150 Pessimism Quotes to Transform Your Mindset and Ignite Positivity

The Most Famous Pessimism Quotes (Best in 2024)

Go to table of contents

Pessimism is self-fulfilling. — Naval Ravikant

A pessimist is a person who has had to listen to too many optimists. — Don Marquis

A pessimist is just an optimist with experience. — Eyedea

Unfortunately, pessimism is self-fulfilling. — Naval Ravikant

Pessimism never won any battle. — Dwight D. Eisenhower

I don't consider myself a pessimist. I think of a pessimist as someone who is waiting for it to rain. And I feel soaked to the skin. — Leonard Cohen

Don't ever become a pessimist... a pessimist is correct oftener than an optimist, but an optimist has more fun, and neither can stop the march of events. — Robert A. Heinlein

If you’re a pessimist, you get your feedback from other people. It’s a social act. You’re convincing other people of your pessimism. — Naval Ravikant

I am by nature an optimist and by intellectual conviction a pessimist. — William Golding

The pessimist borrows trouble; the optimists lend encouragement. — William Arthur Ward

Short Pessimism Quotes

Go to table of contents

  • He who thinks the worst usually is right — Greek Proverbs
  • Pessimism is a luxury that a Jew can never allow himself. — Golda Meir
  • Pessimism is an easy trap to fall into, but it implies that humans are not creative. — Naval Ravikant
  • An optimist looks at a seed and sees a tree; a pessimist looks at a tree and sees a forest fire. — Matshona Dhliwayo
  • I am an optimist by nature and I reserve the right to be wrong. — Rakesh Jhunjhunwala
  • Pessimism doesn’t acknowledge all the ways that we have innovated our way out of previous traps. — Naval Ravikant
  • Bull-markets are born on pessimism, grow on skepticism, mature on optimism and die on euphoria. — John Templeton
  • You can’t optimize something that’s dead. — Brian Clark
  • The optimist sees the donut, the pessimist sees the hole. — Oscar Wilde
  • To the pessimist the light at the end of the tunnel is another train. — Joan Rivers
Pessimism quote Cease negative mental chattering. If you think a thing is impossible, you'll mak
Cease negative mental chattering. If you think a thing is impossible, you'll make it impossible. Pessimism blunts the tools you need to succeed.

Philosophical Pessimism Quotes

Go to table of contents

A pessimist sees only the dark side of the clouds and mopes; a philosopher sees both sides and shrugs; an optimist doesn't see the clouds at all - he's walking on them. — Leonard Louis Levinson

We live in the best of all possible worlds — Gottfried Leibniz

Life is short and truth works far and lives long: let us speak the truth. — Arthur Schopenhauer

the most common type of pessimism is neither philosophical nor religious: it is the pessimism of thwarted desire. ... It is the cynical sneer of the man who, seeking roses, finds only ashes. — Georgia Harkness

So far there has been no philosopher in whose hands philosophy has not grown into an apology for knowledge; on this point, at least, every one is an optimist, that the greatest usefulness must be ascribed to knowledge. They are all tyrannized over by logic, and this is optimism in its essence. — Friedrich Nietzsche

Pessimism Philosophy Quotes

Go to table of contents

Now, what is the left's worldview in general? What is it? If you had to attach not a philosophy but an attitude to a leftist worldview, it's one of pessimism and darkness, sadness. They're never happy, are they? They're always angry about something. No matter what they get, they're always angry. — Rush Limbaugh

PESSIMISM- philosophy forced upon the convictions of the observer by the disheartening prevalence of the optimist with his scarecrow hope and his unsightly smile. — Ambrose Bierce

The test of all beliefs is their practical effect in life. If it be true that optimism compels the world forward, and pessimism retards it, then it is dangerous to propagate a pessimistic philosophy. — Helen Keller

The entire concept of pessimism crumbles the moment one human being puts aside thoughts of self and reaches out to another to minister to her suffering. The experience of either person can neither be denied nor adequately explained by a negative philosophy. — Michael J. Nelson

Pessimism is an emotion not a philosophy. — Immortal Technique

Pessimism And Success Quotes

Go to table of contents

remember to recognize the small successes that you will have. Don't let the brightness of that big goal blind you to what happens on the way toward the goal. Meet one wave at a time and enjoy what progress you make. I want you please not to be taken up in the undertow of pessimism. — Lucille Ball

It is far too late and things are far too bad for pessimism. — Dee Hock

Success is found balanced between optimism and realism, where it is unhindered by the weight of pessimism. — Wes Fesler

Success requires enough optimism to provide hope and enough pessimism to prevent complacency. — David Myers

We look for some reward of our endeavors and are disappointed that not success, not happiness, not even peace of conscience, crowns our ineffectual efforts to do well. Our frailties are invincible, our virtues barren; the battle goes sore against us to the going down of the sun. — Robert Louis Stevenson

Pessimism And Life Quotes

Go to table of contents

I have lived through many wars and have lost everything many times Yet, life is beautiful, and I have so much to learn and enjoy. I have no space nor time for pessimism and hate. — Alice Herz-Sommer

Always look on the bright side of life. — Graham Chapman

In optimism there is magic. In pessimism there is nothing. — Esther Hicks

The older books were quite light-hearted. But I think most of my novels do end on a deep note of pessimism. Shadows seem to be closing in. The final conclusion isn't that life is wonderful and everything is bright and cheery and in the garden. — Ruth Prawer Jhabvala

Every time a man is begotten and born, the clock of human life is wound up anew to repeat once more its same old tune that has already been played innumerable times, movement by movement and measure by measure, with insignificant variations. — Arthur Schopenhauer

Though I am alive now, I do not believe an old man's pessimism is nessessarily truer than a young man's optimism simply because it comes after. There are things a young man knows that are true and are not yet in the old man's power to recollect. Spring has its sappy wisdom. — Richard Rodriguez

No pessimist ever discovered the secrets of the stars. — Helen Keller

The American, by nature, is optimistic. He is experimental, an inventor and a builder who builds best when called upon to build greatly. — John F. Kennedy

Life...as God intended it enables us to live above the drag of fear, superstition, shame, pessimism, guilt, anxiety, worry, and all the negativity that keeps people from seizing each day as a gift from Him. — Charles R. Swindoll

How do you tell an optimist that he or she has lived a happy life by mistake? — Robert Breault

Optimism And Pessimism Quotes

Go to table of contents

A pessimist is one who makes difficulties of his opportunities and an optimist is one who makes opportunities of his difficulties. — Harry S. Truman

The optimist sees the rose and not its thorns; the pessimist stares at the thorns, oblivious to the rose. — Khalil Gibran

Bull markets are born on pessimism, grown on skepticism, mature on optimism and die on euphoria. The time of maximum pessimism is the best time to buy, and the time of maximum optimism is the best time to sell. — John Templeton

Optimistic young adults stay healthier throughout middle age and, ultimately, live longer than pessimists. — Angela Duckworth

Between the optimist and the pessimist, the difference is droll. The optimist sees the doughnut; the pessimist the hole! — Oscar Wilde

Investment risk comes primarily from too high prices, and too high prices often come from excessive optimism and inadequate skepticism and risk aversion. — Howard S. Marks

Pessimists are usually right and optimists are usually wrong but all the great changes have been accomplished by optimists. — Thomas Friedman

I don't think you lead by pessimism and cynicism. I think you lead by optimism and enthusiasm and energy. — Patricia Ireland

The market is a pendulum that forever swings between unsustainable optimism (which makes stocks too expensive) and unjustified pessimism (which makes them too cheap). The intelligent investor is a realist who sells to optimists and buys from pessimists. — Benjamin Graham

An optimist is someone who figures that if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it's the bluebird of happiness. — Robert Breault

Being A Pessimist Quotes

Go to table of contents

It's better to be an optimist who is sometimes wrong than a pessimist who is always right — Mark Twain

There are probably multiple reasons for that. It’s easier to be a pessimist than an optimist. It’s hard to guess how life is going to improve; it’s easier to extrapolate how it’s going to get worse. — Naval Ravikant

Darwin was not afraid to look deeply into the void. His bold view can be seen as either noble and pessimistic or noble and admirable. For people of science, he is a hero. Denying man a privileged place in creation, .. he reaffirms with his own intellectual courage the dignity of man. — Primo Levi

People who are optimistic see a failure as due to something that can be changed so that they can succeed next time around, while pessimists take the blame for the failure, ascribing it to some characteristic they are helpless to change. — Daniel Goleman

That was one of the virtues of being a pessimist: nothing was ever as bad as you thought it would be. — James Jones

The arms race is based on an optimistic view of technology and a pessimistic view of man. It assumes there is no limit to the ingenuity of science and no limit to the deviltry of human beings. — I. F. Stone

That human life must be some kind of mistake is sufficiently proved by the simple observation that man is a compound of needs which are hard to satisfy; that their satisfaction achieves nothing but a painless condition in which he is only given over to boredom . . . — Arthur Schopenhauer

I'd rather be an optimist and a fool than a pessimist and right. — Albert Einstein

The nice part about being a pessimist is that you are constantly being either proven right or pleasantly surprised. — George Will

I can't be a pessimist, because I am alive. — James A. Baldwin

Optimist And Pessimist Quotes

Go to table of contents

Optimists and pessimists die the exact same death, but they live very different lives! — Shimon Peres

Save like a pessimist and invest like an optimist. — Morgan Housel

Dear optimist, pessimist, and realist--while you guys were busy arguing about the glass of wine, I drank it! Sincerely, the opportunist! — Lori Greiner

There's no difference between a pessimist who says, "Oh it's hopeless, so don't bother doing anything." and an optimist who says, "Don't bother doing anything, it's going to turn out fine anyways. Either way, nothing happens." — Yvon Chouinard

Pessimism quote

Traditionalists are pessimists about the future and optimists about the past. — Lewis Mumford

The intelligent investor is a realist who sells to optimists and buys from pessimists. — Benjamin Graham

Between the optimist and the pessimist, the difference is droll. The optimist sees the doughnut; the pessimist the hole! — Mclandburgh Wilson

If we can recognize that change and uncertainty are basic principles, we can greet the future and the transformation we are undergoing with the understanding that we do not know enough to be pessimistic. — Hazel Henderson

Pessimists are usually right and optimists are usually wrong but all the great changes have been accomplished by optimists. — Thomas L. Friedman

Pessimists are second rate people. They do not believe in life. ... All they want to do is drag you down and appease their own feelings of mediocrity and fear. — Uell Stanley Andersen

Pessimist And Optimist Quotes

Go to table of contents

The pessimist waits for better times, and expects to keep on waiting; the optimist goes to work with the best that is at hand now, and proceeds to create better times. — Christian D. Larson

To the optimist all doors have handles and hinges; to the pessimist, all doors have locks and latches. — William Arthur Ward

The pessimist complains about the wind;The optimist expects it to change;And the realist adjusts the sails. — William Arthur Ward

Men will gather knowledge no matter what the consequences. Science will go on whether we are pessimistic or optimistic, as I am. More interesting discoveries than we can imagine will be made, and I am awaiting them, full of curiosity and enthusiasm. — Linus Pauling

The difference between an optimist and a pessimist? An optimist laughs to forget, but a pessimist forgets to laugh. — Tom Bodett

An optimist will tell you the glass is half-full; the pessimist, half-empty; and the engineer will tell you the glass is twice the size it needs to be. — Oscar Wilde

The spirit of the gospel is optimistic; it trusts in God and looks on the bright side of things. The opposite or pessimistic spirit drags men down and away from God, looks on the dark side, murmurs, complains, and is slow to yield obedience. — Orson F. Whitney

A man may be a pessimistic determinist before lunch and an optimistic believer in the will's freedom after it. — Aldous Huxley

A conservative government survives essentially by dampening expectations and subduing hopes. Conservatism is basically pessimistic, reformism is basically optimistic. — Gough Whitlam

An optimist is a person who sees only the lights in the picture, whereas a pessimist sees only the shadows. An idealist, however, is one who sees the light and the shadows, but in addition sees something else: the possibility of changing the picture, of making the lights prevail over the shadows. — Felix Adler

Don't Be A Pessimist Quotes

Go to table of contents

I happen to be a pessimist, and maybe that's a good thing because I don't stop to smell the roses - which is not a good personal thing. I don't stop and enjoy those moments. Always on to the next and never in the moment. — Nicki Minaj

I think I'm a realist. Which people who don't like me consider to be pessimism. It isn't pessimism at all. If I was a pessimist I wouldn't get up, I wouldn't shave, I wouldn't watch Batman at 7:30 a.m. Pessimists just don't do that sort of thing. — Steven Morrissey

Do you know the difference between an optimist and a pessimist? A pessimist says ‘Oh dear, things can’t possibly get any worse.’ And an optimist says, ‘Don’t be so sad. Things can always get worse. — Steven Galloway

I try not to be too optimistic or pessimistic. If you're a pessimist then that's depressing all the time; if you're an optimist and things don't work out then that's depressing, too. — Nicholas Hoult

I am pessimistic about a picture's power to be the emissary of just one thing. What I hope is that the picture says, "Here I am, this is what I am like," and the person seeing the picture says in return, 'You know a lot but you don't know half of what I know.' — Emmet Gowin

It's easy to be pessimistic. Nobody needs to be taught how. You don't need to buy a book on it. You don't need to go to classes to learn how to be pessimistic. But you do read books on how to think positively, and people who write them become very rich because it takes effort. — Rush Limbaugh

To be honest I'm not going to sell dreams like everybody else does and say, "Sure, it can be changed." I don't want to seem like a pessimist, but nothing's getting better. — Q-Tip

I don't want to be a pessimist. I'm a realist. One man's realist is another man's pessimist. — Bill Maher

It's hard not to be kind of pessimistic about human beings generally, because we do tend to mess things up. If you just look at the history of extinctions, we've killed off an awful lot of animals - and I don't think we're doing a very good job of looking after the planet. — Bill Bryson

I don't feel that I view things with a pessimistic eye. I should try to say which way events will go rather than which way events should go. We have to be realistic. — Henry Kaufman

Optimists And Pessimists Quotes

Go to table of contents

A pessimist is one who makes difficulties of his opportunities and an optimist is one who makes opportunities of his difficulties. — Harry S Truman

The pessimist sees only the tunnel; the optimist sees the light at the end of the tunnel; the realist sees the tunnel and the light - and the next tunnel. — Sydney J. Harris

A pessimist is a man who thinks everybody is as nasty as himself, and hates them for it. — George Bernard Shaw

When hearing a door creak, the optimist thinks it's opening and the pessimist thinks it's closing. — Matthieu Ricard

A pessimist and an optimist, so much the worse; so much the better. — Jean De La Fontaine

Vision involves optimism and hope. The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees opportunity in every difficulty. The pessimist tends to hold back people of vision from pushing ahead. — J. Oswald Sanders

A pessimist looks at his glass and says it is half empty; an optimist looks at it and says it is half full. — Josiah Stamp

At the beginning of the Syrian conflict, I was optimistic. But now, I'm pessimistic, because it's so complicated. It's much worse than before. The whole world is fighting inside of Syria. It will take years and years to resolve. — Osama Alomar

Coaches are basically schizophrenic. We are pessimistic to the press and among fellow coaches, but to our team, we are the eternal optimists. — Jim Valvano

I am not a pessimist but a pejorist (as George Eliot said she was not an optimist but a meliorist); and that philosophy is founded on my observation of the world, not on anything so trivial and irrelevant as personal history. — A. E. Housman

People Writing About Pessimism

Go to table of contents

Name Quotes Likes
Read quotes by Naval Ravikant

Naval Ravikant
quotes on money, happiness and life

583 1
Read quotes by Don Marquis

Don Marquis
quotes on education, love and slavery

106 651
Read quotes by Eyedea

quotes on life, love and death

46 477
Read quotes by Dwight D. Eisenhower

Dwight D. Eisenhower
quotes on leadership, planning and d-day

495 12151
Read quotes by Leonard Cohen

Leonard Cohen
quotes on love, marriage and death

371 3190
Read quotes by Robert A. Heinlein

Robert A. Heinlein
quotes on democracy

658 4815

More Pessimism Quotes

Go to table of contents

Some people see the glass half full. Others see it half empty. I see a glass that's twice as big as it needs to be. — George Carlin

Different day, same s***. Ain't nothing good in the hood. I'd run away from this bitch and never come back if I could. — 50 Cent

Optimism, pessimism, f**k that; we're going to make it happen. As God is my bloody witness, I'm hell-bent on making it work. — Elon Musk

If children were brought into the world by an act of pure reason alone, would the human race continue to exist? Would not a man rather have so much sympathy with the coming generation as to spare it the burden of existence, or at any rate not take it upon himself to impose that burden upon it in cold blood? — Arthur Schopenhauer

We have seen too much defeatism, too much pessimism, too much of a negative approach. The answer is simple: if you want something very badly, you can achieve it. It may take patience, very hard work, a real struggle, and a long time; but it can be done. That much faith is a prerequisite of any undertaking. — Margo Jones

Habits of pessimism lead to depression, wither achievement, and undermine physical health. The good news is that pessimism can be unlearned, and that with its removal depression, underachievement, and poor health can be alleviated. — Martin Seligman

Faith is a luxury for those who are able to ignore what the rest of us must see every day. Pessimism, distrust, and irony are the holy trinity of my religion, irony in particular. — Brando Skyhorse

Cease negative mental chattering. If you think a thing is impossible, you'll make it impossible. Pessimism blunts the tools you need to succeed. — Bruce Lee

Even if the near term outlook is bad, just continue to hold on. — Thomas Phelps

Pessimism blunts the tools you need to succeed. — Bruce Lee

Antonio Gramsci said that social reformers should have pessimism of the intellect and optimism of the will. This means that one must have the intellectual ability to see how bad things are and the emotional ability to look forward with hope. It's a hard combination to sustain, but if you can do it, you can change the world. — Andrew Solomon

Optimism doesn't wait on facts. It deals with prospects. Pessimism is a waste of time. — Norman Cousins

I don't believe in pessimism. If something doesn't come up the way you want, forge ahead. If you think it's going to rain, it will. — Clint Eastwood

Criticism and pessimism destroy families, undermine institutions of all kinds, defeat nearly everyone, and spread a shroud of gloom over entire nations. — Gordon B. Hinckley

I see nothing in the present situation that is either menacing or warrants pessimism. — Andrew Mellon

But once we recognize that many ideas that are taken to be quintessentially Western have also flourished in other civilizations, we also see that these ideas are not as culture-specific as is sometimes claimed. We need not begin with pessimism, at least on this ground, about the prospects of reasoned humanism in the world. — Amartya Sen

In Conclusion

Despite its negative connotations, pessimism can sometimes provide a realistic perspective on life. Pessimistic quotes acknowledge the existence of difficulties and setbacks, reminding us that life is not always smooth sailing. They caution against excessive optimism and encourage a balanced view of the world. These quotes can serve as a reminder to prepare for obstacles and to be resilient in the face of adversity. Although too much pessimism can be debilitating, a moderate dose can help us stay grounded and prepared for life's uncertainties.

Which quotation resonated with you best? Did you enjoy our collection of pessimism quotes? Or may be you have a slogan about pessimism to suggest. Let us know using our contact form.

About the author

This collection is managed by , with an extensive background in quote curation. They have meticulously gathered, researched, and compiled the quotes featured on this page. Every quote has been diligently cross-verified for its origin, its authenticity, and its potential influence on our readership.


Feel free to cite use any of the quotes in this collection of pessimism. For popular citation styles(APA, Chicago, MLA), please use this citation page.

Embed HTML Link

Copy and paste this HTML code in your webpage