When was the last time you heard the little voice inside your head tell you that you are actually good? Perhaps you need to review events in your life to remind you of all the goodness therein. Do you spend a lot of time questioning your worthiness, or the quality of the contributions you make in this world?

Sometimes you have to let go of the rules or expectations imposed by family, friends, or society itself. You see a sign in a store window that reads: “We treat you like family.” “Yup. Not going in there.” “Normal” in this family is just a dryer setting. I get it.

It does not come naturally, sweet friends, so we need to make a calculated, conscious choice to notice the good things about ourselves and our life. Did you have any righteous thoughts or do any honorable actions today? What were they? What are some of the things you are proud of? No doubt you have had to overcome some challenges in your life. Those have surely built your character strengths. Good manners sometimes means putting up with other people’s bad manners.

It’s been said: Being a good person is like being a goalkeeper. No matter how many goals you save, some people will remember only the one that you missed. Your value is not defined by externals. No one has the ability or right to determine your intrinsic worth as a human being. If your worthiness depends on your achievements, wealth, or looks, what if you lose some of that money? The only exercise you did this month is running out of money? Uh, oh.  You know what they say: Always borrow money from a pessimist. He won’t expect it back. But truly, what if someone takes ill and loses their once striking appearance? A good heart keeps you beautiful forever.

Make pursuing goodness the overbearing principle of how you live your life, raise your children, and even conduct your business. Speaking of kids, ever notice how everyone talks about leaving a better planet for the children, but nobody tries to leave better children to the planet. We all know that parenthood is wanting to be with your kid forever one minute and being tempted to sell him the next. Kids can really brighten up a house. They never turn the lights off. But I digress…

Honorable people will always help you be the best version of yourself. How can you yourself create a culture of kindness, care, and compassion? Start by giving up the popularity vote. Heck, Barbie is popular, but you still have to buy her friends. If everyone likes you, you’re probably doing something wrong. Trust me, popularity is over-rated.

Where do you begin? Before you make your next decision, put other people in your life first. Learn to balance your dreams with reality. Sometimes you feel like you’re on a reality show without being informed. I get it. Train yourself to see the good and the humanity in others. Remind yourself that you live in your own mind and truly do not know his intentions or motivations. Me? I would go out of my mind – but I can’t find the exit.

We think we know others.  But the truth is that you don’t know what goes on in a house that you don’t pay the bills in. Observe how you justify your own actions but are far less tolerant of hers.

I don’t know why judges get paid so much.  Others judge me for free. Once you form that judgment about him, it’s nearly impossible to change your mind. The only color I judge people by is the color of their teeth, says every dentist. Heh.  When was the last time you jumped to a conclusion about someone? Is it possible to see him in a new light?

What is it that you like most about yourself? Now try to get a glimpse of that quality in those you meet. You see nothing but defects and dishonor? Know that everyone has something to teach you. Celebrate your wins no matter how small you imagine them to be. Feel too different? Sometimes being so unconventional is what makes you special.

Criticism comes in all shapes and sizes. Perhaps you were belittled for your body, or religiously chastised for not meeting someone else’s standards. You may have internalized that message. Which inner voice do you believe? The one who knows your intentions are positive, or the one who degrades and disparages you for not being perfect?

Trust me, sweet friends. If you feel like a bad person, you are more likely to act that way. Next time you feel truly listened to, respected, accepted, or loved, soak it in. Do not keep reminding yourself of those who try to make themselves appear big by making you feel small. You want to ease pain, not create it. Always wish to help, not to harm. Before you act in any given situation, ask yourself: What would be proper here?

What yardsticks do you use to measure your worth? Your looks, bank account, status in your community, or your career? What truly matters is that you do your work honestly and find it rewarding. Jobs come and go. Do not anchor your self-worth to how much you are worth to the local bank. Some folks are like bank accounts. Without a lot of money, they don’t generate a lot of interest. Then again, a bank is a place that will lend you money if you can prove that you don’t need it.

Please do not tell me you use your social media standing as a measurement of your value. Quitting Facebook or Twitter is the new adult version of running away from home. The trouble is you do it for attention and we all know you’ll be back. Not to mention that the list of “suggested friends” are people you have literally been avoiding your entire life.

Please take a step back and see what truly matters in your life, sweet friends. Let’s be honest. Life is like looking for your phone. Most of the time, it’s already in your hand.

Caroline is a licensed psychotherapist, crisis counselor, and writer with an office in Queens.  She works with individuals, couples, and families.  Appointments are available throughout the week and weekends.  She can be reached at 917-717-1775 or at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or at facebook.com/pages/Safe-Haven-Healing.