85 Anais Nin Quotes That Will Give You Courage

anais nin talking to a man

In this article, we’re diving into some of the inspirational Anais Nin quotes that will empower you to be your best self!

Anais Nin was a prolific writer and a leading feminist figure of the 20th century. She was born in France in 1903, but ended up spending most of her life living in the United States, where she eventually became a famous author of short stories and erotica.

In addition to crafting compelling stories, she also kept diaries that contained her unfiltered thoughts on life. And it’s from these diaries that many of her most thought-provoking quotes come from.

So without further ado, let’s dive into some of the most impactful Anais Nin quotes about love, life, art, and the human experience.


Anais Nin Quotes About Life


  • “We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.”


  • “Each contact with a human being is so rare, so precious, one should preserve it.”


  • “Whenever you do something that is not aligned with the yearning or your soul—you create suffering.”


  • “Truth is something which can’t be told in a few words. Those who simplify the universe only reduce the expansion of its meaning.”


  • “The secret of a full life is to live and relate to others as if they might not be there tomorrow, as if you might not be there tomorrow. It eliminates the vice of procrastination, the sin of postponement, failed communications, failed communions.”


  • “Dreams pass into the reality of action. From the actions stems the dream again; and this interdependence produces the highest form of living.”


  • “The possession of knowledge does not kill the sense of wonder and mystery. There is always more mystery.”


  • “There are very few human beings who receive the truth, complete and staggering, by instant illumination. Most of them acquire it fragment by fragment, on a small scale, by successive developments, cellularly, like a laborious mosaic.”


  • “I only believe in intoxication, in ecstasy, and when ordinary life shackles me, I escape, one way or another. No more walls.”


  • “Life is truly known to those who suffer, lose, endure adversity, and stumble from defeat to defeat.”


anais nin quote


  • “Physical experiences, lacking the joys of love, depend on twists and perversions of pleasure. Abnormal pleasures kill the taste for normal ones.”


  • “There is not one big cosmic meaning for all; there is only the meaning we each give to our life, an individual meaning.”


  • “Ordinary life does not interest me. I seek only the high moments. I am in accord with the surrealists, searching for the marvelous. I want to be a writer who reminds others that these moments exist.”


  • “From the backstabbing co-worker to the meddling sister-in-law, you are in charge of how you react to the people and events in your life. You can either give negativity power over your life or you can choose happiness instead.”


  • “Life is a process of becoming, a combination of states we have to go through. Where people fail is that they wish to elect a state and remain in it.”


  • “The illusion of connection is what might cheat us of being in touch deeply with the one breathing next to us. The concert of being in touch with millions brings a greater poverty of intimacy and human vision.”


  • “We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect.”


  • “People living deeply have no fear of death.”


  • “Every word spoken in the past accumulated forms and colors in the self. What flows through the veins besides blood is the distillation of every act committed, the sediment of all the visions, wishes, dreams and experiences.”


  • “Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.”


  • “If you do not breathe through writing, if you do not cry out in writing, or sing in writing, then don’t write, because our culture has no use for it.”


  • “Our life is composed greatly from dreams, from the unconscious, and they must be brought into connection with action. They must be woven together.”


  • “Life is a full circle, widening until it joins the circle motions of the infinite.”


Anais Nin Quotes On Change

Enjoying this list of quotes so far? Then you’ll also enjoy these Morgan Harper Nichols quotes or this list of Amanda Gorman quotes.

If you’d just prefer to keep reading, then here’s some more powerful Anais Nin quotes.


  • ‘Throw your dreams into a space like a kite, and you do not know what it will bring back, a new life, a new friend, a new love, a new country.”


  • “If you limit yourself only to what seems reasonable, you disconnect yourself from what you truly want, and all that is left is to compromise.”


inspirational quote


  • “There are many ways to be free. One of them is to transcend reality by imagination, as I try to do.”


  • “Something is always born of excess: great art was born of great terror, great loneliness, great inhibitions, instabilities, and it always balances them.”


  • “What is necessary to life, to livingness, is to move on, in other words to move from one kind of problem to another.”


  • “Perfection is static, and I am in full progress.”


  • “Some people read to confirm their own hopelessness. Others read to be rescued from it.”


  • “I walk ahead of myself in perpetual expectancy of miracles.”


  • “Anything that I cannot transform into something marvelous, I let go.”


  • “We discouraged the inner journey, the quest for a center. So we lost our center and have to find it again.”


  • “I take pleasure in my transformations. I look quiet and consistent, but few know how many women there are in me.”


  • “I made no resolutions for the New Year. The habit of making plans, of criticizing, sanctioning and molding my life, is too much of a daily event for me.”


  • “What we call our destiny is truly our character and that character can be altered. The knowledge that we are responsible for our actions and attitudes does not need to be discouraging, because it also means that we are free to change this destiny.”


  • “We do not escape into philosophy, psychology, and art. We go there to restore our shattered selves into whole ones.”


anais nin quote on a wall


  • “Introspection is a devouring monster. You have to feed it with much material, much experience, many people, many places, many loves, many creations, and then it ceases feeding on you.”


  • “The secret of joy is found in the master of pain.”


  • “We do not grow absolutely, chronologically. We grow sometimes in one dimension, and not in another; unevenly. We grow partially. We are relative. We are mature in one realm, childish in another.”


  • “I change every day. I am a series of moods and sensations. I play a thousand roles. I weep when I find others playing them for me. My real self is unknown. My work is merely the essence of this vast and deep adventure.”


Anais Nin Quotes On Love


  • “Love never dies a natural death. It dies because we don’t know how to replenish its source. It dies of blindness and errors and betrayals. It dies of illness and wounds; it dies of weariness, of withering, of tarnishing.” 


  • “When you trust, you are tender and delicate, but when you doubt, you are dangerous and destructive.”


  • “Age does not protect you from love. But love, to some extent, protects you from age.”


  • “Since desire always goes towards that which is our direct opposite, it forces us to love that which will make us suffer.”


  • “The truly faithless one is the one who makes love to only a fraction of you. And denies the rest.”


  • “Our love of each other was like two long shadows kissing without hope of reality.”


  • “The enemy of love is never outside, it’s not a man or a woman, it’s what we lack in ourselves.”


  • “We are like sculptors, constantly carving out of others the image we long for, need, love or desire, often against reality, against their benefit.”


  • ​​“Do not seek the because – in love there is no because, no reason, no explanation, no solutions.”


  • “You don’t find love, it finds you. It’s got a little bit to do with destiny, fate, and what’s written in the stars.”


quote on blue wall


  • “Anxiety is love’s greatest killer. It makes others feel as you might when a drowning man holds on to you. You want to save him, but you know he will strangle you with his panic.”


  • “I prefer by far the warmth and softness to mere brilliancy and coldness. Some people remind me of sharp dazzling diamonds. Valuable but lifeless and loveless.”


  • “In this instant of danger they realized they were each other’s reason for living, and into this instant they threw their whole being.”


  • “You are that to me, an oasis. You drug me and at the same time you give me strength.”


  • “His entire body was pleading for reassurance, and if her whole love was not enough what else could she give him to cure his doubt?”


  • “The potion drunk by lovers is prepared by no one but themselves. The potion is the sum of one’s whole existence.”


  • “How quickly the minutes fly when you are writing to please your heart. I pity those who write for money or for fame. Money is debasing, and fame transitory and exacting. But for your own heart…Oh, what a difference!”


  • “When you’re in my arms, I know you’re mine. But your feet are so swift, so swift, they carry you as lightly as wings, I never know where, too fast, too fast away from me.”


  • “They had reached a perfect moment of human love. They had created a moment of perfect understanding and accord. This highest moment would now remain as a point of comparison to torment them later on when all natural imperfections would disintegrate it.”


Anais Nin Quotes About Courage

Let’s wrap up this list with some powerful Anais Nin quotes about showing courage and living a full life. Feel free to also check out these self-confidence quotes or this list of quotes about overcoming fear.


  • “Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.” 


  • “I don’t really want to become normal, average, and standard, I want to merely gain the courage to live out my life more fully, enjoy more, experience more.”


  • “I postpone death by living, by suffering, by error, by risking, by giving, by losing.”


  • “When you make a world tolerable for yourself, you make a world tolerable for others.”


  • “The personal life deeply lived always expands into truths beyond itself.”


  • “To commit suicide is easy. To live without a god is more difficult. The drunkenness of triumph is greater than the drunkenness of sacrifice.”


  • “I am more interested in human beings than in writing, more interested in lovemaking than in writing, more interested in living than in writing. More interested in becoming a work of art than in creating one.”


  • “There came a time when the risk to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”


inspirational quote posted on wall


  • “The real wonders of life lie in the depths. Exploring the depths for truths is the real wonder which the child and the artist know: magic and power lie in truth.”


  • “All those who try to unveil the mysteries always have tragic lives. At the end they are always punished.”


  • “I feel very small. I don’t understand. I have so much courage, fire, energy, for many things, yet I get so hurt, so wounded by small things.”


  • “It is a sign of great inner insecurity to be hostile to the unfamiliar.”


  • “Human beings can reach such desperate solitude that they may cross a boundary beyond which words cannot serve, and at such moments there is nothing left for them but to bark.”


  • “Living never wore one so much as the effort not to live.”


  • “My ideas usually come not at my desk writing but in the midst of living.”


  • “How wrong is it for a woman to expect the man to build the world she wants, rather than to create it for herself?”


  • “It takes courage to push yourself to places you have never been before… to test your limits…to break through barriers.”


good quote from anais nin


  • “Stories are the only enchantment possible, for when we begin to see our suffering as a story, we are saved.”


  • “The role of a writer is not to say what we can all say, but what we are unable to say.”


  • “You live like this, sheltered, in a delicate world, & you believe you are living.”


  • “She lacks confidence, she craves admiration insatiably. She lives on the reflections of herself in the eyes of others. She does not dare to be herself.”


What is Anais Nin Known For?

Anais Nin’s writing is defined by poetic language, rich metaphors, and profound insights into the human psyche. 

Nin is widely recognized for her contribution to literature because she often touched on taboo topics that other writers wouldn’t write about.

Her exploration of taboo topics such as female sexuality, homosexuality, and infidelity challenged social norms and pushed boundaries. She gave voice to the female experience and was a staunch advocate for women’s empowerment. 

Furthermore, Nin is also well-known for her wise words about life. As shown by many of these quotes, she was a deep thinker with a really interesting perspective.

Her work continues to inspire people to live courageous lives, and its had a lasting impact on literature and feminist discourse.


Final Thoughts

I hope that you enjoyed this list of Anais Nin quotes!

Nin’s writing continues to inspire and enlighten readers to this day. Her legacy as a feminist icon and literary pioneer continues to live on because of the substance in her work.

There’s much that we can learn from these quotes, but here’s the most important take away — you must live a life of courage or you’ll die with regret.

Anais Nin spent her life venturing into the unknown, overcoming fear, and taking risks. And while those aren’t the only requirements for a good life, they’re pretty good indicators of a life well lived.

So let her words inspire you to live the life you deserve instead of settling for one you don’t really want!

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