Last Wednesday, 8th March denoted the 108th year celebrating “Women’s Independence Day”. As a woman, I am amazed at how far some of us have achieved success in various arenas socially, economically, politically and culturally. These women who were able to create changes to make the world a better place are worthy to be idolized.

How then, can we motivate ourselves to be strong and independent women as well? Below I have listed down 12 quotes from some of the most powerful women in currently alive today. Take these words to the heart and face challenges straight in the eye. Together, we will empower ourselves and others, hand in hand.

1. “How can you defy fear? Fear is a human instinct just like hunger. Whether you like it or not you become hungry. Similarly with fear. But I have learned to train myself to live with this fear.”- Shirin Ebadi, First Muslim Woman awarded the Nobel Peace Prize 2003.

2. “I always enjoy the job and the work that I do, because that’s the condition that I attach in accepting any job. This way I can really work and dedicate myself to the instituition for achieving the goal which I believe a noble one.” – Sri Mulyani Indrawati, Managing Director of The World Bank.

3. “Listening to others, especially those with whom we disagree, tests our own ideas and beliefs. It forces us to recognize, with humility, that we do not have a monopoly on the truth.” – Janet Yellen, Chair in The Federal Reserve of United States of America.

4. “Women speaking up for themselves and for those around them is the strongest force we have to change the world” – Melinda Gates, Co-chair Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

5. “Not everything needs changing. Some things need protecting. And that can be as important, challenging and rewarding as changing the world.” – Mary Barra, CEO General Motors United States of America.

6. “To me, Leadership is about encouraging people. It’s about stimulating them. It’s about enabling them to achieve what they can achieve – and to do that with a purpose.” – Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of International Monetary Fund France.

7. “Feeling confident – or pretending that you feel confident – is necessary to reach for opportunities. It is a cliché, but opportunities are rarely offered; they’re seized.” – Sheryl Sandberg, COO Facebook.

8. “Rarely opportunities are presented to you in a perfect way. In a nice little box with yellow bow on top. ‘Here, open it, it’s perfect. You’ll love it.’ Opportunities – the good ones – are messy, confusing and hard to recognize. They’re risky. They challenge you.” – Susan Wojcicki, CEO YouTube & Google.

9. “Do what you love and success will follow. Passion is the fuel behind a successful career.” – Meg Whitman, CEO Hewlett-Packard.

10. “I learned to take on things I’d never done before. Growth and comfort do not coexist.” – Ginny Rometty, CEO IBM

11. “We should always have three friends in our lives – one who walks ahead who we looked up to and follow; one who walks beside us, who is with us every step in our journey; and then, who we reach back for and bring along after we’ve cleared the way.” – Michelle Obama, First Lady United States of America.

12. “Today, there is no excuse for any of us to sit back and go, “Ugh, There’s nothing i can do about it!” Because there is always something that can be done.” – Queen Noor Al-Hussien, Queen Dowager of Jordan.