The 12 Best Be Kind to Yourself Quotes (and Helpful Tips on Self-Love)

When you fall or stumble then the default for many is to be hard on yourself.

To push yourself forward again. Or to not make the same mistake in the future.

Being tough on oneself is a common strategy in many situations but I have over the years found that being kind to yourself works even better.


Well, for one, I find it makes it easier to get back on the right track and move forward (being hard on yourself can lead to feeling disappointed and discouraged from even trying again).

And in today’s post I want to share 12 of my favorite be kind to yourself quotes plus my own thoughts and tips related to each of these timeless and helpful sayings.

I hope you’ll find something here that will make it easier, more motivating and simply a smarter choice take the being kind to yourself route more often and make it into a habit in your life.

The 12 Best Be Kind to Yourself Quotes

Hands holding a heart made out of red material.

1. Try something new.

“You have been criticizing yourself for years and it hasn’t worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens.”
Louise Hay

Just like I mentioned at the start of this post, criticizing yourself may not be the best approach.

So how can you be kinder to yourself in everyday life? Well, you can for example:

Ask yourself a better question.

Each morning ask yourself: what is one thing I can be grateful for about myself?

Write the answer down in a journal or in a document on your phone. Then, the next week go for two things each morning.

Replace critical thoughts with kind and self-loving ones.

For instance, if you think you are not good at something after the first or second try then replace that thought with “I am doing the best I can, I can’t do more than that and I can’t realistically expect to be good at anything in life after just a try or two”.

2. Don’t let self-talk drag you down.

“Be nice to yourself. It’s hard to be happy when someone is always mean to you all the time.”
Christine Arylo

That daily negative self-talk can really drag you down. What has worked for me is this:

Say stop + self-kindness.

In your mind, shout “Stop!” or “No, no, no!” whenever that negative self-talk starts up. That will shut down the inner critic.

Then add kind thoughts instead, like mentioned in the previous tip.

3. Be kind and patient.

“Be kind to your body, gentle with your mind and patient with your heart. Stay true to your spirit, cherish your soul and never doubt yourself. You are still becoming, my love, and there is no one more deserving of the nurturing grace of your love.”
Becca Lee

Finding time for self-care is important.

Especially on days when you feel you don’t have the time for it (because that’s when you tend to need it the most in my experience.)

And just going for a walk in the sun or doing a quick workout doesn’t have to take more than 10-20 minutes.

If you start doubting yourself then one thing that helps me is to say stop as mentioned above and then to look back into my memories for a minute or two to relive my biggest successes in any area of life really and to see how I’ve overcome obstacles in the past.

4. Value yourself to do more of importance.

“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

One of my absolute favorites.

I’ve found that as my self-esteem has gone up I have also started to value my time more and focused more of my effort on what truly matters to me (and wasted less time on busy work and on doing things because “you’re supposed to”).

Learning to be better at saying no to others and myself too has been very valuable to free up more time and energy. And to often ask myself a question like this one:

What are the top 3 most important things in my life right now?

Answering that question can help me to keep myself on track but also to get back on track if I get lost along the way.

5. Love yourself first.

“Love yourself first and everything else falls into line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.”
Lucille Ball

When that self-love is consistent and powerful then it’s like a new gear within is unlocked. When the motivation comes from within rather than from wanting validation from other people then it becomes a lot easier to: 

  • Say no. Or ignore the things that doesn’t matter (including the words of persistently negative naysayers).
  • To keep your attention fully on the few things that do matter. 
  • Stay on focused on the journey towards a goal or dream day after day.

6. Make room for what you love.

“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

Find the time for your hobbies and the things you truly love. It will recharge you and open up new perspectives again and again.

Two good questions to help you free up time for that are:

  • What are the top 3 negative people or sources of information I can spend less time with this week?
  • Is there something in my life I can delegate, outsource or honestly do less often or not at all?

7. Find a better way to talk to yourself.

“Talk to yourself like you would to someone you love.”
Brené Brown

This is a great piece of advice that many of us have sometimes missed or forgotten.

When I’ve had a setback or made a mistake then one question I have used a lot in the past 10+ years to not be hard on myself but move forward in a self-kind and smart way is this one:

How would my friend/parent support me and help me in this situation?

Then I do things that he or she would suggest and talk to myself like he or she would. I highly recommend trying this one out.

8. Be yourself.

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

Our time on this Earth is limited.

So it’s important to try as much as you can to live the life you truly want. And to be true to yourself with what you need and want out of this life.

You can start small by expressing your true thoughts and feelings in minor ways to build confidence in yourself and in who you really are. Or find a few new people or sources like podcasts or websites that are more supportive of who you are and want to become.

I’ve also found that improving my self-esteem has been very helpful to value my own inner voice more, be kind and understanding of myself about my needs and to value the opinions of others less.

9. Help yourself.

“As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.”
Maya Angelou

Helping others and being of service is important. But if you aren’t kind to yourself and you take yourself for granted at the same time then it’s not sustainable.

You’ll get worn down. Maybe resentful as you feel that all your time and energy go to other people and you have no time for yourself or your passions.

So set off time for yourself and what you need too. You need it and you are worth it. And in the long run it will be the best choice for both you and the people in your life.

10. You deserve love.

“You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.”

No relationship is more important than the one you have with yourself.

So invest time and energy into it. Invest in kindness and patience with yourself.

Explore and get to know yourself better. Forgive yourself and learn from your past so you’ll make smarter and healthier choices in the coming days. Find support in people and in self-care habits that will recharge you.

Is this easy? No, not always, but the rewards of a loving and understanding relationship with yourself will greatly help with happiness and success in life.

11. Enjoy your time with yourself.

“You’re always with yourself, so you might as well enjoy the company.”
Diane Von Furstenberg

You are always with yourself, there is no escaping that.

So you can either choose to work on that relationship and on kindness and understanding towards yourself or not.

One way to get to know yourself better and cultivate a positive relationship with yourself is to set aside a bit of time each week or month to do something solo. It could be to:

  • Take up a hobby like painting.
  • Discover new restaurants or cuisines in your own kitchen.
  • Explore your life, thoughts and feelings by writing about it in a journal.

12. Don’t worry about what they might think.

“You wouldn’t worry so much about what others think of you if you realized how seldom they do.”
Eleanor Roosevelt

When I was younger I used to think a lot about what others would say or do if I said or did something.

But over time I realized that I’m not the main character here. Everyone else is busy with their own lives. And with worrying about their job, kids, pets, bills and what other people may be thinking about them.

It may seem a bit disappointing at first how seldom people think about you but it’s also a liberating thought that can set you free to live your life more as you deep down want it to be.

Want more tips on being kind to yourself and inspirational quotes on self-compassion? Have a look at these posts:


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About the Author

Henrik Edberg is the creator of the Positivity Blog and has written weekly articles here since 2006. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Gothenburg and has been featured on Lifehacker, HuffPost and Paulo Coelho’s blog. Click here to learn more…

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Anna

    This is a good guide to be kind to yourself and taking care of yourself step by step to follow these tips and take actions for bettering yourself. Thanks Henrik.