Motivational tattoos that will get you up, smiling, and determined to run forward with your arms raised high and confident. We often know what we want, but getting it proves to be difficult. The lack of motivation and reminders are usually keeping us away from the right way. There are numerous solutions for the lack of motivation, such as vision boards and motivational tattoos. Many people choose to make a vision board and look at it daily to feel better, while others find quotes and various designs that help them get closer to their goal.
Unless you’re up for a tattoo removal, you should browse through the next 47 motivational tattoos and decide whether or not such tattoo would work for you. You’ll discover that most of them are graceful and subtle, and only a few of them really stand out. A simple message is usually enough to motivate people and the fact that they have it inked on their bodies boosts their morale.
Take a look at these amazing motivational tattoos:
Black and grey or really colored, the following 47 motivational tattoos are mainly located on arms and upper backs. No one can see what’s on his or her upper back without a mirror, but simply having that tattoo is enough to keep certain individuals going. I don’t know about you, but I would choose a part of my body that I can look at without a mirror for a motivational tattoo.
47. Find your inner warrior
Being a warrior doesn’t necessarily refer to violence. A warrior is a strong person who isn’t afraid of anything. Well..almost anything. One thing is for sure; this girl isn’t afraid of needles! Even if she was, she has now overcame that fear. This is a very delicate and feminine tattoo. She was inspired when she chose this font. It looks cursive and it is located on her wrist when she can see it. Whenever she needs strength and motivation, she can find them on her skin!
46. Don’t forget to smile
This is among the motivational tattoos that work on other people too. When I saw this tattoo, I smiled instantly. The power of such a simple word is amazing! Since this person is a photographer, this tattoo really suits her. We should smile all the time, not only when someone is taking our picture. The wrinkles that we get from smiling are much more attractive than those gotten from frowning, right?
45. Take baby steps
It’s said that no amount of regret can change the past and no amount of anxiety can change the future. So, why bother stressing about multiple things when we can take life one day at a time? This girl has a point and I agree with her! Her tattoo is small, but it means a lot and it looks very cute too! We could learn a thing or two from her and be less harsh on ourselves. I shall take baby steps in saving money to get this one!
44. There’s no such thing as failure
Never a failure, always a lesson. Located under this woman’s collarbone, this tattoo isn’t easy to read, but it’s easy to understand. If you don’t take failing into consideration, then you can’t be unhappy. Learning lessons can only make us better, so here’s an idea for motivational tattoos that can’t be argued with! This tattoo can also be found on Rihanna’s body. Even such a successful person needs motivation! That’s a relief!
43. Dream and live to the max
A quote by James Dean, Dream as if you’ll live forever. Live as if you’ll die today, doesn’t sound very responsible. However, it could be motivational for certain individuals. The feather located next to these words look like a part of a dreamcatcher and I think they are connected. Dreams can come true, with or without a dreamcatcher, so if you want this tattoo or another tattoo, you can make that happen!
42. Bob Marley wisdom on skin
Love the life you live. Live the life you love. Besides nicely playing with words, Bob Marley was successful in giving motivational speeches and his wisdom is still heard by many of us, including this girl. Motivational tattoos are supposed to make our lives better, so she made a great choice. However, I think her tattoo is a little too big even for its purpose. This might be because it means a lot to her. She chose one of the most painful body parts for this one.
41. The future is waiting
The quote tattooed on this lady’s arm belongs to Brad Paisley. She posted this picture on instagram and explained how much she enjoys the country music he sings and how motivated she was to look forward to the future. Many people could relate to motivational tattoos like this one. Indeed, one can assume what could happen, but you never really know until it happens. I like the font she chose because it looks like taken from a manuscript.
40. Treasuring life and living
Although this tattoo sounds optimistic, it is not complete. The whole quote is: Live everyday as if it were your last because someday you’re going to be right. Muhammad Ali might’ve been referring to his job as well since he was a professional boxer back in the 1940s. However, what’s important is that it motivates people to listen to his words and even to have them tattooed on their skin. The tattoo itself is well-positioned and manly despite the elongated letters.
39. Intelligence and ambition go hand in hand
The famous surrealist painter, Salvador Dali is the one who said these motivating words. The comparison he made makes sense and it is definitely helpful for those who procrastinate a lot. I wish I had a tattoo with one of his paintings, but this quote could serve as one of my motivational tattoos as well. The writing is tilted to the right, which means that the owner of this tattoo is a highly emotional person who is caring and thinks with her heart.
38. Struggling leads to progress
Simply put and without capital letters, this tattoo looks like it’s meant to be a reminder, more than have a visual effect. These words were spoken by an African-American social reformer named Frederick Douglass. It was very long ago, during the nineteenth century when he concluded that without struggle there is no progress. This can apply in every domain of our lives. Did you notice how the word struggle stands out? I think it was meant that way.
37. Step one, step two, step three
Look how adorable and cute those little feet are! Literally and figuratively, this message is about taking one step at a time. When we carefully calculate our moves and when we give ourselves time to achieve something, it’s impossible not to succeed! Motivational tattoos like this one are popular because they contain a message that is too positive to ignore and not believe in. In addition, they are delicate and don’t involve a high level of pain.
36. Take chances for life
Perhaps the idea of an afterlife is comforting for certain people, but not for this person. She thinks she has one life and one chance to do and achieve whatever she wants. This way of thinking is definitely empowering. I like the calligraphic font she picked for her tattoo. Her choice says a lot about her, namely that she’s feminine, but not fragile. If the tattoo itself is not motivating enough for you, she should be!
35. Look after yourself
A typographic font and a powerful message is a great combination for a tattoo. The words tattooed on this woman’s back speak the truth. Although it is easier to rely on someone else rather than yourself, the harsh reality is that you’re the only one who can help yourself. In the end, saving yourself will only make you stronger and better at confronting life. I like how other people can see this tattoo and the idea that it can motivate others as well.
34. Giving up is not an option
Motivational tattoos consisting of words might not look very convincing to you. However, can you imagine that someone needed these words tattooed on him or her? Never giving up could get really tiring, but giving up is not an option. Take a similar message, choose a font that you like and get inked! Keep yourself motivated and maybe reward yourself with a new tattoo when you succeed!
33. Fate is imaginary
No fate, but what we make! In other words, don’t fool yourself that there’s a higher power with a good plan for your life. Make your own decisions like inking tiny stars and hearts and triangles above words you believe in. It looks like it’s snowing over this quote from the famous movie Terminator. Taken out of context, these words make sense and they accentuate this person’s femininity and innocence. What do you think?
32. Recovery takes strength
This lady combined the symbol for recovery with the word strength. Motivational tattoos are usually like that. You can’t really figure out what hides behind them unless you fully relate. The first letter of this word is the symbol for recovery with an extra line meant to make it look like the letter S. Victims of eating disorders and anorexia usually get this symbol inked to give them strength.
31. Imagination has no limits
More of a self-improvement tattoo than a motivational one, it sends a pretty decent message. It is a tiny, tasteful tattoo that urges anyone to think outside the box and get creative. While an astrophysicist would take this quote literally, you know it also has metaphorical meanings. You can be whoever you want and obtain whatever you want, including a profound tattoo to accompany you along the way!
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30. Think positive thoughts
This tattoo design encompasses multiple elements. On one hand, it is written using lowercase and uppercase letters. On the other hand, it includes a ladybug and a cross. The ladybug symbolizes delight, happiness and playfulness, while the cross symbolizes faith. All these work great together with the concept of positive thinking. It’s said that people can heal themselves just by thinking positive. So, maybe it’s something we should all try.
29. Live trusting the plan
In comparison with the other motivational tattoos that were not related to any plan or fate, this tattoo is different. This is a relevant example that we are not the same and we believe in various things. What works for you, might not be effective for another. Trusting and enjoying life while thinking there is a plan for you and everything will turn out okay is comforting for many of us. This tattoo is simple and subtle since it’s merged with another.
28. Live and die for something
This tattoo refers to people who have no goals. I’m not sure why it’s divided and not inked on the same arm, but it looks cool and it’s not positioned for the owner to see, but also for others. Finding something to live for and focus your attention on it can keep you away from negativity and depression. A good advice and a very accurate ink job, this is one of the motivational tattoos with a deep meaning!
27. Get back on your feet
An anatomically positioned text tattoo, this one is meant to motivate. Standing back on our feet after a failure is the best we can do. Failure makes us stronger and tougher than we were before. This girl seems young and she’s already wise! Hopefully you won’t have to fall down 7 times, but a lot less. What’s important is to stand back up every time. It is a painless, small tattoo that comes with a lot of wisdom!
26. Stop worrying and keep hoping
Another tattoo that uses capital letters to emphasize the most important part, this one is motivational as well. Besides praying and hoping, we should definitely not worry. Numerous overthinkers make their lives harder because of worrying without having really good reasons to do so. I like how the tattoo artist used white to highlight and outline certain letters.
25. Change in perspective and self realization
This person has reached mental and emotional maturity. Except the text that obviously suggests change, there’s a beautifully tattooed dragonfly. The presence of this lovely insect means that she is now focused on living in the moment, defeating her illusions and understanding the deeper meaning of life. I think she wanted her tattoo to be this big because it means very much to her. The dragonfly is very detailed and visually appealing.
24. Be the better person
In a world where people are mean to each other, this tattoo makes a lot of sense. No matter who you are, always be the good one! Whenever someone disrespects you or does something unexplainably mean, you should ask yourself what’s going on in his or her life that determined him or her to react that way. That small red heart shows how we are all good deep down, but life tends to change the less powerful ones.
23. Things carrying you up
The very things that hold you down, will carry you up. This message along with the feather between the two lines signify ascension and spiritual evolution. Feathers symbolize truth, speed, lightness, flight and ascension. The text is shaped following the feather’s outline, obtaining an aerodynamic effect. Whatever happens, we are supposed to evolve, not stay down.
22. Butterflies exist because of change
Dealing with change is difficult for many of us. These motivational tattoos are full of examples that life is supposed to change and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Before the butterfly becomes a butterfly, it feels like it’s dying, but it’s just going through some physical changes. So, no matter what change you have to go through, be confident that it’s going to be for the best! These are some lovely butterflies!
21. Pain versus quitting
The background of this tattoo looks like spilled black ink. It comes with a pretty dark effect that wraps the word quitting in a creepy shadow. The contrast between temporary and forever should be motivating enough to keep us away from quitting because that lasts forever. The font picked for this design has gothic elements in it, making it seem quite solemn. Great idea for an arm tattoo or part of a sleeve! Check out more sleeve tattoo designs here!
20. E. E. Cummings quote
It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are. This quote by the American poet E. E. Cummings is motivational because it acknowledges the courage of people to be who they truly are. The format of this tattoo is newspaper-ish. Notice how some of the letters are bigger than the others, plus the ornamental details? I think it’s lovely and has a great impact!
19. Now is the perfect time
This tattoo is clever! The positioning of the letters is genius! Whenever this person feels like not doing something, she can just take a look at her tattoo and don’t miss any opportunity. Now is the time to live our lives, not tomorrow. Now is the time to stop waiting for things in order to be happy. Motivational tattoos like this one are amazing because they are really effective and contribute to the level of coolness of a tattooed individual. Like it or not, tattooed people are cool!
18. Letting things go
Just like a balloon goes away if you let it go, so can other things or people. Letting go of people proved to be the hardest thing to do for almost every person. However, there are things and places and situations that you should just set free in order to set yourself free. The letters from this tattoo replace the string from the balloon and fly away with it. It’s a symbolic tattoo that I would probably have it inked too!
17. Believe in yourself
A mix of fonts and a terrific message, this tattoo is a hit! The main idea is that anything can happen for as long as you believe in yourself. The word can is circled for a reason. It is meant to undermine any doubt. Whoever designed this tattoo really pulled it off. It is full of hidden significances that matter the most. Let’s do magic by making anything we want possible!
16. Fear is powerless
This quote is taken from a song. The band who sings it is called Awolnation. They are a rock American band that has managed to inspirare and motivate. For further reference, you can listen to Kill your heroes. Fear is what keeps us away from doing what we want and that’s not beneficial at all. We should all listen to Awolnation’s message while looking at these happy birds flying away.
15. Learn how to fly
Take these broken wings and learn how to fly. Simply put, this tattoo encourages anyone who has experienced the feeling of being broken to get up and deal with life again. The bird is cute, but it is just a symbol. No one said anything about literally flying. The words look like musical notes that usually come out of a bird’s beak and like a regular person’s handwriting. Even if it is tattooed on a woman, this design is suited for men as well.
14. Keep walking
Short and concise, this type of motivational tattoos are ideal. Tattooing the word walking on a leg is smart and funny, but the main idea has nothing to do with movement. It’s connected to moving on after a tragedy, a drama or anything negative that happens in life. Again, the words can be read by anyone who sees these legs, so this person shares and cares for others.
13. Let me see you smile
If you’re wondering what’s the connection between smiling, a motivational message and cherries, you will find out! Cherries symbolize life, death, rebirth, rejuvenation and reproduction. Take all these and combine them with a smile! You’ll have one of the best motivational tattoos! Great choice in colors, especially that bright red! The cherry’s stem could’ve been more realistic, but it looks just fine like this too!
12. Transformation is common
This is the second tattoo example that includes a balloon. It’s fascinating how people use the same symbols to express different feelings. The blows in life indeed transform us and we should keep in mind that transformation is common. It might not feel right or comfortable at the beginning, but everything takes some getting used to; even the good stuff.
11. Seeing as clearly as possible
A lighthouse together with the message All the light for those who wish to sea, results in a great-looking and smart tattoo idea. As you already noticed, it contains a homophone, namely the word sea. Actually referring to seeing, it is used differently because it’s written on a lighthouse. This tattoo has a deep meaning and I think it’s also very personal.
10. Contrasting truths aren’t confusing
While keeping your chin up under a guillotine is not a good thing at all, the contrast between the image of a guillotine and the message under it, is positive. When you are capable of differentiating these two and make fun of the situation, you’ll find yourself highly motivated to look at the bright side. Hanging in there with a rope around your neck is not a solution, but the point is to hang in there without it. This tattoo idea is highly original and witty.
9. You are not alone
You are not alone when you read a book because the characters are with you. Being physically alone is sometimes better than feeling alone when surrounded by a bunch of people. Depending on how you look at this simple, yet pretty tattoo makes a difference. There’s always someone to reach out to in order to feel better. For some of us, getting tattooed is an instant mood booster.
8. Everything happens for a reason
The orchid is a symbol of passion and purity at the same time. It represents gentleness and has a wild side as well. I guess that’s how life is too. We stumble upon the duality of life almost every day, so why not accept that everything happens for a reason and move on keeping a positive attitude? I know I would, if I had such a nice tattoo!
7. The battle with reality
Each and every one of us has his or her own reality. However, the only weapon we have against reality is our imagination. Along with the famous cat from Alice in Wonderland, this tattoo shows us how life can be if we start building it by thinking positive and surreal thoughts. Graphic and accurate, this is not a tattoo meant to catch the eye, but meant to send a message to both its owner and others who see it.
6. Hope as the ultimate weapon
A girl with a rabbit mask is knitting a pink sweater for the big bad wolf. The words beneath them talk about hope as the ultimate solution for everything. Motivation can come from the most unusual places, such as this tattoo. The contrast between good and evil, as well as the fact that people wear masks are very well represented by it.
5. Taking chances is recommended
Being too cautious isn’t always a good decision. The person who chose this design and this message for her tattoo had to find out the hard way what regret feels like. If you are in the same situation, this could be a great tattoo idea because it is colorful and has a hidden message. Bright colors work wonders on one’s mind and spirit!
4. Lift like a girl
One of the coolest motivational tattoos that help people stay in shape, this one depicts an attractive girl working out. Even if she is working out, she looks delicate, pretty and feminine. The point is to look your best and don’t let yourself go for any reason. Instead of putting a picture of your skinny self on the fridge, you can get a tattoo like this one. It is way more effective!
3. Keep your head up like a fox
Celts thought the fox is wise, just as the Northern Native Americans did. However, the Plains tribes thought differently. They saw the fox as a trickster. Based on this symbolism, I think it’s safe to say that this person agrees with the Celts. It is indeed wise to keep your head up no matter what happens in your life. This tattoo turned out perfectly color-wise and on every other aspect!
2. Keep going forward
The idea behind this colorful tattoo shaped like a sole is similar with the previous tattoo that said keep walking. I’m not sure why this guy chose to get tattooed on his leg, but I admire his choice. It is a fantastic watercolor tattoo with a motivational message. In case you want a similar one, should know that Russell Van Schaick is the name of the tattoo artist who inked it.
1. Summer in your soul
The famous writer Albert Camus once said that In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer. His words had a considerable impact on this person, as well as on many other of his readers. A combination of multiple fonts and a watercolor background, this tattoo mixes depth with coolness in equal proportions. Motivational tattoos have never been so effective and visually appealing at the same time!
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