those around us seems crucial to our survival, and it's connected to the mirroring functions of the brain.” – Jay Parini

7. “Survival can be summed up in three words, never give up. That’s the heart of it really. Just keep trying.” – Bear Grylls

8. “Like every living thing its prime characteristic is a blind, unreasoned instinct to survive.” – Robert A. Heinlein

9. “Survival prospects are poor for an animal that is not suspicious of novelty.” – Daniel Kahneman

10. “You have to have an attitude that nothing's gonna stop me.” – Melissa De Sousa

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11. “Don’t let the fear of losing be greater than the excitement of winning.” – Robert Kiyosaki

12. “Fear of a bully, fear of a volcano; the power within you does not distinguish. It does not recognize degree.” – N.K. Jemisin

13. “Just remember: Surviving is the best revenge, no matter what the disaster has been.” – Joan Rivers

14. “In the game of life, less diversity means fewer options for change. Wild or domesticated, panda or pea, adaptation is the requirement for survival.” – Cary Fowler

15. “To eat or be eaten, to escape or be taken…a matter of utmost importance to the one concerned, yet it happens all the time and we don't even notice.” – Nahoko Uehashi

16. “The survival of artistic modes in which we recognize ourselves, identify ourselves and place ourselves will survive as long as humanity survives.” – M. H. Abrams

17. “History is not a suicide note — it is a record of our survival.” – Jeanette Winterson

18. “Survival starts by paying attention to what is close at hand and immediate. To look out with idle hope is tantamount to dreaming one's life away.” – Yann Martel

19. “Through humor, you can soften some of the worst blows that life delivers. And once you find laughter, no matter how painful your situation might be, you can survive it.” – Bill Cosby

20. “Surviving a failure gives you more self-confidence.” – Jeffrey Immelt

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21. “Nobody talks of entrepreneurship as survival, but that’s exactly what it is and what nurtures creative thinking.” – Anita Roddick

22. “Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy like art… It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things that give values to survival.” – Alice Duer Miller

23. “Much female conversation is, in fact, about survival – but in code.” – Louise Bernikow

24. “The man who goes afoot, prepared to camp anywhere and in any weather, is the most independent fellow on earth.” – Horace Kephart

25. “Success seems to be connected with action. Successful people keep moving. They make mistakes, but they don’t quit.” – Conrad Hilton

26. “It feels good to know you contributed positively to another’s life, to their happiness, to their survival. It gives us a sense of purpose.” – Joy Bryant

27. “The human being is very resourceful. When you fight for survival, you don't think much; you just do. If you think too much, you sink.” – Frank Lowy

28. “The key to the survival of liberty in the modern world is the embrace of multiple identities.” – Timothy Garton Ash

29. “Bad things can happen, and often do–but they only take up a few pages of your story; and anyone can survive a few pages.” – James A. Owen

30. “I am someone who always gets up again, even if there are setbacks. I have a survivor instinct. I’m not sure where it comes from, but probably from all the little things that make you into who you are.” – Heidi Klum

I am someone who always gets up again, even if there are setbacks. I have a survivor instinct. I’m not sure where it comes from, but probably from all the little things that make you into who you are.” – Heidi Klum

31. “The ability to delude yourself may be an important survival tool.” – Jane Wagner

32. “A culture survives when it has enough confidence in its past and enough say in its future to maintain its spirit and essence through all the changes it will inevitably undergo.” – Wade Davis

33. “Well, it seems to me, that all real communities grow out of a shared confrontation with survival. Communities are not produced by sentiment or mere goodwill. They grow out of a shared struggle. Our situation in the desert is an incubator for the community.” – Larry Harvey

34. “Survival is not just a physical thing. It's a constant mental affair. So, I kind of really draw a lot of power from that word.” – Parvathy

35. “There is nothing outside of yourself that can ever enable you to get better, stronger, richer, quicker, or smarter. Everything is within. Everything exists. Seek nothing outside of yourself.” – Miyamoto Musashi

36. “We don’t even know how strong we are until we are forced to bring that hidden strength forward. In times of tragedy, of war, of necessity, people do amazing things. The human capacity for survival and renewal is awesome.” – Isabel Allende

37. “My survival was up to me. I had nothing and I had no one. What I did have, I told myself, was my mind, my imagination, my memory, my feelings, my spirit. These were important and powerful things.” – John Marsden

38. “Wolves are disciplined not only when they hunt but also when they travel, when they play, and when they eat. Nature doesn’t view discipline as a negative thing. Discipline is DNA. Discipline is survival.” – Cesar Millan

39. “In our struggle to restrain the violence and contain the damage, we tend to forget that the human capacity for aggression is more than a monstrous defect, that it is also a crucial survival tool.” – Katherine Dunn

40. “Scars are not signs of weakness, they are signs of survival and endurance.” – Rodney A. Winters

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41. “Bad things happen. And the human brain is especially adept at making sure that we keep track of these events. This is an adaptive mechanism important for survival.” – David Perlmutter

42. “In the animal kingdom, one of the keys to survival is to outwit your enemies. And when you’re surrounded by carnivores, one of the best strategies is to fade into the background and disappear.” – Neil deGrasse Tyson

43. “But part of surviving is being able to move on.” – Alexandra Bracken

44. “When you’re placed in a world where survival is the main focus, a lot of that other stuff, like wrongdoings in the past, become obsolete. You have to focus on the here and now.” – Alycia Debnam-Carey

45. “Philosophy and religion – what are they when the wind blows and the water gets up in lumps?” – William Golding

46. “Anyone worth knowing breaks once. Once. No shame, no foul if you survive it. You did.” – Karen Marie Moning

47. “A faith that cannot survive collision with the truth is not worth many regrets.” – Arthur C. Clarke

48. “Connections with other people affect not only the quality of our lives but also our survival.” – Dean Ornish

49. “Fear is always there; it's a survival instinct. You just need to know how to manage it.” – Jimmy Chin

50. “We need to be fit and ready for anything that might come our way.” – Aaron B. Powell

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51. “If we truly trust no one, we cannot survive.” – Megan Whalen Turner

52. “A scar does not form on the dying. A scar means, I survived.” – Chris Cleave

53. “It was the bumble bee and the butterfly who survived, not the dinosaur.” – Meridel Le Sueur

54. “By perseverance the snail reached the ark.” – Charles Spurgeon

55. “Survival is nothing more than recovery.” – Dianne Feinstein

Final Thoughts on Survival Quotes

That brings us to the end of our compilations. We hope these survival quotes help towards preparing you for whatever lies in your future. It’s not always a good idea to always expect bad things to happen but it’s absolutely necessary to have some preparation.

Everyone knows about positive visualization but what about the ultimate in mental preparation? Check out this guide to Premeditatio Malorum: how to apply this stoic skill to your life.

And if you want more inspirational quotes, be sure to check out these blog posts:

Finally, if you want to use these quotes to make a lasting change to your life, then check out and recite these 57 affirmations for success.

Tom Smith is a creative writer with over 6 years of professional experience. He discovered the joy of writing after covering some furniture in his childhood home with graffiti. In later years, he got himself a BA in creative writing and hasn’t looked back. After discovering the power of positive thinking and discovering the spiritual side of life, he believes it's a huge privilege to be able to write about all things personal development.

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