Tattoo Ideas: Quotes on Dreams, Hope, Belief

Updated on January 24, 2016
All images courtesy of
All images courtesy of

After writing over two dozen hubs on tattoo ideas that showcased pictures as the majority of the content, I started noticing that a large portion of the comments were from people asking for ideas on what to say, not so much on how to say it. Like Lindsay, for example, who commented on the hub Tattoo Ideas: Words & Phrases and said: "I want some sort of latin script with a phrase having to do with karma." Or Jesso, who said: "I have a colourful fish on my left lower back, but next I want a script.. .. just what I don't know... something positive to remind me every day is mine, I am in control of my destiny."

The tricky thing about quote tattoos is that nine times out of ten they can't be too long. Unless you have a huge expanse of skin that you plan on dedicating to the tat, like a forearm or your entire back, you're going to need to pick a quote that's short enough to fit in a small area. A few years ago my girlfriend wanted to get something I had written tattooed on her in my handwriting. The quote she wanted was twenty-one words long, and she wanted it somewhere on her inner forearms. As she is already fairly heavily tattooed, there was no criteria such as having to get it on a place that could be easily hidden if need be. She's lucky. She ended up getting it running lengthwise down her arm next to the word GIRL that was already there. Most people don't have the same flexibility as her. Maybe your job is too professional for tattoos and piercings, or you don't want your mother to see it. If that's the case, then a quote tattoo can be challenging to find space for. And if you think you're going to fit an entire poem (unless it's a haiku) on your wrist by shrinking down the letters to a size 5 font, you're mistaken. Good tattoo artists will only let you make the lettering so small, because they know that tattoos blend, fade and bleed over time. The smaller the font, the better the chance that you'll be left with a meaningless blob ten years down the road. So although there are millions of wonderful quotes about the beauty of love, I've tried to only assemble the ones that are on the shorter side, while still being meaningful.

I went back through all 2,000+ comments on my previous hubs and tried to identify the most common themes people requested when asking for help with quote ideas. In addition to being a voracious reader, I've been compiling quotes in notebooks and journals since I was thirteen. This hub is second in a series of hubs broken down by category that started with Tattoo Ideas: Quotes on Strength, Adversity, Courage. Please, if you have any ideas or would like to share a favorite quote of yours, feel free to comment! The examples I've chosen for this particular hub may not resonate with everyone. You might read it and get nothing out of it. But my hope is that something will resonate with someone, somewhere, and the words written here will inspire you to take a step you may not have taken otherwise.

Quotes about Dreams, Hope, Belief

All that we see or seem Is but a dream within a dream." -Edgar Allan Poe

Believe there are no limits but the sky. -Cervantes

Be the change you wish to see in the world. -Gandhi

The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams. -Eleanor Roosevelt

Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you've imagined. -Thoreau

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor, catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. -Unknown

Doubt everything. Find your own light. -Buddha

I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of the stars makes me dream. -Vincent Van Gogh

Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not. -The Lorax

The only thing that shatters dreams is compromise. -Richard Bach: The Bridge Across Forever

Come away, O, human child! To the woods and waters wild with a fairy hand in hand, For the worlds more full of weeping than you can understand. -W.B. Yeats

This is the moment. When all the dreaming and scheming and screaming becomes one.

Excellence can be obtained if you: care more than others think is wise; risk more than others think is safe; dream more than others think is practical; expect more than others think is possible.

We are the music makers, and we are the dreamers of dreams. -Arthur O' Shaughnessy

You block your dream when you allow your fear to grow bigger than your faith. -Mary Manin Morrissey

If your dream is big enough, the facts don't count.

Hope is the dream of a soul awake. -French proverb

Dream the impossible dream, Fight the unbeatable foe, Strive with your last once of courage To reach the unreachable star.

Believe in your dreams and they may come true; believe in yourself and they will come true.

Questions & Answers


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        elftribe 5 years ago

        I have a Poe tattoo with "From my books surcease of sorrow" in it. Its a line from The Raven.

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        Adele 5 years ago

        I've been looking for a tattoo quote about hope and just found one in Latin saying Dum spiro Spero.....translated it means while I breathe I hope...... X

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        Destiny-Maya 6 years ago

        i wanna get a tattoo that says "live every moment,laugh every day,love beyond words." but i don't know where to get it any ideas thankyou =D x

      • profile image 6 years ago

        I write songs and one of my lines is 'to tell the truth i never knew what love was, i never knew till i found you.'

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        jon 6 years ago


        "Never Stop Dreaming"

        My story starts off intense

        confusion between us

        who is right,whor is wrong,who knows

        i know

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        martha 6 years ago

        I need an opinion on a quote .

        "dream close to your heart"

        would that make sense ? I want my tattoo to be on my inner forearm of a dream catcher with a small quote and I wanted to know if that quote would make sense.

        I would like some feed back please ! :) add on to it ! :) anything would be helpful.

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        Jayde loves Eminem 6 years ago

        i want a quote that has something to do with myself. because i find yu cant trust anyone but yourself, and when everyone has left me,i sttill have myself. don't really have any idea..

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        hp 6 years ago

        cool man.

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        felix 6 years ago

        i want something like

        "Believe in yourself, cause if you don't no one will"

        or "Love Yourself...

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        Nicole 6 years ago

        have you any other short qoutes about believe/belief? i loved the "believe there are no limits but the sky"

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        lee 6 years ago

        i need a short quote for protecting /guarding /loving my children. any ideas?

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        tami 6 years ago

        I'm old. 41 years old... I see people every day that need something. I do the best that I can do.What do most people do? Look the other way. My own husband is annoayed that I don't. Someone walking on the side of the highway way,someone short on their grocery bill. if I have the means, why is is wrong that I do help????? I need to understand our countrys' greed, selfishness, and self centernedness. Why have we become this "thing" that needs more???

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        Katiee. 6 years ago

        @Jason i love your qoute.. im 17 and im really wanting a tattoo for my mom. my family has been throgh a lot.. my mom has made a lot of mistakes in he life and these mistakes have had consequences.. anyways long story short my mom is going to be incarcerated for a really long time and i really want a tattoo to symbolize that i'll always love her n matter what she takes me through.. a qoute or something to do with that and/or mother daughter qoute. does anyone have any ideas??

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        Jason 7 years ago

        Hope is what makes us strong. It is why we are here. It is what we fight with when all else is lost

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        ashleigh 7 years ago

        Hi I'm looking to get a quote to do with believe, atm I'm not well, and I would like something very meaningful to do with me not being well so I can look at it everyday to keep me going. I origanlly thought of having believe tattoo behind my ear in latin, but I'm a girl with 9 tatts atm so limited for space but I love the 4th picture down idea and when I'm better I want to also look at it and think yes if I believe I can get better then I can all I need to do is believe. If that makes sense. Any ideas would be very much a lot of help :) xx

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        Purple-Starr 7 years ago

        Hi, i want my third tattoo soon, I'd like it under my belly (hips) or on my foot but I'm not sure what to get.I'd like to have something like a meaningful quotes that includes dream, wish, believe or/ and hope...any ideas??


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        Jamie 7 years ago

        @shivani - I would have the 'Live Your Life' in like the rainbow shape and then have either his name or initials underneath straight possibly a smaller size or different font.

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        shivani 7 years ago

        i am trying to design a tattoo for myself. i want 'live your life' on my shoulder blade and i want my brother who passed away a few months ago tied into it. im thinking initials in a star? or underneath. anyway, im not sure. i like ideas pleaseee :)

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        Jaz 7 years ago

        It's your love that keeps me alive.

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        Court 7 years ago

        "nor success or failure are ever final"

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        slut 8 years ago


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        dan  8 years ago

        follow your dreams, for as you dream you shall become.

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        Kaila 8 years ago

        I've been looking for a way of saying dream to reminde of my aspirations of being an actor... The shakespeare quote is a line from a mid summer nights dream by the character puck. Who I have played, twice.

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        Keanna 8 years ago

        These quotes are awesome!

        the following quote is actually by Mark Twain.

        Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor, catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. -Unknown

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        Vanessa 9 years ago

        i absolutely love these quotes. my favorite is the last picture!