An Asian woman with red lipstick and curly hair

What is self-confidence? It’s that thing inside us that drives us to create, to live our best lives, and to be. It’s our belief in our abilities. Based on Harvard Health, it’s one of the most important factors in determining one’s success in life. So here are some inspirational quotes about self-confidence for days when you need to be reminded that you are capable, worthy, and beautiful. And because we all have these moments, we talked to different women about how these quotes empower them to celebrate their unique beauty.

1. On Being Your Number One Fan

“You have been criticizing yourself for years, and it hasn’t worked. Try approving yourself and see what happens.” — Louise Hay

We can be our own worst critics, which sometimes paralyzing fear and discontent. Maya, a journalist, shares how she overcomes the need to be overly critical of herself, “When you approve yourself, you recognize your capabilities, and you celebrate your victories. You shift your mindset from ‘What if it doesn't work?’ to ‘What if it does?’ You don't get debilitated by fear because you've kept yourself from thinking about the worst possible scenario. You stop underestimating yourself and start believing in yourself. And that, for me, is empowering.”

2. On Choosing to See One’s Beauty

“True beauty in an individual is reflected in their soul.” — Audrey Hepburn

Seeing one’s unique beauty is the first step to realizing your full potential. Sarah, a writer and editor, believes that being true to yourself will set your beauty free. She shares, “How can we see ourselves if we're wearing a mask? This is something we can all relate to these days — quite literally, too. And when we're covered, whether it's a literal mask or a cloak of pretension, how can we appreciate what's underneath? We can't see the beauty.”

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3. On the Importance of Being Gentle to Oneself

“Talk to yourself like you would to someone you love.” – Brené Brown

Kindness comes in many forms, but kindness to oneself is perhaps the most difficult one to practice. Natalie, a beauty editor, is a firm believer in the power of self-compassion. She shares, “If you can’t love yourself, why should anyone else? You deserve the same love that you give others."

She adds, "When you talk to yourself as you would to someone you love, your outlook on self, the world, and how you respond to problems change. You start to feel good, even on bad days. A big part of loving yourself comes with showing compassion to ourselves – understanding that we’re human. Talk to yourself like you would to someone you love. Nobody is more deserving than you.”

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4. On Having the Courage to Be You

Face challenges head-on — with a confident smile.

“You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do.” — Eleanor Roosevelt

How you perceive yourself is ultimately a reflection of how others perceive you. You can’t be self-assured all the time, but you can believe in yourself — and that’s what confidence is all about. It doesn’t always come naturally, but you can train your mind to believe that you can do something, and you can pull it off. Believe that you are good enough.

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5. On Loving Your Body

"Be happy in your own skin. If you are unhealthy, start by making small changes to become healthier. You are unique, beautiful, and worthy." — Octavia Spencer

Having a positive body image is the first step to being confident in your skin, but it’s easier said than done. Learning to love your body is a lifelong journey because our bodies don’t stay the same for too long. As Queen Latifah said, it starts with a choice, and that choice is yours.

6. On Doing Your Bit

When the going gets tough, the tough keep going.

“Confidence is preparation. Everything else is beyond your control.” — Richard Kline

The only real way to be confident, to have that unwavering belief in who you are and what you can do, is to do the work. Prepare for that interview. Work for that bonus. Go for a run. Go to the gym. Put in the hours and know that you’ve done your best.

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7. On Finding Your Purpose

“Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that? We must have perseverance and, above all, confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for something and that this thing, at whatever cost, must be attained.” — Marie Curie

The best way to feel beautiful is to be useful. To find purpose in life, work on things that are important to you. Mia, a writer and mom, shares how having a purpose gives her guidance and motivation. She says, “Nobody has it easy these days, but being reminded that we are each gifted in something gives me the confidence to say I am exactly where I need to be. If, and when, I find myself questioning my abilities, it reminds me that I have a purpose and a thing to achieve.”

8. On Not Sweating the Small Stuff

“Along with age comes more confidence, so it kind of works out.” — Leslie Mann

Greta, a blogger, entrepreneur, and athlete, shares how she has coped and continues to cope with changes in her body and how these affect her life and mindset.

She says, “As I get older, I just learn to become so much more comfortable with myself. The insecurities I had in my 20s, I’ve now come to accept in my 30s. I think it is because of the wisdom and experience that I gained through the years. I understand that my body will constantly change, and I won’t always look the way I do now (or when I did in college). But what gives me even more confidence is knowing what my body is capable of doing.”

Physical beauty fades. The beauty you have inside, the beauty you share with the world, lasts longer. With age, you realize that, and then you stop sweating the small stuff. 

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