When I was nine years old, I got my first tennis racket. It had a picture of Venus & Serena Williams on the case. I remember thinking it was the coolest thing ever. Since then, Venus and Serena have been some of my biggest role models. After this year’s #SerenaSlam, I was beyond proud of this wonderful woman that I look up to.
Throughout her career, Serena has said some pretty inspirational things and offered up some wonderful advice. Here are nine of my favorite Serena moments and quotes that offer insight about working hard, being your best and most powerful self, and so much more:
Success has more to do with working hard than luck. When asked about being lucky, Serena said, “Luck has nothing to do with it, because I have spent many, many hours, countless hours, on the court working for my one moment in time, not knowing when it would come.” If that's not dedication, I don't know what is.
Photo via AL.com. AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth.
You’re allowed to make mistakes every once and awhile. In 2009, Serena had somewhat of a meltdown during the 2009 US Open, when she told a line judge, “I swear to God I’ll f**king take that ball and shove it down your f**king throat.” She was fined and given a “slap on the wrist” by the officials. It was probably a very embarrassing and painful experience, but she moved on from it. She didn’t let her mistakes in the past define her—instead, she went on to receive six grand-slam titles.
“I decided I can’t pay a person to rewind me, so I may as well get over it.”
Loving yourself is so important. “I think you have to love yourself before you fall in love,” Serena was quoted saying. “I’m still learning to love myself.”
It’s okay to be afraid, just as long as you don’t let that fear overcome you. “I am lucky that whatever fear I have inside me, my desire to win is always stronger.”
Photo via theguardian.com. Photograph: UPI /Landov / Barcroft Media
Accepting yourself is difficult… “Since I don’t look like every other girl, it takes a while to be okay with that. To be different. But different is good.”
…but keep your chin up when other people don’t accept you.
“Lol finally getting them shaped! Hahahha #haters I love you!!! Hahah but I still like them all natural! But for now you win lol” –Serena’s caption of an Instagram post of her getting her eyebrows done, in response to people insulting and body-shaming her earlier this month. Not only did she directly address these insults, but she’s making a joke of it, too. You go, girl.
“Swerve” –Serena’s Tweet & Instagram caption when she posted a gorgeous picture of herself wearing a white dress to the Wimbledon Champion’s Dinner, in response to being body shamed. She later posted a bikini selfie on Instagram.
“You can be whatever size you are, and you can be beautiful both inside and out,” Serena once said. “We’re always told what’s beautiful and what’s not, and that’s not right.”
Because who cares what people think about you, anyway? “You have to believe in yourself when no one else does.”
Photo via oregonlive.com. Associated Press photo.
Being nice is important. “I want to be a giving woman and just a nice person in general.”Always remember who you are and what you stand for. “Legendary? I don’t know. I’m just Serena.”
Serena hugging her sister, Venus, after their 2015 Wimbeldon match. Photo via telegraph.co.uk (Reuters).