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The Best Quotes From Michelle Obama’s Record-Breaking Memoir, Becoming


Michelle Obama will always be remembered for a few historic firsts. As First Lady of the United States of America, she was the first black woman to take on the title alongside the country’s first black president. Her memoir, Becoming – published only five months ago – set monumental firsts as the bestselling book of last year. Now, her story is on the brink of achieving another remarkable historic moment as the best-selling autobiography of all time, according to its publisher, after selling more than 10 million copies. Numbers aside, it’s the former First Lady’s inspiring words that carry resonance. Here are our 11 favourite quotes from Becoming.


  1. “Your story is what you have, what you will always have. It is something to own.”
  2. “For me, becoming isn’t about arriving somewhere or achieving a certain aim. I see it instead as forward motion, a means of evolving, a way to reach continuously toward a better self. The journey doesn’t end.”
  3. “This may be the fundamental problem with caring a lot about what others think: It can put you on the established path.”
  4. “Failure is a feeling long before it’s an actual result. It’s vulnerability that breeds with self-doubt and then is escalated, often deliberately, by fear.”
  5. “For every door that’s been opened to me, I’ve tried to open my door to others.”
  6. “Now I think it’s one of the most useless questions an adult can ask a child—What do you want to be when you grow up? As if growing up is finite. As if at some point you become something and that’s the end.”

  7. “If you don’t get out there and define yourself, you’ll be quickly and inaccurately defined by others.”
  8. “Don’t ever make decisions based on fear. Make decisions based on hope and possibility. Make decisions based on what should happen, not what shouldn’t.”
  9. “Success isn’t about how your life looks to others. It’s about how it feels to you. We realized that being successful isn’t about being impressive, it’s about being inspired.”
  10. “We have to find a way to continue to lift other women up in our worlds and in our lives as much as possible.”
  11. “My job, I realized, was to be myself, to speak as myself. And so I did.”


From British Vogue

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