Did you pat yourself on the back today? What if no one said a positive word to you all day except perhaps, “Good morning”?

For some of us, that’s just how it is. For others, what you heard were negative words about yourself from another person — maybe even someone you care about.

Truth is, you have NO control over that. Don’t let it define you. Be aware of how you may be absorbing what others say about you, and how they may make you limit what you do for yourself and how you feel about your life. What you can control, however, are the words and messages that you send your brain about who you are.

Do a thought check. You may be surprised at what you have been saying to yourself about you and your abilities. It’s been proven that what we think can profoundly affect our mood and our outcomes in life.

When you faced a difficult task, a moment of fearfulness, did you say, “You know, girl, you are pretty good at that”? Or did you curse yourself for being so stupid or inept? This weekend, think of words you can say to encourage yourself and affirm who you are. I like “I was less than perfect in that situation this week, but you know, I wasn’t half bad.” And when you have done a task well, make much of it. Don’t hold back! You wouldn’t refrain from telling your friend, your man, or your child how well they’ve done, especially at something you know they care about. If they were feeling down, you would take particular care to say something to lift their spirit. So do the same for wonderful you. “I hit that one out of the park” is a good phrase.

Another is “Damn, I’m good…”

…at doing hair.

…at managing people.

…at helping my mother.

…at dancing like a crazy woman.

…at being a friend.

…at cooking a meal.

Fill in your own blank. Tell yourself what you are waiting to hear.

Constance C.R. White is the Editor-in-Chief of ESSENCE magazine. Follow her on Twitter @cwhiteessence.

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