Nothing is a greater impediment to being on good terms with others than being ill at ease with yourself. – Balzac, Honore De
—Honore de Balzac (1799–1850) French Novelist
The essence of philosophy is that a man should so live that his happiness shall depend as little as possible on external things.
—Epictetus (55–135) Ancient Greek Philosopher
Believe in yourself! Have faith in your abilities! Without a humble but reasonable confidence in your own powers you cannot be successful or happy…. Formulate and stamp indelibly on your mind a mental picture of yourself as succeeding. Hold this picture tenaciously. Never permit it to fade. Your mind will seek to develop the picture … Do not build obstacles in your imagination … Do not be awestruck by other people and try to copy them. Nobody can be you as efficiently as you can.
—Norman Vincent Peale (1898–1993) American Clergyman, Self-Help Author
Thinking is like loving and dying. Each of us must do it for himself.
—Josiah Royce (1855–1916) American Idealist Philosopher
A fellow can’t keep people from having a bad opinion of him, but he can keep them from being right about it.
Man often becomes what he believes himself to be. If I keep on saying to myself that I cannot do a certain thing, it is possible that I may end by really becoming incapable of doing it. On the contrary, if I shall have the belief that I can do it, I shall surely acquire the capacity to do it, even if I may not have it at the beginning.
—Mohandas K. Gandhi (1869–1948) Indian Hindu Political leader
Smile, for everyone lacks self-confidence and more than any other one thing a smile reassures them.
—Andre Maurois (1885–1967) French Novelist, Biographer
He who believes in nobody knows that he himself is not to be trusted.
—Berthold Auerbach (1812–82) German Novelist
Proust has pointed out that the predisposition to love creates its own objects; is this not also true of fear?
—Elizabeth Bowen (1899–1973) Irish Novelist, Short-story Writer
Look well into thyself; there is a source of strength which will always spring up if thou wilt always look there.
—Marcus Aurelius (121–180) Emperor of Rome, Stoic Philosopher
Having once decided to achieve a certain task, achieve it at all costs of tedium and distaste. The gain in self-confidence of having accomplished a tiresome labor is immense.
—Arnold Bennett (1867–1931) British Novelist, Playwright, Critic
Without self-confidence we are as babes in the cradle. And how can we generate this imponderable quality, which is yet so invaluable, most quickly? By thinking that other people are inferior to oneself.
—Virginia Woolf (1882–1941) English Novelist
Confidence… thrives on honesty, on honor, on the sacredness of obligations, on faithful protection and on unselfish performance. Without them it cannot live.
—Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882–1945) American Head of State, Lawyer
I’ve always had confidence. It came because I have lots of initiative. I wanted to make something of myself.
—Eddie Murphy (b.1961) American Actor
Confidence is what you have before you understand the problem.
—Woody Allen (b.1935) American Film Actor, Director
Whoever puts his confidence in men or in any creature is very foolish.
—Thomas a Kempis (1379–1471) German Religious Priest, Writer
If we did the things we are capable of, we would astound ourselves.
—Thomas Edison (1847–1931) American Inventor, Scientist, Entrepreneur
Self-distrust is the cause of most of our failures.—In the assurance of strength there is strength; and they are the weakest, however strong, who have no faith in themselves or their powers.
—Christian Nestell Bovee (1820–1904) American Writer, Aphorist
Argue for your limitations, and sure enough, they’re yours.
—Richard Bach (b.1936) American Novelist, Aviator
Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love.
—Laozi (fl.6th Century BCE) Chinese Philosopher, Sage
Pay no attention to what the critics say. A statue has never been erected in honor of a critic.
—Jean Sibelius (1865–1957) Finnish Composer
Remember that what pulls the strings is the force hidden within; there lies the power to persuade, there the life—there, if one must speak out, the real man.
—Marcus Aurelius (121–180) Emperor of Rome, Stoic Philosopher
We are taught you must blame your father, your sisters, your brothers, the school, the teachers—you can blame anyone, but never blame yourself. It’s never your fault. But it’s always your fault, because if you want to change, you’re the one who has got to change. It’s as simple as that, isn’t it?
—Katharine Hepburn (1907–2003) American Actor, TV Personality
There’s only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving, and that’s your own self. So you have to begin there, not outside, not on other people. That comes afterward, when you’ve worked on your own corner.
—Aldous Huxley (1894–1963) English Humanist, Pacifist, Essayist, Short Story Writer, Satirist
If, after all, men cannot always make history have a meaning, they can always act so that their own lives have one.
—Albert Camus (1913–60) Algerian-born French Philosopher, Dramatist, Essayist, Novelist, Author
The only thing that stands between a man and what he wants from life is often merely the will to try it and the faith to believe that it is possible.
—Richard DeVos (1926–2018) American Businessman, Philanthropist
The U.S. Constitution doesn’t guarantee happiness, only the pursuit of it. Your have to catch up with it yourself.
—Benjamin Franklin (1706–90) American Political Leader, Inventor, Diplomat
Fields are won by those who believe in winning.
—Thomas Wentworth Higginson (1823–1911) American Social Reformer, Clergyman
Each man must for himself alone decide what is right and what is wrong, which course is patriotic and which isn’t. You cannot shirk this and be a man. To decide against your conviction is to be an unqualified and inexcusable traitor, both to yourself and to your country, let men label you as they may.
—Mark Twain (1835–1910) American Humorist
I sound my barbaric yawp over the roofs of the world.
—Walt Whitman (1819–92) American Poet, Essayist, Journalist, American, Poet, Essayist, Journalist