Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Self-confidence

"Wise men weigh the advantages of any course of action against its drawbacks, and move not an inch until they can see what the result of their action will be; but while they are deep in thought, the men with self-confidence ‘come and see and conquer.’" - Ahad HaAm, pen name, born Asher Zvi Hirsch Ginsberg

"Self-confidence is not hope; it is the self-judgment of your own internal forces in their relation to the world without, which results from the failure of many; hopes and the non-realization of many fears." -

"The self-confidence of the warrior is not the self-confidence of the average man. The average man seeks certainty in the eyes of the onlooker and calls that self-confidence. The warrior seeks impeccability in his own eyes and calls that humbleness. The average man is hooked to his fellow men, while the warrior is hooked to himself." -

"Temptations are a file which rub off much of the rust of self-confidence." - François Fénelon, fully Francois de Salignac de la Mothe-Fénelon

"Self-confidence is the first requisite to great undertakings." -

"If we take the generally accepted definition of bravery as a quality which knows no fear, I have never seen a brave man. All men are frightened. The more intelligent they are, the more frightened. The courageous man is the man who forces himself, in spite of his fear, to carry on. Discipline, pride, self-respect, self-confidence, and the love of glory are attributes which will make a man courageous even when he is afraid." -

"Youth is not a time of life; it is a state of mind. People grow old only by deserting their ideals and outgrowing the consciousness of youth. Years wrinkle the skin, but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul. You are as old as your doubt; your fear; your despair. The way to keep young is to keep your faith young. Keep your self-confidence young. Keep your hope young." - Luella F. Phelan

"Having once decided to achieve a certain task, achieve it at all costs of tedium and distaste. The gain in self-confidence of having accomplished a tiresome labor is immense." - Arnold Bennett, fully Enoch Thomas Arnold Bennett

"By His trials, God means to purify us, to take away all our self-confidence, and our trust in each other, and bring us into implicit, humble trust in Himself." - Horace Bushnell

"It is pleasant to be transferred from an office where one is afraid of a sergeant-major into an office where one can intimidate generals, and perhaps this is why History is so attractive to the more timid among us. We can recover self-confidence by snubbing the dead." - E. M. Forster, fully Edward Morgan Forster

"It has always seemed to me that ruthlessness and arrogant self-confidence constitute the indispensable condition for what, when it succeeds, strike us as greatness. And I also believe that one ought to differentiate between greatness of achievement and greatest of personality." - Sigmund Freud, born Sigismund Schlomo Freud

"The history of the world is full of men who rose to leadership, by sheer force of self-confidence, bravery and tenacity." -

"Being 'awake in your dreams' provides the opportunity for unique and compelling adventures rarely surpassed elsewhere in life... [As a skill] it has considerable potential for promoting personal growth and self-development, enhancing self-confidence, improving mental and physical health, facilitating creative problem-solving, and helping you to progress on the path to self-mastery." - Stephen LaBerge

"The Christian faith is a sacrifice: a sacrifice of all freedom, all pride, all self-confidence of the spirit; at the same time, enslavement and self-mockery, self-mutilation." - Friedrich Nietzsche, fully Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

"The player of the inner game comes to value the art of relaxed concentration above all other skills; he discovers a true basis for self-confidence; and he learns that the secret to winning any game lies in not trying too hard. He aims at the kind of spontaneous performance which occurs only when the mind is calm and seems at one with the body, which finds its own surprising ways to surpass its own limits again and again." - Tim Gallwey, fully W. Timothy Gallwey

"Self-confidence is the first requisite to great undertakings." - Samuel Johnson, aka Doctor Johnson

"Nobody grows old by merely living a number of years. People grow old by deserting their ideals. Years may wrinkle the skin, but to give up interest wrinkles the soul… You are as young as your faith, as old as your doubt; as young as your self-confidence, as old as your fear; as young as your hope, as old as your despair." - Douglas MacArthur

"To me the worst thing seems to be a school principally to work with methods of fear, force and artificial authority. Such treatment destroys the sound sentiments, the sincerity and the self-confidence of pupils and produces a subservient subject." - Albert Einstein

"The history of the world is full of men who rose to leadership, by sheer force of self-confidence, bravery and tenacity." -

"Nobody grows old by merely living a number of years. People grow old by deserting their ideals. You are as young as your faith, as old as your doubt; as young as your self-confidence, as old as your fear; as young as your hope, as old as your despair." - Douglas MacArthur

"If we take the generally accepted definition of bravery as a quality when one knows not fear, I have never seen a brave man. All men are frightened. The more intelligent they are, the more they are frightened. The courageous man is the man who forces himself, in spite of his fear, to carry on. Discipline, pride, self-respect, self-confidence, and the love of glory are attributes which will make a man courageous even when he is afraid." -

"Happiness is growth through the enlargement of one's comfort zone, the expansion of what one has attempted, and the self-confidence to attempt even more... It is unfortunate but indisputable truth that happiness often comes with a price... You will find creating a life of happiness is not one large, overwhelming task, but rather a series of small, manageable steps." -

"Happiness is growth through the enlargement of one's comfort zone, the expansion of what one has attempted, and the self-confidence to attempt even more... It is unfortunate but indisputable truth that happiness often comes with a price... You will find creating a life of happiness is not one large, overwhelming task, but rather a series of small, manageable steps." - Alan Epstein

"One important key to success is self-confidence. An important key to self-confidence is preparation." - Arthur Ashe

"Without a humble but reasonable confidence in your own powers you cannot succeed. A sense of inferiority and inadequacy interferes with the attainment of your hopes, but self-confidence leads to self-realization and successful achievement." - Norman Vincent Peale

"Don’t back down just to keep the peace. Standing up for your beliefs builds self-confidence and self-esteem." - Oprah Winfrey, born Oprah Gail Winfrey

"Education is the ability to listen to almost anything without losing your temper or your self-confidence." - Robert Frost

"You are as young as your faith, as old as your doubt; as young as your self-confidence, as old as your fear; as young as your hope, as old as your despair." - Samuel Ullman

"The self-confidence of the warrior is not the self-confidence of the average man. The average man seeks certainty in the eyes of the onlooker and calls that self-confidence. The warrior seeks impeccability in his own eyes and calls that humbleness. The average man is hooked to his fellow men, while the warrior is hooked to himself." - Carlos Castaneda, fully Carlos César Salvador Arana Castaneda

"Having once decided to achieve a certain task, achieve it at all costs of tedium and distaste. The gain in self-confidence of having accomplished a tiresome labour is immense." -

"Giving people self-confidence is by far the most important thing that I can do. Because then they will act. " - Jack Welch, fully John Francis "Jack" Welch, Jr.

"One of the marvelous things about community is that it enables us to welcome and help people in a way we couldn't as individuals. When we pool our strength and share the work and responsibility, we can welcome many people, even those in deep distress, and perhaps help them find self-confidence and inner healing." - Jean Vanier

"We are constantly amazed by how much people will do when they are not told what to do by management." In the new knowledge-based economy, people should make their own decision. Managing less is managing better. Close supervision, control and bureaucracy kill the competitive spirit of the company. "Weak managers are the killers of business; they are the job killers. You can't manage self-confidence into people." - Jack Welch, fully John Francis "Jack" Welch, Jr.

"Failure feelings – fear, anxiety, lack of self-confidence – do not spring from some heavenly oracle. They are not written in the stars. They are not holy gospel. Nor are they intimations of a set and decided fate which means that failure is decreed and decided. They originate from your own mind." - Maxwell Maltz

"The tragedy is that so many people look for self-confidence and respect everywhere except within themselves, so they fail in their search." - Nathaniel Branden

"Poverty of spirit should accompany us all our life long to let us see that we have no righteousness nor strength of our own for sanctification; that all the grace we have is out of ourselves, even for the performance of every holy duty; for though we have grace, yet we cannot bring that grace into act without new grace, even as there is a fitness in trees to bear fruit, but without the influence of heaven they cannot be fruitful. That which oftentimes makes us miscarry in the duties of our callings is this, we think we have strength and wisdom sufficient, and then what is begun in self-confidence is ended in shame. We set about duties in our own pride and strength of parts, and find no better success; therefore it is always a good sign that God will bless our endeavors, when out of a deep sense of our own weakness, we in prayers and supplications like our Lord also water our business with strong crying and tears" - Richard Sibbes (or Sibbs)

"Homosexuality is assuredly no advantage, but it is nothing to be ashamed of, no vice, no degradation, it cannot be classified as an illness." - Sigmund Freud, born Sigismund Schlomo Freud

"How to gain the advantages of society, without at the same time losing ourselves, is a question of no slight difficulty. The wise man often follows the crowd at a little distance, in order that he may not come suddenly upon it, nor become entangled with it, and that he may with some means of amusement maintain a clear and quiet pathway." - Arthur Helps, fully Sir Arthur Helps

"Nothing is more terrible than activity without insight." - Thomas Carlyle

"If you want to achieve something that has always eluded you, for this day act as if it were already here." - Wayne Dyer, fully Wayne Walter Dyer

"Women and fiction remain, so far as I am concerned, unsolved problems." - Virginia Woolf, nee Stephen, fully Adeline Virginia Woolf