“Inspiring” Vs. “Inspirational” – Difference Explained (With Examples)

Marcus Froland

Do you ever find yourself wondering what the difference is between ‘inspiring’ and ‘inspirational’? You’re not alone!

In this article, we will thoroughly explain the difference between inspiring and inspirational with 14 examples. We’ll also explore how they compare, so that you can understand their unique distinctions and use them correctly in conversation.

Key Takeaways

  • Inspiring and inspirational are often used interchangeably, but they have distinct meanings.
  • Inspiring refers to being moved by an external source that elicits action or creativity, while inspirational refers to something that evokes admiration and respect from within oneself.
  • Inspiring focuses on the action or emotion it generates, while inspirational focuses on the source.
  • Consider the audience and situation when deciding whether to use inspiring or inspirational, and using both terms together may create a stronger emotional response.

Defining ‘Inspiring’ and ‘Inspirational’

You may have heard the words inspiring and inspirational used interchangeably, but they don’t mean quite the same thing. Both words refer to someone or something that stirs up feelings of admiration, motivation, and enthusiasm in another person; however, when you take a closer look at their definitions more subtle differences begin to emerge.

Inspiring suggests that an individual has been moved by an external source which has elicited action or creativity. For example, a motivational speech may inspire someone to take on a difficult task.

On the other hand, inspirational refers to something that evokes admiration and respect from within oneself. A person’s exemplary work ethic could be seen as inspirational because it encourages others to strive for excellence.

In short, while inspiring often requires an outside influence, inspiration can come from within one’s self or from any number of sources in our lives.

Examples of ‘Inspiring’

He’s a great leader, always motivating and encouraging those around him.

An inspiring example is Mahatma Gandhi. He was an activist and political leader in India, who showed the world that peaceful protests can bring about change. His strength of character and dedication to non-violence inspired many people throughout history and continues to be an inspiration for people today.

Another inspiring example is Rosa Parks. She bravely stood up against racial segregation when she refused to give up her seat on the bus for a white passenger in 1955, sparking the civil rights movement. Her courage and steadfastness set an example for generations to come.

Examples of ‘Inspirational’

Feeling inspired can have a huge impact on your outlook and motivation. Inspirational examples could include witnessing someone’s courageous journey to recovery following a serious illness, seeing someone reach great heights despite significant obstacles, or hearing stories of selfless acts of kindness.

Other inspirational scenarios may include watching someone overcome adversity and achieve success, discovering the beauty in nature and humanity, or listening to an inspiring speech that encourages you to take action. Such events can help remind us of our own potential and inspire us to strive for greatness.

Comparing ‘Inspiring’ and ‘Inspirational’

Comparing ‘inspiring’ and ‘inspirational’ can be tricky, as both words evoke positive feelings in people. However, they have different meanings.

Generally speaking, ‘inspiring’ refers to something that stimulates or encourages creativity or emotion; it motivates a person to take action.

On the other hand, ‘inspirational’ is defined more as an inspiring quality or effect that comes from some source. For example, someone may feel inspired by a speaker at a conference who is presenting on their area of expertise.

Both words are very powerful when used in the right context and can have a great impact on those who hear them.

Ultimately, the choice between the two depends on what type of emotion you want your audience to experience – whether it’s motivation or inspiration!

Takeaways – What You Should Remember

When it comes to choosing between ‘inspiring’ and ‘inspirational’, it’s important to remember that each can have a powerful effect on people, depending on the context.

To be inspiring is to provide motivation or encouragement; while being inspirational refers to having an uplifting influence. Both terms are often used interchangeably, but they do have distinct meanings.

One should strive to use the appropriate term in order to effectively communicate their message. It’s essential to consider the audience, as well as the situation in which one is speaking or writing when deciding which word will be more impactful.

In addition, using both terms together may create an even stronger emotional response from listeners or readers than either word alone would.

Ultimately, being mindful of both words’ nuances can help ensure effective communication with lasting effects.


You now know the difference between inspiring and inspirational.

Inspiring is when someone or something motivates you to do something, while inspirational is when someone or something gives you a sense of hope.

Remember that both can be used in different contexts, so don’t feel limited by their definitions.

Be inspired by what motivates you, and be inspired to dream bigger than ever before!