Tattoos That Represent Strength & Courage

Tattoos That Represent Strength & Courage

May 16, 2024 | Bridget Reed

A tattoo is one of the most permanent commitments you’ll ever make, so it can be important to think carefully about what your tattoo will mean for you (though we’re all about getting a tattoo just because it looks sick). 

People get tattoos for many reasons, and one of the most common reasons is to embody or memorialize something. Strength and courage are two popular statements to make with your body art, and there are a lot of ways you can creatively explore the concepts. 

Here are a few great ideas to consider and how HUSH can make your tattoo experience a little bit comfier.

Can’t Any Tattoo Represent Strength & Courage?

Symbolism has always been an important part of art, especially in tattoo culture. While there are plenty of established symbols and ways to represent thoughts, feelings, or ideas, you aren’t limited to things that have already been done before. 

If your childhood teddy bear made you feel strong and courageous when it helped you keep the closet monsters away, it’s a symbol of strength and courage. You can get it tattooed and attribute those meanings to it. 

What matters the most is how your tattoo makes you feel. You’re the one who has to love that tattoo every day for the rest of your life, and you shouldn’t settle for something you aren’t completely excited to look at forever. 

Lion Tattoos 

Lions are generally used to represent strength, courage, or bravery. Lions travel with a pack and are often very protective of their family, but they can make it just fine on their own. They’re strong enough to prowl and hunt and perfectly capable of providing for their pride. 

They’re an excellent piece of symbolism with a lot of versatile implications. You can go for a photorealistic lion, an abstract lion, or a watercolor lion — the possibilities are endless. A lion can be adapted in countless beautiful ways. Shape the symbol to match your aesthetic preferences.

The “Strength” Tarot Card

The “Strength” tarot card is an unmistakable representation of strength. You know exactly what it represents simply by reading the card. 

Tarot cards themselves have a deeper spiritual or metaphysical meaning. If you utilize tarot cards in your everyday life, using the card as the basis for your tattoo may serve two important purposes. 

Hundreds of talented artists have designed tarot decks. It should be relatively easy to find a deck with an art style that reflects your personal aesthetic to utilize the imagery for your tattoo.

Semicolon Tattoo

The semicolon symbol is used to indicate that someone had the opportunity to end their sentence but instead chose to keep going. The semicolon symbol is often used by people who have experienced trauma or survived self-harm. 

If your reason for getting a tattoo to represent courage is to reflect an experience you overcame and chose to keep living and fighting, a semicolon can be your badge of honor. 

Mythology Tattoos

Characters in Norse and Greek mythology known for their strength or courage can make excellent tattoos. You can use a direct symbol by choosing a deity associated with the characteristics you wish to represent, or you can pull strong and courageous characters directly from the stories of mythology and folklore. 

Ares is the Greek god of war and courage. Tyr is his Norse counterpart. You can pull from ancient artworks or statues depicting deities known for their strength and courage, or you can commission your own artistic renderings of them. 

Phoenix Tattoos

A phoenix is constantly reborn from its ashes, symbolizing an immortal cycle of strength, courage, bravery, and resiliency. Phoenix tattoos make excellent large pieces if you’re looking to occupy a significant amount of real estate. You can opt for a giant phoenix back piece or deck out your whole side. 

You can also go the simple route with a linework phoenix, allowing a few feathers to float away. A simple silhouette can convey the point, even if you choose to keep your tattoo limited to black linework. Play around with some options until you fall in love. 

Mountains or Trees With Strong Roots

If you prefer to look to nature for signs of strength or courage, consider mountains and trees with deep roots. They’re strong enough to weather storms. 

Mountains have stood for countless centuries and withstood the harshest snowfall and fiercest wind. Trees take their roots deep into the ground and continue to grow through the rocks and the sediment, reaching proudly toward the sky.

Barbells or Kettlebells

A tiny barbell or kettlebell might seem a bit on the nose, but if the shoe fits, why not go for it? When you see barbells or kettlebells, you immediately think of strength. 

After all, they’re used for strength training. These tattoos can have two meanings. They can speak for themselves, or they can represent something deeper.

The literal representation of physical strength can be symbolic of something you’ve lived through or overcome. It can mean finding the strength to recover or take better care of yourself. It can even mean you’re proud of your lifelong commitment to fitness. 

How HUSH Can Help

Listen, we know you’re strong. You’re definitely brave. You’re totally not nervous about getting your tattoo. We just want to help keep you comfy throughout the process and keep your tattoo looking great for the rest of your life. 

We’ll level with you — the aftercare process can be a huge pain, literally and metaphorically. The stinging stage, the itching stage, and the peeling stage can be tough to deal with. That’s why you need our tattoo aftercare kit

CBD and active botanicals nourish and protect your skin, while lidocaine takes away the burning, stinging, itching sensation that makes you antsy during the healing process. We’re here to help you be strong and courageous. 


Symbolism, Freemasonry, and the Tarot | Masonic Philosophical Society

The Semicolon Tattoo | American Journal of Psychiatry

Ares | World History Encyclopedia

The Legendary Phoenix | BirdNote

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