48 Self-compassion Quotes To Fill Your Heart With Kindness

We live in a world where being productive and having self-discipline are idolized. The idea of failing is terrifying.

But learning to love ourselves even when we fail, and despite the qualities we see as imperfect, is key to self-compassion.

If you want to inspire more self-compassion in your life, here are 48 uplifting inspirational quotes to help you along your way. We’ve also included some self-care tips and tricks.


  1. Best self-compassion quotes
  2. Mindful self-compassion quotes
  3. Self-kindness quotes
  4. Healing self-compassionate quotes
  5. Loving-kindness self-compassion quotes
  6. Self-love compassion quotes
  7. Self-care quotes
  8. Self-compassion phrases
  9. Self-compassion examples
  10. Common questions

Best self-compassion quotes

Making the shift to replace self-criticism with self-compassion and self-acceptance is not easy, but it is one of the most positive changes you can make in your life. Inspire more self-kindness with the following best self-compassion quotes.

1. “If your compassion does not include yourself, it is incomplete.” —Jack Kornfield
2. “Remember, you’ve been criticizing yourself for years, and it hasn’t worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens.” —Louise L. Hay
3. “And I said to my body softly, ‘I want to be your friend.’ It took a long breath and replied, ‘I have been waiting my whole life for this.’” —Nayyirah Waheed

4. “In other words, practice being a ‘compassionate mess.’” —Kristin Neff and Christopher Germer, The Transformative Effects of Mindful Self-Compassion, 2019
5. “Self-compassion triggers people to adopt a growth mindset.” —Serena Chen, Harvard Business Review, 2018
6. “When we fully accept the reality that we are imperfect human beings, prone to make mistakes and struggle, our hearts naturally begin to soften.” —Kristin Neff and Christopher Germer, The Transformative Effects of Mindful Self-Compassion, 2019

7. “Self-compassion is an antidote to self-pity.” —Kristin Neff and Christopher Germer, The Transformative Effects of Mindful Self-Compassion, 2019
8. “Self-compassion is about treating yourself with kindness, care, support, and empathy in the same way you would treat a good friend who needs you.” —Rebecca Dolgin, Self-care 101, 2020
9. “Individuals who are more self-compassionate tend to have greater happiness, life satisfaction and motivation, better relationships and physical health, and less anxiety and depression.” —Kristin Neff and Christopher Germer, The Transformative Effects of Mindful Self-Compassion, 2019

10. “Self-compassion cultivates authenticity by minimizing negative thoughts and self-doubts.” —Serena Chen, Harvard Business Review, 2018
11. “Courage starts with showing up and letting ourselves be seen.” —Brene Brown

Mindful self-compassion quotes

Part of learning how to love ourselves involves becoming more self-aware. Being mindful helps us to notice when we are short on self-compassion. Negative self-talk only keeps us stuck in judgment and suffering.

1. “There is no empty room when the soul is full.” —Lama Norbu, Little Buddha, 1993
2. “Compassion is not a relationship between the healer and the wounded. It’s a relationship between equals. Only when we know our own darkness well can we be present with the darkness of others. Compassion becomes real when we recognize our shared humanity.” —Pema Chödrön
3. “Compassion literally means “to suffer with,” which implies a basic mutuality in the experience of suffering. The emotion of compassion springs from the recognition that the human experience is imperfect, that we are all fallible.” —Kristin Neff, Embracing Our Common Humanity With Self-Compassion

4. “Compassion is the radicalism of our time.” —Dalai Lama
5. “People pleasers are generally the most unhappy people. They have exhausted themselves so much trying to be what everyone else wants them to be that they lose their sense of self. This often turns them away from compassion..” —Brene Brown, Nspirement, 2021
6. “Mindfulness and self-compassion both allow us to live with less resistance toward ourselves and our lives. If we can fully accept that things are painful, and be kind to ourselves because they’re painful, we can be with the pain with greater ease.” —Kristin Neff and Christopher Germer, The Transformative Effects of Mindful Self-Compassion, 2019

7. “We can make ourselves miserable, or we can make ourselves strong. The amount of effort is the same.” —Pema Chödrön

Self-kindness quotes

We all deserve to be treated with empathy and spoken to with words of kindness, but whether or not you believe this will depend on how worthy you feel of love. Treat yourself with more kindness, and watch the rest of the world do the same. Enjoy the following uplifting quotes about self-kindness.

1. “You deserve all the love and kindness that you give so easily to others.” —Unknown
2. “The mark of a wild heart is living out the paradox of love in our lives. It’s the ability to be tough and tender, excited and scared, brave and afraid – all in the same moment. It’s showing up in our vulnerability and our courage, being both fierce and kind.” —Brene Brown
3. “We can be more of the person we know is possible when we get in the habit of self-kindness.” —Tara Branch, Forbes, 2020

4. “The recognition of common humanity entailed by self-compassion also allows us to be more understanding and less judgmental about our inadequacies.” —Kristin Neff, Embracing Our Common Humanity With Self-Compassion
5. “And so these folks had, very simply, the courage to be imperfect. They had the compassion to be kind to themselves first and then to others, because, as it turns out, we can’t practice compassion with other people if we can’t treat ourselves kindly.” —Brene Brown, The Power of Vulnerability, Tedx, 2010

Here is an inspiring list of self-esteem quotes to help lift your spirits.

Healing self-compassion quotes

After becoming aware of the ways that you treat yourself with a lack of self-compassion, you can begin to work on healing these parts of yourself and offering yourself more forgiveness. You deserve to live a life full of acceptance and deep love for yourself.

1. “You either walk inside your story and own it, or you stand outside your story and hustle for your worthiness.” —Brene Brown
2. “When we are mindful of our struggles, and respond to ourselves with compassion, kindness, and support in times of difficulty, things start to change.” —Kristin Neff and Christopher Germer, The Transformative Effects of Mindful Self-Compassion, 2019
3. “Having compassion starts and ends with having compassion for all those unwanted parts of ourselves, all those imperfections that we don’t even want to look at.” —Pema Chodron

4. “Self-compassion, it seems, can create a sense of safety that allows us to confront our weaknesses and make positive changes in our lives, rather than becoming overly self-defensive or wallowing in a sense of hopelessness.” —David Robson, BBC, 2021
5. “The research is really overwhelming at this point, showing that when life gets tough, you want to be self-compassionate. It’s going to make you stronger.” —Kristin Neff, BBC, 2021
6. “In the end, only three things matter: how much you loved, how gently you lived, and how gracefully you let go of things not meant for you.” —Buddha

7. “Underneath every experience of distress, grief or anger is a longing for how you wish the world to be.” —Tim Desmond

Loving-kindness self-compassion quotes

You of all people deserve so much of your love and compassion. Inspire yourself to treat yourself like your own best friend with the following quotes.

1. “The more we learn to relate to our inner life with compassion and embodied presence, the more that compassion and embodied presence naturally includes everyone else.” —Tara Brach, Greater Good Magazine, 2020
2. “Self-compassion motivates like a good coach, with kindness, support, and understanding, not harsh criticism.” —Kristin Neff and Christopher Germer, The Transformative Effects of Mindful Self-Compassion, 2019
3. “Most of us have a good friend in our lives, who is kind of unconditionally supportive. Self-compassion is learning to be that same warm, supportive friend to yourself.” —Kristin Neff, BBC, 2021

4. “Instead of chastising ourselves, we should practice self-compassion: greater forgiveness of our mistakes, and a deliberate effort to take care of ourselves throughout times of disappointment or embarrassment.” —David Robson, BBC, 2021
5. “What if instead, we were to treat ourselves as we would a friend…? More likely than not, we’d be kind, understanding, and encouraging. Directing that type of response internally, toward ourselves, is known as self-compassion.” —Serena Chen, Harvard Business Review, 2018

Self-love compassion quotes

Showing up with compassion for ourselves begins with us learning how to deepen our loving relationship with ourselves. If deepening your self-love is something you’re working on, here are some more self-love quotes to inspire your self-love journey.

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1. “Imagine if we obsessed about the things we loved about ourselves.” —Unknown
2. “Self-love is a life-long state of being. It’s an authentic and honest appreciation for yourself.” —Rebecca Dolgin, Self-care 101, 2020
3. “‘You have peace’ the old woman said, ‘when you find it within yourself.’” —Mitch Albom

4. “Self-love means valuing yourself as a human being, accepting yourself without conditions, and having a high regard for your own well-being by nurturing it physically, psychologically, and spiritually.” —Rebecca Dolgin, Self-care 101, 2020
5. “I am gentle and loving to myself as I change and grow.” —Unknown
6. “When you get to a place where you believe that love and belonging, your worthiness, is a birthright and not something you have to earn, anything is possible.” —Brene Brown

Self-care quotes

Creating deep self-care practices is one of the loveliest things we can do for ourselves. Whether it is through yoga, mindfulness practices, or just simply treating ourselves to a bubble bath, these practices will allow us to live with more balance and ease in our lives.

1. “I love being at home. It’s my sacred space. I love spending quality time with myself. Writing, reading, cooking, dancing, candles on, music on, doing lots of self-care. As much as I love human connection, I cherish my alone time, my own company, recharging and loving myself.” —Amanda Perera
2. “Self-care is how you take your power back.” —Lalah Delia
3. “Engaging in a self-care routine has been clinically proven to reduce or eliminate anxiety and depression, reduce stress, improve concentration, minimize frustration and anger, increase happiness, improve energy, and more.” —Matthew Glowiak, South New Hampshire University, 2020

4. “Blocking, muting, deleting, unfollowing is self-care.” —Unknown
5. “Self-care isn’t about weekly massages or buying yourself whatever you want #ideservethis-style. It’s a lot more basic. Some research on self-care describes brushing your teeth as a form of self-care.” —Rebecca Dolgin, Self-care 101, 2020
6. “Remember that self-care is all about you. What works for one person may not work for another, but that’s the beauty of a self-care routine.” —Matthew Glowiak, South New Hampshire University, 2020

7. “Many of us have so many responsibilities in life that we forget to take care of our personal needs.” —Elizabeth Scott, Ph.D., 2020

These mental health quotes can also help raise awareness of the importance of self-care.

Self-compassion phrases

Usually, your healing journey will have a few bumps along the road. When the road is bumpy, it’s easy to slip back into negative thinking. Here is a list of 8 self-compassion mantras for you to repeat when you notice yourself needing a redirection.

1. I love all of myself, imperfections included
2. What others think of me is none of my business; I focus on what I think about myself
3. Everybody makes mistakes, myself included

4. I am worthy of love exactly as I am right here, right now
5. I forgive myself for the mistakes throughout my journey of discovery
6. Practice makes improvement

7. I am safe exactly as I am right now; I give myself space for my nervous system to relax
8. I am deserving of love, respect, and compassion, from myself and others
9. I forgive and accept my flaws because nobody is perfect

Self-compassion examples

So, you’ve heard all about the benefits of self-compassion and why you should begin to treat yourself with more of it. If you’re wondering exactly how to do so, the following examples are a great place for you to start.

Examples of gratitude and self-compassion

Experiencing feelings of gratitude allows us to feel more positive, more often. The following are examples of how to express more gratitude for yourself and deepen your self-compassion.

1. “I am grateful for myself for showing up for myself every day, even if I don’t do it perfectly.”
2. “I am grateful to be me. I am grateful to be as silly, kind and loving as I am, and I wouldn’t change a thing about myself.”

Examples of self-forgiveness

When we make a mistake we often spend a lot of time afterwards beating ourselves up. The reality is that everyone makes mistakes. Mistakes are just a part of life. And the more forgiveness you offer yourself after making a mistake, the more quickly you will bounce back from it. Here are examples of how to be more compassionate with yourself after making a mistake.

1. “Looking back I would have done that differently, but I had no way of knowing that at the time. I have learned the lesson and will do better next time.”
2. “This is something that I continue to do imperfectly, but that’s okay. I will continue showing up for myself as best as I can until I get it right.”

Examples of positive self-talk

How we feel about ourselves begins with how we speak to ourselves. We should always try to speak to ourselves as we would our best friend, because that’s what we are. Here is an example of how to shift from negative to positive self-talk.

Negative self-talk: “I absolutely bombed that interview. I’m so stupid. How did I even think I could get that job in the first place? I just can’t do anything right.”

Positive self-talk: “That interview didn’t go as well as I hoped, but that’s okay, mistakes happen. Even if I don’t get the job, I learned a valuable lesson about how I should prepare for interviews, and I’ll do a better job next time.”

If you’re working to improve your self-talk, we have an article on how to stop negative self-talk that you might find helpful.

Examples of self-care

We really do live in a world that prioritizes getting stuff done over listening to our bodies. Working hard and accomplishing our goals is important, but so is feeling good and taking care of ourselves. Here are some examples of how you can show yourself self-compassion by prioritizing self-care in your life.

1. “I’ve had a really long day, and I still have more to do, but I’m going to prioritize cooking a good meal for myself instead of continuing to work.”
2. “I’m absolutely exhausted. I deserve to have a good night of rest, and I know that I will be better equipped to deal with my problems in the morning.”

Examples of self-love

Do something special for yourself. A lot of us suffer from a sense of lack of love in our lives when we aren’t in romantic partnerships. But the truth is that you always have the power to love yourself just as deeply as others can. Here are some ways that you can deepen your self-compassion through self-love.

1. “I would love to go out for dinner tonight. I might not have a date, but I’m happy going alone. I’m not going to keep myself from enjoying this experience that I desire.”
2. “Wow, those flowers are absolutely beautiful. I might not have someone to buy them for me, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t buy them for myself.”

Common questions

How are self-compassion and emotional well-being connected?

Self-compassion is showing up for yourself with kindness, especially in moments when we feel as though we have failed at something. Emotional well-being is more of an overall feeling of wellness and mental vitality that can be enhanced by self-compassion.

Why is self-compassion important?

Self-compassion helps us to maintain a positive and healthy mental state throughout our lives. It increases our confidence in ourselves, lessens feelings of insecurity, and helps us to move through difficult periods of our lives and bounce back with more resiliency.

Viktor is a Counselor specialized in interpersonal communication and relationships. He manages SocialSelf’s scientific review board. Follow on Twitter or read more.

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