As the old saying goes, “Love yourself first and everything else will fall into place. You have to love yourself in order to succeed in this world.” If you don’t love yourself, how can you achieve your goals? The most important thing we can do for ourselves is to love ourselves. Self-love is the ultimate form of self-care. Below, we’ve compiled 30 of the best and most inspiring self love quotes to help you find true happiness and confidence in yourself.
We all have ups and downs, and in the midst of life’s uncertainty, it’s vital to give yourself the love you deserve. We often look for love and its cousins (validation, acceptance, compassion, and acknowledgment) from others. We rely on a partner, a friend, sibling, or spouse to reassure us that we’re loved and cared for. We might even feel a distinct lack of love when there is no one around to show it to us.
We can’t always rely on others to show us such feelings. It’s great when they do because it helps us feel like we belong in a community, no matter how big or small. Still, you don’t have to wait for others’ affection and approval to feel the love you deserve. You can learn and develop one of the most important and long-lasting life skills, one that nourishes your relationship with yourself as well as with others – self-love.
Later in this article, we’ve included a long list of quotes to inspire some unconditional self-love to improve your self-esteem and feelings of self-worth. Before we get to the self-love quotes, let’s take a closer look at what self-love actually means and why it’s an essential skill to cultivate and practice every day.
What is self-love?
Self-love is a compassionate and appreciative relationship with oneself. It’s not about foregoing responsibilities of frequently indulging yourself – it’s about respecting and appreciating yourself so much that you enjoy looking after yourself. You do things that you know will serve your best interests, such as eating well, looking after your health and hygiene, and exercising regularly.
When you love yourself, you learn how to forgive yourself. You don’t just ignore your mistakes, brush off your responsibilities, and move on quickly. Instead, you practice honesty, authenticity, and accountability.
You make mistakes, and you learn from them. You even make amends where appropriate, but you don’t beat yourself up over them. You don’t punish yourself and jeopardize your self-relationship. You practice self-forgiveness and self-compassion because you understand that the relationship you have with yourself can only work and function well if it’s filled with self-love.
Characteristics of self-love
A healthy self-love means having the following mindset and behaviors:
- Prioritizing your health and well-being over anything else
- Addressing your own needs before those of others
- Setting boundaries with yourself
- Practicing honesty, authenticity, and accountability for your own life
- Nourishing your mind, body, and spirit
- Adopting a growth mindset
- Refusing to let others define your self worth
- Standing in your own truth
Why is it important to love yourself?
When you love yourself, you muster up the courage to be your own person. You appreciate your relationships with others, but you don’t completely rely on them to help you find your way. You appreciate your independence and agency and make sure that you take care of yourself in a way that lets you thrive in life, not just survive.
There’s no wrong way to love yourself, but an important skill to hone is the ability to identify the difference between self-loving and self-destructive behaviors. For example, you might confuse immediate gratification with self-love. Perhaps you choose some junk food or even unhealthy substances because you want to feel the pleasure or relief of consuming them. You might think that’s self-love because you’re letting yourself ‘enjoy yourself.’ It’s okay to treat yourself, but understand that some indulgent behaviors are detrimental to your health.
The benefit of self-love
Cultivating and practicing self-love is a prerequisite for a healthy and happy life. You might want to argue that a healthy life is created by a healthy diet, regular exercise, and a growth-oriented relationship, and that’s true, but without enough self-love, it’s going to be much harder to achieve those things.
When you love yourself, you come to realize that your relationship with yourself is the most important in your life and that loving yourself is not a selfish act. You can love your family, friends, and your partner with all your heart, but without that self-love, you’ll be less able to show up as your best and most authentic for others, and that’s who they want you to be. When you love yourself, that’s when you can love others best.
The benefits of self-love include:
- Increased self-confidence
- Increased self-esteem
- Improved relationship
- Improved physical and mental health
- Greater discipline
- Improved mood
- Greater emotional health and well-being
How to love yourself
Kristin Neff explains the concept of loving ourselves well. She emphasizes the power and importance of self-compassion as means of navigating our way through life.
“Compassion is, by definition, relational. Compassion literally means ‘to suffer with,’ which implies a basic mutuality in the experience of suffering. The emotion of compassion springs from the recognition that the human experience is imperfect.”
The human experience is imperfect. How often do you criticize and berate yourself for your mistakes? How much do you strive for perfection in everything you do? If you’re like most people, you’re probably quite hard on yourself for your shortcomings. You might always try to do things perfectly or be the best, but how often does that work out? Life and the people aren’t perfect, and we’re not supposed to be. Cultivating and practicing self-compassion is a means of accepting our imperfections and not allowing them to make us feel unworthy or that we don’t belong.
On self-compassion, which includes self-love, Neff encourages us to treat ourselves as our own best friend. You can adapt this to your mother, father, lover, or child. Make yourself the object of your unconditional love. When you do this, you gain an insightful and fresh perspective and your behaviors and habits.
If you were to guide yourself from above, how would you behave? Would you always allow yourself to go for immediate gratification, or would you encourage more self-discipline and delayed gratification? You’d most likely choose the latter because you’d understand that self-love is not about immediate pleasure but about working with tenderness and compassion to give yourself a healthy and positive lifestyle.
30 self love quotes to inspire unconditional self-love
When we forget to love ourselves unconditionally, it helps to have some reminders. Reach out and spend time with those you love and who love you in return, get out in nature, and treat your mind and body well with learning, a nutritious diet, and exercise. Another great reminder to love yourself is to remember some words of wisdom. Below you’ll find a list of 30 self-love quotes entirely focused on self-love and self-compassion, so read on, pick out some that resonate with you, and save this article to revisit it later if you need some more inspiration.
“To fall in love with yourself is the first secret to happiness” – Robert Morley.
“It’s all about falling in love with yourself and sharing that love with someone who appreciates you, rather than looking for love to compensate for a self-love deficit.” – Eartha Kitt.
“One of the greatest regrets in life is being what others would want you to be, rather than being yourself.” – Shannon L. Alder.
“I found in my research that the biggest reason people aren’t more self-compassionate is that they are afraid they’ll become self-indulgent. They believe self-criticism is what keeps them in line. Most people have gotten it wrong because our culture says being hard on yourself is the way to be.” – Kristen Neff.
“Because one believes in oneself, one doesn’t try to convince others. Because one is content with oneself, one doesn’t need others’ approval. Because one accepts oneself, the whole world accepts him or her.” – Lao-Tzu.
“You have been criticizing yourself for years, and it hasn’t worked. Try approving yourself and see what happens.” – Louise L. Hay.
“Seek to be whole, not perfect.” – Oprah Winfrey.
“True self-care is not bath salts and chocolate cake; it’s choosing to build a life you don’t need to escape from.” – Brianna Wiest.
“When you say ‘yes’ to others, make sure you are not saying ‘no’ to yourself.” – Paulo Coelho.
“You alone are enough; you have nothing to prove to anybody.” – Dr. Maya Angelou.
“Love yourself enough to set boundaries. Your time and energy are precious. You get to choose how you use it. You teach people how to treat you by deciding what you will and won’t accept.” – Anna Taylor.
“When your world moves too fast, and you lose yourself in the chaos, introduce yourself to each color of the sunset. Reacquaint yourself with the earth beneath your feet. Thank the air that surrounds you with every breath you take. Find yourself in the appreciation of life.” – Christy Ann Martine.
“The most terrifying thing is to accept oneself completely.” – C.G Jung.
‘”Love yourself first, and everything else falls into line. You have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.” – Lucille Ball.
‘When I loved myself enough, I began leaving whatever wasn’t healthy. This meant people, jobs, my own beliefs, and habits – anything that kept me small. My judgment called it disloyal. Now I see it as self-loving.’ – Kim McMillen.
‘Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.’ – Thomas Jefferson.
‘You’re too busy holding onto your unworthiness.’ – Ram Dass.
‘You are loved just for being who you are, just for existing. You don’t have to do anything to earn it. Your shortcomings, your lack of self-esteem, physical perfection, or social and economic success – none of that matters. No one can take this love away from you, and it will always be here.”- Ram Dass.
‘Be a good person, but don’t waste your time trying to prove it.’- Paulo Coelho.
“You, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.” – Buddha.
“Don’t rely on someone else for your happiness and self-worth. Only you can be responsible for that. If you can’t love and respect yourself – no one else will be able to make that happen. Accept who you are – completely; the good and the bad – and make changes as YOU see fit – not because you think someone else wants you to be different.” – Stacey Charter.
‘What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.’ – Ralph Waldo Emerson.
“Document the moments you feel most in love with yourself—what you’re wearing, who you’re around, what you’re doing. Recreate and repeat.”- Warsan Shire.
“Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.”- Anne Lamott.
“When you recover or discover something that nourishes your soul and brings joy, cares enough about yourself to make room for it in your life.” – Jean Shinoda Bolen.
“Remember that if you want to motivate yourself, love is more powerful than fear.” – Kristin Neff.
“If you are continually judging and criticizing yourself while trying to be kind to others, you are drawing artificial boundaries and distinctions that only lead to feelings of separation and isolation.” – Kristin Neff.
“How you love yourself is how you teach others to love you.” – Rupi Kaur.
“This life is mine alone. So I have stopped asking people for directions to places they’ve never been.” – Glennon Doyle.
“Breathe. Let go. And remind yourself that this very moment is the only one you know you have for sure.” – Oprah Winfrey.
Hopefully, the self-love quotes we’ve included above will inspire you to add more self-love to your life. Understand that if your self-relationship isn’t great at the moment, it doesn’t have to be that way forever.
It’s natural to experience a dip in our self-relationship from time to time. Sometimes a series of mistakes or stressful life events can bring us down and make us feel like we’re less than we truly are.