The Bundesliga champion slipped 12 points behind Bayern Munich this season, and the former Gladbach man says his side must emulate the Argentine's consistency.
"Messi is a good example," the 23-year-old told Kicker. "He has had great games and scores in La Liga on a regular basis. We have to do the same, however, we weren't able to do that every week. We aren't machines and therefore, we do make mistakes.
"We do know that we didn't have the best first half of the season. But complaining and pondering would not be appropriate in this situation."
Dortmund face Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League round of the 16, and while Reus is wary of the threat the Ukrainians pose, he believes the opponent would have preferred to draw another team instead.
"It goes down to -20 degrees occasionally there, doesn't it? Of course they're a difficult opponent. On the other hand, they probably wished for any team but Dortmund for their next fixture.
"We have earned a lot of respect [in Europe]."
BVB gets back to Bundesliga action with a trip to Werder Bremen on Saturday.