There might be affiliate links on this page, which means we get a small commission of anything you buy. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases. Please do your own research before making any online purchase.
Are you looking for inspiration on your journey for more self-mastery?
Self-control is the path to fully understanding and then taking ownership of your emotions and responses to a given situation. However, self-control is a concept that can be very easily confused with self-repression.
So, in today’s post, we’ll provide some self-control quotes for you to mull over, but first, some things about self-control should be cleared up.
What You Will Learn
Firstly, reading about self-control can help motivate you to carry on your journey, because while it’s straightforward to understand the benefits of self-control and self-mastery, it’s going to be a long road to get there, and it requires unwavering commitment.
Lots of incredible thinkers, from ancient Chinese masters like Lao Tzu, or the giants of philosophy like Plato are constantly telling us how important being on the path to self-control and self-mastery is to leading a fulfilling life.
There are tons of ways to train and achieve greater self-control, whether it’s through the use of journaling, mindfulness, meditation, or devotion to a code of behavior. However, it’s important to understand that self-control doesn’t mean self-repression.
It’s easy to think of self-control as something similar to having a tight grip on yourself (big boys and girls don’t cry after all), but that isn’t the real thing. Self-control only really comes from understanding, it’s about understanding yourself at the deepest possible levels – only then can you achieve true mastery over yourself.
For example, self-control isn’t about stifling your genuine emotions, if you’re grieving a loss, for instance, it doesn’t mean ignoring your feelings.
This idea of self-control comes from parents and teachers telling us not to cry or to behave ourselves but translated into adulthood, this pattern of repressing our emotions sets us up for disease or for the repressed emotions to be released destructively.
Self-control is all about self-understanding, and by doing that we can use our emotions to propel us upwards, instead of seeing that part of ourselves as a problem to be solved.
- “Self-control is a key factor in achieving success. We can’t control everything in life, but we can definitely control ourselves.” – Jan McKingley Hilado
- “Such power there is in clear-eyed self-restraint.” – James Russell Lowell
- “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
- “The best fighter is never angry.” – Lao Tzu
- “You have power over your mind – not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.” – Marcus Aurelius, Meditations
- “By constant self-discipline and self-control you can develop greatness of character.” – Grenville Kleise
- “The secret of success is learning how to use pain and pleasure instead of having pain and pleasure use you. If you do that, you’re in control of your life. If you don’t, life controls you.” – Tony Robbins
- “Superior people never make long visits.” – Marianne Moore
- “To handle yourself, use your head; to handle others, use your heart.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
- “In the midst of movement and chaos keep stillness inside of you.” – Deepak Chopra
- “Seek always for the answer within. Be not influenced by those around you, by their thoughts or their words.” – Eileen Caddy
- “What we do upon some great occasion will probably depend on what we already are, and what we are will be the result of previous years of self-discipline.” – H.P. Liddon
- “I am very happy Because I have conquered myself And not the world.” – Sri Chinmoy
- “Don’t speak unless you can improve on the silence.” – Spanish Proverb
- “If you learn self-control, you can master anything.” – Anonymous
- “Don’t be curious of matters that don’t concern you; never speak of them, and don’t ask about them.” – Teresa of Avila
- “Never respond to an angry person with a fiery comeback, even if he deserves it…Don't allow his anger to become your anger.” – Bohdi Sanders
- “We improve ourselves by victories over ourselves. There must be a contest, and we must win.” – Edward Gibbon
- “He who cannot obey himself will be commanded. That is the nature of living creatures.” – Friedrich Nietzsche
- “When you borrow trouble you give your peace of mind as security.” – Myrtle Reed
- “Any woman who is sure of her own wits, is a match, at any time, for a man who is not sure of his own temper.” – Wilkie Collins
- “I count him braver who overcomes his desires than him who conquers his enemies; for the hardest victory is over self.” – Aristotle
- “The man who masters his own soul will forever be called the conqueror of conquerors.” – Plautus
- “One can be the master of what one does, but never of what one feels.” – Gustave Flaubert
- “You must have discipline to have fun.” – Julia Child
- “I will be calm. I will be mistress of myself.” – Jane Austen
- “Your brain shall be your servant instead of your master. You will rule it instead of allowing it to rule you.” – Charles Popplestone
- “The ability to discipline yourself to delay gratification in the short term in order to enjoy greater rewards in the long term is the indispensable prerequisite for success.” – Maxwell Maltz
- “When the fight begins within himself, a man’s worth something.” – Robert Browning
- “Self-control is the chief element in self-respect, and self-respect is the chief element in courage.” – Thucydides
- The highest possible stage in moral culture is when we recognize that we ought to control our thoughts.” – Charles Darwin
- “Self-control is one mark of a mature person; it applies to control of language, physical treatment of others, and the appetites of the body.” – Joseph B. Wirthlin
- “He who reigns within himself, and rules passions, desires, and fears, is more than a king.” – John Milton
- “There never has been, and cannot be, a good life without self-control.” – Count Leo Tolstoy
- “Educate your children to self-control, to the habit of holding passion and prejudice and evil tendencies subject to an upright and reasoning will, and you have done much to abolish misery from their future and crimes from society.” – Benjamin Franklin
Educate your children to self-control, to the habit of holding passion and prejudice and evil tendencies subject to an upright and reasoning will, and you have done much to abolish misery from their future and crimes from society.” – Benjamin Franklin
- “If you do not conquer self, you will be conquered by self.” – Napoleon Hill
- “I think self-discipline is something, it’s like a muscle. The more you exercise it, the stronger it gets.” – Daniel Goldstein
- “The first and best victory is to conquer self. To be conquered by self is, of all things, the most shameful and objectionable.” – Plato
- “It is essential that we not respond impulsively to impressions; take a moment before reacting, and you will find it easier to maintain control.” – Epictetus
- “In that power of self-control lies the seed of eternal freedom.” – Paramahansa Yogananda
- “If you conquer yourself, then you conquer the world” – Paulo Coelho
- “I cannot trust a man to control others if he cannot control himself.” – Robert E. Lee
- “Not to have control over the senses is like sailing in a rudderless ship, bound to break to pieces on coming in contact with the very first rock.” – Mahatma Gandhi
- “The enemy is within the gates; it is with our own luxury, our own folly, our own criminality that we have to contend.” – Marcus Tullius Cicero
- “One’s greatest challenge is to control oneself.” – Kazi Shams
- “The biggest enemies of willpower: temptation, self-criticism, and stress. (…) these three skills —self-awareness, self-care, and remembering what matters most — are the foundation for self-control.” – Kelly McGonigal
- “Not being able to govern events, I govern myself.” – Michel de Montaigne
- “Don’t make a mouse of yourself, or else you will be eaten by cats.” – German Proverb
- “The intelligent desire self-control; children want candy.” – Rumi
- “You cannot prevent the birds of sorrow from flying over your head, but you can prevent them from building nests in your hair.” – Chinese Proverb
- “He who controls others may be powerful, but he who has mastered himself is mightier still.” – Lao Tzu
- “No man is fit to command another that cannot command himself.” – William Penn
- “No one can make you jealous, angry, vengeful, or greedy–unless you let him.” – Napoleon Hill
- “When we have begun to take charge of our lives, to own ourselves, there is no longer any need to ask permission of someone.” – George O’Neil
- “Prudent, cautious self-control, is wisdom’s root.” – Robert Burns
- “Ultimately, the only power to which man should aspire is that which he exercises over himself.” – Elie Wiesel
- “The best time for you to hold your tongue is the time you feel you must say something or bust.” – Josh Billings
We hope these quotes can help inspire you on your path toward ever-greater self-control and self-mastery. Learning how to have more self-control will always require some honest and deep introspection on your part, but that all starts with awareness.
Check out these 11 steps to be more self-aware throughout your life and start reaping the rewards of greater self-control.
Finally, if you want to use these quotes to make a lasting change to your life, then check out and recite these 57 affirmations for success.
Tom Smith is a creative writer with over 6 years of professional experience. He discovered the joy of writing after covering some furniture in his childhood home with graffiti. In later years, he got himself a BA in creative writing and hasn’t looked back. After discovering the power of positive thinking and discovering the spiritual side of life, he believes it's a huge privilege to be able to write about all things personal development.