With the exception of a few jocks who now work as daytime managers at convenience stores, nearly all of us were traumatized by the long stints we did at public high school.

We spent so much time worrying about what our classmates thought of us. “Would Mallorie like our new sneakers?” “Would Kyle think our braces look stupid?” And thus we spent years fretting over the opinions of teenagers.

And then, suddenly, high school is over, and you never see most of those people again outside of the local convenience store. It slowly dawns on you that Mallorie’s and Kyle’s opinions were worth precisely jack squat. You may as well have just enjoyed being yourself.

Your own skin is not just the most comfortable to live in. You have what are known as “qualities.” Perhaps you are faultlessly honest. Perhaps your willpower is indefatigable. Or maybe you’re just naturally pleasant to be around. Whichever boons the gods randomly assigned to you at birth, they can only make themselves apparent once you stop pretending to be someone else and simply be you.

You will be tested. Romantic partners may insist that you discard personality traits they find annoying or inconvenient. Employers may ask you to become a bland myrmidon for the sake of their bottom lines. Some people will insist that you shouldn’t wear jeans with a denim jacket, and even go so far as to ridicule you for wearing a “Canadian tuxedo.”

Ignore them all. When you’re tempted to become disingenuous, simply remember any of the following be yourself quotes and stay true to yourself.


Quotes on Staying True to Yourself

John F. Kennedy

“Conformity is the jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth.”

– John F. Kennedy

John F. Kennedy on Be Yourself Quotes:

In this quote, former President John F. Kennedy expresses the idea that conformity, or blindly following societal norms and expectations, restricts individual freedom and impedes personal and societal progress. He suggests that conformity acts as a metaphorical “jailer,” constraining people within narrow boundaries and preventing them from exploring new ideas or pursuing their own paths. Kennedy emphasizes the importance of embracing diversity of thought and resisting the pressure to conform in order to foster genuine growth and innovation in society.

William Thackeray

“Follow your honest convictions, and stay strong.”

– William Thackeray

William Thackeray on Be Yourself Quotes:

In this quote, William Thackeray encourages individuals to adhere to their sincere beliefs and principles, urging them to remain steadfast and resolute in their convictions. By emphasizing the importance of honesty and strength, Thackeray underscores the significance of staying true to oneself despite challenges or opposition. The quote serves as a reminder to trust one’s instincts and moral compass, even in the face of adversity, and to have the courage to pursue what is right and meaningful.

Winston Churchill

“An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.”

– Winston Churchill

Winston Churchill on Be Yourself Quotes:

Winston Churchill’s quote vividly illustrates the dangers of appeasement by likening it to feeding a crocodile. By doing so, Churchill suggests that those who attempt to appease aggressors or tyrants may ultimately become victims themselves. The imagery emphasizes the futility of trying to satisfy a voracious and dangerous entity in the hopes of avoiding harm. The quote serves as a warning against the naivety and short-sightedness of appeasement policies in the face of tyranny or aggression.

Winston Churchill

“For my part, I consider that it will be found much better by all Parties to leave the past to history, especially as I propose to write that history of myself.”

– Winston Churchill

Winston Churchill on Be Yourself Quotes:

In this quote, Winston Churchill humorously addresses the idea of leaving the past to history while subtly asserting his intention to shape his own legacy through his writings. By suggesting that he will write his own history, Churchill implies that he will control the narrative surrounding his actions and decisions. The quote reflects Churchill’s confidence and wit, as well as his awareness of the importance of shaping public perception through historical accounts.

Winston Churchill

“When you’re 20 you care what everyone thinks, when you’re 40 you stop caring what everyone thinks, when you’re 60 you realize no one was ever thinking about you in the first place. You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.”

– Winston Churchill

Winston Churchill on Be Yourself Quotes

In this quote, Winston Churchill reflects on the evolution of one’s perspective on the opinions of others over time. He suggests that as people mature, they become less concerned with external judgment and more focused on their own beliefs and actions. Churchill also sees having enemies as a sign of taking a stand for something meaningful, implying that adversity can be a marker of personal integrity and conviction.

Winston Churchill

“In the course of my life, I have often had to eat my words, and I must confess that I have always found it a wholesome diet.”

– Winston Churchill

Winston Churchill on Be Yourself Quotes

Winston Churchill humorously acknowledges that he has frequently had to retract or revise his statements over the course of his life. Despite the initial discomfort of admitting mistakes or changing his opinions, he metaphorically describes the experience as “a wholesome diet,” suggesting that it has ultimately been beneficial and nourishing for him. This quote reflects Churchill’s humility, wit, and willingness to learn from his errors.

Carl Jung

“Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.”

– Carl Jung

Carl Jung on Be Yourself Quotes

Carl Jung emphasizes the importance of self-awareness in this quote. He suggests that until individuals become conscious of their unconscious thoughts, emotions, and behaviors, they will continue to be influenced by them unknowingly. Rather than recognizing their own agency in shaping their lives, they may attribute the course of events to fate or external forces. Jung encourages introspection and self-reflection as a means to gain control over one’s life and break free from unconscious influences.

Carl Jung

“Knowing your own darkness is the best method for dealing with the darknesses of other people.”

– Carl Jung

Carl Jung on Be Yourself Quotes

In this quote, Carl Jung highlights the importance of self-awareness and introspection in understanding and empathizing with others. He suggests that by acknowledging and accepting our own flaws, weaknesses, and darker aspects, we become better equipped to recognize and navigate the complexities of other people’s struggles and shortcomings. Jung implies that self-awareness fosters compassion and insight, enabling individuals to approach interpersonal relationships with empathy and understanding.

Kurt Cobain

“Wanting to be someone else is a waste of who you are.”

– Kurt Cobain

Kurt Cobain on Be Yourself Quotes

Kurt Cobain’s quote emphasizes the importance of authenticity and self-acceptance. He suggests that aspiring to be someone else detracts from one’s unique identity and potential. Cobain implies that embracing one’s individuality and inner self is essential for personal fulfillment and genuine happiness.

E. E. Cummings

“Once we believe in ourselves, we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight, or any experience that reveals the human spirit.”

– E. E. Cummings

E. E. Cummings on Be Yourself Quotes:

E.E. Cummings’ quote highlights the transformative power of self-belief. He suggests that confidence in oneself is the foundation upon which individuals can embark on new experiences and explore the depths of human existence. By trusting in their abilities and potential, people can embrace curiosity, wonder, and joy, unlocking the true essence of the human spirit.

Friedrich Nietzsche

“My formula for greatness in a human being is amor fati: that one wants nothing to be different, not forward, not backward, not in all eternity. Not merely bear what is necessary, still less conceal it…but love it.”

– Friedrich Nietzsche, speaking about “amor fati,” a Latin phrase that translates to “love of fate” or “love of one’s fate.”

Friedrich Nietzsche on Be Yourself Quotes

Nietzsche’s concept of “amor fati” encapsulates the idea of embracing one’s destiny with love and acceptance, without longing for it to be different. He advocates for a mindset where individuals not only endure their circumstances but actively cherish and celebrate them, regardless of their nature. This perspective encourages a profound sense of contentment and empowerment, allowing individuals to find greatness in their existence by fully embracing every aspect of their lives, past, present, and future.

Martin Luther King Jr.

“Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted.”

– Martin Luther King Jr.

Martin Luther King Jr. on Be Yourself Quotes

Martin Luther King Jr. suggests that those who challenge societal norms and refuse to conform to unjust systems are the ones who hold the key to human salvation. He believes that true progress and positive change come from those who are willing to disrupt the status quo and fight against oppression, discrimination, and inequality. By encouraging individuals to be “creatively maladjusted,” King emphasizes the importance of nonconformity and innovation in the pursuit of justice and equality for all people.

Shannon L. Alder

“Being different is a revolving door in your life where secure people enter and insecure exit.”

– Shannon L. Alder

Shannon L. Alder on Be Yourself Quotes:

Shannon L. Alder suggests that embracing one’s uniqueness is akin to entering a revolving door of life, where confident individuals are drawn in while those who lack security are pushed out. The quote highlights the idea that self-assurance and acceptance of one’s differences attract positive experiences and people, while insecurity and conformity lead to exclusion and missed opportunities. Alder underscores the value of embracing individuality as a pathway to personal growth and fulfillment.

Mark Twain

“In the beginning of a change the patriot is a scarce man, and brave, and hated and scorned. When his cause succeeds, the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot.”

– Mark Twain

Mark Twain on Be Yourself Quotes

Mark Twain reflects on the journey of a patriot, suggesting that at the onset of a movement or change, those who champion it often face adversity and criticism. However, as the cause gains momentum and achieves success, even the hesitant and fearful will rally behind it, as it becomes socially acceptable or advantageous to do so. Twain’s quote highlights the bravery and resilience required to stand for one’s beliefs in the face of opposition, as well as the tendency for public opinion to shift once the tide turns in favor of the cause.

Franz Kafka

“Don’t bend; don’t water it down; don’t try to make it logical; don’t edit your own soul according to the fashion. Rather, follow your most intense obsessions mercilessly.”

– Franz Kafka

Franz Kafka on Be Yourself Quotes:

Franz Kafka encourages individuals to embrace their innermost passions and convictions unapologetically. He advises against conforming to societal norms or diluting one’s true self to fit in. Instead, Kafka urges people to pursue their deepest desires and obsessions wholeheartedly, even if they seem unconventional or illogical to others. This quote underscores the importance of authenticity and staying true to oneself, even in the face of challenges or criticism.


“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”

– Unknown, often misattributed to Oscar Wilde

Unknown on Be Yourself Quotes:

This quote, often mistakenly credited to Oscar Wilde, emphasizes the importance of authenticity and self-acceptance. It encourages individuals to embrace their unique identities instead of trying to conform to societal expectations or emulate others. By reminding people that everyone is already taken, the quote underscores the value of being genuine and true to oneself in a world where individuality is often overlooked or undervalued.

Dolly Parton

“Find out who you are and do it on purpose.”

Dolly Parton

Dolly Parton on Be Yourself Quotes

Dolly Parton’s quote encapsulates the essence of self-discovery and intentional living. It encourages individuals to embark on a journey of self-exploration to uncover their true identities and passions. Once discovered, the quote advises individuals to embrace and pursue their authentic selves with purpose and determination, implying that fulfillment and success are found when one lives in alignment with their true nature.