As a health and wellness coach I take it upon myself to partner with my clients as they seek self-directed, lasting changes that are aligned with their values, enhance their strengths, which promote health and wellness, thereby, enhancing well-being.

One thing I see over and over is negative self talk. We just don’t appreciate ourselves. If we spoke to our friends the way we speak to ourselves, we would not have any friends. When you see yourself, naked, in the mirror, what do you silently say to yourself? And would you ever say that to a friend? I didn’t think so. Repeating negative messages to yourself can wear down your sense of self. However, repeating positive messages to yourself can build you up in both confidence and competence.

Are you a friend to yourself? You are the only person who truly knows you. You know everything about you. You’re present for every event. Wherever you go, there you are, you cannot get away from yourself. So, I’d say it’s time, because “falling in love with yourself is the beginning of a life long romance.” Oscar Wilde.

Focusing on your talents and strengths supports healthy emotional growth and raises ones consciousness. Dr. Martin Seligman, director of positive psychology at Penn State, says using your core strengths regularly makes you more productive and increases your self esteem. Dr. Barbara Fredrickson, at UNC Chapel Hill, also studies positivity. She found positivity helps “broaden our ideas about possible actions, opening our awareness to a wider range of thoughts and actions than is typical.”

So, if you are looking for a happier, more engaged life, start working on your positive thinking. You can make a choice to tell the negative voices NO, STOP. And then you can DECIDE what YOU want to tell yourself. Here are some excellent ways to boost your self esteem, raise your consciousness, get happy, become more productive and engaged in life.

1. Tell yourself “I am lovable.” Tell yourself everyday, many times a day, “I am Lovable.” No matter who you are, what you look like, you are lovable. And, its not about looks. It’s about the core of who you are. If you’d like to get clear on your strengths take this free survey.

2. Tell yourself “I can do it.” You are never too old to learn. The human body is wired to grow, adapt, develop and learn. When that stops, you die. If there is something you need to know, read about it, ask someone, google it! Seriously, there is no way you can know everything, nor should you. Learning is a great way to engage yourself, others, to maintain a bit of humility and to satiate your curiosity. If you have “bad behaviors” you can unlearn them. You can catch yourself in the act and decide to do things differently.

3. Tell yourself “Others are lovable and capable too.” Don’t let bad experiences with one person, or a few negative, toxic people color your viewpoint of people as a whole. Let go of stereotypes. Give people the same chance you want. In general, people are loving and caring and willing to help out whenever they can. That is just human nature. Look for it.

4. Practice “Random acts of kindness” When you want to get good at something, you practice, right? Well, try practicing random acts of kindness and see how you feel. Ding something nice for another will raise your self esteem. Try it. Daily.

5. Tell yourself “Challenges are opportunities.” Life isn’t always easy, or fair for that matter. So, when something difficult comes your way, look for the positives and see how you can enjoy the challenge. Think of it as a puzzle, look at the edges, angles and know you can ask for help. If its just not something you need right now, then remember you can say No.

6. Tell yourself “Mistakes are lessons in disguise”. No one was born knowing everything. We all make mistakes, its how we learn. Think of a mistake as a mis-take. Smile, get up, think it over, see what you can do differently, and try it again. Success doesn’t just happen, it takes lots and lots of practice and mis-takes.

So, pay attention to how you talk to yourself. What are your thoughts? Who’s voice is speaking? If it’s not yours, say thank you and then ask the voice to leave, permanently. Now put your higher self in charge and start talking to yourself like you’re the most marvelous person around.

Here’s to your health & wellbeing!