Words Of Love And Encouragement To Speak Over Yourself

Self-love looks different for everyone. For some of us, it may look like going to the farmers’ market and cooking a delicious meal with our favorite ingredients; for others, it may mean finally carving out time to read the book that’s been collecting dust on the nightstand. And sometimes, self-love looks like simply saying “no. 

No matter where you are on the self-love journey, we all have more to learn—about ourselves and about the world around us—which is why we love these 99 quotes on self-love for encouragement and inspiration. Read on for these authors’ and public figures’ ideas on how to care for yourself, why it’s so important, and how it helps us more deeply love those around us.

What’s your favorite self-love quote? Share in the comments below!

Am I good enough? Yes I am.
— Michelle Obama

1. “Am I good enough? Yes I am.” – Michelle Obama, Becoming

2. “Love yourself enough to set boundaries. Your time and energy are precious. You get to choose how you use it.” – Anna Taylor, source unknown

3. “You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.” – Sharon Salzberg, Lovingkindness: The Revolutionary Art of Happiness

4. “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” – Eleanor Roosevelt, Reader’s Digest 1940

5. “Find out who you are and be that person. That’s what your soul was put on this Earth to be. Find that truth, live that truth, and everything else will come.” – Ellen DeGeneres, Glamour

6. “This life is mine alone. So, I have stopped asking people for directions to places they’ve never been.” – Glennon Doyle, Untamed

7. “A person learns how to love himself through the simple acts of loving and being loved by someone else.” – Haruki Murakami, 1Q84

8. “Comparison is an act of violence against the self.” – Iyanla Vanzant, Forgiveness: 21 Days to Forgive Everyone for Everything

Love yourself unconditionally, just as you love those closest to you despite their faults.
— Les Brown

9. “Love yourself unconditionally, just as you love those closest to you despite their faults.” – Les Brown, source unknown

10. “You won’t be happy, whatever you do, unless you’re comfortable with your own conscience.” – Lucille Ball, Love, Lucy

11. “I am my own experiment. I am my own work of art.” – Madonna, TV interview

12. “You have to be the one promoting yourself. If you don’t think that you’re worthy, you’re never going to make it.” – Misty Copeland, source unknown

13. “I was once afraid of people saying, ‘Who does she think she is?’ Now I have the courage to stand and say, ‘This is who I am.’” – Oprah Winfrey, source unknown

14. “To love oneself is the beginning of a life-long romance.” – Oscar Wilde, Phrases and Philosophies for the Use of the Young

15. “Everyone of us needs to show how much we care for each other and, in the process, care for ourselves.” – Princess Diana, source unknown

16. “this year say “no” more often stop trying for those who never try for you choose yourself whenever others refuse to choose you” – r.h. Sin, Empty Bottles Full of Stories

17. “When a woman finally learns that pleasing the world is impossible, she becomes free to learn how to please herself.” – Glennon Doyle, Untamed

You must want to spend the rest of your life with yourself first.
— Rupi Kaur

18. “You must want to spend the rest of your life with yourself first.” – Rupi Kaur, Milk & Honey

19. “Self-love has very little to do with how you feel about your outer self. It’s about accepting all of yourself.” – Tyra Banks, source unknown

20. “People who love themselves come across as very loving, generous and kind; they express their self-confidence through humility, forgiveness and inclusiveness.” – Sanaya Roman, Living with Joy: Keys to Personal Power and Spiritual Transformation

21. “Loving yourself does not mean being self-absorbed or narcissistic, or disregarding others. Rather, it means welcoming yourself as the most honored guest in your own heart, a guest worthy of respect, a lovable companion.” – Margot Anand, source unknown

22. “Loving oneself is the most primal of all survival mechanisms.” – Karen Hackel, The Whisper of Your Soul

23. “I think no matter what you look like, the key is to first of all be happy with yourself. And then you know if you want to try to improve things that you don’t like about yourself, then do it after you appreciate yourself.” – Adele, Mirror U.K., 2012

24. “One of the truest signs of strength is accepting one’s own weaknesses.” – Tadahiko Nagao, Kokology: The Game of Self-Discovery

25. “The problem is you’re afraid of your own beauty. You’re too busy holding onto your unworthiness.” – Ram Dass, source unknown

It has never been a crime to love yourself first. Neither is it a crime to love yourself more.
— Edmond Mbiaka

26. “It has never been a crime to love yourself first. Neither is it a crime to love yourself more.” – Edmond Mbiaka, source unknown

27. “The most painful thing is losing yourself in the process of loving someone too much, and forgetting that you are special too.” – Ernest Hemingway, Men Without Women

28. “Do your thing and don’t care if they like it.” – Tina Fey, Bossypants

29. “To say ‘I love you’ one must know first how to say the ‘I’.” – Ayn Rand, The Fountainhead

30. “When a woman becomes her own best friend life is easier.” – Diane von Furstenburg, source unknown

31. “One of the greatest regrets in life is being what others would want you to be, rather than being yourself.” – Shannon L. Adler, source unknown

Freeing yourself was one thing, claiming ownership of that freed self was another.
— Toni Morrison

32. “Freeing yourself was one thing, claiming ownership of that freed self was another.” – Toni Morrison, Beloved

33. “Let today be the day…You stand strong in the truth of your beauty and journey through your day without attachment to the validation of others.” – Steve Maraboli, Life, the Truth, and Being Free

34. “The things that make me different are the things that make me.” – A.A. Milne, Winnie the Pooh

35. “Be confident, and just do it. It’s all about not questioning what everyone else is thinking, since they’re probably looking to others to know what is or isn’t cool.” – Zoe Kravitz, The Philadelphia Sun

36. “Healthy striving is self-focused: “How can I improve?” Perfectionism is other-focused: “What will they think?” – Brené Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection

37. “You don’t have to change who you are for anyone: if you are your regular, authentic, confident self, then you can push to do whatever you want.” – Marsai Martin, source unknown

38. “A Woman in harmony with her spirit is like a river flowing. She goes where she will without pretense and arrives at her destination prepared to be herself and only herself.” – Maya Angelou, source unknown

39. “You are not a drop in the ocean. You are the entire ocean in a drop.” – Rumi, source unknown

40. “Fall in love with taking care of yourself. Fall in love with the path of deep healing. Fall in love with becoming the best version of yourself but with patience, with compassion, and respect to your own journey.” – Sylvester McNutt, source unknown

41. “My mother told me to be a lady. And for her, that meant be your own person, be independent.” – Ruth Bader Ginsberg, source unknown

42. “We just need to be kinder to ourselves. If we treated ourselves the way we treated our best friend, can you imagine how much better off we would be?” – Meghan Markle, Breakfast Television talk show

43. “Until you value yourself, you won’t value your time. Until you value your time, you will not do anything with it.” – M. Scott Peck, The Road Less Traveled: A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values and Spiritual Growth

I don’t like to gamble, but if there’s one thing I’m willing to bet on, it’s myself.
— Beyoncé

44. “I don’t like to gamble, but if there’s one thing I’m willing to bet on, it’s myself.” – Beyoncé, ABC News

45. “Loving yourself isn’t vanity. It’s sanity.” – Katrina Mayer, source unknown

46. “Beauty is how you feel inside, and it reflects in your eyes. It is not something physical.” – Sophia Loren, source unknown

47. “Remember, if you ever need a helping hand, it’s at the end of your arm. As you get older, remember you have another hand: The first is to help yourself, the second is to help others.” – Sam Levenson, In One Era & Out the Other

48. “How you love yourself is how you teach others to love you.” – Rupi Kaur, Milk and Honey

49. “We don’t realize that, somewhere within us all, there does exist a supreme self who is eternally at peace.” – Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman’s Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia

50. “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… Do not expect to receive the love from someone else you do not give yourself.” – bell hooks, All About Love

51. You can’t just sit there and put everybody’s lives ahead of yours and think that counts as love. You just can’t. You have to do things.” – Stephen Chbosky, The Perks of Being a Wallflower

52. “If you celebrate your differentness, the world will, too. It believes exactly what you tell it… Tell the world you are a one-of-a-kind creation who came here to experience wonder and spread joy. Expect to be accommodated.” – Victoria Moran, Lit From Within: Tending Your Soul For Lifelong Beauty

I never loved another person the way I loved myself.
— Mae West

53. “I never loved another person the way I loved myself.” – Mae West, source unknown

54. “Loving the self involves faith and trust and belief in who you are, and a willingness to take action upon it.”Sanaya Roman, Living with Joy: Keys to Personal Power and Spiritual Transformation

55. “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, source unknown

56. “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, 2014 tweet

57. “In your own life it’s important to know how spectacular you are.” – Steve Maraboli, Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience

58. “She remembered who she was and the game changed.” – Lalah Delia, 2015 tweet

I am more than my scars.
— Andrew Davidson

59. “I am more than my scars.” – Andrew Davidson, The Gargoyle

60. “It isn’t what they call you, it’s what you answer to.” – W.C. Fields, source unknown

61. “Be bold, be brave enough to be your true self.” – Queen Latifah, source unknown

62. “Scarcity of self-value cannot be remedied by money, recognition, affection, attention, or influence.” – Gary Zukav, The Mind of the Soul: Responsible Choice

63. “I remind myself to be kind to myself, and as slightly ridiculous as it may sound, to treat myself in the same gentle way I’d want to treat a daughter of mine. It really helps.” – Emma Stone, source unknown

64. “Inner beauty should be the most important part of improving one’s self.” – Priscilla Presley, source unknown

I love my body, and I would never change anything about it. I’m not asking you to like my body. I’m just asking you to let me be me.
— Serena Williams

65. “I love my body, and I would never change anything about it. I’m not asking you to like my body. I’m just asking you to let me be me.” – Serena Williams, Self magazine

66. “Your self-worth is determined by you. You don’t have to depend on someone telling you who you are.” – Beyoncé, source unknown

67. “This is not the moment to wilt into the underbrush of your insecurities. You’ve earned the right to grow. You’re going to have to carry the water yourself.”  – Cheryl Strayed, Tiny Beautiful Things

68. “If you have the ability to love, love yourself first.” – Charles Bukowski, source unknown

69. “To fall in love with yourself is the first secret to happiness.” – Robert Morely, source unknown

70. “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, When I Loved Myself Enough

71. “YOU need to be doing what you love. You NEED to be doing what you love. You need to be doing what you LOVE. Don’t do it for the ones demanding from you. Do it for you.” – Jennae Cecilia, Uncaged Wallflower

72. “I felt free, once I realized I was never going to fit the narrow mold that society wanted me to fit in.” – Ashley Graham, TEDx Talk

73. “One of the most important things you can accomplish is just being yourself.” – Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, 2013 Tweet

You change the world by being yourself.
— Yoko Ono

74. “Be who you are and don’t allow anyone to affect the confidence you have in your individuality.” – Demi Lovato, Staying Strong: 365 Days a Year

75. “You change the world by being yourself.” – Yoko Ono, source unknown

76. “Be brave enough to heal yourself even when it hurts.” – Bianca Sparacino, The Strength in Our Scars

77. “To find a happy ending with someone else, first you have to find it alone.”- Soman Chainani, The Last Ever After

78. “You alone are enough. You have nothing to prove to anybody.” – Maya Angelou, source unknown

By doing the work to love ourselves more, I believe we will love each other better.
— Laverne Cox

79. “By doing the work to love ourselves more, I believe we will love each other better.” – Laverne Cox, Huffington Post

80. “Put yourself first. Self-love is not selfish at all. It means that you’re taking care of yourself, and like my mom reinforced to me, to make sure that I was safe and that I was healthy.” – Laurie Hernandez, source unknown

81. “I just wanted to remind you, in case you needed to hear it, to be kind and loving to yourself, and talk to yourself like you would talk to your best friend.” – Camila Cabello, source unknown

Your life belongs to you and you alone.
— Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

82. “Your life belongs to you and you alone.” – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Half of a Yellow Sun

83. “I always thought that people told you that you’re beautiful…I think that it’s time to take this power into our own hands and to say, ‘You know what? I’m beautiful. I just am. And that’s my light. I’m just a beautiful woman.’” – Margaret Cho, Huffington Post

84. “These faults and mistakes are what I am, making up the brightest stars in the constellation of my life. I have come to love myself for who I was, who I am, and who I hope to become.”- Kim Namjoon, UN Speech

85. “If you want to be faithful to someone, start by being faithful to yourself.” – Paulo Coelho, Facebook post

86. “I love myself when I am laughing. . . and then again when I am looking mean and impressive.” – Zora Neale Hurston, Their Eyes Were Watching God

87. “Forgive yourself your own self. You have it in your power to merge everything you have lived through- false starts, errors, delusions, passions, your loves and your hopes- into your goal, with nothing left over.” – Friedrich Nietzsche, Human, All Too Human: A Book for Free Spirits

88. “Why should we worry about what others think of us, do we have more confidence in their opinions than we do our own?” – Brigham Young, source unknown

 89. “When you recover or discover something that nourishes your soul and brings joy, care enough about yourself to make room for it in your life.” – Jean Shinoda Bolen, source unknown

 90. “Don’t forget to tell yourself positive things daily! You must love yourself internally to glow externally.” – Hannah Bronfman, source unknown

91. “Be yourself; no base imitator of another, but your best self. There is something which you can do better than another. Listen to the inward voice and bravely obey that. Do the things at which you are great, not what you were never made for.“ – Ralph Waldo Emerson, Self-Reliance and Other Essays

In order to love who you are, you cannot hate the experiences that shaped you.
— Andrea Dykstra

92. “In order to love who you are, you cannot hate the experiences that shaped you.” – Andrea Dykstra, source unknown

93. “Some people are nobody’s enemies but their own.” – Charles Dickens, Oliver Twist

94. “Loving yourself is not antithetical to health, it is intrinsic to health. You can’t take good care of a thing you hate.” – Lindy West, Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman

95. “To be beautiful means to be yourself.You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself… True happiness and true power lie in understanding yourself, accepting yourself, having confidence in yourself.”- Thích Nhất Hạnh, The Art of Power

96. “Whatever you are doing, love yourself for doing it. Whatever you are feeling, love yourself for feeling it.” – Thaddeus Golas, source unknown

97. “Our entire life … consists ultimately in accepting ourselves as we are.” – Jean Anouih, source unknown

98. “Self-love, my liege, is not so vile a sin, as self-neglecting.” – William Shakespeare, Henry V.

99. “You can receive all the compliments in the world, but that won’t do a thing unless you believe it yourself.” – Criss Jami, Healology


Natalie Gale is a Boston-based freelance journalist. When she’s not writing about art, food, or sustainability, you can find her biking to the farmers’ market, baking, sewing, or planning her next Halloween costume. Say hi on Instagram!


Featured image includes model Norrine Maupin wearing dress by Shaina Mote; jewelry by Apse