55+ Famous Quotes About Self-Reflection


Do you spend most of your time thinking about your plans for the immediate future? You think about what you’re going to have for dinner. You wonder whether it’s time to take your car in for an oil change. You think about where you might want to go on vacation this year.

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It’s important to have these thoughts and it’s also essential to think about big-picture items by spending time self-reflecting. 

Some people spend time in self-reflection by completing writing prompts like doing future self journaling. Read through these quotes about self-reflection to unwind and put yourself at peace. 

Positive Self-Reflection Quotes

Is the running dialogue that goes through your head saying positive things? Are you happy with yourself? Are you proud of what you have accomplished? 

One writing exercise you may consider if you struggle with self-confidence is to make a reverse bucket list. This exercise will make you feel proud of what you have already accomplished in life, as opposed to creating a bucket list of things you still want to do and your unfulfilled goals. 

Here are some quotes about self-reflection that will inspire you to do great things.

1. “As is our confidence, so is our capacity.” — William Hazlitt

Did your mom always tell you that you could do anything that you set your mind to? This quote says the same thing. William Hazlitt was a British essayist who wrote during the 19th century.

2. “How silent the woods would be if only the best birds sang.” — Unknown

You are necessary to those around you. Sing your song and be heard.

3. “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.” — Theodore Roosevelt

Instead of complaining that you have no power or sphere of influence, do what you can with what you have to better the world. Start by being a positive influence on the members of your immediate family. 

4. “Think you can or think you can’t — either way, you will be right.” — Henry Ford

If Henry Ford had been a pessimist, we might be all riding bikes right now. 

5. “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” — Eleanor Roosevelt

Do you have an unsupportive family member or spouse? Don’t listen to that source of doom and gloom. Don’t give them power over what goes on in your head. 

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Funny Self-Reflection Quotes

Besides being depressing, living life too seriously gives you premature wrinkles. It also makes you less fun to be around. 

6. “An inferiority complex would be a blessing, if only the right people had it.” — Alan Reed

Why is it that the most annoying people seem to have the most self-confidence? They seem to know the answers to all of life’s mysteries, and they share these answers every day on Facebook. 

7. “Never think of yourself as inferior. Leave this to the experts.” — Unknown

Allegedly, this sign was found in a London employment agency. If this is true, it is a reminder that even if you don’t think that you are worthy of a job, the worst thing that someone can tell you is “No.”

8. “Everybody needs to feel like somebody.” — Unknown

This is profoundly true because it gives you a sense of self-worth and pride. Teenagers sometimes struggle to find their place but often don’t know who that “somebody” is. 

9. “You grow up the day you have your first real laugh — at yourself.” — Ethel Barrymore

Sometimes all you can do is laugh. When things get too hard, too stressful, or too overwhelming, try to find a nugget of humor.

10. “Of all my relatives, I like me best.” — Unknown

Does this describe your situation too? 

Spiritual or Religious Self-Reflection Quotes

You may not be able to ponder life’s big questions without reflecting on your spirituality. In fact, of all the questions to ask yourself, this is the most important. How does your view of God affect your picture of yourself? Here are some quotes that can help. 

11. “I can do all things through Christ who strengtheneth me.” Philippians 4:13

If you’re a Christian, you’ll be comforted knowing that God is there to help you with you as long as those goals are done to the glory of God.

12. “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” Psalm 139:14

The next time you feel bad about how you look, consider this passage from the book of Psalms. You are wonderfully complex. 

13. “We should not live like cringing, fearful slaves, but we should behave like God’s very own children, adopted into the bosom of his family, and calling to him, “Father, father.” Romans 8:15

Paul wrote these words of encouragement in the Book of Romans.

14. “What we are, is what we have thought for years.” — Buddha

Do you view yourself as uncoordinated, not good at math, and someone who will always be stuck in a mediocre job? Instead, have a growth mindset. Tell yourself that you’re not good at math yet. Or you can’t make that complicated dance move yet. That three-letter word has a lot of power. 

15. “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” — Dr. Reinhold Niebuhr

Your grandma may have needle-pointed this on a pillow — for good reason. 

Reflection Quotes About Love

People don’t think about love as much as they should. Love isn’t what you see on a Hallmark movie or what you read in a greeting card.

Love is shown by being patient when your teenage daughter slams the door. Love is waiting up for your husband to get home from a late-night flight, just to make sure he gets back safely. Love is helping your elderly mother bathe. 

Here are some quotes about all types of love. But one of the most important types of love is the love of self. 

16. “Love is a fruit in season at all times and within reach of every hand.” — Mother Teresa

Of course, Mother Teresa was probably referring to God’s love with this quote. It is ready to be plucked at all times and in the reach of every person on Earth. 

17. “Love must be learned, and learned again and again; there is no end to it. Hate needs no instruction, but wants only to be provoked.” — Henry Ward Beecher

Love isn’t easy. People are difficult to be around, and you have to push aside irritation, jealousy, and insecurity to love. In the end, you will find that it is worth it, especially if someone is patient and understanding enough to love you back.

18. “Life’s greatest happiness is to be convinced we are loved.” — Victor Hugo

Victor Hugo is a French poet and novelist famous for writing “Les Misérables” and “The Hunchback of Notre Dame.” Sometimes people need to be convinced that they are worthy of love. 

19. “Such ever was love’s way; to rise, it stoops.” — Robert Browning

It’s important to humble yourself to love. Love shows no arrogance. 

20. “Love is, above all, the gift of oneself.” — Jean Anouilh

Remind yourself that you are a great gift. 

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Self Reflection Quotes About Growth

Our days are numbered. What are you doing in your life to make each moment count? Read through some quotes about becoming a better human. 

21. "Lives of great men all remind us
We can make our lives sublime,
And, departing, leave behind us
Footprints on the sands of time." — Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

This stanza comes from a poem called "A Psalm of Life." This poem is often used at funerals, especially those that celebrate a life well-lived.

22. "The man who makes no mistakes does not usually make anything." — Edward John Phelps

Most of us don't grow without struggles. Don't let those mistakes impede you from trying again.

23. "Courage is the thing. All goes if courage goes." — J.M. Barrie

The author of "Peter Pan" said this great line while speaking at St. Andrews University in 1922. Growing and changing take great courage, so be proud of yourself if you can change!

24. "It's never too late, in fiction or in life, to revise." — Nancy Thayer

Nancy Thayer, a prolific author, speaks about revising from experience.

25. "If at first you do succeed, try something harder." — Ann Landers

Reread this quote because you may not have read it correctly the first time. Advice columnist Ann Landers tells us that if our growth is too easy, perhaps we are destined for greater things. 

26. "Time is a dressmaker specializing in alterations." — Faith Baldwin

How are you going to alter your life as time passes? 

Self Reflection Quotes for Leaders

No one sets out to be a lousy leader in the workplace, in the home, or among friends. But sometimes people lead others astray. These quotes can help you ponder whether your leadership is favorable or not. 

27. "You learn more from getting your butt kicked than from getting it kissed." — Tom Hanks

This sounds like sound advice for anyone in a leadership position.

28. "If your ship doesn't come in, swim out to it." — Jonathan Winters

This is good advice for leaders and for those they lead.

29. "Power is the ability not to have to please." — Elizabeth Janeway

Some of the best leaders are those that make difficult, unpopular decisions for the greater good. But making those hard decisions won't cause you to win any popularity contests.

30. "Hard work never killed anybody who supervised it." — Harry C. Bauer

Are you the type of leader who is willing to roll up your sleeves to get the job done? 

31. "I have a set of motivational tapes, but I never feel like watching them." — Daniel Liebert

There's no shortage of self-help or leadership training books at your local bookstore, but you won't become a better leader when the book sits on your nightstand.

32. "Set it down to thyself, as well to create good precedents as to follow them." — Sir Francis Bacon

We know this quote takes some unpacking, but it says, "do good for our own benefit and for those who follow."

Self Reflection Quotes for Students

The life of a student is so consuming that students rarely have time to reflect. Some people could do just that, even if from a distance. 

33. "Everyone is ignorant, only on different subjects." — Will Rogers

This quote may appeal to someone struggling with grades. It's not like you aren't knowledgeable; you just don't know the subjects your teachers test you on in school.

34. "Time is a great teacher, but it kills all of its students." — Hector Berlioz

Life might be easier if we listened to those who have been through life before us. 

35. "Nothing in education is so astonishing as the amount of ignorance it accumulates in the form of inert facts." — Henry Adams

You probably see proof of this quote every day. 

36. "If you think education is expensive, try ignorance!" — Derek Bok

Derek Bok was the president of Harvard University.

37. "Education is learning what you didn't even know you didn't know." — Daniel Boorstin

We don't know what we don't know. But when we learn it, we have no excuse for misbehaving.

38. "Children have to be educated, but they have also to be left to educate themselves." — Ernest Dimnet

Dimnet wrote a book called "The Art of Thinking."

39. "There is no end to education. We are all in the kindergarten of God." — Elbert Hubbard

We may be growing in our knowledge and understanding, but there's a lot we don't know.

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Self Reflection Quotes for a Birthday

Are you celebrating another year on this planet? Here are some quotes to help you reflect on your life and age. 

40. "As we grow old, the beauty steals inward." — Bronson Alcott

Don't worry about the crows' feet around your eyes and your crepey skin. You're beautiful inside!

41. "The older I get, the faster I was." — Charles Barkley

Sometimes not remembering things accurately is a positive thing.

42. "To me, old age is always 15 years older than I am." — Bernard M. Baruch

At what age will you finally feel old?

43. "There's many a good tune played on an old fiddle" — Samuel Butler

You shouldn't be put out to pasture yet. We all contribute something to society until the end.

44. "Eighty years old! No eyes left, no ears, no teeth, no legs, no wind! And when all is said and done, how astonishingly well one does without them!" — Paul Claudel

Let's hope we all can be positive-minded when our bodies begin to deteriorate. 

45. "A person is not old until regrets take the place of hopes and plans." — Scott Nearing

This quote may hit home for many people. 

46. "Nothing is more beautiful than cheerfulness in an old face." — Jean Paul Friedrich Richter

No one plans to become a grumpy old man (or woman), but you may encounter an abundance of them.

47. “In youth we learn; in old age we understand.” — Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach

Have you had more "aha" moments as you age?

Self Reflection Quotes to Share on Social Media

Improve your social media feed by sharing uplifting quotes that inspire people to live better lives. Take a look at some share-worthy quotes.

48. "The secret of life is to just hang around until you get used to it." — Charles M. Schulz

Charles Schulz assigned this quote to his most well-known character, Charlie Brown.

49. "If you reduce your expectations to zero, life becomes a series of happy surprises." — Tuck Andress

This statement may not seem encouraging, but you might find it accurate.

50. "You can't build a reputation on what you intend to do." — Liz Smith

So, get going! Life is passing you by!

51. "Observe all men; thyself most." — Benjamin Franklin

This quote was published in "Poor Richard's Almanack" in 1740.

52. "Self-knowledge is the beginning of self-improvement." — Baltasar Gracian

To find out more about yourself, talk to someone who lives with you.

53. "If most of us remain ignorant of ourselves, it is because self-knowledge is painful and we prefer the pleasures of illusion." — Aldous Huxley

Aldous Huxley is best known for writing "Brave New World." 

54. "One grows or dies. There is no third possibility." — Oswald Spengler

An argumentative person could say that the third option is growing stagnant. 

55. "We create ourselves. The sequence is suffering, insight, will, action, change." — Allen Wheelis

What sequence are you in at the moment?

56. "When your cart reaches the foot of the mountain, a path will appear." — Chinese Proverb

You have to take action to find that path. 

Self-Reflection is a Gift to Yourself

It may be hard to think without distraction. Challenge yourself to find time to think at a higher level every day of your life. Go for a run without your earbuds. Drive without the distraction of the radio. Meditate or pray each morning. If you don’t know how to meditate or pray, add this to your list of essential things to learn 

Don’t become a sheep, allowing only the current memes or headlines to invade your thoughts. Don’t let toxic relationships poison you against your job, your spouse, or your ideals. Instead, go deep within yourself and think about how you can become a better person. 


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