Cheryl Strayed Quotes That Will Change Your Life

I’m someone who’s deeply affected by books, movies, poetry, music, dance…you name it. When I’m reading a good book or watching a great movie, I lose myself in the story. And if it’s a truly great story, I carry it with me after its ended. One of those great stories would be from the movie Wild, which is based on Cheryl Strayed’s memoir Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest TrailThe story chronicles Cheryl’s solo hike of the Pacific Crest Trail after the death of her mother and the end of her marriage. Cheryl’s story is raw and sad and beautiful, but her grit and sheer determination to keep going against all odds inspired me at a particularly rough point in my life. 

After being awe-struck with the Wild movie, I ravenously devoured the book. After reading the book, I was even more inspired, so I ordered her other three books: Tiny Beautiful Thing: Advice on Love And Life from Dear SugarTorch, and Brave Enough. Each book is filled with Cheryl’s signature no-BS tough love, and if you’re a book nerd like me, you’ll find yourself bookmarking and highlighting a line from almost every page. Whether or not you’re a reader, you need to buy Brave Enough. It’s a collection of Cheryl’s best quotes, and it’s one of the best $10 purchases I’ve ever made. Today I’m sharing ten of my favorite quotes from the book, and be prepared, they’re kinda life-changing.

The Best Cheryl Strayed Quotes

Best Cheryl Strayed Quotes - "You will learn a lot from yourself if you stretch in the direction of goodness, of bigness,of kindness, of forgiveness,  of emotional bravery.  Be a warrior for love."
Momentum is a beautiful thing. When you start forgiving others, it becomes easier to forgive. When you practice kindness, it becomes easier to resist anger. Stretch yourself in the direction that you want to go. It seems simple, but it works.
Best Cheryl Strayed quotes | "Stop asking yourself what you want, what you desire, what interests you. Ask yourself instead: What has been given to me? What do I have to give back? Then give it."When you help others, you help yourself. And when you are grateful for what you have, you suddenly want less. Give back, and you’ll reap the rewards.

Best of Cheryl Strayed Quotes | "The people who don't give up are  the people who find a way to believe in abundance rather than scarcity.  They've taken into their hearts the idea that there is enough for all of us,  that success will manifest itself in different ways for different people,  that keeping the faith is more important than cashing the check."It may not always seem like it, but there is enough for all of us. We rise by lifting others.

Best Cheryl Strayed quotes | "You don't have to get a job that makes others feel comfortable about what they perceive as your success. You don't have to explain what you plan to do with your life. You don't have to justify your education by demonstrating its financial rewards. You don't have to maintain an impeccable credit score. Anyone who expects you to do any of those things has no sense of history or economics or science or the arts. You have to pay your own electric bill. You have to be kind. You have to give it all you've got. You have to find people who love you truly and love them back with the same truth. But that's all."I love this quote for so many reasons. First of all, if you’re living your life based on the approval of others, you’re not going to have a fulfilling life. You will never get the approval that you’re looking for. Cheryl isn’t saying that you shouldn’t work hard or be responsible. She’s saying that financial success, social status, and approval from others is not what matters in the long run. It’s nice to have a perfect credit score, but being a good human being is all that matters in the end. As long as you put out love and kindness into the world and maintain your relationships, you’re going to be OK. Everything on top of those things are just icing on the cake.

Best Cheryl Strayed quotes | "Forgiveness doesn't just sit there like a pretty boy in a bar. Forgiveness is the old fat guy you have to haul up the hill."This quote made me laugh, and then it made me sigh in acceptance. Forgiveness doesn’t magically appear one day. It’s a daily battle that we have to choose, but the fight is worth the result. Holding onto anger and resentment only hurts us in the end, and the uphill battle of forgiveness strengthens our emotional  muscles and makes us a better person.
Best Cheryl Strayed quotes | "I considered my options. There was only one, I knew. There was always only one. To keep walking."This quote shows exactly why I love Cheryl. She doesn’t say the walk will be easy or pretty or fun, but she knows that she just has to survive and keep going without knowing what’s ahead of us.

Best Cheryl Strayed quotes | "It isn't too late. Time is not running out. Your life is here and now. And the moment has arrived at which you're finally ready to change."If you’re going through a hard time and feel like there’s no hope for tomorrow, I promise you that there are better days ahead. Even if it seems impossible. Even if you can’t think about anything but the bad things that have happened to you. It’s not too late, and your life is not over. It’s just beginning. Choose to make today the day that things change.

Best Cheryl Strayed quotes | "You don't have a right to the cards you believe you should have been dealt. You have an obligation to play the hell out of the ones you're holding."It’s so tempting to wallow in self-pity, but it’s a bottomless pit that will only drag you down. Accept that you’ve been dealt a rough hand and do the best you can with what you have. Keep moving forward, and you’ll gain positive momentum.
Best Cheryl Strayed quotes | "Ask yourself: what is the best I can do? And then do that."We can’t always be perfect. We can’t always be the superhero. Sometimes, we can only make a small change, but even a small change is better than nothing. Use what you have to do something – even if it seems insignificant. Baby steps add up over time.

As you can see, Cheryl tells it like it is. She doesn’t sugarcoat or ignore reality. Instead, she encourages us to face reality directly and push through each day with sheer grit. Life is always sunshine and rainbows, and recovery takes time; however, things can and will get better if we keep moving forward. If you’d like to get your hands on more of Cheryl Strayed’s brilliance, I highly recommend all of her books!



For more inspirational quotes, follow my Make It Happen board on Pinterest or check out these posts10 Quotes That Showcase The Brilliance of Tina Fey and Amy PoehlerLeap And The Net Will Appear , and Say Yes, Do More, And Be Better.

This post contains affiliate links, which means that I make a commission if you click through a link and make a purchase. I have bought all of Cheryl’s books with my own money, and I think they’re worth every single cent. I value your trust and only recommend products that I truly love.


    • August 29, 2016 / 8:42 pm

      Thanks Amy! She’s one of my favorite authors for sure!

  1. August 29, 2016 / 10:19 pm

    Some brilliant quotes here, although I think my favourite is the one about there being enough for all of us- that’s really what I choose to believe.

    • August 29, 2016 / 10:20 pm

      That’s one of my favorites too!

  2. August 30, 2016 / 12:14 am

    Is that the movie that Reese Witherspoon played the lead? I totally forgot about wanting to see that! After reading these quotes, I definitely want to add her books to my must-read list. Which book would you say I should start with?

    • August 30, 2016 / 12:17 pm

      Yep, that’s the movie!! I’d start with Wild. It’s her memoir, and it’s ah-mazing in my opinion (and so is the movie). Each book is completely different: Dear Sugar is a collection of advice from her radio show, Brave Enough is a collection of her best quotes, and Torch is a novel. Happy reading!