At times, you might not be happy with who you are, but remember you are a work in progress. Life is a process, a journey during which we experience change. Mental wellness experts stress that we can learn to develop a healthier more accurate view of ourselves and adjust any distortions we see in the mirror. The first step? Learning to love and accept ourselves (flaws and all).

To become a better version of you, celebrate your strengths and achievements and learn from your mistakes or failures. An African-American proverb says it best: “Nobody will think you’re somebody if you don’t think so yourself.”

Now those are words to live by.    

Positive Self-Image: The Key to Success
As told to LaToya Johnson

Life Coach Karen McNeil looked deep within and realized she was in need of her own services. 

Five years ago, my career as a human resources executive was successful. But my life was out of balance. I juggled single motherhood with conflicting work and family schedules. I was caught between frequent international travel and a commute between homes in two states. In addition, I had no time to care for my health. Something had to change.

While balancing these demands, I spent years helping others build leadership capability and achieve organizational goals. Finally, I had to assess my life. I left my career and created a life honoring the things I value most. It challenged me mentally,emotionally, financially and spiritually. Without a positive self-image, I couldn’t have done it.

The Expert Says
By Kat Noel

Karen Elizaga, founder and president of Forward Options, a New York City-based career and life coaching company, offers these tips to build strong self-esteem.

Realize that you’re not alone. No one is perfect. No one’s self-esteem is so strong that it allows us to get out of bed every day and think, “I’m definitely going to be able to do this.”

Believe that positive thoughts do make a difference. If your belief is “I’m good enough, and I can do this,” that mind-set can make you positive and productive.

Embrace and love who you are. Learn to say and believe you’re a wonderful person. Accept that you’re fine just the way you are.

Practice gratitude. Get in the habit of saying, “I’m so grateful that…” or “I’m so grateful for…” and fill in the blank. You’ll soon generate a true love of self.