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Gain Clarity: 101+ Powerful Taking A Step Back Quotes

Gain Clarity: 101+ Powerful Taking A Step Back Quotes

Are you feeling overwhelmed by the constant chaos and fast-paced nature of life?

Struggling to keep up with the never-ending list of tasks and demands on your time?

If so, it's time you take a step back and gain some clarity.

Our collection of the best taking a step back quotes will inspire you to slow down, reflect on your priorities, and find balance in your life.

These quotes come from some of the most successful and wise individuals in history, offering valuable insights and perspective on the importance of taking a step back in order to move forward with purpose and intention.

Take a deep breath, relax, and let these quotes guide you toward a calmer, more focused existence.

Inspiring Taking A Step Back Quotes

Image of an Inspiring taking a step back quote

1. “Optimist: Someone who figures that taking a step backward after taking a step forward is not a disaster, it’s a cha-cha.” — Robert Brault

2. “If you can’t go one way, there’s many ways to get where you’re going. So you just take a step back and see beyond the wall.” — Cyndi Lauper

3. “I have a big-picture outlook, I am willing to fall, and I understand it's ok to fall, but I am going to get back up, I may take a step back, but in the end, I am going to take a giant leap forward.” — Tiger Woods

4. “While you'll feel compelled to charge forward it's often a gentle step back that will reveal to you where you and what you truly seek.” — Rasheed Ogunlaru

5. “To experience the agony of defeat makes you stronger. It's like taking one step back and two steps forward. To experience the agony of defeat makes you appreciate the experience of winning. That's what makes a champion.” — Leon Spinks

6. “Sometimes the best way to throw a punch is to take a step back.” — Morgan Freeman

7. “Power never takes a back step only in the face of more power.”— Malcolm X

8. “Honestly, I feel like I spent the last 10 years just trying to work, just get my hands on the best material I could. I'd like to say that it was quite calculated and genius, my ability to take one step forward and two steps back.” — Timothy Olyphant

9. “The touring makes you take a step back. It makes you realize how your lifestyle has changed.” — Garance Dore

10. “Sometimes a change of perspective is all it takes to see the light.” — Dan Brown

11. “In the end, we need two things to lead a balanced life—a sense of the world and a sense of ourselves; it’s like breathing in and breathing out. And if you can only get to know the world by stepping out, and losing yourself in experience, you can only get to know the self by stepping back, and finding yourself in contemplation. One without the other leads to a kind of madness.”— Pico Iyer

12. “Sometimes you just have to take a step back, to think, analyze and create a new perspective, as compared to stale attempts, it is the new approaches that are more efficient and effective.” — Gareema Raju

13. “If you’re climbing the ladder of life, you go rung by rung, one step at a time. Don’t look too far up, set your goals high but take one step at a time. Sometimes you don’t think you’re progressing until you step back and see how high you’ve really gone.” — Donny Osmond

14. “It’s hard to see things when you’re too close. Take a step back and look.” — Bob Ross

15. “You must learn to take a step back and visualize the whole piece. If you focus only on the thread given to you, you lose sight of what it can become.” — Colleen Houck

16. “That sometimes you have to take a step back and breathe. That you can’t make insane decisions when your head is a mess. That even when you can’t walk in someone else’s shoes, you do have to try them on.” — Adriana Locke

17. “Take a step back. Life gets distorted when you examine things from too close up.” — Richelle E. Goodrich

18. “Sometimes when we don't know how to move forward, it's best to take a step back.” — Evinda Lepins

19. “Distance not only gives nostalgia, but perspective, and maybe objectivity.” — Robert Morgan

Taking A Step Back Quotes To Reflect On

Image of taking a step back quote by Teri Garr

20. “Take a step back, evaluate what is important, and enjoy life.” — Teri Garr

21. “Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to reform (or pause and reflect).” — Mark Twain

22. “We’re really at this point where we can take a step back and think about the next big things that we want to do.” — Mark Zuckerberg

23. “Sometimes it takes more strength to step back than forward.” — Emily R. King

24. “Putting down the power right from the whistle would be ugly and brutal, but it would get the job done. He wanted to tell her that, but this was the thing with coaching: you had to step back at exactly the moment you ached to step forward.” — Chris Cleave

25. “The inventory process and stepping back in your life can sometimes be a very dark process. But it also can be extremely funny and surprising.”— Craig Charles

26. “The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” — Marcel Proust

27. “It is a narrow mind which cannot look at a subject from various points of view.” — George Eliot

28. “It’s hard sometimes to take a step back and realize what’s happened because you’re always trying to move forward. You’re always looking at the next palette.” — Alexander Wang

29. “Learn when to take step back… At times it gives you a chance to know yourself better.” — Adil Adam Memon

30. “It’s a funny thing about life, once you begin to take note of the things you are grateful for, you begin to lose sight of the things that you lack.” — Germany Kent

31. “I took a little break — I was coming back to work and the last thing I was going to do was take a step backwards, so I knew that if I was going to take a feature it was going to have to be taking a step forward.” — Nia Long

32. “Anyone who falls in love is searching for the missing pieces of themselves. So anyone who’s in love gets sad when they think of their lover. It’s like stepping back inside a room you have fond memories of, one you haven’t seen in a long time.”— Haruki Murakami

33. “I don’t really take a step back too often to see what’s going on.” — Gavin DeGraw

34. “If you really take a step back and observe people who are considered super—normal and watch them a bit, you’ll realize that they’re actually completely out of their minds! Most people are really nuts, and that’s fascinating.” — Johnny Depp

35. “I think we need to take a step back and realize what the real issues are — it’s not being from different places or being different.” — Winnie Harlow

36. “Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.” — Andre Gide

37. “So it is in life … In search of the truth, people make two steps forward and one step back. Sufferings, mistakes, and the tedium of life throw them back, but the thirst for truth and a stubborn will drive them on and on. And who knows? Maybe they'll row their way to the real truth…” — Anton Chekhov

38. “Raising children who are hopeful and who have the courage to be vulnerable means stepping back and letting them experience disappointment, deal with conflict, learn how to assert themselves, and have the opportunity to fail. If we’re always following our children into the arena, hushing the critics, and assuring their victory, they’ll never learn that they have the ability to dare greatly on their own.”— Brené Brown

39. “People seldom see the halting and painful steps by which the most insignificant success is achieved.” — Anne Sullivan

Taking A Step Back Quotes For When You Feel Overwhelmed

Image of taking a step back quotes for when you feel overwhelmed

40. “Sometimes you have to take a step back to move forward.” — Erika Taylor 

41. “Growth is an erratic forward movement: two steps forward, one step back. Remember that and be very gentle with yourself.”— Julia Cameron

42. “In any given moment we have two options: To step forward into Growth or to Step back into safety.”— Abraham Maslow

43. “The only thing you sometimes have control over is perspective. You don’t have control over your situation. But you have a choice about how you view it.” — Chris Pine

44. “Moving forward is not always good, especially when there is a precipice ahead! Know to turn back! Know to step back! Sometimes moving backwards is moving forward!” — Mehmet Murat Ildan

45. “This is love: to fly toward a secret sky, to cause a hundred veils to fall each moment. First to let go of life. Finally, to take a step without feet.” — Rumi

46. “You can’t make yourself be compassionate, you can only keep stepping back and becoming a larger container in which compassion wants to live. The practice should open us up, and crack open our hearts again and again.” — Judith Hanson Lasater

47. “When things begin accelerating wildly out of control, sometimes patience is the only answer. Press pause.” — Douglas Rushkoff

48. “Be yourself. Be true to that, to your heart. Patience. See what happens if you step back instead of bounding forward.” — Nora Roberts

49. “Do something nice for yourself today. Find some quiet, sit in stillness, breathe. Put your problems on pause. You deserve a break.” — Akiroq Brost

50. “The steps to success may be different than what you anticipate. Truth told, most attempts in life do not deliver the expected results. So alter your perception, your vision, your outlook, but do not abandon the end goal.” — Richelle E. Goodrich

51. “When adversity strikes, that’s when you have to be the most calm. Take a step back, stay strong, stay grounded and press on.” — LL Cool J

52. “The only people who see the whole picture are the ones who step outside the frame.” — Salman Rushdie

53. “When you feel yourself in the grip of an emotion such as jealousy or anger or sorrow, detach yourself from it. Take a step back. When you do that, you can allow the emotion to run through you without causing negative thoughts or actions.” — Gary Zukav

54. “I have to strive to go two steps forward and realize that, sometimes, there will be one step back.”— Victoria Moran

55. “A retreat from someone or something isn’t unusual. Just as how you edge closer to see better, at times you may need to take a step back to get a clearer view.” — Rajuda

Taking A Step Back Quotes To Help You Slow Down

Image of quote by Stephanie Kraft about taking a step back

56. “I applaud her courage. It takes a big person to take a step back.” — Stephanie Kraft

57. “Progressivism is usually seen as a stepping back from individualism into a progressive community.”— Jane Smiley

58. “Take a walk with a turtle. And behold the world in pause.” — Bruce Feiler

59. “Most misunderstandings in the world could be avoided if people would simply take the time to ask, ‘What else could this mean?’”— Shannon L. Alder

60. “The trick to forgetting the big picture is to look at everything close up.” — Chuck Palahniuk

61. “Take a step back. Take a long view. Take a deep breath. And take your time…” — Sissy Gavrilaki

62. “I just wish that every responsible and concerned person would step back regardless of race and gender and just take a closer look at what’s really going on in the world today, and say enough is enough!” — Lonnie Earl Johnson

63. “Sometimes you have to take two steps back to take ten forward.” — Nipsey Hussle

64. “Most people assume that meditation is all about stopping thoughts, getting rid of emotions, somehow controlling the mind. But actually it’s … about stepping back, seeing the thought clearly, witnessing it coming and going.”— Andy Puddicombe

65. “Every experience of love, bliss, belonging, inspiration, and insight provides a stepping stone back to your true self.”— Deepak Chopra

66. “Aim for the sky, but move slowly, enjoying every step along the way. It is all those little steps that make the journey complete.” — Chanda Kochhar

67. “Humans have a tendency to overcomplicate simple things because we overthink them. But if you take a step back and remember your priorities, it becomes easier to make a decision.” — Lilly Singh

68. “Generally, there is a lot of truth value in stepping back, observing, then logically generalizing the extremes of what you see.”— Criss Jami

69. “When things are not happening as planned just stop worrying and take an unplanned break to regain yourself.” — Giridhar Alwar

70. “We must dismantle the frame in order to see the full picture.” — Jacqueline Simon Gunn

71. “Tearing it back unveiling me. Taking a step back so I can breathe. Hear the silence about to break. Fear resistance when I’m awake.”— Godsmack

72. “My destination is no longer a place, rather a new way of seeing.” — Marcel Proust

73. “Take a step back and view the world through your eyes, not someone else’s. Listen to your heart and decide what you really want.” — Fennel Hudson

74. “It’s a very slow process — two steps forward, one step back — but I’m inching in the right direction.”— Rob Reiner

RELATED: 120+ Life Goes On Quotes For Whatever Life Throws Your way

Taking A Step Back Quotes To Settle Your Priorities In Life

Image of taking a step by back by Vince McMahon

75. “Sometimes you have to take a half step back to take two forward.”— Vince McMahon

76. “One step back does not mean defeated…. It just means that you will take the same step forward again…but wiser.” — Jossie Estrella

77. “Did you ever think you had all the answers when you were in the thick of something, but then when you take a step back, you realize you were so busy getting things done that you never stopped to ask yourself if it’s what you really want to do?” — Jana Deleon

78. “We often need to lose sight of our priorities in order to see them.” — John Irving

79. “Sometimes you have to take a step back and realize what’s important in your life — what you can live with, but more importantly…what you can’t live without.” — Lauren Comrad

80. “If you’re going through friendship issues, I would say, first of all take a step back. How important is the friendship to you? Sometimes, if someone’s not being a good friend to you and isn’t treating you the way you should be treated, then you kind of have to move on sometimes.” — Victoria Justice

81. “Progression and regression go hand in hand with mental health. It is a tough illness. You often take one step forward and ten steps back.” — Theresa Larsen

82. “Perspective is the way we see things when we look at them from a certain distance and it allows us to appreciate their value.” — Rafael E. Pino

83. “What is this thing that has us chewing at our own selves, grating ourselves against our own sharp sieve? It is the act of stepping back. It is the act of separating, and judging. It takes only one because the one becomes two.”— Bonnie Friedman

84. “If we do not step forward, then we step back. If we do not protect a right, then we deny it.”— Paul Martin

85. “Attachment constrains our vision so that we are not able to see things from a wider perspective.” — Dalai Lama

86. “No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.” — Albert Einstein

87. “Sometimes you just have to take a step back, take stock of your life, and recognize what isn’t serving you. It might be a relationship that causes you nothing but heartache, a pattern of behavior that sets you up for disappointment or failure, or even just a refusal to accept reality for what it is. Whatever it is that causes you pain, find the self—awareness to be honest with yourself and the strength to let it go. Nothing will change till you do.”— Lori Deschene

Taking A Step Back Quotes To Remember Everyday

Image of taking a step back quotes to remember everyday

88. “Please, please, please be yourself. If you catch yourself not, take a step back.” — Christina Grimmie

89. “Sometimes you need to take a step back to move forward, stronger.” — Kef Amaya   

90. “Take a step back can often be the quickest way forward.” — Tim Fargo

91. “Now and then it’s good to pause in our pursuit of happiness and just be happy.” — Guillaume Apollinaire

92. “If you step on people in this life, you’re going to come back as a cockroach.”— Willie Davis

93. “If just one person touches you without your permission, stepping back and saying clearly, “Please don’t touch me” should get them to stop.”— Mallory Ortberg

94. “I just want people to take a step back, take a deep breath and actually look at something with a different perspective. But most people will never do that.” — Brian McKnight

95. “Often stepping back you see more, don’t you?” — David Hockney

96. “When you feel the pressure to respond.. know that it’s not the right moment to respond.. pull back and pause, reflect, re-think .. most of the mistakes are made on impulse.” — Jaya Bhateja

97. “Never write about a place until you’re away from it, because that gives you perspective.” — Ernest Hemingway

98. “What saves a man is to take a step. Then another step. It is always the same step, but you have to take it.”— Antoine De Saint

99. “Laughter gives us distance. It allows us to step back from an event, deal with it and then move on.” — Bob Newhart

100. “Nobody has to do anything wrong to end up living a life that feels like it’s not their own, all they have to do is take a step back, and hope for the best.” — Craig Stone

101. “Sometimes you have to take a step back and look at your life, in order to take a step forward and move on in it.” — Rashida Rowe

102. “In a real relationship, you take two steps forward, one step back. So just because we take two steps forward and get all the benefit from that doesn't mean we can't go back or to the side”  — Shelley Long

103. “It is necessary sometimes to take one step backward to take two steps forward.” — Vladimir Ilyich Lenin

104. “Life is about perspective and how you look at something… ultimately, you have to zoom out.” — Whitney Wolfe Herd

Share Your Favorite Taking A Step Back Quote

By now, you should realize that you don’t always have to keep moving forward—sometimes, all you need is to take a step back and breathe just for a moment to keep your vision clear.

Clarity is something that sounds so simple, but it’s truly hard to achieve it, especially when you keep fighting the currents of your life. 

That said, take these taking a step back quotes as a sign to pause, look at the bigger picture, take a deep breath, and clearly pinpoint your goal.

Which one of these quotes was your favorite?

Let us know in the comments!