Rollo Rhys May is an American psychologist and psychotherapist. He was one of the founders of humanistic psychology, a branch of psychology that studies human beings in their highest expressions.

In his works, Rollo May paid special attention to the study of anxiety. The psychologist was passionate about exploring the human soul and finding his place in the world, tried his hand at several professions and received more than one education. He believed that the task of every psychotherapist is to help people find freedom.

We have made a selection of Rollo May quotes that motivate to go against limitations and listen to your inner voice.


“To love is to be open to both the positive and the negative – to grief, sadness and disappointment, to joy, contentment and an intensity of consciousness we were not even aware of before.” (“Love and Will”)

“Art is a substitute for violence. The same impulses that drive people to violence – the thirst for meaning, the need for ecstasy, the urge to risk everything – drive the artist to create.” (“Power and Innocence: In Search of the Origins of Violence”)

“In my clinical experience, the greatest obstacle to a person’s development is the need to pursue a way of life that does not allow for the expression of personal strengths.”

“It’s dangerous to know, but it’s even more dangerous not to know”

Rollo Rhys May

“Vanity and narcissism are compulsive needs that undermine a man’s courage, because for the sake of praise and admiration he begins to fight for other people’s beliefs rather than his own.” (“Man in Search of Himself”)

“Tragedy is inseparably linked to human dignity and greatness and is an accompaniment in moments of great insight into human existence.” (“Existential Psychology”)

“Commitment and doubt are by no means opposed to each other. Commitment is far more useful to a person if it exists in spite of doubt rather than without it.” (“The Courage to Create”)

“There is one radical difference between fear and anxiety: when one experiences fear, one moves in one direction, away from the object of fear; but when one experiences anxiety, there is a constant inner conflict at work in one, so one’s attitude toward the object of anxiety is ambivalent.” (“The Meaning of Anxiety”)

“God is a symbol of the power that people aspire to but do not possess”

Rollo Rhys May


“If you don’t express your own ideas and listen to your inner voice, you will betray yourself.”