I had the pleasure of heading to Amherst, Massachusetts last week for talks at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, Amherst College, and Mount Holyoke College. The trip was fabulous– from the food (I had an unbelievable lunch at Fresh Side on the Amherst Common and some yummy cider doughnuts), the snow (oh, how I love a good snow fall and there was just a glorious one the day I arrived), and the wonderful folks I met at meals and workshops. One of the things that I often talk about is the need for us to modify our own language– what we project about ourselves– and the language of others. That instead of saying “I hate my cellulite” when someone else says she hates her nose in order to be in companionship with that person, we should say, “I can’t imagine why you would hate your nose, and you have a smile that lights up the world” (or whatever else might be the case). An Appalachian State University study recently revealed that, left to our own devices, women will always add their own negative self-impressions to the pot when someone around them criticizes herself. Meanwhile, a Kansas State University study revealed that one earnest compliment goes a long way in improving one’s self-esteem. So, changing our habits– going positive when someone says something negative is probably one of the most revolutionary things we can personally do on our way to improved self-concepts. After my talk at Amherst College, I met some roommates who told me about the Self Deprecation Jar they had in their suite. Anyone who says anything bad about him or herself has to deposit some cash in the jar. When it all adds up to a quality loaf of bread, they hit the bakery. I just loved it. So, go ahead, find a bowl, vase, or piggy bank to catch your quarters when you berate and watch your self-awareness soar and your habits change. We can all change our language– and our minds.