Interest in the lives of others, the high evaluation of these lives, what are they but the overflow of the interest a man finds in himself, the value he attributes to his own being?
—Sherwood Anderson (1876–1941) American Novelist, Short Story Writer
Learn what you are and be such.
—Pindar (c.518–c.438 BCE) Greek Lyric Poet
We set up harsh and unkind rules against ourselves. No one is born without faults. That man is best who has fewest.
—Horace (Quintus Horatius Flaccus) (65–8 BCE) Roman Poet
The fundamental problem most patients have is an inability to love themselves, having been unloved by others during some crucial part of their lives.
—Bernie S. Siegel (b.1932) American Physician, Writer
People remain what they are, even when their faces fall to pieces.
—Bertolt Brecht (1898–1956) German Poet, Playwright, Theater Personality
Sometimes it is more important to discover what one cannot do, than what one can.
—Lin Yutang (1895–1976) Chinese Author, Philologist
It is enough that I am of value to somebody today.
—Hugh Prather (b.1938) American Christian Author, Minister, Counselor
There is a proper balance between not asking enough of oneself and asking or expecting too much.
—May Sarton (1912–95) American Children’s Books Writer, Poet, Novelist
If you make friends with yourself you will never be alone.
—Maxwell Maltz (1899–1975) American Surgeon, Motivational Writer
Of all afflictions, the worst is self-contempt.
—Berthold Auerbach (1812–82) German Novelist
Do not let your peace depend on the hearts of men; whatever they say about you, good or bad, you are not because of it another man, for as you are, you are.
—Thomas a Kempis (1379–1471) German Religious Priest, Writer
Life is a very sad piece of buffoonery, because we have … the need to fool ourselves continuously by the spontaneous creation of a reality … which, from time to time, reveals itself to be vain and illusory.
—Luigi Pirandello (1867–1936) Italian Dramatist, Novelist, Short Story Writer, Author
We will discover the nature of our particular genius when we stop trying to conform to our own or to other people’s models, learn to be ourselves, and allow our natural channel to open.
—Shakti Gawain (b.1948) American Author, Environmentalist
Let a man’s talents or virtues be what they may, he will only feel satisfaction in his society as he is satisfied in himself.
—William Hazlitt (1778–1830) English Essayist
The secret of my success is that at an early age I discovered I was not God.
—Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. (1841–1935) American Jurist, Author
I was always willing to take a great deal of the burden of getting along in life on my own shoulders, but I wasn’t willing to give myself a pat on the back. I was always looking to somebody else to give me that … That was all wrong.
—Raquel Welch (b.1940) American Actress, Singer
The courage to be is the courage to accept oneself, in spite of being unacceptable.
—Paul Tillich (1886–1965) American Lutheran Theologian, Philosopher
There is overwhelming evidence that the higher the level of self-esteem, the more likely one will treat others with respect, kindness, and generosity. People who do not experience self-love have little or no capacity to love others.
—Nathaniel Branden (1930–2014) American Psychotherapist
To do all that one is able to do is to be a man; to do all that one would like to do is to be a god.
—Napoleon I (1769–1821) Emperor of France
He who despises himself esteems himself as a self-despiser.
—Susan Sontag (1933–2004) American Writer, Philosopher
The work praises the man.
Shall a man go and hang himself because he belongs to the race of pygmies, and not be the biggest pygmy that he can?
—Henry David Thoreau (1817–62) American Philosopher
I care not what others think of what I do, but I care very much about what I think of what I do. That is character.
—Theodore Roosevelt (1858–1919) American Head of State, Political leader, Historian, Explorer
Not in the clamor of the crowded street, not in the shouts and plaudits of the throng, but in ourselves, are triumph and defeat.
—Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807–82) American Poet, Educator, Academic
I … know what I do, and am unmoved by men’s blame, or their praise either.
—Robert Browning (1812–89) English Poet
Self-love is not opposed to the love of other people. You cannot really love yourself and do yourself a favor without doing other people a favor, and vice versa.
—Karl Menninger (1893–1990) American Psychiatrist
Be content with what you are, and wish not change; nor dread your last day, nor long for it.
—Martial (40–104) Ancient Roman Latin Poet
If you want to be respected by others the great thing is to respect yourself. Only by that, only by self-respect will you compel others to respect you.
—Fyodor Dostoyevsky (1821–81) Russian Novelist, Essayist, Writer
She lacks confidence, she craves admiration insatiably. She lives on the reflections of herself in the eyes of others. She does not dare to be herself.
—Anais Nin (1903–77) French-American Essayist
The man with insight enough to admit his limitations comes nearest to perfection.
—Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749–1832) German Poet