75 Quotes About Finding Yourself

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The process of discovering who you are is a huge part of life. Discovering and knowing who we are establishes our sense of self-worth, confidence, and belief. These quotes about finding yourself are a great place to start.

For some, the process of self-discovery is completely natural. Spending time alone helps them find their passion, focus on who they are, and how they want to live.

Others live in the moment and don’t explore their inner self until something or someone else forces them to.

“Finding yourself” looks different for everyone.

For some, it might mean spending a few months or a year of traveling the world. For others, the routine and friendships of college help them to establish who they are and what they want to do. For many, the process of finding out who they are takes much longer, and includes losses, heartbreaks, and changes in direction along the way.

Though your journey to finding yourself may be a personal one, we all deserve some inspiration along the way. So here are the very best quotes about finding yourself, knowing yourself, and self-discovery to help you on your way!

Finding Yourself Quotes

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

If a man happens to find himself, he has a mansion which he can inhabit with dignity all the days of his life.

James A. Michener

To find yourself, think for yourself.


In the end you don’t so much find yourself as you find someone who knows who you are.

Robert Brault

Don’t spend all of your time trying to FIND yourself. Spend your time CREATING yourself into a person that you’ll be proud of.

Sonya Parker
Jason Evert quote "Don't worry about finding your soul mate. Find yourself"
“Don’t worry about finding your soul mate. Find yourself.” – Jason Evert

You’ve got to find yourself first. Everything else’ll follow.

Charles de Lint

Men can starve from a lack of self-realization as much as they can from a lack of bread.

Richard Wright

Don’t let pain define you, let it refine you.

Tim Fargo

First find the man in yourself if you will inspire manliness in others.

Amos Bronson Alcott

Knowing others is intelligence; knowing yourself is true wisdom.

Lao Tzu
Sonny Long quote "Sometimes we must lose ourselves to find ourselves"
“Sometimes we must lose ourselves to find ourselves.” – Sonny Long

If you’re being ignored, that’s a good time to concentrate on finding yourself and creating your own mystery.

Lykke Li

Should we say the self, once perceived, becomes the soul?

Theodore Roethke

To be curious about that which is not one’s concern while still in ignorance of oneself is absurd.


It is the individual who knows how little they know about themselves who stands the most reasonable chance of finding out something about themselves before they die.

S. I. Hayakawa

Be who you are, and find yourself so you can be your own person and enjoy life with no regret.

Bonnie Zackson Koury
George Bernard Shaw quote "Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself"
“Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” – George Bernard Shaw

Your real self may be hiding somewhere, look for it within, when you find yourself, you can freely be what you want to be.

Michael Bassey Johnson

Why should we honor those that die upon the field of battle? A man may show as reckless a courage in entering into the abyss of himself.

William Butler Yeats

The greatest explorer on this earth never takes voyages as long as those of the man who descends to the depth of his heart.

Julien Green
Matthew Arnold quote "Resolve to be thyself; and know that he who finds himself, loses his misery"
“Resolve to be thyself; and know that he who finds himself, loses his misery.” – Matthew Arnold

There is no satisfaction that can compare with looking back across the years and finding you’ve grown in self-control, judgment, generosity, and unselfishness.

Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Not until we are lost do we begin to understand ourselves.

Henry David Thoreau

You cannot dream yourself into a character; you must hammer and forge yourself one.

James A. Froude

All men should strive to learn before they die what they are running from, and to, and why.

James Thurber

You’ve got to know yourself so you can at last be yourself.

D.H. Lawrence
Dolly Parton finding yourself quote "Find out who you are and do it on purpose"
“Find out who you are and do it on purpose.” – Dolly Parton

One’s own self is well hidden from one’s own self; of all mines of treasure, one’s own is the last to be dug up.

Friedrich Nietzsche

This above all: to thine own self be true, And it must follow, as the night the day, Thou canst not then be false to any man.

William Shakespeare, Hamlet

What you fear is inside yourself… The power to do great or terrible things.

Liam Neeson, Batman Begins

It is not only the most difficult thing to know oneself, but the most inconvenient one, too.

H.W. Shaw
Hermann Hesse quote "Each man's life represents a road toward himself"
“Each man’s life represents a road toward himself.” – Hermann Hesse

People often say that this or that person has not yet found himself. But the self is not something one finds, it is something one creates.

Thomas Szasz

I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.

Henry David Thoreau

I wasn’t searching for something or someone….I was searching for me.

Carrie Bradshaw, Sex and The City

If you don’t get lost, there’s a chance you may never be found.

Jean de La Fonntaine quote "A person often meets his destiny on the road he took to avoid it"
“A person often meets his destiny on the road he took to avoid it.” – Jean de La Fontaine

One must know oneself. If this does not serve to discover truth, it at least serves as a rule of life and there is nothing better.

Blise Pascal

There are three things extremely hard: steel, a diamond, and to know one’s self.

Benjamin Franklin

All this time I was finding myself, And I didn’t know I was lost.

Avicci, Wake Me Up

Self-Discovery and Knowing Yourself

Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.


Step into the fire of self-discovery. This fire will not burn you, it will only burn what you are not.

Ann Landers quote "Know yourself. Don’t accept your dog’s admiration as conclusive evidence that you are wonderful"
“Know yourself. Don’t accept your dog’s admiration as conclusive evidence that you are wonderful.” – Ann Landers

You really have to look inside yourself and find your own inner strength, and say, ‘I’m proud of what I am and who I am, and I’m just going to be myself.

Mariah Carey

Man can starve from a lack of self-realization as much as… from a lack of bread.

Richard Wright, Native Son

You will recognize your own path when you come upon it, because you will suddenly have all the energy and imagination you will ever need.

Jerry Gilles

Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.

Carl Jung
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe quote "‘Know thyself?’ If I knew myself, I’d run away"
“‘Know thyself?’ If I knew myself, I’d run away.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

There is only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving, and that’s your own self.

Aldous Huxley

I can teach anybody how to get what they want out of life. The problem is that I can’t find anybody who can tell me what they want.

Mark Twain

The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeing new landscapes but in having new eyes.

Marcel Proust

Your work is to discover your work and then with all your heart give yourself to it.


You have no need to travel anywhere. Journey within yourself, enter a mine of rubies and bathe in the splendor of your own light.

Maxwell Maltz quote "You can always find the sun within yourself if you will only search"
“You can always find the sun within yourself if you will only search.” – Maxwell Maltz

At the center of your being you have the answer; you know who you are and you know what you want.

Lao Tzu

People who fit don’t seek. The seekers are those that don’t fit.

Shannon L. Adler

We only become what we are by the radical and deep-seated refusal of that which others have made of us.

Jean-Paul Sartre

I know well what I am fleeing from but not what I am in search of.

Michel de Montaigne

I think somehow we learn who we really are and then we live with that decision.

Eleanor Roosevelt
Rainer Maria Rilke quote "The only journey is the journey within"
“The only journey is the journey within.” – Rainer Maria Rilke

The man who views the world at fifty the same as he did at twenty has wasted thirty years of his life.

Mohammad Ali

What you discover on your own is always more exciting than what someone else discovers for you – it’s like the marriage between romantic love and an arranged marriage.

Terrence Rafferty

Painting is self-discovery. Every good artist paints what he is.

Jackson Pollock

Man never knows what he wants; he aspires to penetrate mysteries and as soon as he has, he wants to reestablish them. Ignorance irritates him and knowledge cloys.

Henri Frederic Amiel
Rochefoucauld quote "A man who finds no satisfaction in himself will seek for it in vain elsewhere"
“A man who finds no satisfaction in himself will seek for it in vain elsewhere.” – François de La Rochefoucauld

There are… things which a man is afraid to tell even to himself, and every decent man has a number of such things stored away in his mind.

Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Notes from Underground, 1864

Becoming conscious is of course a sacrilege against nature; it is as though you had robbed the unconscious of something.

Carl Jung

Men go abroad to wonder at the heights of mountains, at the huge waves of the sea, at the long courses of the rivers, at the vast compass of the ocean, at the circular motions of the stars, and they pass by themselves without wondering.

St. Augustine
Thomas Browne quote "All the wonders you seek are within yourself"
“All the wonders you seek are within yourself.” – Thomas Browne

One does not ‘find oneself’ by pursuing one’s self, but on the contrary by pursuing something else and learning through discipline or routine… who one is and wants to be.

May Sarton

I don’t know where I am going, but I am on my way.


For most men life is a search for the proper manila envelope in which to get themselves filed.

Clifton Fadiman

If you resist reading what you disagree with, how will you ever acquire deeper insights into what you believe? The things most worth reading are precisely those that challenge our convictions.

Lucille Ball quote "It’s a helluva start, being able to recognize what makes you happy"
“It’s a helluva start, being able to recognize what makes you happy.” – Lucille Ball

We hope you’ve enjoyed these quotes about finding yourself! If you’ve been inspired by another quote, please share it with us in the comments!

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Quincy Seale

Quincy is KIM's editor, and has collected and shared inspiring quotes and stories since 2005. Quincy holds an MBA from the University of Dundee and an MSc from the University of Edinburgh, and lives in San Antonio with his wife Natalie, son Alex, and his dog Oban.

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