Who helps you trust yourself? Who helps you do what you need to do—even when no one else might understand it?

Cheryl Strayed does for me. I found her about five years ago when I was in a work transition. A friend sent this Dear Sugar column, and I was hooked.

First, it was a massive relief. According to Sugar (Strayed), I didn’t need to find work that made others comfortable. Plus, the column reminded me that life was a long game. It suggested that as long as I kept showing up with strong effort and trusted what I knew to be true, I’d be all right. I’d get somewhere real in my life.

When I forget again, the Cheryl Strayed quotes below help me remember. They’re from various sources, collected in her beautiful little bedside book, Brave Enough. Because I am brave enough to do what I need to—and I know with all of me that you are, too :).

So, without further ado:

1. “You can’t fake the core. The truth that lives there will eventually win out. It’s a god we must obey, a force that brings us all inevitably to our knees. It asks, eternally: Will you do it later or will you do it now?”

2. “Don’t lament so much about how your career is going to turn out. You don’t have a career. You have a life. Do the work. Keep the faith. Be true blue.”

3. “It’s folly to measure your success in money or fame. Success is measured only by your ability to say yes to these two questions:

“Did I do the work I needed to?

“Did I give it everything I had?”

4. “The useless days will add up to something . . . The hours writing in your journal. The long, meandering walks. The days reading poetry and story collections and novels and dead people’s diaries and wondering about sex and God and whether you should shave under your arms or not. These things are your becoming.”

5. “Hello, fear. Thank you for being here. You’re my indication that I’m doing what I need to do.”

6. “If it is impossible for you to go on as you were before, so you must go on as you never have.”

7. “This isn’t a spotless life. There is much ahead, my immaculate peach.”

I hope these quotes were a valuable read, but I can’t possibly fit all of Cheryl Strayed’s genius into one blog post :). What other quotes by her lift you up? What actions do they inspire you take in your life right now? Please tell us about it in the comments. Writing it down makes it more real for you, and helps others know they’re not alone. 

If you liked this blog, please also consider sharing it with others who might appreciate a Cheryl Strayed pick-me-up. Finally, want more support living your best life? Sign up for your free starter course, 5 Steps to a Fulfilling Life After Service, right here.

PHOTO CREDIT: Nathan Dumlao