19 Quotes to Inspire Self-knowledge, Self-inquiry, and Self-esteem

We often can’t control what happens in a lifetime. Every one of us is inevitably going to encounter a number of triumphs and tragedies, many of which we have control over, but many of which we don’t.

What we can choose, however, is how we respond to each situation, and how these significant life events impact our sense of self and our relationship to the world.

If you’re going through an uncertain period, or you are simply curious to explore what it means to be you, then these quotes will inspire you towards that change.

Here are 19 Quotes to inspire self-knowledge, self-inquiry, and self-esteem!

“There are three things extremely hard: steel, a diamond, and to know one’s self.” – Benjamin Franklin

“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“The one self-knowledge worth having is to know one’s own mind.” – F.H Bradley

“Your work is to discover your world and then with all your heart give yourself to it.” – Buddha

“Not until we are lost do we begin to understand ourselves.” – Henry David Thoreau

“To know oneself, one should assert oneself. Psychology is action, not thinking about oneself.” – Albert Camus

“To trust one’s mind and to know that one is worthy of happiness is the essence of self-esteem.” – Nathaniel Branden

“It’s not your job to like me – it’s mine.” – Byron Katie

“Someone else’s opinion of you does not have to become your reality.” – Les Brown

“Your own self-realization is the greatest service you can render the world.” – Sri Ramana Maharshi

“One secures the gold of the spirit when he finds himself.” – Claude M. Bristol

“A man cannot be comfortable without his own approval.” – Mark Twain

“He who knows others is clever; He who knows himself has discernment.” – Lao Tsu

“The most terrifying thing is to accept oneself completely.” – Carl Jung

“There is only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving, and that’s your own self.” – Aldous Leonard Huxley

“Thousands of geniuses live and die undiscovered – either by themselves or by others.” – Mark Twain

“You were not born a winner, and you were not born a loser. You are what you make yourself be.” – Lou Holtz

“Low self-esteem is like driving through life with your hand-break on.” – Maxwell Maltz

“Self-care is never a selfish act – it is simply good stewardship of the only gift I have, the gift I was put on earth to offer to others.” – Parker Palmer

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most importantly, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” – Steve Jobs

Attention Pick the Brain Readers

Would you like to learn more about how your own mind works?

Then take our FREE psycho-metric style personality quiz and receive personalized feedback:

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Ben Fishel is a freelance writer, and the creator of Project Monkey Mind – a blog that delves deep into psychology, spirituality, and the mind, and offers practical wisdom for the digital age.

Don’t forget to follow Project Monkey Mind on Facebook!


Erin shows overscheduled, overwhelmed women how to do less so that they can achieve more. Traditional productivity books—written by men—barely touch the tangle of cultural pressures that women feel when facing down a to-do list. How to Get Sh*t Done will teach you how to zero in on the three areas of your life where you want to excel, and then it will show you how to off-load, outsource, or just stop giving a damn about the rest.

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