Can you finish the sentence “ I am...?” When was the last time you felt love for yourself? It's OK.

To feel positive about yourself does not have to mean you are egotistical or self centered. It just means you know who you are as a person, that you feel worthwhile and confident in your abilities.

You can readily say “I am...” without reservation.

When you love yourself, you are much more able to set boundaries with others. You respect yourself enough not to let others push you around, talk down to you, or coerce you to abandon your values.

When you love yourself you can confidently be assertive, take on new tasks, and go out in public by yourself without hesitation. You can be single, and not feel an urgent need to be in a relationship.

To be able to have healthy relationships we need to love ourselves first. We need to have a positive view of who we are as individuals — the “I” in “I am...”

It is helpful to take an inventory of all the good things about yourself; are you smart, a good driver, good at puzzles?

Notice the patterns of the things you enjoy.

Do you enjoy the outdoors, sports, shopping, children, woodworking, volunteering?

Number your accomplishments.

What do you feel proud of?

Then take a look at your life goals — next week, next year, and in 10 years. Spend time being alone.

Enjoy the peace of solitude. Get comfortable being your own best company. Take up a new hobby. Go out to eat by yourself.

Allow yourself to feel good about these things. Allow yourself to relax, feel confident, happy, and positive.

Be secure in who you are.

Proudly say “I am...”

Linda Yearout

Licensed Clinical Marriage & Family Therapist