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Self-knowledge quotes

Self-knowledge quotes


Self-knowledge quotes, some great aphorisms and thoughts about self-knowledge, the foundation of true knowledge, and a great help to real happiness and success.

Self-knowledge is a term used in psychology to describe the information that an individual draws upon when finding an answer to the question “What am I like?”. Self-knowledge is a component of the self or, more accurately, the self-concept. It is the knowledge of oneself and one’s properties and the desire to seek such knowledge that guide the development of the self-concept, even if that concept is flawed.

In philosophy, “self-knowledge” standardly refers to knowledge of one’s own mental states, that is, of what one is feeling or thinking, or what one believes or desires. At least since Descartes, most philosophers have believed that self-knowledge differs markedly from our knowledge of the external world.

Self-knowledge informs us of our mental representations of ourselves, which contain attributes that we uniquely pair with ourselves, and theories on whether these attributes are stable or dynamic, to the best that we can evaluate ourselves. The self-concept is thought to have three primary aspects: the cognitive self, the affective self and the executive self.

This above all, To thine own self be true; And it must follow, as the night the day, Then canst not then be false to any man.

Self-knowledge is no guarantee of happiness, but it is on the side of happiness and can supply the courage to fight for it.
Simone de Beauvoir

Self knowledge puts us on our knees, and it is very necessary for love. For knowledge of God gives love, and knowledge of self gives humility
Mother Teresa

They always say “You have to be yourself”, and what’s more “You must know yourself”. That’s very reasonable indeed, but what if one is a true moron?
Carl William Brown

Self-knowledge is the foundation of real success.
Rachel Simmons

The soul, who is lifted by a very great and yearning desire for the honor of God and the salvation of souls, begins by exercising herself, for a certain space of time, in the ordinary virtues, remaining in the cell of self-knowledge, in order to know better the goodness of God towards her.
Catherine of Siena

All knowledge ultimately means Self-knowledge.
Bruce Lee

If you do not tell the truth about yourself you cannot tell it about other people.
Virginia Woolf (1882-1941, British novelist, essayist)

To young people born under the weird planet of the SAT, intelligence was equated with agility, with raw acuity. It produced a certain sort of person of which I was a typical specimen: the mental contortionist, able to rise to almost every challenge placed before him, except the challenge of real self-knowledge.
Walter Kirn

Each has his past shut in him like the leaves of a book shown to him by heart, and his friends can only read the title.
Virginia Woolf (1882-1941, British novelist, essayist)

It isn’t until you come to a spiritual understanding of who you are — not necessarily a religious feeling, but deep down, the spirit within — that you can begin to take control.
Oprah Winfrey (1954-, American TV personality, producer, actress, author)

Know one, know all.
Katha Upanishad (Ancient Hindu scripture)

Bruce Lee quote on self-knowledge
Bruce Lee quote on self-knowledge

The beginning of self-knowledge: recognizing that your motives are the same as other people’s.
Mason Cooley

Know yourself, master yourself, conquest of self is most gratifying.
Author Unknown

Before a man can wake up and find himself famous he has to wake up and find himself.
Author Unknown

Analysis and synthesis ordinarily clarify matters for us about as much as taking a Swiss watch apart and dumping its wheels, springs, hands, threads, pivots, screws and gears into a layman’s hands for reassembling, clarifies a watch to a layman.
Author Unknown

You never know yourself till you know more than your body.
Thomas Traherne (1636-1674, British clergyman, poet, mystic)

I think that you have to do everything you can do to empower girls when they are young, from their education, to their successful independence, to their sexual self-knowledge.
Susie Bright

Nay, be a Columbus to whole new continents and worlds within you, opening new channels, not of trade, but of thought. Every man is the lord of a realm beside which the earthly empire of the Czar is but a petty state, a hummock left by the ice.
Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862, American essayist, poet, naturalist)

How pathetically scanty my self-knowledge is compared with, say, my knowledge of my room. There is no such thing as observation of the inner world, as there is of the outer world.
Franz Kafka

I know myself as a human entity; the scene, so to speak, or thoughts are affection; and am sensible of certain doubleness by which I can stand as remote from myself as from another. However intense my experience, I am conscious of the presence and criticism of a part of me, which, as it were, is no part of me, but spectator, sharing no experience, but taking note of it, and that is no more I than it is you.
Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862, American essayist, poet, naturalist)

Explore thyself. Herein are demanded the eye and the nerve.
Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862, American essayist, poet, naturalist)

The most difficult thing in life is to know yourself.
Thales of Miletus (640-546 BC, Founder of Greek philosophy, sciences)

We can only learn to know ourselves and do what we can – namely, surrender our will and fulfill God’s will in us.
St. Teresa of Avila (1515-1582, Spanish saint, mystic)

In the traditional urban novel, there is only survival or not. The suburban idea, the conformist idea, that agony can be seen to and cured by doctors or psychoanalysis or self-knowledge is nowhere to be found in the city. Talking is a way of life, but it is not a cure. Same with religion.
Jane Smiley

There is a solitude which each and every one of us has always carried within. More inaccessible than the ice-cold mountains, more profound than the midnight sea: the solitude of self.
Elizabeth Cady Stanton (1815-1902, American social reformer and women’s suffrage leader)

The granting of prayer, when offered in the name of Jesus, reveals the Father’s love to him, and the honor which he has put upon him.
Charles Haddon Spurgeon (1834-1892, British Baptist preacher)

Know thyself.
Socrates (BC 469-399, Greek philosopher of Athens)

To know yourself, see how others do, to know others look into your own heart.
Sydney Smiles

The delights of self-discovery are always available.
Gail Sheehy (1937-, American journalist, author)

No one can teach writing, but classes may stimulate the urge to write. If you are born a writer, you will inevitably and helplessly write. A born writer has self-knowledge. Read, read, read. And if you are a fiction writer, don’t confine yourself to reading fiction. Every writer is first a wide reader.
Cynthia Ozick

The delights of self-discovery are always available.
Gail Sheehy (1937-, American journalist, author)

The happy man is he who knows his limitations, yet bows to no false gods.
Robert W. Service (1874-1958, British poet)

What you think about yourself is much more important than what others think of you.
Marcus Annaeus Seneca (BC 3-65 AD, Roman philosopher, dramatist, statesman)

Self-knowledge aphorisms
Self-knowledge aphorisms

Other men’s sins are before our eyes; our own are behind our backs.
Marcus Annaeus Seneca (BC 3-65 AD, Roman philosopher, dramatist, statesman)

A single event can awaken within us a stranger totally unknown to us.
Antoine De Saint-Exupery (1900-1944, French aviator, writer)

To speak about yourself, you must first be able to assemble a sense of origin. For descendants of slaves, this has proved one of the most precious losses of self-knowledge we’ve endured.
Thomas Chatterton Williams

A true knowledge of ourselves is knowledge of our power.
Mark Rutherford

Our lives teach us who we are.
Salman Rushdie (1948-, Indian-born British author)

A mature person is one who has learned that there is both good and bad in all people and in all things, and who deals charitably with the circumstances of life, knowing that …all of us need both love and charity.
Eleanor Roosevelt (1884-1962, American First Lady, columnist, lecturer, humanitarian)

Self-knowledge is essential not only to writing, but to doing almost anything really well. It allows you to work through from a deep place – from the deep, dark corners of your subconscious mind.
Meg Rosoff

Know thyself. Nothing in excess. The Self is required to balance the Self.
Blum Ralph (American author)

Self-knowledge is the beginning of self-improvement.
Spanish Proverb (Sayings of Spanish origin)

Trust not yourself, but your defects to know, make use of every friend and every foe.
Alexander Pope (1688-1744, British poet, critic, translator)

My failures may be my greatest successes. It is in failure that I have often drawn closer to God, learn to depend more on Him than myself, gained self-knowledge, and seen things in their right perspective.
Mother Angelica

‘Tis not need we know our every thought or see the work shop where each mask is wrought wherefrom we view the world of box and pit, careless of wear, just so the mask shall fit and serve our jape’s turn for a night or two.
Ezra Pound (1885-1972, American poet, critic)

Real apprenticeship is ultimately always to the self.
Cynthia Ozick (1928-, American novelist, short-story writer)

Know yourself.
Greek Proverb (Sayings of Greek origin)

One’s own self is well hidden from one’s own self; of all mines of treasure, one’s own is the last to be dug up.
Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900, German philosopher)

Become aware of internal, subjective, sub-verbal experiences, so that these experiences can be brought into the world of abstraction, of conversation, of naming, et cetera with the consequence that it immediately becomes possible for a certain amount of control to be exerted over these hitherto unconscious and uncontrollable processes.
Abraham H. Maslow (1908-1970, American psychologist)

God warms his hands at man’s heart when he prays.
John Masefield (1878-1967, British poet and novelist)

You can live a lifetime and at the end, know more about other people than you know about yourself.
Beryl Markham

You can live a lifetime and at the end, know more about other people than you know about yourself.
Beryl Markham

No man remains quite what he was when he recognizes himself.
Thomas Mann (1875-1955, German author, critic)

If you want to be truly successful invest in yourself to get the knowledge you need to find your unique factor. When you find it and focus on it and persevere your success will blossom.
Sidney Madwed

Turn your doubts to question; turn your question to prayers; turn your prayers to God.
Mark R. Litteton

We forge gradually our greatest instrument for understanding the world — introspection. We discover that humanity may resemble us very considerably — that the best way of knowing the inwardness of our neighbors is to know ourselves.
Walter Lippmann (1889-1974, American journalist)

When one is a stranger to oneself then one is estranged from others too.
Anne Morrow Lindbergh (1906-2001, American author)

Only when one is connected to one’s own core is one connected to others…. And, for me, the core, the inner spring, can best be refound through solitude.
Anne Morrow Lindbergh (1906-2001, American author)

Self-knowledge quotes and aphorisms
Self-knowledge quotes and aphorisms

Like the rest of the genetic lottery, beauty is unfair. Everyone falls short of perfection, but some are luckier than others. Real confidence requires self-knowledge, which includes recognizing one’s shortcomings as well as one’s strengths.
Virginia Postrel

Self-understanding rather than self-condemnation is the way to inner peace and mature conscience.
Joshua Loth Liebman

It’s not our disadvantages or short-comings that are ridiculous, but rather the studious way we try to hide them, and our desire to act as if they did not exist.
Giacomo Leopardi (1798-1837, Italian poet, scholar)

To know yourself you have only to set down a true statement of those that ever loved or hated you.
Johann Kaspar Lavater (1741-1801, Swiss theologian, mystic)

There is more to be pondered in the grain and texture of life than traditional fiction allows. The work of essayists is vital precisely because it permits and encourages self-knowledge in a way that is less indirect than fiction, more open and speculative.
Charles J. Shields

Knowing others is wisdom, knowing yourself is Enlightenment.
Lao-Tzu (BC 600-?, Chinese philosopher, founder of Taoism)

Know thyself, presume not God to scan. The proper study of mankind is man.
Lao-Tzu (BC 600-?, Chinese philosopher, founder of Taoism)

He who knows others is clever; He who knows himself has discernment.
Lao-Tzu (BC 600-?, Chinese philosopher, founder of Taoism)

He knows the universe and does not know himself.
Jean De La Fontaine (1621-1695, French poet)

Many people today don’t want honest answers insofar as honest means unpleasant or disturbing. They want a soft answer that turneth away anxiety.
Louis Kronenberger

Long ago I understood that it wasn’t merely my being a woman that was preventing my being welcomed into the world of what I long thought of as my peers. It was that I had succeeded in an undertaking few men have even attempted: I have become myself.
Alice Koller

Fear is a question: What are you afraid of, and why? Just as the seed of health is in illness, because illness contains information, your fears are a treasure house of self-knowledge if you explore them.
Marilyn Ferguson

I’m a salami writer. I try to write good salami, but salami is salami.
Stephen King (1947-, American horror writer, actor)

I think self-awareness is probably the most important thing towards becoming a champion.
Billie Jean King (1943-, American tennis player)

An humble knowledge of thyself is a surer way to God than a deep search after learning.’
Thomas a Kempis (1379-1471, German monk, mystic, religious writer)

I have the true feeling of myself only when I am unbearably unhappy.
Franz Kafka (1883-1924, German novelist, short-story writer)

We should know what our convictions are, and stand for them. Upon one’s own philosophy, conscious or unconscious, depends one’s ultimate interpretation of facts. Therefore it is wise to be as clear as possible about one’s subjective principles. As the man is, so will be his ultimate truth.
Carl Jung (1875-1961, Swiss psychiatrist)

We should know what our convictions are, and stand for them. Upon one’s own philosophy, conscious or unconscious, depends one’s ultimate interpretation of facts. Therefore it is wise to be as clear as possible about one’s subjective principles. As the man is, so will be his ultimate truth.
Carl Jung (1875-1961, Swiss psychiatrist)

If people can be educated to see the lowly side of their own natures, it may be hoped that they will also learn to understand and to love their fellow men better. A little less hypocrisy and a little more tolerance towards oneself can only have good results in respect for our neighbor; for we are all too prone to transfer to our fellows the injustice and violence we inflict upon our own natures.
Carl Jung (1875-1961, Swiss psychiatrist)

Getting in touch with your true self must be your first priority.
Tom Hopkins (1944-, American sales trainer, speaker, author)

Without self knowledge, without understanding the working and functions of his machine, man cannot be free, he cannot govern himself and he will always remain a slave.
George Gurdjieff (1873-1949, Russian adept, teacher, writer)

Awakening begins when a man realizes that he is going nowhere and does not know where to go.
George Gurdjieff (1873-1949, Russian adept, teacher, writer)

Self-knowledge and awareness
Self-knowledge and awareness

Self-reverence, self-knowledge, self-control; these three alone lead life to sovereign power.
Alfred Lord Tennyson

Until we see what we are, we cannot take steps to become what we should be.
Charlotte P. Gillman (1860-1935, American feminist and writer)

Self-knowledge comes from knowing other men.
Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe (1749-1832, German poet, dramatist, novelist)

I never believed in trying to do anything. Whatever I set out to do I found I had already accomplished.
Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe (1749-1832, German poet, dramatist, novelist)

Acting requires a lot of discipline to go with the obsession. It’s a path of knowledge, and of self-knowledge. Sometimes you get lost on the path. And then you find yourself again.
Toni Servillo

People who concentrate on giving good service always get more personal satisfaction as well as better business. How can we get better service? One way is by trying to see ourselves as others do.
Patricia Fripp (British-born American author, speaker)

There are three things extremely hard: steel, a diamond, and to know one’s self.
Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790, American scientist, publisher, diplomat)

Rebellion against your handicaps gets you nowhere. Self-pity gets you nowhere. One must have the adventurous daring to accept oneself as a bundle of possibilities and undertake the most interesting game in the world — making the most of one’s best.
Harry Emerson Fosdick (1878-1969, American minister)

I know myself, but that is all.
F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896-1940, American writer)

The deadliest foe to virtue would be complete self-knowledge.
F. H. Bradley

I know myself, but that is all.
F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896-1940, American writer)

You have to know what’s important and what’s unimportant, for you.
David Harold Fink

It is doubtless a vice to turn one’s eyes inward too much, but I am my own comedy and tragedy.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882, American poet, essayist)

It is, I fear, but a vain show of fulfilling the heathen precept, “Know thyself,” and too often leads to a self-estimate which will subsist in the absence of that fruit by which alone the quality of the tree is made evident.
George Eliot (1819-1880, British novelist)

Know thyself? If I knew myself I would run away.
Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe (1749-1832, German poet, dramatist, novelist)

Of all the idiots I have met in my life, and the Lord knows that they have not been few or little, I think that I have been the biggest.
Isak Dinesen (1885-1962, American author)

I think self-knowledge is the rarest trait in a human being.
Elizabeth Edwards

Self-knowledge comes from knowing other men.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

He that knows himself, knows others; and He that is ignorant of himself, could not write a very profound lecture on other men’s heads.
Charles Caleb Colton (1780-1832, British sportsman writer)

What families have in common the world around is that they are the place where people learn who they are and how to be that way.
Jean Illsley Clarke

The precept, “Know yourself,” was not solely intended to obviate the pride of mankind; but likewise that we might understand our own worth.
Marcus T. Cicero (c. 106-43 BC, Roman orator, politician)

A man who knows he is a fool is not a great fool.
Chuang Tzu (c 369 BC-286 BC, Chinese philosopher)

The most excellent and divine counsel, the best and most profitable advertisement of all others, but the least practiced, is to study and learn how to know ourselves. This is the foundation of wisdom and the highway to whatever is good. God, Nature, the wise, the world, preacher-man, exhort him both by word and deed to the study of himself.
Pierre Charron (1541-1603, French philosopher)

Never say you will pray about a thing; pray about it.
Oswald Chambers (1874-1917, Scottish preacher, author)

To learn to get along without, to realize that what the world is going to demand of us may be a good deal more important than what we are entitled to demand of it – this is a hard lesson.
Bruce Catton (American author)

I shall be an autocrat, that’s my trade; and the good Lord will forgive me, that’s his.
Catherine The Great

Personal development and growth
Personal development and growth

The self-explorer, whether he wants to or not, becomes the explorer of everything else. He learns to see himself, but suddenly, provided he was honest, all the rest appears, and it is as rich as he was, and, as a final crowning, richer.
Elias Canetti (1905-1994, Austrian novelist, philosopher)

No man ever understands quite his own artful dodges to escape from the grim shadow of self-knowledge.
Joseph Conrad (1857-1924, Polish-born British novelist)

We are the same people as we were at three, six, ten or twenty years old. More noticeably so, perhaps, at six or seven, because we were not pretending so much then.
Agatha Christie (1891-1976, British mystery writer)

Make it your business to know yourself — which is the most difficult lesson in the world.
Miguel De Cervantes (1547-1616, Spanish novelist, dramatist, poet)

There is no self-knowledge but an historical one. No one knows what he himself is who does not know his fellow men, especially the most prominent one of the community, the master’s master, the genius of the age.
Karl Wilhelm Friedrich Schlegel

Prayer, like radium, is a luminous and self-generating form of energy.
Dr. Alexis Carrel (1873-1944, French biologist)

Distinguishing the signal from the noise requires both scientific knowledge and self-knowledge.
Nate Silver

To know oneself, one should assert oneself. Psychology is action, not thinking about oneself. We continue to shape our personality all our life. If we knew ourselves perfectly, we should die.
Albert Camus (1913-1960, French existential writer)

Fear is a question. What are you afraid of and why? Our fears are a treasure house of self-knowledge if we explore them.
Marilyn French

Inside myself is a place where I live all alone and that is where I renew my springs that never dry up.
Pearl S. Buck (1892-1973, American novelist)

To do good things in the world, first you must know who you are and what gives meaning in your life.
Paula P. Brownlee

The one self-knowledge worth having is to know one’s own mind.
Francis H. Bradley (1846-1924, British philosopher)

In other living creatures the ignorance of themselves is nature, but in men it is a vice.

It’s not only the most difficult thing to know one’s self, but the most inconvenient.
Josh Billings (1815-1885, American humorist, lecturer)

In a drama of the highest order there is little food for censure or hatred; it teaches rather self-knowledge and self-respect.
Percy Bysshe Shelley

He who seeks to approach his own buried past must conduct himself like a man digging. He must not be afraid to return again and again to the same matter; to scatter it as one scatters earth, to turn it over as one turns over soil. For the matter itself is only a deposit, a stratum, which yields only to the most meticulous examination what constitutes the real treasure hidden within the earth: the images, severed from all earlier associations, that stand – like precious fragments or torsos in a collector’s gallery – in the prosaic rooms of our later understanding.
Walter Benjamin (1982-1940, German critic, philosopher)

Only as you do know yourself can your brain serve you as a sharp and efficient tool. Know your failings, passions, and prejudices so you can separate them from what you see. Know also when you actually have thought through to the nature of the thing with which you are dealing and when you are not thinking at all.
Bernard M. Baruch (1870-1965, American financier)

Sexuality is one of the ways that we become enlightened, actually, because it leads us to self-knowledge.
Alice Walker

There is no disappointment we endure one-half so great as what we are to ourselves.
Philip James Bailey (1816-1902, British poet)

There is a period of life when we swallow knowledge of ourselves and it becomes either good or sour inside.
Pearl Bailey (1918-1990, American vocalist, movie and stage actress)

No one can figure out your worth but you.
Pearl Bailey (1918-1990, American vocalist, movie and stage actress)

Ambition is best tempered with self-knowledge!
William Hague

I’ve reached the age of self-knowledge, so I don’t know anything. People who claim that they know something are responsible for most of the fuss in the world.
Wislawa Szymborska

Self-searching is the means by which we bring new vision, action, and grace to bear upon the dark and negative side of our natures. With it comes the development of that kind of humility that makes it possible for us to receive God’s help… We find that bit by bit we can discard the old life – the one that did not work — for a new life that can and does work under conditions whatever.
As Bill Sees It

The conqueror and king in each one of us is the knower of truth. Let the knower awaken in us and drive the horses of the mind, emotions, and physical body on the pathway, which that king has chosen.
George S. Arundale (1878-1945, English Theosophist, author and editor)

Self knowers always dwell in El Dorado; they drink from the fountain of youth, and at all times owners of all they wish to enjoy.
Claude M. Bristol (1891-1951, American author of “The Magic Of Believing”)

I actually think there’s an incredible amount of self-knowledge that comes with getting older.
Jamie Lee Curtis

One secures the gold of the spirit when he finds himself.
Claude M. Bristol (1891-1951, American author of “The Magic Of Believing”)

Many a man who has known himself at ten forgets himself utterly between ten and thirty.
Catherine Drinker Bowen (1897-1973, American author)

Destiny has always been something that interested me as a subject, but not in a fatalistic way because I believe that one can transform destiny through self-knowledge.
Laura Esquivel

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Self-words quotes and aphorisms, quotations, ideas and thoughts, by famous writers and authors, from Self-Acceptance to Self-Interest.

Self-words quotes and thoughts, aphorisms and ideas, by famous writers and authors, from Self-Knowledge to Selfishness.

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