When my middle daughter was seven years old, she came home from school one day and said, “A girl read to my class today, Mommy.”

“What story did she read?” I asked nonchalantly. “The name of the book was, ‘Don’t feed the Monster on Tuesday,’” she clearly articulated.

“‘Don’t feed the Monster’?” I asked, getting my full attention. “What kind of book was that?” I questioned. “Well,” my daughter went on to describe, “inside your head is a little voice that could be a monster; and if you listen to it, it can get bigger and bigger and the sound can get louder and louder.”

With a confused look on my face, I uttered, “Really?” My daughter continued, “Yes! And if you listen to the monster, you won’t like yourself.” But then, she advised, “If you don’t listen to that monster voice, it will get smaller and smaller, and soon it will disappear.”

How many of us have a little voice in our head that talks to us? What does that voice say?

Today, let’s embrace a positive self-image. And ignore the monster that sometimes tries to convince us that we are unworthy and undeserving.

Many times in life, we might feel rejected, at a loss or defeated. Some of those feelings are formed in childhood. An exaggerated series of harmful statements and put-downs can have a negative effect on the self-image of a child. And that poor sense of self can be carried into adulthood. Then, if fed by nonconstructive associations or situations, the problem can compound.

But we don’t have to live like that anymore. Let’s take that important first step in loving ourselves. This moment, the sun is shining vibrantly on a clean sheet of paper in the book of our lives. So, let’s be transported beyond change to transformation, as we develop a healthy confidence and self-respect.

Do you know how wonderful and valuable you are?

Don’t keep yourself from goodness or try to harm yourself by partaking in unhealthy habits. Adverse behavior starts gradually and apparently harmlessly. Yet, before you know it, the bad habit has you. In many cases, even before you’re aware you are hooked.

However, you can make the decision today to resist temptations and break the pattern of defeat.

You are significant; no one else can take your place. Have you made mistakes? We all have; so, learn from them, and move on. Have you failed in an undertaking? Persevere, and look for new opportunities ahead. Did someone hurt you? Forgive them and leave it in God’s hands. Let unresolved anger come to closure. Reach out with kindness to others. Help those in need. Your gestures need not be elaborate, only genuine. So be on the lookout to share your love, your talents, and your blessings. The difference you make today can have a powerful, rippling affect on someone’s life tomorrow. A reader wrote, “Goodness always brings back goodness.”

We must be very careful what comes out of our mouth. Don’t say another critical word about yourself. Silence the voice of the past telling you that you’re not worthy. Never dwell on reasons why you can’t be happy. Get rid of that. Stay on the high road and keep your mind moving in a positive direction.

Too often we get out of balance, and we need to make time for ourselves. Let’s take care of our body, nourish, exercise and treat it with respect. Henry David Thoreau wrote, “An early-morning walk is a blessing for the whole day.” Spend time outdoors, look to nature; for it acts as a healing balm over our entire being. Confidence and self-esteem must be cultivated. Therefore, let’s be selective, and let us feed ourselves things that will build us up. Get into an atmosphere of victory, where we are encouraged and challenged to be our best. And have cheerful, smiling friends around, those who are heartening and supportive.

To have peace, harmony and vitality, we must keep our mind on the positives. What thoughts do you play over and over in your head? Because what we take within our mind will grow. Thus, cast away a negative attitude that is holding you back and substitute it with thoughts of faith, hope and victory. Visualize achievement, good health and happiness. Anticipate a positive future, for expectation ignites productive action. Daily, recite inspiring quotations and affirmations, for motivating words repeated can soon become a powerful fact. Remember, the power that will be the strongest tomorrow is the one you have fed today.

Accordingly, start each morning with prayer and ask God to open the way to letting His perfect will be done. God wants to do great things in our lives and has built into each one of us greater capacities than we ever dare to use or realize. So, let’s believe in ourselves and utilize the splendid gifts within us. And let’s always count our many blessings. Appreciation works miracles and adjusts our thinking. A grateful heart is a happy heart. Hence, let us fill our mind with thankfulness and find ourselves renewed and strengthened.

Recently, I heard about a woman who was home alone most every day. One morning, a friend telephoned her. And after they spoke for a while, the friend asked, “What do you do during the day to keep yourself busy?” It might have seemed overly simplistic. But contented, the woman answered, “Well, I look through my hymn book and sing songs of praise to the Lord.” Next, she added with amusement, “I get my Bible, read it and let the Lord speak to me.”

After that, the woman said something especially thought-provoking: “When I am tired of reading and I cannot sing anymore, I sit still and let God love me.”

Every day, listen to God’s voice that says, “You are wonderfully made,” “I have great plans for you” and “I love you.” Like a waterfall, God’s love for you runs free. Receive God’s love and don’t lose sight of the special, one-of-a-kind person that He created you to be. You are truly God’s masterpiece.

Email Catherine Galasso-Vigorito at cgv@anewyouworldwide.com. To order a copy of her new book, “The Open Window, 8 Weeks to Creating an Extraordinary Life,” visit http://www.anewyouworldwide.comor bookstores nationwide. Like me on Facebook!