The Internet is full of inspirational quotes. Set against beautiful backgrounds, they garner huge amounts of likes on social media. And this trend receives a lot of criticism. The quotes are dismissed as reductive. Of course, it’s completely problematic to slap uplifting words across our lives without doing any of the deep internal work needed to actually apply these big concepts.
But inspirational quotes can be powerful too.
A Course in Miracles teaches that a miracle is a shift in perspective from a fearful thought to a loving one. And a simple turn of phrase can help us do that. They can show us a new way of looking at things or trigger an “aha!” moment where something you’ve been hearing for years finally makes sense. A few lines of prose might motivate us to create massive transformation in our lives or trigger simple shifts in our thinking that add up over time to build profound change. \
Self-love is a deep, nuanced topic. It bridges everything from cultivating a deep sense of worthiness and taking radical responsibility for our lives to the seemingly frivolous, like curating a wardrobe that makes us feel like the badasses we are and making time to play.
So I wanted to share with you a selection of quotes that draw out these nuances and will help amp up your self-love. Skim through them and see if any jumps out and helps you look at self-love in a new way. Print out one and hang it in your bedroom. Choose one for your iPhone background. Come back to this post in the future as something new might speak to you depending on where you're at then. And be sure to share your favourite self-love quotes in the comments
As a fun bonus, I’ve created a downloadable PDF of the 10 books that have the biggest impact on my self-love journey along with my notes on why they were so powerful for me. You can download it below.
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?' Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” - Marianne Williamson
“You have the power to heal your life, and you need to know that. We think so often that we are helpless, but we're not. We always have the power of our minds…Claim and consciously use your power.” - Louise L. Hay
"Perhaps all the dragons of our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us once beautiful and brave." - Rainer Maria Rilke
"Build your self-esteem by recalling all the ways you have succeeded, and your brain will be filled with images of you making your achievements happen again and again. Give yourself permission to toot your own horn, and don't wait for anyone to praise you." - Jack Canfield
"You have so little faith in yourself because you are unwilling to accept the fact that perfect love is in you, and so you seek without for what you cannot find within." A Course in Miracles
“As long as you think that the cause of your problem is “out there”—as long as you think that anyone or anything is responsible for your suffering—the situation is hopeless. It means that you are forever in the role of victim, that you’re suffering in paradise.” - Byron Katie
“Should you fail to pilot your own ship, don't be surprised at what inappropriate port you find yourself docked.” - Tom Robbins
“I say “Out” to every negative thought that comes to my mind. No person, place, or thing has any power over me, for I am the only thinker in my mind. I create my own reality and everyone in it.” - Louise L. Hay
“You’re always with yourself, so you might as well enjoy the company.” – Diane Von Furstenberg
“Hopefully as you get older, you start to learn how to live with your demon. It’s hard at first. Some people give their demon so much room that there is no space in their head or bed for love. They feed their demon and it gets really strong and then it makes them stay in abusive relationships or starve their beautiful bodies. But sometimes, you get a little older and get a little bored of the demon. Through good therapy and friends and self-love you can practice treating the demon like a hacky, annoying cousin. Maybe a day even comes when you are getting dressed for a fancy event and it whispers, “You aren’t pretty,” and you go, “I know, I know, now let me find my earrings.” Sometimes you say, “Demon, I promise you I will let you remind me of my ugliness, but right now I am having hot sex so I will check in later.” - Amy Poehler
“Yes, you can focus on the darkness, it’s there, and you can focus on light. But one will bring you joy and one will bring you pain. It’s your choice.” — RuPaul
“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” - Eleanor Roosevelt
"Go into your heart and find your own truth. That will always be untarnished, fresh, red as arterial blood. And pulsing.” - Erica Jong
“Holiness comes wrapped in the ordinary. There are burning bushes all around you. Every tree is full of angels. Hidden beauty is waiting in every crumb.” - Macrina Wiederkehr
"Love yourself enough to create an environment conducive to the nourishment of your personal growth. Allow yourself to let go of the people, thoughts, and situations that poison your well-being. Cultivate a vibrant surrounding and commit yourself to making choices that will help you release the greatest expression of your own unique beauty and purpose." - Steve Maraboli
"It takes a lot of courage to release the familiar and seemingly secure to embrace the new. But there is no real security in what is no longer meaningful. There is more security in the adventurous and exciting, for in movement there is life and in change there is power." - Alan Cohen
"You can conquer almost any fear if you will only make up your mind to do so. For remember, fear doesn't exist anywhere except in the mind.” - Dale Carnegie
“You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection” – Buddha
“Remember, you have been criticizing yourself for years and it hasn’t worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens.” - Louise L. Hay
“If you choose to see everything as a miracle, then where you are right now is perfect. There is nowhere to run to; there is nothing else to do except be in this moment and allow what is to be.” - Mastin Kipp
"I have named you Queen.
There are taller than you, taller
There are purer than you, purer
There are lovelier than you, lovelier
But you are the Queen." - Pablo Neruda
"Until you make peace with who you are, you'll never be content with what you have." - Doris Mortman
"I believe in the radical possibilities of pleasure, babe." - Bikini Kill
"My goofiest-sounding secret is that I also believe in magic. Sometimes I call it God and sometimes I call it light, and I believe in it because every now and then I read a really good book or hear a really good song or have a really good conversation with a friend and they seem to have some kind of shine to them. The list I keep of these moments in the back of my journal is comprised less of times when I was laughing or smiling and more of times when I felt like I could feel the colors in my eyes deepening from the display before me. Times in which I felt I was witnessing an all-encompassing representation of life driven by an understanding that, coincidence or not, our existence is a peculiar thing, and perhaps the greatest way to honor it is to just be human. To be happy AND sad, and everything else. And yeah, living is a pain, and I say I hate everyone and everything, and I don’t exude much enthusiasm when sandwiched between fluorescent lighting and vinyl flooring for seven hours straight, and I will probably mumble a bunch about how much I wish I could sleep forever the next time I have to wake up at 6 AM. But make no mistake about it: I really do like living. I really, truly do." - Tavi Gevinson
“When nobody celebrates you, learn to celebrate yourself. When nobody compliments you, then compliment yourself. It’s not up to other people to keep you encouraged. It’s up to you. Encouragement should come from the inside.” – Joel Osteen
“Use your internal grandmother for guidance and advice.” - SARK
“I had to grow to love my body. I did not have a good self image at first. Finally it occurred to me, I’m either going to love me or hate me. And I chose to love myself. Then everything kind of sprung from there. Things that I thought weren’t attractive became sexy. Confidence makes you sexy.” – Queen Latifah
“It's not your job to like me - it's mine." - Byron Katie
"Wherever you are, be there totally. If you find your here and now intolerable and it makes you unhappy, you have three options: remove yourself from the situation, change it, or accept it totally. If you want to take responsibility for your life, you must choose one of those three options, and you must choose now. Then accept the consequences." - Eckhart Tolle
"To love oneself is the beginning of a life-long romance." - Oscar Wilde
“Stop acting so small. You are the universe in ecstatic motion.” - Rumi
"When I think of letting go, it is making a pact with my higher self that I will be open to being guided and take opportunities that are given to me, say yes more often, say no when I need to, be forgiving and forgive myself, it’s working WITH my life and to experience more happiness and less stress." - Louise Androlia
“Nothing happened. And everything did. Your whole life you can be told something is wrong and so you believe it. Why should you question it? But then slowly seeds are planted inside of you, one by one, by a touch or a look or a day skateboarding in a park, and they start to burst out of old hulls shells and they start to sprout. And pretty soon there are so many of them. They are named Love and Trust and Kindness and Joy and Desire and Wonder and Spirit and Soulmate. They grow into a garden so dense and thick that it starts to invade your brain where the old things you were once told are dying.” - Francesca Lia Block
“You live like this, sheltered, in a delicate world, and you believe you are living. Then you read a book…or you take a trip…and you discover that you are not living, that you are hibernating.
The symptoms of hibernating are easily detectable: first, restlessness. The second symptom (when hibernating becomes dangerous and might degenerate into death): absence of pleasure. That is all. It appears like an innocuous illness. Monotony, boredom, death.
Millions live like this (or die like this) without knowing it. They work in offices. They drive a car. They picnic with their families. They raise children. And then some shock treatment takes place, a person, a book, a song, and it awakens them and saves them from death. Some never awaken.” - Anais Nin
“To me being spiritual is less about learning something new and more about remembering what I have always known. Being spiritual is a process of stripping down to what is authentic for me, for my life. Getting spiritually naked is about having the courage to be radically open about the truth of who we are with no exceptions and no apologies, to reveal ourselves without judgment or shame.” - Meggan Watterson
“Life is too short to waste any amount of time on wondering what other people think about you. In the first place, if they had better things going on in their lives, they wouldn't have the time to sit around and talk about you. What's important to me is not others' opinions of me, but what's important to me is my opinion of myself.” - C. Joybell C.
“Don’t sacrifice yourself too much, because if you sacrifice too much there’s nothing else you can give and nobody will care for you.” ― Karl Lagerfeld
“I've been absolutely terrified every moment of my life - and I've never let it keep me from doing a single thing I wanted to do.” Georgia O'Keefe
“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” - Mary Oliver
“Feeling good is the primary intention.” - Danielle LaPorte
“I am so beautiful, sometimes people weep when they see me. And it has nothing to do with what I look like really, it is just that I gave myself the power to say that I am beautiful, and if I could do that, maybe there is hope for them too. And the great divide between the beautiful and the ugly will cease to be. Because we are all what we choose.” ― Margaret Cho
“What you put up with you end up with.” - Mastin Kipp
“If you want to find the trail, if you want to find yourself, you must explore your dreams alone. You must grow at a slow pace in a dark cocoon of loneliness so you can fly like wind, like wings, when you awaken.” - Francesca Lia Block
“A consequence of female self-love is that the woman grows convinced of social worth. Her love for her body will be unqualified, which is the basis of female identification. If a woman loves her own body, she doesn't grudge what other women do with theirs; if she loves femaleness, she champions its rights. It's true what they say about women: Women are insatiable. We are greedy. Our appetites do need to be controlled if things are to stay in place. If the world were ours too, if we believed we could get away with it, we would ask for more love, more sex, more money, more commitment to children, more food, more care. These sexual, emotional, and physical demands would begin to extend to social demands: payment for care of the elderly, parental leave, childcare, etc. The force of female desire would be so great that society would truly have to reckon with what women want, in bed and in the world.” - Naomi Wolf
"It isn't what you have, or who you are, or where you are, or what you are doing that makes you happy or unhappy. It is what you think about." - Dale Carnegie
“One of the best guides to how to be self-loving is to give ourselves the love we are often dreaming about receiving from others. There was a time when I felt lousy about my over-forty body, saw myself as too fat, too this, or too that. Yet I fantasized about finding a lover who would give me the gift of being loved as I am. It is silly, isn't it, that I would dream of someone else offering to me the acceptance and affirmation I was withholding from myself. This was a moment when the maxim 'You can never love anybody if you are unable to love yourself" made clear sense. And I add, 'Do not expect to receive the love from someone else you do not give yourself.’” - Bell Hooks
"The best way to get rid of the pain is to feel the pain. And when you feel the pain and go beyond it, you'll see there's a very intense love that is wanting to awaken itself." - Deepak Chopra
"Make an attitude to be in gratitude and you will find the whole Universe will come to you." - Yogi Bhajan
"Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity." - Melody Beattie
“As you build trust in yourself, your ability to expand your vision and fully live in your magnificence is amplified.” – Miranda J. Barrett
I'd love to know: did any of these quotes grab you and create little fireworks of inspiration in your mind? Let me know in the comments, or join the conversation in Girl Gang HQ.
And if you'd like to know which 10 books have had the most profound impact on my self-love journey, download the PDF below.
MY FAVOURITE SELF-LOVE BOOKS!
Click below to download a PDF about the 10 books that have had the biggest impact on my self-love journey (so far).