Do you have a generally poor opinion of yourself? Do you think others are more deserving or worthy of opportunities in life than you? If you answered yes, there’s a high chance you struggle with low self-esteem. Research shows that poor self-esteem can negatively affect nearly all aspects of life and may lead to irrational thinking, self-defeating behaviors, and self-destructive behaviors.
Here’s the good news: there are a handful of simple but effective ways to overcome self-esteem issues. One of them is reading self focus quotes consistently until they influence how you think and feel about yourself on the conscious and unconscious levels.
In this article, I discuss 14 inspiring quotes that can boost self-esteem. Think of this as one of the practical steps you can take to increase your confidence.
Sings Your Self-Esteem Needs Work
Experiencing a dip in your confidence level occasionally doesn’t necessarily mean you have low self-esteem. But your self-esteem needs some serious work if one or more of these signs are a constant feature in your life.
- You have a hard time speaking up about feelings, wants, and needs. You always sacrifice your happiness because you think others (like your spouse or children) deserve to be happy more than you do.
- You don’t have boundaries or have difficulty enforcing them.
- You prefer to go with the crowd rather than rocking the boat. Although flexibility and conformity are positive qualities, they can become problematic and negatively impact your life’s quality if you have difficulty making your own choices.
- You feel you are always in the wrong, so you are always apologizing for nearly everything you do.
- People often treat you badly, and you seem to do nothing about it, or you endure abuse in one-sided relationships. This shows you’re putting others before yourself and not prioritizing your needs.
- You think you’re unworthy of compliments. You always put yourself down and constantly compare yourself to others.
14 Self Focus Quotes to Boost Self Esteem
- “You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.” – Buddha
Liking yourself is a key component of healthy self-esteem, and so is positive thinking. Stop buying into negative self-statements that pull you down, and start thinking, feeling, and saying positive things to yourself. Consistently doing this builds self-trust, enhances self-image, and increases confidence in your abilities, even in your darkest moments.
- “Prove to the world you are worth something by treating yourself with the utmost respect and hope that other people will follow your example. And even if they don’t, at least one person in the world is treating you well: you.” – Carrie Hope Fletcher
People will only mirror to you what you think of yourself. While you shouldn’t aim to show off, holding yourself in high regard will lead to actions that demonstrate high self-worth, and others will treat you that way.
- “The only one you should compare yourself to is you. Your mission is to become better today than you were yesterday. You do that by focusing on what you can do today to improve and grow.” – John Maxwell
One of the biggest mistakes anyone can make is to compare their insides to people’s outsides. Stop making yourself unhappy by pitting yourself against other people’s “perfect” public or social media life. Work on improving yourself, but never think others are better than you, even if you consider them to be more successful people.
- “Respect your efforts, respect yourself. Self-respect leads to self-discipline. When you have both firmly under your belt, that’s real power.” – Clint Eastwood
Failure and rejection are normal ― everyone will experience them at some point. Think of them as proof that you’re making an effort instead of seeing them as signs of unworthiness. Recognize your efforts, even if they are tiny, feeble steps. That’s the key to moving forward.
- “Knowing others is wisdom, knowing yourself is enlightenment.” – Lao Tzu
Finding the good in others is easy. But do you easily see your strengths, or are you quick to point out your weaknesses? Everyone has flaws, no matter how perfect their lives appear on the outside, so stop spotlighting your flaws and inadequacies.
My primary aim for sharing these self focus quotes is to help turn your attention inward. This way, you can identify and amplify your good qualities to boost your self-esteem and continue toward positive personal growth.
- “Stop feeling sorry for yourself, and you will be happy.” – Stephen Fry
You can’t control what happens in life ― no one can. But you certainly have full control over your response to what happens in your life. Feeling sorry for yourself is one way to respond to unfortunate events. But this response puts you in the victim mindset, and that’s not empowering, nor does it help your confidence.
Choose to be happy, regardless of external circumstances. This shifts your focus from external situations to how you want to feel and builds resilience in the long run.
- “Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” – George Bernard Shaw
Do you wonder what your purpose in life is? Perhaps you can’t find an answer when you ask what you’re doing for the rest of your life. Realize that it is not what you do that matters but how you do it.
There’s hardly a beeline path to discovering your life’s purpose. However, you can create meaning and value even from seemingly inconsequential things as long as you do them well.
- “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” – Aristotle
Want to enhance your self-esteem? Read these self focus quotes repeatedly until they become a habit. Want to improve any aspect of your life? Be intentional and consistent in taking the actions required to create a positive change. It’s that simple.
- “The more you are like yourself, the less you are like anyone else, which makes you unique.” – Walt Disney
Low self-esteem leads to wanting to be like others. But being like others means creating unhappiness for yourself because you force yourself to lose your identity. Be inspired by others, but be uniquely, unapologetically you!
Instead of wishing to be like someone else or have what someone else has, think deeply about what you truly want and work toward becoming that version of yourself. This is the path to self-discovery and increased confidence.
- “It isn’t the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out; it’s the pebble in your shoe.” – Muhammad Ali
Truth is, your goals aren’t necessarily too big. It’s the little excuses you tell yourself daily that keep you from working toward achieving them. Start today to focus on personal development, cultivating positive habits, and taking baby steps. Before long, you’ll accomplish your goals, no matter how massive they may seem now.
- “If you hear a voice within you say ‘you cannot paint,’ then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.” – Vincent Van Gogh
Doubts are normal; what’s not normal is letting the pesky little voice in your head stop you from chasing your goals. Listening to doubt will erode your confidence, making you second-guess your every move and live a mediocre life.
Realize that there is nothing you cannot be, do, or have if you set your mind to it. Doubts are only trying to protect you from the pain of failure. Take a realistic look at the potential risks your inner voice presents, and if the worst-case scenarios are not fatal, take the plunge! Remember, taking action builds confidence, which, in turn, improves self-esteem.
- “Often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one that has been opened for us.” – Helen Keller
Missed opportunities can trigger self-doubt, especially if the same chances go to people you consider better than you. Realize that putting yourself down because of missed opportunities can prevent you from seeing other doors opening before you. Don’t define your worth by the number of doors that slam shut in your face. Rather, see closed doors, temporary setbacks, and defeat as learning processes.
- “Know what matters most to you and be unwilling to compromise those priorities at almost any price.” – Frank Sonnenberg
One clear sign of good self-esteem is the ability to say no when necessary. Don’t be a people-pleaser; never lose yourself trying to get into people’s good books.
Figure out your values, realize your self-worth, and never compromise on self-respect. Practice these consistently, and you’ll boost your self-esteem over time.
- “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
You are more likely to neglect caring for yourself or engage in self-abuse if you feel hopeless. In addition to reading self focus quotes, a practical step to improve confidence is to invest enough time and energy weekly into your physical and mental well-being.
You’ll have a hard time building healthy self-esteem if you are physically or psychologically unwell. I strongly recommend taking this self-care quiz to help you discover areas of your life that need more tender loving care for improved self-esteem.