Acceptance Quotes: The Importance of Self Acceptance

It is the ultimate challenge to the person interested in self-improvement: To know oneself and to accept oneself while also leaving room for positive change.

Some of the wisest figures in human history have struggled with this, from Carl Jung to Winston Churchill. Self-acceptance is not a matter of simply thinking that you’re “good enough the way you are.” Rather, it is about accepting yourself as being what you are. Knowing your dark side and accepting that it is a part of you, not something alien and foreign.

This is the very first step on the path toward self-improvement. To master the self one must first understand the self and to understand the self requires radical acceptance — warts and all. Only by having a radical acceptance of who we are, without judgement, without condemnation and without admonishment, can we begin to transform in self-actualizing ways.

Knowing oneself is as challenging as it is necessary. Many people simply lack the ability to look at themselves for what they are rather than for what they wish they were.

Knowing and accepting yourself acts as the north star of self-actualization. It is only by doing this properly that one can change while still remaining true to the core of who they are. Here are some quotes to help you chart your path.

Carl Jung

“We cannot change anything unless we accept it. Condemnation does not liberate – it oppresses. And I am the oppressor of the person I condemn, not his friend and fellow sufferer. I do not in the least mean to say that we must never pass judgement when we desire to help and improve. But if the doctor wishes to help a human being, he must be able to accept him as he is. And he can do this in reality only when he has already seen and accepted himself as he is.”

– Carl Jung

Carl Jung on Acceptance Quotes

“The most terrifying thing is to accept oneself completely.”

– Carl Jung

Carl Jung on Acceptance Quotes


“One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light but by making the darkness conscious.”

– Carl Jung

Carl Jung on Acceptance Quotes

“People will do anything, no matter how absurd, in order to avoid facing their own souls. They will practice yoga and all its exercises, observe a strict regimen of diet, learn theosophy by heart, or mechanically repeat mystic texts from the literature of the whole world – all because they cannot get on with themselves and have not the slightest faith that anything useful could ever come out of their own souls.”

– Carl Jung

Carl Jung on Acceptance Quotes

Aubrey Marcus

“What’s hiding in your shadows? What beast snarls in the darkness? It’s okay human. Your species didn’t make it this far on rainbows and butterfly kisses. Inside your DNA is a legacy of violence in the name of survival and procreation. You doubt that? One out of every 200 men is a descendant of Genghis Khan, and he was just one conqueror. Earth is a beautiful and savage planet. You have savagery inside you.”

“The more you deny it’s existence, the more it will control you. Acknowledge it. Send it love. Reconcile your demons with the image of yourself. We all want to be good. But being a good person does not mean having only good thoughts. You show me a person with only good thoughts and I will show you a liar. It is the choices you make that count. Do you choose to act on those impulses, or do you quell those impulses with acknowledgement and forgiveness? Do you choose love over power? Do you choose faith over fear? That is what determines who you are. Being entirely good is a myth. Choosing to be good is all that counts.”

– Aubrey Marcus

Aubrey Marcus on Acceptance Quotes

Gautama Buddha

“No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path.”

– Gautama Buddha

Gautama Buddha on Acceptance Quotes

Lao Tzu

“Because one believes in oneself, one doesn’t try to convince others. Because one is content with oneself, one doesn’t need others’ approval. Because one accepts oneself, the whole world accepts him or her.”

– Lao Tzu

Lao Tzu on Acceptance Quotes

Blaise Pascal

“All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit alone in his room.”

– Blaise Pascal

Blaise Pascal on Acceptance Quotes

Coco Chanel

“In order to be irreplaceable one must always be different.”

– Coco Chanel

Coco Chanel on Acceptance Quotes

Albert Camus

“At 30 a man should know himself like the palm of his hand, know the exact number of his defects and qualities, know how far he can go, foretell his failures—be what he is. And, above all, accept these things.”

– Albert Camus

Albert Camus on Acceptance Quotes

Henry David Thoreau

“It is not worth the while to let our imperfections disturb us always.”

– Henry David Thoreau

Henry David Thoreau on Acceptance Quotes

Mark Twain

“The worst loneliness is to not be comfortable with yourself.”

– Mark Twain

Mark Twain on Acceptance Quotes

Rob Scott

“Whether in business or relationships, sports or studies, we all start out as a beginner. Doesn’t matter if you’re a beginner, an intermediate, an expert…all are perfect.  Just be what you are.  Our sadness comes from us resisting what we are, wishing we were more.  Happiness comes now, when we love what is.”

– Rob Scott

Rob Scott on Acceptance Quotes


“History will be kind to me, for I intend to write it.”

– Unknown, often misattributed to Winston Churchill

Unknown on Acceptance Quotes

Nathaniel Branden

“If my aim is to prove that I’m ‘enough,’ the project goes on to infinity—because the battle was already lost on the day I conceded the issue was debatable.”

– Nathaniel Branden, The Six Pillars of Self-esteem

Nathaniel Branden on Acceptance Quotes

Friedrich Nietzsche

“How can man know himself? It is a dark, mysterious business: if a hare has seven skins, a man may skin himself seventy times seven times without being able to say, ‘Now that is truly you; that is no longer your outside.’ It is also an agonizing, hazardous undertaking thus to dig into oneself, to climb down toughly and directly into the tunnels of one’s being. How easy it is thereby to give oneself such injuries as no doctor can heal. Moreover, why should it even be necessary given that everything bears witness to our being – our friendships and animosities, our glances and handshakes, our memories and all that we forget, our books as well as our pens.”

“For the most important inquiry, however, there is a method. Let the young soul survey its own life with a view of the following question: What have you truly loved thus far? What has ever uplifted your soul, what has dominated and delighted it at the same time? Assemble these revered objects in a row before you and perhaps they will reveal a law by their nature and their order: the fundamental law of your very self.”

“Compare these objects, see how they complement, enlarge, outdo, transfigure one another; how they form a ladder on whose steps you have been climbing up to yourself so far; for your true self does not lie buried deep within you, but rather rises immeasurably high above you, or at least above what you commonly take to be your I.”

– Friedrich Nietzsche

Friedrich Nietzsche on Acceptance Quotes

Ayn Rand

“To say ‘I love you’ one must know first how to say the I.’”

– Ayn Rand, The Fountainhead

Any Rand on Acceptance Quotes

Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn

“If only it were all so simple! If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?”

– Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn

Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn on Acceptance Quotes

Hunter S. Thompson

“We are all alone, born alone, die alone, and—in spite of True Romance magazines—we shall all someday look back on our lives and see that, in spite of our company, we were alone the whole way. I do not say lonely—at least, not all the time—but essentially, and finally, alone. This is what makes your self-respect so important, and I don’t see how you can respect yourself if you must look in the hearts and minds of others for your happiness.”

– Hunter S. Thompson, The Proud Highway: Saga of a Desperate Southern Gentleman, 1955-1967

Hunter S. Thompson on Acceptance Quotes

Naval Ravikant

“Don’t take yourself so seriously. You’re just a monkey with a plan.”

Naval Ravikant

Naval Ravikant on Acceptance Quotes