Inspiring Self Reliance Quotes to Take Inspiration From

What is self-reliance? It’s the notion that one must not conform to the norms set by society and instead follow one’s own ideas, and not someone else’s. This state of non-conformity was expounded by Ralph Waldo Emerson. They are especially relevant in today’s society where everyone seeks to validate themselves because of the need to belong. Check out some of the top self reliance quotes here.

Top 44 Self Reliance Quotes That Propose Nonconformity in Society

Self Reliance Quotes on Happiness

#1. “The trick is in what one emphasizes. We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves happy. The amount of work is the same.” ― Carlos Castaneda

#2. “Make a happy life for yourself. No-one will ever know how to do it except you.” ― Mitta Xinindlu

Uplifting Self Reliance Quotes

#3. “Remember, this is important: Never trust that you will be saved by anyone.” ― Amanda Boyden, Pretty Little Dirty

#4. “Trust thyself: every heart vibrates to that iron string.” ― Ralph Waldo Emmerson, Self-Reliance

#5. “Courage is the most important of all the virtues because without courage, you can’t practice any other virtue consistently.” ― Maya Angelou

#6. “Be yourself; no base imitator of another, but your best self. There is something which you can do better than another. Listen to the inward voice and bravely obey that. Do the things at which you are great, not what you were never made for.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson, Self-Reliance and Other Essays

Self Reliance Quotes on The Self

#7. “When you are content to be simply yourself and don’t compare or compete, everyone will respect you.” ― Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching

#8. “It is folly for a man to pray to the gods for that which he has the power to obtain by himself.” ― Epicurus

#9. “Nothing can bring you peace but yourself.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson, Self-Reliance and Other Essays

#10. “You will always find those who think they know what is your duty better than you know it.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson, Self-Reliance and Other Essays

#11. “The odds are better if you rely only on yourself.” ― Tara Westover, Educated

#12. “Not being yourself is the worst form of self-disrespect.” ― Mokokoma Mokhonoana

Self Reliance Quotes on Individuality

#13. “The time when you should most of all withdraw into yourself is when you are forced to be in a crowd.” ― Epicurus

#14. “Every path but your own is the path of fate. Keep on your own track, then.” ― Henry David Thoreau, Walden

#15. “‘She was looking for something I could never give her.’ Again, his dark eyes bored into Julia’s mind. ‘You have something of the same about you, young woman. Take my advice: Don’t think you will find it in another person. You won’t. It’s not there. You must find it in yourself.'” ― Iain Pears, The Dream of Scipio

#16. “Phoebe Marks was a person who never lost her individuality. Silent and self-contained, she seemed to hold herself within herself, and take no color from the outer world.” ― Mary Elizabeth Braddon, Lady Audley’s Secret

#17. “Whoso would be a man must be a nonconformist.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson, Self-Reliance and Other Essays

#18. “Do not seek for things outside of yourself.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson, Self-Reliance and Other Essays

Self Reliance Quotes on Religion and the Self

#19. “Belief in God, messiah or some spiritual con-artist is optional, but belief in the self is imperative.” ― Abhijit Naskar, Every Generation Needs Caretakers: The Gospel of Patriotism

#20. “I like the silent church before the service begins, better than any preaching.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson, Self-Reliance and Other Essays

#21. “[The Buddha said]: Do not accept what you hear by report, do not accept tradition, do not accept a statement because it is found in our books, nor because it is in accord with your belief, nor because it is the saying of your teacher. Be lamps unto yourselves.” ― E.A. Burtt, The Teachings of the Compassionate Buddha

#22. “God will not have his work made manifest by cowards.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson, Self-Reliance and Other Essays

#23. “God gives you everything you need. You just have to look around for it, and it will be there.” ― John Kramer, Blythe

#24. “Self-reliance limits us to what we can do. But reliance on God, enables us to attain more; through what He can do.” ― Gift Gugu Mona, Daily Quotes About God: 365 Days of Heavenly Inspiration

Self Reliance Quotes on Friendship and Love

#25. “A friend is a person with whom I may be sincere.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson, Self-Reliance and Other Essays

#26. “A mind might ponder its thought for ages, and not gain so much self-knowledge as the passion of love shall teach it in a day.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson, Self-Reliance and Other Essays

#27. “I hate the prostitution of the name of friendship to signify modish and worldly alliances.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson, Self-Reliance and Other Essays

#28. “Love unconditionally, but rely only on yourself.” ― Marty Rubin

#29. “Some of the people who we think care that we hate them do not even care that there are people who love them.” ― Mokokoma Mokhonoana

#30. “If love and friendship make you unhappy, try solitude.” ― Michael Bassey Johnson, The Infinity Sign

Self Reliance Quotes on Life

#31. “Life doesn’t run away from nobody. Life runs at people.” ― Joe Frazier

#32. “What’s the most difficult thing you can do? Live simply.’ Cause in order to be self-sufficient, you got to get well near everybody else to work for you.” ― M.C. Humphreys

Self Reliance Quotes on Freedom of Thought

#33. “I’d rather die my way than live yours.” ― Lauren Oliver, Delirium

#34. “Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery. None but ourselves can free our minds.” ― Bob Marley

#35. “If you truly want to be respected by people you love, you must prove to them that you can survive without them.” ― Michael Bassey Johnson, The Infinity Sign

Self Reliance Quotes on Independence

#36. “I have not lived as a woman. I have lived as a man. I’ve just done what I damn well wanted to, and I’ve made enough money to support myself, and ain’t afraid of being alone.” ― Katharine Hepburn

#37. “If you want a thing done well, do it yourself.” ― Napoleon Bonaparte

#38. “I’ll walk where my own nature would be leading. It vexes me to choose another guide.” ― Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre

#39. “You cannot build character and courage by taking away people’s initiative and independence.” ― Abraham Lincoln

Other Self Reliance Quotes

#41. “Do your work, and I shall know you. Do your work, and you shall reinforce yourself.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson, Self-Reliance and Other Essays

#42. “It is foolish to give up on yourself. And doubly so to do that before everyone has given up on you.” ― Mokokoma Mokhonoana

#43. “It’s fun to take a pile of raw materials and make something out of them. The more demanding the work, the greater the satisfaction.” ― Louise Dickinson Rich, We Took to the Woods

#44. “Sometimes people have to believe us. But they never have to believe in us.” ― Mokokoma Mokhonoana


When we are tempted to surrender ourselves to “fit in”, these self reliance quotes by brilliant writers like Ralph Waldo Emerson are like beacons. They remind us to avoid conforming to other’s opinions and expectations and inspire us to value ourselves and follow our own instincts.