“You need to love yourself before you can fully love other people.” We’ve all heard some variation of this phrase—but the truth is, self-love is often difficult. And complicated. It can take time.
But sometimes, small things can inspire us to view ourselves in a more positive light. That’s why I’ve compiled this list of self-love quotes as inspiration for anyone know needs a little boost.
Why Self-Love Quotes Can Help
I think about self-love (and self-love quotes) mostly in terms of self-compassion. It means being able to look at yourself with compassion and understanding for everything that has made you who you are.
A lot of messages we’re fed every day dissuade us from being comfortable with imperfection—and that’s a problem.
Again, this is not easy. What’s easy is hearing that we should love ourselves more or stop being hard on ourselves. It’s the “how” that we don’t always understand. But I’ve found that learning that “how” has come from tiny steps along the way.
Sometimes, I can get inspired by reading a quote or word of advice that changes my entire day. Maybe one of these self-love quotes can do the same for you.
(If you want a little self-love booster, considering taking my 7-Day Self-Care Challenge too.)
Top 27 Inspiring Self-Love Quotes
And now, here you go.
1. “Rest and self-care are so important. When you take time to replenish your spirit, it allows you to serve others from the overflow. You cannot serve from an empty vessel.” — Eleanor Brown
When you’re fatigued and overwhelmed, there’s little energy left over to devote to the important people in our lives. We must give ourselves necessary care first.
2. “Our reaction to self-criticism is more important than the self-criticism itself. Paying attention to our reactions is very important because the only thing we have control over is how we react.” ― Yong Kang Chan, The Disbelief Habit: How to Use Doubt to Make Peace with Your Inner Critic
I know that I often get caught up in self-criticizing thoughts without even realizing what’s going on. I feel the difficult emotions associated with those thoughts, but I don’t always notice where they’re coming from.
Taking a step back, tracing our feelings and reactions to thoughts, can help us learn to not believe everything we think about ourselves. A lot of self-criticism is completely untrue or cruel.27 Self-Love Quotes You Need to Read Right Now Click To Tweet
3. “Be gentle with yourself, learn to love yourself, to forgive yourself, for only as we have the right attitude toward ourselves can we have the right attitude toward others.” — Wilferd Arlan Peterson
Just as we forgive people we love when they make mistakes or show they are inhuman, we can do the same for ourselves. It’s usually a lot harder, but we can begin to treat ourselves as a dear friend.
4. “Love yourself unconditionally, just as you love those closest to you despite their faults.” — Les Brown
This mirrors the previous quote. Yes, you have faults. We all do. If you didn’t, you wouldn’t be human, and that would be weird.
To find peace, we must get comfortable with our imperfections—because they aren’t going away. And that’s okay.
5. “I own my story. I own my failures. I’m not interested in being perfect. That’s how I deal [with stress]. I don’t put on a mask. I think that the effort to put on the mask is probably more detrimental than just being able to step up and admit your vulnerability in front of people who have enough empathy for you.” — Viola Davis
I love this attitude for dealing with stress: owning your failures instead of hiding from them.
When we recognize our imperfections and face them without shame, we’re better able to make adjustments and improve without putting ourselves down. That’s why more efficient.
6. “I now see how owning our story and loving ourselves through that process is the bravest thing that we’ll ever do.” — Brene Brown
Brene Brown has some of the best self-love quotes, and I highly recommend her book The Gifts of Imperfection. Being present throughout the process can teach us a lot about ourselves and what we truly need.
7. “If your compassion does not include yourself, it is incomplete.” — Jack Kornfield
So true. Self-compassion is incredible necessary to feel content in ourselves as we show compassion to others.
8. “I think the reward for conformity is that everyone likes you except yourself.” ― Rita Mae Brown
Humans are naturally wired to want to conform. It benefited us greatly when we were hunter-gatherers and tribes were necessary for survival.
But today, conformity without individuality is harmful to our own self-interest. We might impress everyone around us, but if we’re not acting in a way that makes us happy, what’s the point?
9. You can’t pour from an empty cup. Take care of yourself first — Unknown
Most have seen this one before—but it’s so true, and I think it’s one of the simplest but best self-love quotes. Take care of yourself so you can give more in the areas you care about.
10. “Eat like you love yourself. Move like you love yourself. Speak like you love yourself. Act like your love yourself. Love yourself.” — Tara Stiles
Yes, yes, yes. And for me, this means practicing intuitive eating instead of dieting or emotional eating, choosing exercise I enjoy, and being mindful of my thoughts about myself.
11. “When you’re different, sometimes you don’t see the millions of people who accept you for what you are. All you notice is the person who doesn’t.” ― Jodi Picoult, Change of Heart
I’ve seen social media influencers mirror this sentiment. YouTubers will say they can have 99 positive comments, but it’s that one negative comment that keeps them up at night.
But we have to remember that it’s literally impossible for everyone to like us. Focus on the people who do. They are your people and your audience.
12. “The most terrifying thing is to accept oneself completely.” ― Carl Gustav Jung
It’s really scary. It’s also so empowering. Sometimes, it takes a lifetime to get there. That’s fine, though. It’s about the journey towards self-acceptance.
13. “One of the greatest regrets in life is being what others would want you to be, rather than being yourself.” ― Shannon L. Alder
At the time of writing this, I had just posted about this on my Instagram page (@moderndayom). You get to choose the purpose for your life.
Don’t live it fulfilling someone else’s goals or desires based on what they value. Live it for you and what makes you happy.
14. “If you learn to really sit with loneliness and embrace it for the gift that it is…an opportunity to get to know YOU, to learn how strong you really are, to depend on no one but YOU for your happiness…you will realize that a little loneliness goes a LONG way in creating a richer, deeper, more vibrant and colorful YOU.” ― Mandy Hale, The Single Woman: Life, Love, and a Dash of Sass
Loneliness is one of those uncomfortable feelings (like boredom) we often try to avoid. But what if we sat and just felt it? What could we learn about ourselves?
15. “People may flatter themselves just as much by thinking that their faults are always present to other people’s minds, as if they believe that the world is always contemplating their individual charms and virtues.” — Elizabeth Gaskell
We are not as important as we think we are. And that is AMAZING!
For example, I often think people are judging me when I walk into a crowded building or do something silly. But most people are focused on their own lives and actions, above all. So, we don’t need to worry so much.
The internet makes us feel otherwise, I think. But those who are criticizing everything online are mostly trolls, and their opinions are the last thing we need to worry about. That’s why prioritizing time offline is so important.
16. “Let today mark a new beginning for you. Give yourself permission to say NO without feeling guilty, mean, or selfish. Anybody who gets upset and/or expects you to say YES all of the time clearly doesn’t have your best interest at heart. Always remember: You have a right to say NO without having to explain yourself. Be at peace with your decisions.” ― Stephanie Lahart
“No” is a full sentence, and not a bad one.
17. “The way you think about yourself determines your reality. You are not being hurt by the way people think about you. Many of those people are a reflection of how you think about yourself.” ― Shannon L. Alder
What we think other people are thinking about us often mirrors our own feelings. What if we focused more on self-love and less on worrying about what other people are thinking?
18. “Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does.” — William James
It does, it does, it does.
19. “Be careful how you are talking to yourself because you are listening.” — Lisa Hayes
Even if you don’t realize it, your thoughts have a big impact on your own self-love and self-worth. What thoughts are you thinking about yourself/what thoughts are you hearing?
20. “You can’t hate yourself happy. You can’t criticize yourself thin. You can’t shame yourself worthy. Real change begins with self-love and self-care.” — Jessica Ortner
It doesn’t start with discipline or trying to change yourself into something you aren’t now. It starts with loving yourself and making balanced choices from there.
21. “The journey isn’t about becoming a different person. It’s about loving who you are right now.” — Suzanne Heyn
Yes, start where you are now.27 Self-Love Quotes You Need to Read Right Now Click To Tweet
22. “If you are always trying to be normal, you will never know how amazing you can be.” — Maya Angelou
“Normal” is a myth. Be your own normal, in all its “weird” glory.
23. “This is a moment of suffering. Suffering is part of life. May I be kind to myself in this moment. May I give myself the compassion I need.” — Kristin Neff, Self-Compassion
To heal, we must be able to acknowledge when we are suffering, in whatever capacity. Only then can we recognize what we need through self-compassion.
24. “Accepting yourself only as long as you look a certain way isn’t self-love, it’s self-destruction.” — Laci Green
That’s conditional love, and it’s bullsh*t. Self-love is unconditional love.
25. “Don’t worry if people think you’re crazy. You are crazy. You have that kind of intoxicating insanity that lets other people dream outside of the lines and become who they’re destined to be.” — Jennifer Elisabeth
What if you being your real self is exactly what others need to be inspired? What if they need to know they can be their crazy and weird self too?
26. “To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself.” — Thich Nhat Hanh
Self-love is the highest form of beauty.
27. “To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson
And it’s not easy, but it will change your life.
What other self-love quotes would you add to the list?