Kate McKay

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The 20 Best Self Realization Quotes to Inspire You

January 31, 2023

Get to know yourself. Be true to yourself. Reach your dreams. Find inner peace. These are all aspects of self-realization. Self-realization, also known as self-actualization, is the process of realizing and fulfilling your full potential. 

Are you ready to get started on this journey of self-discovery? I’ve found some of the best self-realization quotes to inspire you and keep you focused on expanding your self-awareness and discovering your power.

Let’s go!

Wood door with steel old style lock, text inscription UNLOCK YOUR POTENTIAL

20 Motivational Quotes To Help You Discover Your Full Potential 

1. “Whatever is destined not to happen will not happen, try as you may. Whatever is destined to happen will happen, do what you may to prevent it. This is certain. The best course, therefore, is to remain silent.” –Ramana Maharshi

Trying to control the outcome of things almost always ends in disappointment and frustration. It also takes an enormous amount of energy to try to hold onto control. Instead, put this energy toward being present in the moment. You will find yourself flowing with whatever happens, instead of being rigid in your desires and expectations. 

2. “Before embarking on important undertakings sit quietly calm your senses and thoughts and meditate deeply. You will then be guided by the great creative power of Spirit.” –Paramahansa Yogananda

Based on scientific research findings, it has been proven that meditation can make you more creative. When participants engaged in open-monitoring meditation, it was found that they performed better in divergent thinking. And when you can explore many different possibilities with divergent thinking, you will be able to generate more new ideas than before.

The key to open monitoring meditation? Being receptive to all thoughts and sensations without focusing your attention on a particular concept or object. 

3. “Raise your words, not voice. It is rain that grows flowers, not thunder.”Rumi

We all get angry, and that is okay. What matters is what you do with that anger. If you raise your voice, this can lead to the other person feeling blamed or attacked. Oftentimes this ends with defensiveness and no resolved solution. Try channeling your anger into something positive.

With a bit of patience, take time to plan your response with clearly articulated feelings. You will be pleasantly surprised how well you may be received when your words come from a calm, collected place. 

4. “Men can starve from a lack of self-realization as much as they can from a lack of bread.” ―Richard Wright, Native Son

There is a hierarchy of needs according to Abraham Maslow; he believed that self-realization is obtainable only after one’s fundamental needs for survival, safety, love, and self-esteem are met. The human need for growth through self-realization is present in all of us, just as we all need to eat.

And without self-realization, you may be led down treacherous, winding paths to a soul-starved existence. Know yourself. What you find will ultimately feed your soul. 

5. “It does not matter how long you are spending on the earth, how much money you have gathered or how much attention you have received. It is the amount of positive vibration you have radiated in life that matters.” ―Amit Ray, Meditation: Insights and Inspirations

Not only is developing a positive mindset paramount for your peace and personal growth, but it also allows others around you the space to be at ease and grow as well. You are able to support and inspire others when accessing your highest potential.  Start your personal development journey now. It’s time to make a better world by exuding the best parts of yourself.

6. “A sense of inferiority and inadequacy interferes with the attainment of your hopes, but self-confidence leads to self-realization and successful achievement.” –Norman Vincent Peale, Power of Positive Thinking

Feeling inferior and inadequate can come from a place of insecurity, perfectionism, and comparison. If you are afraid you aren’t “good enough”, then you won’t be. Work towards an unshakeable belief in yourself through affirmations and challenging limiting beliefs.

Instead of focusing on what you are doing wrong, focus on what you’ve done right. The “I’m not good enough” turns into “I AM good enough because…” Eventually, you will train your mind to hold a higher belief in yourself. Then you will operate from that belief, enabling you to achieve things you never thought possible. 

7. “There is mental conditioning in your mind put in there during this life by your parents, teachers, the society. You’ve been told what is and what is not, what is right and what is wrong. This has to be pushed aside.” –Frederick Lenz

There are parts of yourself that are covered up by the opinions, beliefs, and conditioning of other people. We oftentimes take things people say to us at face value, not bothering to question if those things are true for us. While it is good to listen to the advice and opinions of others, there is only one person who truly knows you: that’s you. And no one else can live your life but you. 

Look deeper inside yourself and ask whether the conditioning you were left with is true for you. If not, start to let it go and allow your own opinions, emotions, beliefs, desires, and needs to come forward.

8. “Self-realization is effortless. What you are trying to find is what you already are.” –Ramesh Balsekar

Turn your gaze inward. All the answers are there waiting for you. 

9. “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” –Mahatma Gandhi

When you live a life based on the fulfillment of egoistic desires, you are limiting your perspective. Ego deters you from solving problems, making progress, and fully connecting with yourself and others. You are not working towards your full potential. 

Realize that you are not your identity; you are the series of virtues that make up your truest and highest self. Find a way to balance your desires with service to others. You will identify new abilities within yourself; including things like sympathy, connection, and solidarity. 

Living a life of service is more fulfilling. You will gain a sense of purpose which will fuel you to find your full potential, and ultimately yourself.

FDR Memorial at Night

10. “The only limit to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today.” –Franklin D. Roosevelt

To get through each day with confidence, you must first become aware of self-doubt. Try making friends with your fears and weaknesses that manifest as self-doubt. When they come up, get to know the way they feel. Then you can find ways to use them as leverage or to conquer and move past them. 

Do you lack confidence when it comes to being promoted at your job? Identify what traits in yourself make you doubt your abilities to get that raise or promotion. Find ways to strengthen these weaknesses. Then once you feel like you are putting your best self forward, you will have the confidence to finally ask for that raise. 

11. “The worst loneliness is not to be comfortable with yourself.” –Mark Twain

When you are not comfortable with yourself, this could mean you are rejecting a part of yourself. This can come from judging yourself, shaming yourself, comparing yourself to others, disrespecting your boundaries, or putting others on a pedestal. These are all forms of self-abandonment. 

Vow to never abandon yourself, no matter the situation. When you advocate for your own needs and feelings, this will lead to self-trust, self-love, and comfort in your own skin.

12. Do not brood over your past mistakes and failures as this will only fill your mind with grief, regret and depression. Do not repeat them in the future.–Swami Sivananda

There is no need to dwell or punish yourself for the past. It has happened, and you did what you could with the information you had at the time. Be grateful for the lesson, learn to forgive yourself, and simply vow to do better in the future with the knowledge you’ve gained. 

13. “I’ve come to believe that each of us has a personal calling that’s as unique as a fingerprint – and that the best way to succeed is to discover what you love and then find a way to offer it to others in the form of service, working hard, and also allowing the energy of the universe to lead you.” –Oprah Winfrey

There is a path in this world that is meant for you, and you alone. Be at peace knowing the path will reveal itself to you.

14. “Courage doesn’t happen when you have all the answers. It happens when you are ready to face the questions you have been avoiding your whole life.” ―Shannon L. Alder

What do you fear? Make a list of the things that paralyze you, hinder you, worry you, disempower you, or make you feel out of control. Then, one by one learn to face your fears. Your fear will either show you what limits you or it can teach you something about what is standing in the way of your success. 

15. “Musicians must make music, artists must paint, poets must write if they are to be ultimately at peace with themselves. What human beings can be, they must be. They must be true to their own nature. This need we may call self-actualization.” –Abraham Maslow

You cannot fit a square peg into a round hole. If you are doing something in life that doesn’t fit with your nature, you are working against your full potential. Be you. 

16. “Whenever I am in a difficult situation where there seems to be no way out, I think about all the times I have been in such situations and say to myself, “I did it before, so I can do it again.” ―Idowu Koyenikan, Wealth for All: Living a Life of Success at the Edge of Your Ability

When we start to believe in our abilities, we build our self-esteem and self-efficacy. For this reason, it is important that you fully celebrate when you have achieved something. Then you will more likely remember it the next time you experience self-doubt. 

17. “Many people dedicate their lives to actualizing a concept of what they should be like, rather than actualizing themselves. This difference between self-actualization and self-image actualization is very important. Most people live only for their image” –Bruce Lee

What you think you “should be” is a manifestation of your ego. Instead, focus on what you actually are

18. “Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.” ―Rumi

When we experience grief, suffering, loss, and betrayal, we often build walls as a defense against similar circumstances. However, these walls are only making it harder for us to love and be loved in return. The best way to overcome these barriers is to face them, fully feel the emotions that come up, and then let them go. Love is waiting on the other side.

19. “The harder the struggle, the more glorious the triumph. Self-realization demands very great struggle.” –Swami Sivananda

It may seem like the process of self-realization is arduous, never-ending, and painful. It can be easy to get frustrated and give up. You may find yourself getting lost in negative thinking that holds you back even more. But these are the most pivotal times when you must hunker down on your self-realization processes to break free of your chains. 

20. “A bird is safe in its nest – but that is not what its wings are made for.” ―Amit Ray, World Peace: The Voice of a Mountain Bird

A comfortable life will never be as fulfilling as meeting your limits and realizing your dreams. Look back on your life knowing that you found a purpose, had many amazing experiences and made a positive difference in the world. 

Become the Person You Never Thought Possible

You too have the power to become the person you never thought possible. I hope these inspirational quotes help guide you on a path to your own self-realization. Here’s to your best self!

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