By Maryann Potter, MS, LAC

I LOVE when I come home every day and my dog dances around and wags his tail like it is the first time, they have ever seen me and that I am the best thing that ever happened to them.  Not once has my dog greeted me with negative words or harsh criticism.  Can you even imagine your pet saying hurtful things and being critical of you?  How often have YOU looked in the mirror picking at every offending detail and heard negative dialogue going through your head? It is often said that we can be our own worst critic, and we never give ourselves a break.  Just think for a minute, how rewarding it would be to give ourselves a boast of positive words every time we passed by a mirror and the strength it would give you to fight the battle against negative self-talk.   Guess what??!! I have great news for you!  You have the power to change your thought process right now and you can use the following tools to do that:

  1. Make a List. Make a list of the qualities you like about yourself and things that others compliment you on. Hang that list where you can see it.  You can even download that list as a screen saver.  Just make sure you see the list daily.  Repeat those items on the list out loud so you hear yourself say those things.  You are not crazy, and it is ok if people hear you. They might want to join in, and you may even create a trend.  Remember you are a wonderful individual with qualities that make you unique and valuable.
  2. Just Stop it. Every time one of those ugly negative thoughts enter your head instantly say “STOP”and replace it with one of your positive thoughts. Try to do it every time you are confronted with one of those negative thoughts.  If music is your jam, you can make your positive qualities into a song and make it catchy to sing after you say “STOP”.
  3. Give it Some Time. The experts say that it takes thirty days to develop a habit. If you consistently do what I’ve said above and be determined every day to change those thoughts, you will succeed!

Remember to love yourselves as much as your favorite pet and keep in mind they think the world of you, and you should too.


Maryann Potter is passionate about strengthening children (ages 10+), adolescents, and adults by using techniques such as DBT and EMDR to help in their journey of recovery.  She believes in using a nonjudgmental and empowering approach to help improve mental and emotional well-being.