Self Esteem Quotes

We've searched our database for all the quotes and captions related to Self Esteem. Here they are! All 100 of them:

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I care for myself. The more solitary, the more friendless, the more unsustained I am, the more I will respect myself.
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Charlotte BrontΓ« (Jane Eyre)
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Confront the dark parts of yourself, and work to banish them with illumination and forgiveness. Your willingness to wrestle with your demons will cause your angels to sing.
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August Wilson
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You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.
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Sharon Salzberg
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Never be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no one's definition of your life, but define yourself.
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Harvey Fierstein
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Wanting to be someone else is a waste of the person you are.
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Marilyn Monroe
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The worst loneliness is to not be comfortable with yourself.
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Mark Twain
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It's not my responsibility to be beautiful. I'm not alive for that purpose. My existence is not about how desirable you find me.
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Warsan Shire
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When you're different, sometimes you don't see the millions of people who accept you for what you are. All you notice is the person who doesn't.
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Jodi Picoult (Change of Heart)
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If you spend your time hoping someone will suffer the consequences for what they did to your heart, then you're allowing them to hurt you a second time in your mind.
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Shannon L. Alder
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In youth, it was a way I had, To do my best to please. And change, with every passing lad To suit his theories. But now I know the things I know And do the things I do, And if you do not like me so, To hell, my love, with you.
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Dorothy Parker (The Complete Poems of Dorothy Parker)
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The greatest thing in the world is to know how to belong to oneself.
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Michel de Montaigne (The Complete Essays)
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It is an absolute human certainty that no one can know his own beauty or perceive a sense of his own worth until it has been reflected back to him in the mirror of another loving, caring human being.
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John Joseph Powell (The Secret of Staying in Love)
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The most terrifying thing is to accept oneself completely.
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C.G. Jung
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There is no magic cure, no making it all go away forever. There are only small steps upward; an easier day, an unexpected laugh, a mirror that doesn't matter anymore.
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Laurie Halse Anderson (Wintergirls)
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One's dignity may be assaulted, vandalized and cruelly mocked, but it can never be taken away unless it is surrendered.
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Michael J. Fox
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Popcorn for breakfast! Why not? It's a grain. It's like, like, grits, but with high self-esteem.
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James Patterson (The Angel Experiment (Maximum Ride, #1))
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You can search throughout the entire universe for someone who is more deserving of your love and affection than you are yourself, and that person is not to be found anywhere. You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.
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Sharon Salzberg
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Anger, resentment and jealousy doesn't change the heart of others-- it only changes yours.
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Shannon L. Alder (300 Questions to Ask Your Parents Before It's Too Late)
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Every woman that finally figured out her worth, has picked up her suitcases of pride and boarded a flight to freedom, which landed in the valley of change.
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Shannon L. Alder
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The man who does not value himself, cannot value anything or anyone.
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Ayn Rand (The Virtue of Selfishness: A New Concept of Egoism)
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I prefer to be true to myself, even at the hazard of incurring the ridicule of others, rather than to be false, and to incur my own abhorrence.
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Frederick Douglass
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Operation Self-Esteem--Day Fucking One.
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Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love)
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Drugs are a waste of time. They destroy your memory and your self-respect and everything that goes along with your self esteem.
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Kurt Cobain
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Dare to love yourself as if you were a rainbow with gold at both ends.
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Aberjhani (Journey through the Power of the Rainbow: Quotations from a Life Made Out of Poetry)
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Most misunderstandings in the world could be avoided if people would simply take the time to ask, "What else could this mean?
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Shannon L. Alder
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One of the greatest regrets in life is being what others would want you to be, rather than being yourself.
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Shannon L. Alder
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I'm Dylan. I'm so cool. I want to date myself, but I don't know how! You want to date me instead? You're so lucky!
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Rick Riordan (The Lost Hero (The Heroes of Olympus, #1))
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I am beginning to measure myself in strength, not pounds. Sometimes in smiles.
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Laurie Halse Anderson (Wintergirls)
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Until you value yourself, you won't value your time. Until you value your time, you will not do anything with it.
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M. Scott Peck (The Road Less Traveled: A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values and Spiritual Growth)
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I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do the something that I can do.
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Edward Everett Hale
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The truly scary thing about undiscovered lies is that they have a greater capacity to diminish us than exposed ones. They erode our strength, our self-esteem, our very foundation.
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Cheryl Hughes
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Everything that happens to you is a reflection of what you believe about yourself. We cannot outperform our level of self-esteem. We cannot draw to ourselves more than we think we are worth.
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Iyanla Vanzant
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Often those that criticise others reveal what he himself lacks.
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Shannon L. Alder
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Rejection is an opportunity for your selection.
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Bernard Branson
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Women who love themselves are threatening; but men who love real women, more so.
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Naomi Wolf (The Beauty Myth)
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That's what real love amounts to - letting a person be what he really is. Most people love you for who you pretend to be. To keep their love, you keep pretending - performing. You get to love your pretence. It's true, we're locked in an image, an act - and the sad thing is, people get so used to their image, they grow attached to their masks. They love their chains. They forget all about who they really are. And if you try to remind them, they hate you for it, they feel like you're trying to steal their most precious possession.
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Jim Morrison
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For once, you believed in yourself. You believed you were beautiful and so did the rest of the world.
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Sarah Dessen (Keeping the Moon)
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How would your life be different if…You stopped allowing other people to dilute or poison your day with their words or opinions? Let today be the day…You stand strong in the truth of your beauty and journey through your day without attachment to the validation of others.
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Steve Maraboli (Life, the Truth, and Being Free)
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Believe in yourself! Have faith in your abilities! Without a humble but reasonable confidence in your own powers you cannot be successful or happy.
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Norman Vincent Peale
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Be faithful to that which exists within yourself.
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AndrΓ© Gide
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My best friend is the one who brings out the best in me.
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Henry Ford
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I don't want everyone to like me; I should think less of myself if some people did.
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Henry James
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Life is ten percent what you experience and ninety percent how you respond to it.
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Dorothy M. Neddermeyer
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As long as you look for someone else to validate who you are by seeking their approval, you are setting yourself up for disaster. You have to be whole and complete in yourself. No one can give you that. You have to know who you are - what others say is irrelevant.
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Nic Sheff
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To lose confidence in one’s body is to lose confidence in oneself.
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Simone de Beauvoir
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The greater the artist, the greater the doubt. Perfect confidence is granted to the less talented as a consolation prize." [Modernism's Patriarch (Time Magazine, June 10, 1996)]
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Robert Hughes
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The only person that deserves a special place in your life is someone that never made you feel like you were an option in theirs.
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Shannon L. Alder
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Self pity becomes your oxygen. But you learned to breathe it without a gasp. So, nobody even notices you're hurting.
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Paul Monette
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Staying silent is like a slow growing cancer to the soul and a trait of a true coward. There is nothing intelligent about not standing up for yourself. You may not win every battle. However, everyone will at least know what you stood forβ€”YOU.
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Shannon L. Alder
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For it is in your power to retire into yourself whenever you choose.
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Marcus Aurelius (Meditations)
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There will always be someone willing to hurt you, put you down, gossip about you, belittle your accomplishments and judge your soul. It is a fact that we all must face. However, if you realize that God is a best friend that stands beside you when others cast stones you will never be afraid, never feel worthless and never feel alone.
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Shannon L. Alder
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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.
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Idowu Koyenikan (Wealth for All: Living a Life of Success at the Edge of Your Ability)
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Self-talk reflects your innermost feelings.
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Asa Don Brown
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A man's sexual choice is the result and the sum of his fundamental convictions.... He will always be attracted to the woman who reflects his deepest vision of himself, the woman whose surrender permits him to experience a sense of self-esteem. The man who is proudly certain of his own value, will want the highest type of woman he can find, the woman he admires, the strongest, the hardest to conquer--because only the possession of a heroine will give him the sense of an achievement.
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Ayn Rand (Atlas Shrugged)
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Why should we worry about what others think of us, do we have more confidence in their opinions than we do our own?
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Brigham Young
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Beauty provokes harassment, the law says, but it looks through men's eyes when deciding what provokes it.
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Naomi Wolf (The Beauty Myth)
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The better you feel about yourself, the less you feel the need to show off.
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Robert Hand
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Insecure people only eclipse your sun because they’re jealous of your daylight and tired of their dark, starless nights.
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Shannon L. Alder
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Don’t let mental blocks control you. Set yourself free. Confront your fear and turn the mental blocks into building blocks.
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Roopleen (Words to inspire the winner in YOU)
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I used to be self conscious about my height, but then I thought, fuck that, I'm Harry Potter.
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Daniel Radcliffe
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A coward talks to everyone but YOU.
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Shannon L. Alder
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Love is blind, they say; sex is impervious to reason and mocks the power of all philosophers. But, in fact, a person's sexual choice is the result and sum of their fundamental convictions. Tell me what a person finds sexually attractive and I will tell you their entire philosophy of life. Show me the person they sleep with and I will tell you their valuation of themselves. No matter what corruption they're taught about the virtue of selflessness, sex is the most profoundly selfish of all acts, an act which they cannot perform for any motive but their own enjoyment - just try to think of performing it in a spirit of selfless charity! - an act which is not possible in self-abasement, only in self-exultation, only on the confidence of being desired and being worthy of desire. It is an act that forces them to stand naked in spirit, as well as in body, and accept their real ego as their standard of value. They will always be attracted to the person who reflects their deepest vision of themselves, the person whose surrender permits them to experience - or to fake - a sense of self-esteem .. Love is our response to our highest values - and can be nothing else.
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Ayn Rand
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People who love themselves, don’t hurt other people. The more we hate ourselves, the more we want others to suffer.
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Dan Pearce (Single Dad Laughing: The Best of Year One)
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I never loved another person the way I loved myself.
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Mae West
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I often stood in front of the mirror alone, wondering how ugly a person could get.
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Charles Bukowski (Ham on Rye)
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Never esteem anything as of advantage to you that will make you break your word or lose your self-respect.
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Marcus Aurelius (Meditations)
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Don't waste your energy trying to change opinions ... Do your thing, and don't care if they like it.
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Tina Fey (Bossypants)
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Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self-esteem, first make sure that you are not, in fact, just surrounded by assholes.
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William Gibson
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When you work on something that only has the capacity to make you 5 dollars, it does not matter how much harder you work – the most you will make is 5 dollars.
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Idowu Koyenikan (Wealth for All: Living a Life of Success at the Edge of Your Ability)
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In yourself right now is all the place you've got.
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Flannery O'Connor (Wise Blood)
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You may be the only person left who believes in you, but it's enough. It takes just one star to pierce a universe of darkness. Never give up.
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Richelle E. Goodrich (Smile Anyway: Quotes, Verse, and Grumblings for Every Day of the Year)
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When people cheat in any arena, they diminish themselves-they threaten their own self-esteem and their relationships with others by undermining the trust they have in their ability to succeed and in their ability to be true.
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Cheryl Hughes
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Life is like a game of chess. To win you have to make a move. Knowing which move to make comes with IN-SIGHT and knowledge, and by learning the lessons that are acculated along the way. We become each and every piece within the game called life!
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Allan Rufus (The Master's Sacred Knowledge)
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I mean, I feel secure in my masculinity, too. Being secure in your masculinity isn't the same as being straight.
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Becky Albertalli (Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda (Simonverse, #1))
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Each star is a mirror reflecting the truth inside you.
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Aberjhani (Journey through the Power of the Rainbow: Quotations from a Life Made Out of Poetry)
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If a man, who says he loves you, won’t tell you the details of a private conversation between him and another woman you can be sure he is not protecting your heart. He is protecting himself and the women he has feelings for. Wise women simply see things as they are, not as their low self-esteem allows.
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Shannon L. Alder
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People may flatter themselves just as much by thinking that their faults are always present to other people's minds, as if they believe that the world is always contemplating their individual charms and virtues.
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Elizabeth Gaskell
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Here’s a bumper sticker I’d like to see: β€œWe are the proud parents of a child who’s self-esteem is sufficient that he doesn’t need us promoting his minor scholastic achievements on the back of our car.
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George Carlin
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Being clever was, after all, my primary source of self-esteem. I’m a very sad person, in all senses of the word, but at least I was going to get into university.
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Alice Oseman (Radio Silence)
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I believe with all my heart that the cliches are true, that we are our own best friends and best company, and that if you're not right for yourself, it's impossible to be right for anyone.
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Rachel Machacek (The Science of Single: One Woman's Grand Experiment in Modern Dating, Creating Chemistry, and Finding Love)
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If you tell a beautiful woman that she is beautiful, what have you given her? It's no more than a fact and it has cost you nothing. But if you tell an ugly woman that she is beautiful, you offer her the great homage of corrupting the concept of beauty. To love a woman for her virtues is meaningless. She's earned it, it's a payment, not a gift. But to love her for her vices is a real gift, unearned and undeserved. To love her for her vices is to defile all virtue for her sake - and that is a real tribute of love, because you sacrifice your conscience, your reason, your integrity and your invaluable self-esteem.
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Ayn Rand (Atlas Shrugged)
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Be an Encourager: When you encourage others, you boost their self-esteem, enhance their self-confidence, make them work harder, lift their spirits and make them successful in their endeavors. Encouragement goes straight to the heart and is always available. Be an encourager. Always.
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Roy T. Bennett (The Light in the Heart)
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Accomplishments don’t erase shame, hatred, cruelty, silence, ignorance, discrimination, low self-esteem or immorality. It covers it up, with a creative version of pride and ego. Only restitution, forgiving yourself and others, compassion, repentance and living with dignity will ever erase the past.
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Shannon L. Alder
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I am convinced that the jealous, the angry, the bitter and the egotistical are the first to race to the top of mountains. A confident person enjoys the journey, the people they meet along the way and sees life not as a competition. They reach the summit last because they know God isn’t at the top waiting for them. He is down below helping his followers to understand that the view is glorious where ever you stand.
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Shannon L. Alder
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What becomes of a man who acquires a beautiful woman, with her "beauty" his sole target? He sabotages himself. He has gained no friend, no ally, no mutual trust: She knows quite well why she has been chosen. He has succeeded in buying something: the esteem of other men who find such an acquisition impressive.
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Naomi Wolf (The Beauty Myth)
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For there are two kinds of forgiveness in the world: the one you practice because everything really is all right, and what went before is mended. The other kind of forgiveness you practice because someone needs desperately to be forgiven, or because you need just as badly to forgive them, for a heart can grab hold of old wounds and go sour as milk over them.
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Catherynne M. Valente (The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There (Fairyland, #2))
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Maybe your country is only a place you make up in your own mind. Something you dream about and sing about. Maybe it's not a place on the map at all, but just a story full of people you meet and places you visit, full of books and films you've been to. I'm not afraid of being homesick and having no language to live in. I don't have to be like anyone else. I'm walking on the wall and nobody can stop me.
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Hugo Hamilton (The Speckled People: A Memoir of a Half-Irish Childhood)
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Do the things that interest you and do them with all your heart. Don't be concerned about whether people are watching you or criticizing you. The chances are that they aren't paying any attention to you. It's your attention to yourself that is so stultifying. But you have to disregard yourself as completely as possible. If you fail the first time then you'll just have to try harder the second time. After all, there's no real reason why you should fail. Just stop thinking about yourself.
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Eleanor Roosevelt (You Learn by Living: Eleven Keys for a More Fulfilling Life)
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I'm sure that if woman laid out the rules- requirements- early on, and let her intended know that he could either rise up to those requirements, or just move on. A directive like that signals to a man that you are not a plaything-someone to be used and discarded. It tells him that what you have- your benefits- are special, and that you need time to get to know him and his ways to decide if he DESERVES them. The man who is willing to put in the time and meet the requirments is the one you want to stick around, because tthat guy is making a conscious decision that he, too, has no interest in playing games and will do what it takes to not only stay on the job, but also get promoted and be the proud beneficiary of your benefits. And you, in the meantime, win the ultimate prize of maintaing your dignity and self-esteem, and earning the respect of the man who recognized that you were worth the wait.
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Steve Harvey (Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man: What Men Really Think About Love, Relationships, Intimacy, and Commitment)
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Sadly, the signals that allow men and women to find the partners who most please them are scrambled by the sexual insecurity initiated by beauty thinking. A woman who is self-conscious can't relax to let her sensuality come into play. If she is hungry she will be tense. If she is "done up" she will be on the alert for her reflection in his eyes. If she is ashamed of her body, its movement will be stilled. If she does not feel entitled to claim attention, she will not demand that airspace to shine in. If his field of vision has been boxed in by "beauty"--a box continually shrinking--he simply will not see her, his real love, standing right before him.
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Naomi Wolf (The Beauty Myth)
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Today is a new day and it brings with it a new set of opportunities for me to act on. I am attentive to the opportunities and I seize them as they arise. I have full confidence in myself and my abilities. I can do all things that I commit myself to. No obstacle is too big or too difficult for me to handle because what lies inside me is greater than what lies ahead of me. I am committed to improving myself and I am getting better daily. I am not held back by regret or mistakes from the past. I am moving forward daily. Absolutely nothing is impossible for me.
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Idowu Koyenikan (Wealth for All: Living a Life of Success at the Edge of Your Ability)
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Men are visually aroused by women's bodies and less sensitive to their arousal by women's personalities because they are trained early into that response, while women are less visually aroused and more emotionally aroused because that is their training. This asymmetry in sexual education maintains men's power in the myth: They look at women's bodies, evaluate, move on; their own bodies are not looked at, evaluated, and taken or passed over. But there is no "rock called gender" responsible for that; it can change so that real mutuality--an equal gaze, equal vulnerability, equal desire--brings heterosexual men and women together.
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Naomi Wolf (The Beauty Myth)
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He who becomes the slave of habit, who follows the same routes every day, who never changes pace, who does not risk and change the color of his clothes, who does not speak and does not experience, dies slowly. He or she who shuns passion, who prefers black on white, dotting ones "it’s" rather than a bundle of emotions, the kind that make your eyes glimmer, that turn a yawn into a smile, that make the heart pound in the face of mistakes and feelings, dies slowly. He or she who does not turn things topsy-turvy, who is unhappy at work, who does not risk certainty for uncertainty, to thus follow a dream, those who do not forego sound advice at least once in their lives, die slowly. He who does not travel, who does not read, who does not listen to music, who does not find grace in himself, she who does not find grace in herself, dies slowly. He who slowly destroys his own self-esteem, who does not allow himself to be helped, who spends days on end complaining about his own bad luck, about the rain that never stops, dies slowly. He or she who abandon a project before starting it, who fail to ask questions on subjects he doesn't know, he or she who don't reply when they are asked something they do know, die slowly. Let's try and avoid death in small doses, reminding oneself that being alive requires an effort far greater than the simple fact of breathing. Only a burning patience will lead to the attainment of a splendid happiness.
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Martha Medeiros
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I... There was a time when I stopped talking. Just like you. My reasons were a little bit different, but I think the feelings of being ashamed of myself and hating myself are the same. Here, it says to "like yourself." What does that mean? Good things- how are you supposed to find them? I only know things that I hate about myself. Because that's all I know, I hate myself. But even if you force yourself to find good things, it feels so empty. It doesn't work that way. People like your teacher just don't get it. I think when you hear someone say they like you, for the first time, then you can begin to like yourself. I think when someone accepts you, for the first time, you feel like you can forgive yourself a little. You can begin to face your fears with courage.
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Natsuki Takaya
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She sighed, annoyed at her restlessness. β€œSo,” she said, disrupting Wolf in another backward glance. β€œWho would win in a fightβ€”you or a pack of wolves?” He frowned at her, all seriousness. β€œDepends,” he said, slowly, like he was trying to figure out her motive for asking. β€œHow big is the pack?” β€œI don’t know, what’s normal? Six?” β€œI could win against six,” he said. β€œAny more than that and it could be a close call.” Scarlet smirked. β€œYou’re not in danger of low self-esteem, at least.” β€œWhat do you mean?” β€œNothing at all.” She kicked a stone from their path. β€œHow about you and … a lion?” β€œA cat? Don’t insult me.” She laughed, the sound sharp and surprising. β€œHow about a bear?” β€œWhy, do you see one out there?” β€œNot yet, but I want to be prepared in case I have to rescue you.” The smile she’d been waiting for warmed his face, a glint of white teeth flashing. β€œI’m not sure. I’ve never had to fight a bear before.
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Marissa Meyer (Scarlet (The Lunar Chronicles, #2))
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A consequence of female self-love is that the woman grows convinced of social worth. Her love for her body will be unqualified, which is the basis of female identification. If a woman loves her own body, she doesn't grudge what other women do with theirs; if she loves femaleness, she champions its rights. It's true what they say about women: Women are insatiable. We are greedy. Our appetites do need to be controlled if things are to stay in place. If the world were ours too, if we believed we could get away with it, we would ask for more love, more sex, more money, more commitment to children, more food, more care. These sexual, emotional, and physical demands would begin to extend to social demands: payment for care of the elderly, parental leave, childcare, etc. The force of female desire would be so great that society would truly have to reckon with what women want, in bed and in the world.
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Naomi Wolf (The Beauty Myth)
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The foundation of irreligious criticism is: Man makes religion, religion does not make man. Religion is, indeed, the self-consciousness and self-esteem of man who has either not yet won through to himself, or has already lost himself again. But man is no abstract being squatting outside the world. Man is the world of man – state, society. This state and this society produce religion, which is an inverted consciousness of the world, because they are an inverted world... Religious suffering is, at one and the same time, the expression of real suffering and a protest against real suffering. Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people. The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is the demand for their real happiness. To call on them to give up their illusions about their condition is to call on them to give up a condition that requires illusions. The criticism of religion is, therefore, in embryo, the criticism of that vale of tears of which religion is the halo. Criticism has plucked the imaginary flowers on the chain not in order that man shall continue to bear that chain without fantasy or consolation, but so that he shall throw off the chain and pluck the living flower. The criticism of religion disillusions man, so that he will think, act, and fashion his reality like a man who has discarded his illusions and regained his senses, so that he will move around himself as his own true Sun. Religion is only the illusory Sun which revolves around man as long as he does not revolve around himself.
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Karl Marx (Critique of Hegel's Philosophy of Right)
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In the 1950s kids lost their innocence. They were liberated from their parents by well-paying jobs, cars, and lyrics in music that gave rise to a new term ---the generation gap. In the 1960s, kids lost their authority. It was a decade of protest---church, state, and parents were all called into question and found wanting. Their authority was rejected, yet nothing ever replaced it. In the 1970s, kids lost their love. It was the decade of me-ism dominated by hyphenated words beginning with self. Self-image, Self-esteem, Self-assertion....It made for a lonely world. Kids learned everything there was to know about sex and forgot everything there was to know about love, and no one had the nerve to tell them there was a difference. In the 1980s, kids lost their hope. Stripped of innocence, authority and love and plagued by the horror of a nuclear nightmare, large and growing numbers of this generation stopped believing in the future. In the 1990s kids lost their power to reason. Less and less were they taught the very basics of language, truth, and logic and they grew up with the irrationality of a postmodern world. In the new millennium, kids woke up and found out that somewhere in the midst of all this change, they had lost their imagination. Violence and perversion entertained them till none could talk of killing innocents since none was innocent anymore.
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Ravi Zacharias (Recapture the Wonder: Experiencing God's Amazing Promise of Childlike Joy)
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I hope you feel better about yourself. I hope you feel alive. I hope that good things happen to you, and I hope that when the inevitable bad things happen you can handle them and learn a lesson and move on. I hope you know you're not alone and I hope you spend plenty of time with your family and/or friends and I hope you write more and get a seven-figure book deal. I hope next year no more celebrities die and I hope you get an iPhone if you want one. Or maybe a pony. I hope someone writes a song for you on Valentines Day that's a bit like Hey There Delilah, and I hope they have a good singing voice, or at least one better than mine. I hope that you accept yourself the way you are, and figure out that losing 20 pounds isn't going to magically make you love yourself. I hope you read a lot. I hope you don't have to almost die to figure out how valuable life is. I hope you find the perfect nail polish/digital camera/home/life partner. I hope you stop being jealous of others. I hope you feel good, about yourself and the people around you and the world. I hope you eat heaps of salt and vinegar chips because they're the best kind. I hope you accomplish all your hopes & dreams & aspirations and are blissfully happy & get married to Edward Cullen/George Clooney/Megan Fox/Angelina Jolie (delete whichever are inappropriate) & ride a pretty white horse into the sunset & I hope it's all sweet and wonderful because you deserve it because you did well this year in the face of sparkly vampires/great evil/low self-esteem.
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Steph Bowe
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All depression has its roots in self-pity, and all self-pity is rooted in people taking themselves too seriously.” At the time Switters had disputed her assertion. Even at seventeen, he was aware that depression could have chemical causes. β€œThe key word here is roots,” Maestra had countered. β€œThe roots of depression. For most people, self-awareness and self-pity blossom simultaneously in early adolescence. It's about that time that we start viewing the world as something other than a whoop-de-doo playground, we start to experience personally how threatening it can be, how cruel and unjust. At the very moment when we become, for the first time, both introspective and socially conscientious, we receive the bad news that the world, by and large, doesn't give a rat's ass. Even an old tomato like me can recall how painful, scary, and disillusioning that realization was. So, there's a tendency, then, to slip into rage and self-pity, which if indulged, can fester into bouts of depression.” β€œYeah but Maestra—” β€œDon't interrupt. Now, unless someone stronger and wiserβ€”a friend, a parent, a novelist, filmmaker, teacher, or musicianβ€”can josh us out of it, can elevate us and show us how petty and pompous and monumentally useless it is to take ourselves so seriously, then depression can become a habit, which, in tern, can produce a neurological imprint. Are you with me? Gradually, our brain chemistry becomes conditioned to react to negative stimuli in a particular, predictable way. One thing'll go wrong and it'll automatically switch on its blender and mix us that black cocktail, the ol’ doomsday daiquiri, and before we know it, we’re soused to the gills from the inside out. Once depression has become electrochemically integrated, it can be extremely difficult to philosophically or psychologically override it; by then it's playing by physical rules, a whole different ball game. That's why, Switters my dearest, every time you've shown signs of feeling sorry for yourself, I've played my blues records really loud or read to you from The Horse’s Mouth. And that’s why when you’ve exhibited the slightest tendency toward self-importance, I’ve reminded you that you and meβ€” you and I: excuse meβ€”may be every bit as important as the President or the pope or the biggest prime-time icon in Hollywood, but none of us is much more than a pimple on the ass-end of creation, so let’s not get carried away with ourselves. Preventive medicine, boy. It’s preventive medicine.” β€œBut what about self-esteem?” β€œHeh! Self-esteem is for sissies. Accept that you’re a pimple and try to keep a lively sense of humor about it. That way lies graceβ€”and maybe even glory.
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Tom Robbins (Fierce Invalids Home from Hot Climates)