Quotes for
the Journey:

Being Yourself

Few are those who see
with their own eyes and
feel with their own hearts.

Albert Einstein

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

Be yourself.  Above all, let who you are, what you are, what you believe, shine through every sentence you write, every piece you finish.       -John Jakes


When I was a child, my mother said to me, "If you become a soldier, you'll be a general.  If you become a monk you'll end up as the pope."  Instead I became a painter and wound up as Picasso.      -Pablo Picasso


Josh Billings said, It is not only the most difficult thing to know oneself, but the most inconvenient one, too.  Human beings have always employed an enormous variety of clever devices for running away from themselves, and the modern world is particularly rich in such stratagems.       -John W. Gardner


You have a masterpiece inside you, you know.  One unlike any that has ever been created, or ever will be.  If you go to your grave without painting your masterpiece, it will not get painted.  No one else can paint it.  Only you.
-Gordon MacKenzie


There are many who are living far below their possibilities because they are continually handing over their individualities to others.  Do you want to be a power in the world?  Then be yourself.     -Ralph Waldo Trine

To be nobody-but-yourself--in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else--means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting.       -e.e. cummings

I have a basic philosophy that I've tried to follow during my coaching career. Whether you're winning or losing, it's important to always be yourself.  You can't change because of the circumstances around you.       -Cotton Fitzsimmons
I was once afraid of people saying, Who does she think she is?  Now I have the courage to stand and say, This is who I am.       -Oprah Winfrey

Accept everything about yourself--I mean everything, You are you and that is the beginning and the end--no apologies, no regrets.       -Clark Moustakas


What another would have done as well as you, do not do it.  What another would have said as well as you, do not say it; what another would have written as well, do not write it.  Be faithful to that which exists nowhere but in yourself--and thus make yourself indispensable.       -Andre Gide

If you're able to be yourself, then you have no competition.  All you have to do is get closer and closer to that essence.       -Barbara Cook

If you teach people to keep their eyes upon what others think of them, unthinkingly to lead the lives and hold the principles of the majority of their contemporaries, you must discredit in their own eyes the authoritative voices of their own souls.  They may be docile citizens; they will never be men and women.  It is ours, on the other hand, to disregard this babble and chattering of other people better and worse than we are, and to walk straight before us by what light we have.  They may be right; but so, before heaven, are we.  They may know; but we know also, and by that knowledge we must stand or fall.  There is such a thing as loyalty to one's own better self; and from those who have not that, God help me, how am I to look for loyalty to others?       -Robert Louis Stevenson

Defining myself, as opposed to being defined by others, is one of the most difficult challenges I face.      -Carol Mosely-Braun

Why not be oneself?  That is the whole secret of a successful appearance.  If one is a greyhound why try to look like a Pekinese?       -Edith Sitwell

Just being ourselves is the biggest fear of humans.  We have learned to live our life trying to satisfy other people's demands.  We have learned to live by other people's points of view because of the fear of not being accepted and of not being good enough for someone else.       -Don Miguel Ruiz

To be what we are, and to become what we are capable of becoming, is the only end of life.      -Baruch Spinoza
By being yourself, you put something wonderful in the world that was not there before.       -Edwin Elliot

There is only one you for all time.  Fearlessly be yourself.       -unattributed


There is always a certain peace in being what one is, in being that completely.     -Ugo Betti
The search for a new personality is fruitless; what is fruitful is the interest the old personality can take in new activities.      -Cesare Pavese
I can't write a book commensurate with Shakespeare, but I can write a book by me.     -Walter Raleigh
All the discontented people I know are trying to be something they are not, to do something they cannot do.
-David Grayson
Every one of us must at last accept ourselves for our portion, and learn to do our work with the tools and talents with which we have been endowed.     -Charles A. Hawley
It is a liberating step when we decide to stop being what other people want when it is pretense.  Although the singer Ris Stevens had learned to work on the stage with great poise, the self-confidence she felt before audiences evaporated in social situations.  She said, "My discomfort came from trying to be something I was not--a star in the drawing room as well as on stage.  If a clever person made a joke, I tried to top it--and failed.  I pretended to be familiar with subjects I knew nothing of."
   After watching herself fail so desperately in this way, she had a heart-to-heart talk with herself:  "I realized that I just simply wasn't a wit or an intellectual and that I could only succeed as myself.  Then, facing my faults, I began listening and asking questions at parties instead of trying to impress the guests.  I discovered that I had much to learn from others.  When I spoke, I tried to contribute, not to shine.  At once I began to feel a new warmth in my social contacts. . . . This brought me a new joy in being with people.  They like the real me better."    -Alan Loy McGinnis, Confidence
We will discover the nature of our particular genius when we stop trying to conform to our own or to other people's models, learn to be ourselves, and allow the natural channel to open.     -Shakti Gawain
People who have the courage to be individuals can usually think things through on their own and make sound decisions.  They don't say, "What will people think?"  They say, "What's the best way to handle this?"  The amazing fact is that God created each one of us as a separate, unique person amid billions of other separate, unique individuals.  So the best way to achieve real fulfillment is to be yourself.     -Norman Vincent Peale
I am much better employed from every point of view, when I live solely for my own satisfaction, than when I begin to worry about the world.  The world frightens me, and a frightened man is no good for anything.     -George Gissing
You are something new in this world.  Be glad of it.  Make the most of what nature gave you.  In the last analysis, all art is autobiographical.  You can sing only what you are.  You can paint only what you are.  You must be what your experiences, your environment, and your heredity have made you.  For better or for worse, you must cultivate your own little garden.  For better or for worse, you must play your own little instrument in the orchestra of life.     -Dale Carnegie, How to Stop Worrying and Start Living
If you can't be a pine on the top of the hill,
  Be a scrub in the valley--but be
The best little scrub by the side of the rill;
  Be a bush, if you can't be a tree.

If you can't be a bush, be a bit of the grass,
  And some highway happier make;
If you can't be a muskie, then just be a bass--
  But the liveliest bass in the lake!

We can't all be captains, we've got to be crew,
  There's something for all of us here.
There's big work to do and there's lesser to do
  And the task we must do is the near.

If you can't be a highway, then just be a trail,
  If you can't be the sun, be a star;
It isn't by size that you win or you fail--
  Be the best of whatever you are!

Douglas Malloch
Sometimes we exclude things in ourselves in order to be like everybody else around us--our ethnicity, our social backgrounds, our ideas.  What kind of world is it that will not allow me to be myself, and is it really good for me to be there?  What part of me will die a slow death if I stay?     -Joan Chittister, Seeing with Our Souls
Our entire life consists ultimately in accepting ourselves as we are.     -Jean Anouilh
Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else.     -Judy Garland
All my life I had been looking for something, and everywhere I turned someone tried to tell me what it was. I accepted their answers too, though they were often in contradiction and even self-contradictory. I was nave. I was looking for myself and asking everyone except myself questions which I, and only I, could answer. It took me a long time and much painful boomeranging of my expectations to achieve a realization everyone else appears to have been born with:  that I am nobody but myself.     -Ralph Ellison


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