15 Inspiring Elizabeth Gilbert Quotes


Elizabeth Gilbert is one of my favorite people and authors. I still recall being backstage with her when I worked at my corporate job.

We were waiting for her cue and she was pacing slowly back and forth. She wasn’t speaking, but something was off, I could tell.

“Are you okay?” I whispered to her quietly.

“I’m just nervous,” she replied.

“But you’re a pro,” I said. “You’ve got this!”

And then she said something to me, the gist of which I’ve never forgotten: 

“I’m grateful for the nerves because it means I still care deeply about what I’m doing. 1st time. 75th time. 475th time… feeling the butterflies tells me I’m still aligned.”

I feel like that’s the message of most of her work, especially her non-fiction book, Big Magic. It’s all about creating and living with joy. Create for fun, create because you want to. And as much as I’d love to pull the entirety of Big Magic into a blog post for you, I understand that’s frowned upon. 

So, instead, I’ll share 15 of my favorite things Elizabeth Gilbert has said across books, talks, and interviews for you today. They’re mostly inspiring quotes about creativity, life, and aligning with your purpose. Some, I just think are funny.

Because sometimes, it feels like all you need is to get to work and focus; other times, a little kick in the pants from a favorite role model will do.

My 15 Favorite Elizabeth Gilbert Quotes

On Creativity and Creating

“Be the weirdo who dares to enjoy.”

“My creative expression must be the most important thing in the world to me (if I am to live artistically) and it also must not matter at all ( if I am to live sanely).”

“Do whatever brings you to life, then. Follow your own fascinations, obsessions, and compulsions. Trust them. Create whatever causes a revolution in your heart.”

“Creativity is a crushing chore and a glorious mystery. The work wants to be made, and it wants to be made through you.”

“Through the mere act of creating something—anything—you might inadvertently produce work that is magnificent, eternal, or important.”

On Mindfulness

“You need to learn how to select your thoughts just the same way you select your clothes every day. This is a power you can cultivate. If you want to control things in your life so bad, work on the mind. That’s the only thing you should be trying to control.”

“The universe buries strange jewels deep within us all, and then stands back to see if we can find them. The hunt to discover those jewels––that’s creative living.”

“To meditate, only you must smile. Smile with face, smile with mind, and good energy will come to you and clean away dirty energy.”

On Having Compassion

“Whatever you do, try not to dwell too long on your failures. You don’t need to conduct autopsies on your disasters.”

“Someday you’re gonna look back on this moment of your life as such a sweet time of grieving. You’ll see that you were in mourning and your heart was broken, but your life was changing.”

“All the people who I know and love and learn from are the people who are really open and candid about their fear and about their anxiety. They find really compassionate ways to work with it, rather than constantly trying to either pretend it doesn’t exist or do some sort of massive genocidal eradication.”

On Life

“I came here to live a life, fully, all of it and I’ll take it. I’ll take all of it. I’ll take the whole thing. Because I don’t want to miss it. I don’t want to have come all this distance to live a human life and miss the experience. I just wanna show up for the whole ride.”

“There’s something in this world that you love more than you love yourself. Something worthy, by the way, so addiction and infatuation don’t count, because we all know that those are not safe places to live. The only trick is that you’ve got to identify the best, worthiest thing that you love most, and then build your house right on top of it and don’t budge from it.”

“I think curiosity is our friend that teaches us how to become ourselves. And it’s a very gentle friend and a very forgiving friend, and a very constant one. Passion is not so constant, not so gentle, not so forgiving, and sometimes. not so available.”

“You will do foolish things, but do them with enthusiasm.”

I could go on. Elizabeth Gilbert is very inspiring to me and I love everything she says. Her quotes are poignant, thought-provoking, and always hit home.

What’s your favorite quote from Elizabeth Gilbert?

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