86+ Best Self Reliance Quotes: Exclusive Selection

Self-Reliance” is an 1841 essay written by American transcendentalist philosopher and essayist Ralph Waldo Emerson. It contains the most thorough statement of one of Emerson’s recurrent themes: the need for each individual to avoid conformity and false consistency, and follow his own instincts and ideas. Profoundly inspirational self reliance quotes will challenge the way you think, and make your life worth living.

If you’re searching for inspirational quotes from books that perfectly capture what you’d like to say or just want to feel inspired yourself, browse through an amazing collection of inspiring Walden quotes, powerful A Thousand Splendid Suns quotes and famous Kite Runner quotes.

Hope you enjoy both Self-Reliance quotes from Ralph Waldo Emerson and quotes about self reliance to inspire you:

Famous Self Reliance Quotes

Only he who is self supporting is free, self reliant, independent. James Allen

Ah, so you shall be sure to be misunderstood. Ralph Waldo Emerson

If it is to be, it is up to me. William H. Johnsen

Misunderstood! It is a right fool’s word. Ralph Waldo Emerson

You don’t have to worry about burning bridges, if you’re building your own. Kerry E. Wagner

Is it so bad, then, to be misunderstood? Pythagoras was misunderstood, and Socrates, and Jesus, and Luther, and Copernicus, and Galileo, and Newton, and every pure and wise spirit that ever took flesh. Ralph Waldo Emerson

The secret of fortune is joy in our hands. Welcome evermore to gods and men is the self helping man. For him all doors are flung wide. Him all tongues greet, all honors crown, all eyes follow with desire. Our love goes out to him and embraces him because he did not need it. Ralph Waldo Emerson

To be great is to be misunderstood. Ralph Waldo Emerson

The only tyrant I accept in this world is the still voice within. Mahatma Gandhi

Whoso would be a man, must be a nonconformist. Ralph Waldo Emerson

There is no dependence that can be sure but a dependence upon one’s self. John Gay

To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment. Ralph Waldo Emerson

It is easy to live for others, everybody does. I call on you to live for yourself. Ralph Waldo Emerson

Infancy conforms to nobody all conform to it. Ralph Waldo Emerson

Self reliance is the only road to true freedom, and being one’s own person is its ultimate reward.  Patricia Sampson

For nonconformity the world whips you with its displeasure. And therefore a man must know how to estimate a sour face. Ralph Waldo Emerson

The strongest man in the world is he who stands alone. Henrik Ibsen

The great man is he who, in the midst of the crowd, keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude. Ralph Waldo Emerson

You are not stuck where you are unless you decide to be. Wayne Dyer

A man is to carry himself in the presence of all opposition, as if every thing were titular and ephemeral but he. Ralph Waldo Emerson

The best lightning rod for your protection is your own spine. Ralph Waldo Emerson

Be yourself; no base imitator of another, but your best self. There is something which you can do better than another. Ralph Waldo Emerson

Associate with the noblest people you can find; read the best books; live with the mighty. But learn to be happy alone. Rely upon your own energies, and so not wait for, or depend on other people. Thomas Davidson

The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be. Ralph Waldo Emerson

If you think you can do it, or you think you can’t do it, You are right.  Henry Ford

Nothing can bring you peace but yourself. Ralph Waldo Emerson

Chance never helps those who do not help themselves. Sophocles

Dare to live the life you have dreamed for yourself. Go forward and make your dreams come true. Ralph Waldo Emerson

The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be. Ralph Waldo Emerson

Man is timid and apologetic; he is no longer upright; he dares not say I think, I am, but quotes some saint or sage. Ralph Waldo Emerson

Learn to depend upon yourself by doing things in accordance with your own thinking. Grenville Kleiser

A man should learn to detect and watch that gleam of light which flashes across his mind from within, more than the lustre of the firmament of bards and sages. Ralph Waldo Emerson

There can not be anything mean in self reliance, while in self conceit there cannot be anything great. James Allen

Men have looked away from themselves and at things so long that they have come to esteem the religious, learned and civil institutions as guards of property, and they deprecate assaults on these, because they feel them to be assaults on property. Ralph Waldo Emerson

The proverb warns that, You should not bite the hand that feeds you. But maybe you should, if it prevents you from feeding yourself. Thomas Stephen Szasz

Men do what is called a good action, as some piece of courage or charity, much as they would pay a fine in expiation of daily non appearance on parade. Ralph Waldo Emerson

Shallow men believe in luck or in circumstance. Strong men believe in cause and effect. Ralph Waldo Emerson

A man is relieved and gay when he has put his heart into his work and done his best. Ralph Waldo Emerson

The highest manifestation of life consists in this that a being governs its own actions. A thing which is always subject to the direction of another is somewhat of a dead thing. Thomas Aquinas

The sinew and heart of man seem to be drawn out, and we have become timorous desponding whimperers. We are afraid of truth, afraid of fortune, afraid of death, and afraid of each other. Ralph Waldo Emerson

As soon as you trust yourself, you will know how to live.  Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Act singly, and what you have already done singly will justify you now. Greatness appeals to the future. Ralph Waldo Emerson

No one can cheat you out of ultimate success but yourself.  Ralph Waldo Emerson

My life is for itself and not for a spectacle. Ralph Waldo Emerson

There’s no one to stop you but yourself.  David Thomas

If we live truly, we shall see truly. Ralph Waldo Emerson

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

Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail. Ralph Waldo Emerson

Don’t ask of your friends what you yourself can do. Quintus Ennius

Let us answer a book of ink with a book of flesh and blood. Ralph Waldo Emerson

Independence, freedom, glorious liberty come through labor and not from idleness, and the self reliant man is to strong, too honorable, too upright to depend upon others like a sucking babe, for his support. James Allen

What have I to do with the sacredness of traditions, if I live wholly from within? Ralph Waldo Emerson

For it is in your power to retire into yourself whenever you choose.  Marcus Aurelius

Always do what you are afraid to do. Ralph Waldo Emerson

You cannot help people permanently by doing for them, what they could and should do for themselves.  Abraham Lincoln

Do the things at which you are great, not what you were never made for. Ralph Waldo Emerson

Whoso would be a man, must be a nonconformist. Ralph Waldo Emerson

God will not have his work made manifest by cowards. Ralph Waldo Emerson

The best things in life must come by effort from within, not by gifts from the outside. Fred Corson

There is a time in every man’s education when he arrives at the conviction that envy is ignorance; that imitation is suicide. Ralph Waldo Emerson

Certainty is a great element in self reliance. To have weight, a man must have some truth to impart, and all skill is a communication of truth. James Allen

An institution is the lengthened shadow of one man. Ralph Waldo Emerson

No one can be great, or good, or happy except through the inward efforts of themselves. Frederick W. Robertson

I am ashamed to think how easily we capitulate to badges and names, to large societies and dead institutions. Ralph Waldo Emerson

Nobody can bring you peace but yourself. Ralph Waldo Emerson

As men’s prayers are a disease of the will, so are their creeds a disease of the intellect. Ralph Waldo Emerson

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

A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divine. Ralph Waldo Emerson

Over himself, over his own body and mind, the individual is sovereign. John Stuart Mill

What I must do is all that concerns me, not what the people think. This rule, equally arduous in actual and in intellectual life, may serve for the whole distinction between greatness and meanness. Ralph Waldo Emerson

Life gives exams and unless you learn from your mistakes you are doomed to repeat them. Wayne Dyer

My book should smell of pines and resound with the hum of insects. Ralph Waldo Emerson

Insist on yourself; never imitate. Ralph Waldo Emerson

I remember an answer which when quite young I was prompted to make to a valued adviser, who was wont to importune me with the dear old doctrines of the church. Ralph Waldo Emerson

When you are content to be simply yourself and don’t compare or compete, everyone will respect you. Lao Tzu

If the finest genius studies at one of our colleges, and is not installed in an office within one year afterwards in the cities or suburbs of Boston or New York, it seems to his friends and to himself that he is right in being disheartened, and in complaining the rest of his life. Ralph Waldo Emerson

If you depend on others for your value, it is other worth, not self worth. Wayne Dyer

The intellect is vagabond, and our system of education fosters restlessness. Our minds travel when our bodies are forced to stay at home. Ralph Waldo Emerson

If you want a thing done well, do it yourself. Napoleon Bonaparte

Before a leaf-bud has burst, its whole life acts; in the full blown flower there is no more; in the leafless root there is no less. Ralph Waldo Emerson

No one can really pull you up very high you lose your grip on the rope. But on your own two feet you can climb mountains. Louis Brandeis

Nothing is at last sacred but the integrity of your own mind. Absolve you to yourself, and you shall have the suffrage of the world. Ralph Waldo Emerson

To find yourself, think for yourself. Socrates

It is easy to live for others, everybody does. I call on you to live for yourself. Ralph Waldo Emerson