It’s a new year, which means it’s time to dust off those goals you didn’t complete in 2019 and get to securing the bag. Or maybe you want to manifest your dream job, or dream mate. Whatever the goal, it may require some extra internal motivation to get you there.
ESSENCE spoke with so many powerful and inspirational women last year, each speaking their truths while speaking their minds. Whether it was sharing how they fell in love with someone else, or themselves, each woman gave an entire word fit for a preacher on Sunday morning.
To help us get right in 2020, here are our favorite inspirational quotes from ESSENCE interviews. We hope they bless you because they surely blessed us.
Lizzo On Being Authentically Herself
"Sometimes the label ‘unapologetic’ bothers me because it can be loaded, because it means we have to apologize for something in the first place. I’m not ignorant to the fact that we had to have a demeanor of lowering ourselves culturally just to exist. But I’m trying to shake up the narrative about how we’re supposed to act.”
Alicia Keys On Motherhood
"Becoming a wife and a mother, specifically a mother, really taught me so much. I remember clearly wanting to remove the negative energy around me quickly...Doing it for this new soul made sense to me. And then that evolved into realizing that if it’s not really feeling like the right thing for me…if it’s not feeling really good, I’m not going to do that. I used to say yes to everything. I think I started to learn about boundaries for myself and creating space for myself and allowing there to be an ending. I started to understand the difference of, like, if it’s flowing, it’s flowing. If it’s not flowing, go back tomorrow. It’s okay. You don’t have to force it."
Issa Rae On Being Beautiful
"My parents helped me and they hurt me...I was surrounded by beautiful dark people. And then middle school hit, and I was like, ‘Oh, they think I’m ugly.’ They think I’m big. They think I’m unattractive. I went back to my mom like, ‘What the f—k?! Y’all lied to me my whole life. What is this?!...Learning that early on made me realize there’s no point in valuing the physical, because it wasn’t going to get me anywhere.”
Michelle Obama on Picking The Right Spouse
"That’s why it’s so important to marry somebody that you respect. It’s important to marry somebody who is your equal, and to marry and be with somebody who wants you to win as much as you want them to win...My husband is my teammate. If we are going to win this game together, he has to be strong and he has to be OK with me being strong. I do not want a weak player on my team, nor does he.”
Tracee Ellis Ross on Coming Into Her Own
"As Diana Ross’s child, you wonder whether you will become anything in your own right. So it was a really big moment to go from being on the cover of ESSENCE with my mom to having my own cover. Now I’ve had three on my own and one with my mom. That’s crazy! I feel a little humbled by that, knowing I have truly filled my own shoes—and maybe even had to buy a couple of new pairs at times. There are people who have no idea that my worth is not based on my mom or what I look like. There’s a wholeness to me that I cherish."
Regina Hall on Having A Sister Circle
"They showed up when they knew I couldn’t and that’s what life requires," Hall said of her friends last February at ESSENCE's Black Women in Hollywood awards. "I couldn’t even have this moment if I didn’t have the people who have been in my life enabling me to sustain the times that have been difficult, that have been doubtful, the heartbreaks.”
Regina King on Finding Allies
“No one who’s in a position of success has gotten there without someone giving them a shot,” she explained to ESSENCE last October.