We’re so hard on ourselves. Whether we forgot to pick up diapers on the way home from a hectic day at the office, didn’t make it to the gym, or said something super awkward in a meeting, it seems like most of us never fail to beat ourselves up for every little mistake.
Adulting is hard enough without constant, self-inflicted criticism. So, let’s give ourselves a much-needed break from all that icky self-flagellation and embrace some well-deserved self-love instead. You may never get to the point where you have high self esteem all the time, but focusing on your relationship with yourself — cheesy as it sounds — can be key to feeling confident and satisfied in all aspects of your life.
Feel like you need some words of encouragement to get you started? Sometimes a good inspiring quote can do the trick.
1. “Your self-worth is determined by you. You don’t have to depend on someone telling you who you are.”
2. “Be kinder to yourself. And let your kindness flood the world.”
3. “No one is you and that is your power.”
4. “If you wouldn’t say it to a friend, don’t say it to yourself.”
5. “The woman who does not require validation from anyone is the most feared individual on the planet.”
6. “Just be yourself. Let people see the real, imperfect, flawed, quirky, weird, beautiful and magical person that you are.”
7. “It’s not your job to like me. It’s mine.”
8. “[You are] worthy now. Not if. Not when. We are worthy of love and belonging now. Right this minute. As is.”
9. “The sunrise, of course, doesn’t care if we watch it or not. It will keep on being beautiful, even if no one bothers to look at it.”
10. “A flower does not think of competing with the flower next to it. It just blooms.”
11. “Forgive yourself. Not just once. Again, and again, and again. As many times as it takes to find peace.”
12. “You can search throughout the entire universe for someone who is more deserving of your love and affection than you are yourself, and that person is not to be found anywhere. You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe deserve your love and affection.”
13. “Work on being in love with the person in the mirror who has been through so much but is still standing.”
14. “The surest way to lose your self-worth is by trying to find it through the eyes of others.”
15. “Inner peace begins the moment you choose not to allow another person or event to control your emotions.”
16. “And then one day everything fell into place because I finally decided to be okay with being me.”
17. “There are plenty of places in which you will face rejection; the mirror should not be one of them.”
18. “You’re so hard on yourself. Take a moment. Sit back. Marvel at your life: at the grief that softened you, at the heartache that wisened you, at the suffering that strengthened you. Despite everything, you still grow. Be proud of this.”
19. “Don’t feel bad for making decisions that upset other people. You’re not responsible for their happiness, you’re responsible for yours.”
20. “It’s not selfish to love yourself, take care of yourself and to make your happiness a priority. It’s necessary.
21. “Perhaps, we should love ourselves so fiercely, that when other see us they know exactly how it should be done.”
22. “Loving ourselves through the process of owning our story is the bravest thing we will ever do.”
23. “In order to love who you are, you cannot hate the experiences that shaped you.”
24. “You are free, you are powerful, you are good, you are love, you have value, you have a purpose. All is well.”
25. “What if you simply devoted this year to loving yourself more?”
26. “You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.”
27. “Never regret anything you have done with a sincere affection; nothing is lost that is born of the heart.”
28. “I think the most important thing in life is self-love, because if you don't have self-love, and respect for everything about your own body, your own soul, your own capsule, then how can you have an authentic relationship with anyone else?”
29. “If you can learn to love yourself and all the flaws, you can love other people so much better. And that makes you so happy.”
30. “It's impossible to love yourself unconditionally without frequently making some time to know yourself better.”
31. “The ultimate lesson all of us have to learn is unconditional love, which includes not only others but ourselves as well.”
32. “The art of being yourself at your best is the art of unfolding yourself into the personality you want to be. Learn to love yourself, be gentle with yourself, to forgive yourself, for only as we have the right attitude toward ourselves can we have the right attitude toward others.”
33. “I will not let anyone walk through my mind with their dirty feet.”
34. “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 judgement called it disloyal. Now I see it as self-loving.”
Jaclyn Westlake is a career advice columnist, creator of the Job Hopper's Job Search Strategy Guide and founder of The Job Hop. With more than ten years of experience in the recruiting and human resources space, she is passionate about empowering job seekers to achieve their career goals. She's also particularly fond of coffee, every dog in the world, and the city of San Francisco.