72 Self Reflection Quotes to Inspire You for 2021

Macgill Davis

Quotes inspire us to action. We’ve written about the best self-reflection questions to ask yourself on a daily basis. We put together this list of inspirational quotes to reiterate the importance of self-reflection and motivate you to take action. We found these to be the best quotes on self reflection.

72 Self Reflection Quotes

  • “Follow effective action with quiet reflection. From the quiet reflection will come even more effective action.” ~ Peter Drucker

  • “Without reflection, we go blindly on our way.” ~ Margaret J. Wheatley

  • “Reflect upon your present blessings of which every man has many — not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.” ~ Charles Dickens

  • “Time and reflection change the sight little by little 'till we come to understand.” ~ Paul Cezanne

  • “Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.” ~ Soren Kierkegaard

  • “It's on the strength of observation and reflection that one finds a way. So we must dig and delve unceasingly.” ~ Claude Monet

  • “Self-reflection is a much kinder teacher than regret is. Prioritize yourself by making a habit of it.” ~ Andrena Sawyer

  • “The journey into self-love and self-acceptance must begin with self-examination… until you take the journey of self-reflection, it is almost impossible to grow or learn in life.” ~ Iyanla Vanzant

  • “The unexamined life is not worth living.” ~ Socrates

  • “The real man smiles in trouble, gathers strength from distress, and grows brave by reflection.” ~ Thomas Paine

  • “Without reflection, we go blindly on our way, creating more unintended consequences, and failing to achieve anything useful.” ~ Margaret J. Wheatley

  • “Art is not a reflection of reality, it is the reality of a reflection.” ~ Jean-Luc Godard

  • “Sometimes, you have to look back in order to understand the things that lie ahead.” ~ Yvonne Woon

  • “Self-reflection is a humbling process. It’s essential to find out why you think, say, and do certain things…. then better yourself.” ~ Sonya Teclai

  • “People of the world don't look at themselves, and so they blame one another.” ~ Rumi

  • “It is always our own self that we find at the end of the journey. The sooner we face that self, the better.” ~ Ella Maillart

  • “Time spent in self-reflection is never wasted – it is an intimate date with yourself.” ~ Dr. Paul TP Wong

  • “Honest self reflection opens your mind to reprogramming, change, success and freedom.” ~ Vikas Runwal

  • “Reflective thinking turns experience into insight.” ~ John C. Maxwell

  • “Study without reflection is a waste of time; reflection without study is dangerous.” ~ Confucius

  • “Your life is a reflection of your thoughts. If you change your thinking, you change your life.” ~ Brian Tracy

  • “Self-reflection is the school of wisdom.” ~ Baltasar Gracian

  • “Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it’s time to pause and reflect.” ~ Mark Twain

  • “Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.” ~ Aristotle

  • “It is not as much about who you used to, as it is about who you choose to be.” ~ Sanhita Baruah

  • “If you are not evolving, you are dying.” ~ Marcus Lemonis

  • “Self-reflection is the gateway to freedom. It also brings greater appreciation and enjoyment. We begin to enjoy spending time with our own mind, and we enjoy reflecting on our experience of the teachings. Like the sun emerging from behind the clouds, the teachings of the dharma become clear.” ~ Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche

  • “The world is your mirror and your mind is a magnet. What you perceive in this world is largely a reflection of your own attitudes and beliefs. Life will give you what you attract with your thoughts. Think, act and talk negatively and your world will be negative. Think and act and talk with enthusiasm and you will attract positive results.” ~ Michael LeBoeuf

  •  “Don’t become too preoccupied with what is happening around you. Pay more attention to what is going on within you.” – Mary-Frances Winters

  •  “Without deep reflection one knows from daily life that one exists for other people.” ~ Albert Einstein

  •  “Engaging in meditative self-reflection and gaining increased control of inner experiences provides a person with a sense of control over fear and trembling and the chaos of life.” ~ Kilroy J. Oldster

  •   “Great leaders develop through a never-ending process of self-study, self-reflection, education, training, and experience.” ~ Tony Buon

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

  •  “Don’t bother just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors. Try to be better than yourself.” ~ William Faulkner

  • “By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest.” ~ Confucious

  • “Reflection is one of the most underused yet powerful tools for success.” ~ Richard Carlson

  • “The greatest of faults, I should say, is to be conscious of none.” ~ Thomas Carlyle

  • “I’m a work in progress, and I hope I will never be complete.” ~ Nick Frost

  •  ”Reflection is the lamp of the heart. If it departs, the heart will have no light.” ~ Abdullah ibn Alawi al-Haddad

  •  “During self-reflection, the realization came that revolution begins within.” ~ Amanda Mosher

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

  • “Wisdom comes from reflection” - Deborah Day

  •  “There is no greater journey than the one that you must take to discover all of the mysteries that lie within you.” ~ Michelle Sandlin

  •  “Self-reflection is a kind of self-judgment. The difference is just this – the former is positive and the latter is negative.” ~ Balroop Singh

  • “Self-reflection entails asking yourself questions about your values, assessing your strengths and failures, thinking about your perceptions and interactions with others, and imagining where you want to take your life in the future.” ~ Robert L. Rosen

  • “People who have had little self-reflection live life in a huge reality blind-spot.” ~ Bryant McGill

  •  “Dwell not on the faults and shortcomings of others; instead, seek clarity about your own.” ~ Buddha

  • “Let go of rejections and focus on self-reflection. For it is within that you will find the light you seek.” ~ Amy Leigh Mercree

  • “Look outside and you will see yourself. Look inside and you will find yourself.” ~ Drew Gerald

  • “You only truly learn when you question the answer.” ~ Mystqx Skye

  • “There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.” ~ Ernest Hemingway

  • “Knowledge of the self is the mother of all knowledge. So it is incumbent on me to know myself, to know it completely.” ~ Kahlil Gibran

  • “All hatred of others is a reflection of self-hatred. All love of others is a reflection of self-love.” - Alan Cohen

  • “Let go of who you think you’re supposed to be and embrace who you are.” ~ Brene Brown

  • “The state of your life is nothing more than a reflection of the state of your mind.” ~ Wayne Dyer

  • “The privilege of a lifetime is to become who you truly are.” ~ Carl Jung

  • “No matter where you are in life right now, no matter who you are, no matter how old you are – it is never late to be who you are meant to be.” ~ Esther and Jerry Hicks

  •  “To achieve happiness I advocate four major principles, the principles of love, wisdom, self-reflection, and progress.” ~ Ryuho Okawa

  •  “Speak criticism into the mirror before you share with anyone else.” ~ Maureen Joyce Connolly

  •  “When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too.” ~ Paulo Coelho

  •  “We do not learn from experience. We learn from reflecting on experience.” ~ John Dewey

  • ”Self-reflection is an important stage to diagnose, develop and strengthen your creativity.” ~ Pearl Zhu

  • “We have so committed ourselves in different ways that we have hardly any time for self-reflection, to observe, to study.” ~ Jiddu Krishnamurti

  • “Your life is a reflection, you don’t get what you want, you get what you are. You gotta be it to see it.” ~ Steve Maraboli

  •  “We have to dare to be ourselves, however frightening or strange that self may prove to be.” ~ May Sarton

  • “Like water which can clearly mirror the sky and the trees only so long as its surface is undisturbed, the mind can only reflect the true image of the Self when it is tranquil and wholly relaxed.” ~ Indra Devi

  •  “Life is a mirror and will reflect back to the thinker what he thinks into it.” ~ Ernest Holmes

  • “You cannot have a meaningful life without having self-reflection.” ~ Oprah Winfrey 

  • “Your soul needs time for solitude and self-reflection. In order to love lead, heal and create you must nourish yourself first.” ~ Linda Joy

  •  “Self-reflection is a humbling process. It’s essential to find out why you think, say, and do certain things – then better yourself.” ~ Sonya Teclai

  •  “Compare less. Reflect more.” ~ Unknown

  •  “Life is only a reflection of what we allow ourselves to see and be.” ~ Trudy Symeonakis Vesotsky


We hope you enjoyed these motivational quotes and words of wisdom. Self reflection leads to self awareness, improved self-esteem, and self-improvement. It’s a vital part of self care, personal growth and personal development. 

Photo by Cristina Gottardi

Macgill Davis is the cofounder of Rize - a simple, intelligent time tracker that improves focus and helps build better work habits.