Us mortal beasts spend far too much time apologising for our faults and swatting away compliments with the dexterity of a Japanese table tennis champion that we forget that actually, we have a lot going for us.

Don’t believe me? Why not? Is there nothing you don’t like about yourself? Is your brain switched on fully to ‘auto-pessimist’?

Take me for instance. I’m not afraid of a good BOAST. I am, after all, the girl who once described herself as ‘The Weapon of Choice’ on a gaming website.

What can I do? Novel First-Liners. I eat first lines for breakfast. I can make you up a killer first line while I’m mixing a martini. I can do it NOW.

“He could see her body lying at the bottom of the stairs, her neck bent at a crooked angle. The sound of sirens was already growing louder’.

Yes, I know that’s two lines you PEDANT. The point is, I’m very good at first lines. I struggle with the rest of the novel, naturally, and my characterisation is woefully lacking but if there were a Hollywood job consisting almost entirely of writing first lines I would be in there like a black bear.

What else? I have a great pair of tits. Let me tell you a secret about breasts. Your lover doesn’t care what your tits look like. Really. Saggy, baggy, shaggy or colostomy baggy, as long as you are letting them look at them, admire them and occasionally touch them, your lover does not care what they look like. Trust me. They’re tits! Hooray!

I took a bit of a body blow from being pregnant but I took to motherhood like a duck to oil – floundering everywhere and slowly sinking. Despite my reluctance to parent I am justifiably proud of how my daughter is turning out, and how I have evolved since her birth. My bosom heaves with pride every time she farts and points to her bum to explain who done the guff.

I can dance. Yes sir, I can boogie. If there is a Prince record playing with a nine mile radius my hips will swing so much they’re in danger of a dislocation. Cowbell in a song brings out something so funky in me I need a ten minute lie down and some Rescue Remedy afterward.

Stop putting yourself down. Yes, you. I cannot tell you the amount of times I’ve heard someone sidestep an even handed compliment, or simply block it altogether like Blanka in Streetfighter.

Me: “That dress looks lovely.”

Them : “Ugh. Do you think so? I only wear it because it covers me entirely from top to bottom and it cost thrupence from the rag and bone man.”

Me: “I like that necklace”

Them: “Do you? I used to until I discovered it was made of human skulls and carries a gypsy curse. Just my luck. It’d look better on someone with less shit hair.”

Me: “That article you wrote was impressive.”

Them: “I just throw it together in ten minutes and it’s probably full of speeling mestakes and I don’t know why I bother. I hope I get eaten by wolves.”

Don’t do this. Stop protecting your fragile little ego. It doesn’t need smothering, it needs stroking. Accept all compliments with a ‘Thank You’ and a smile. Send one back if you’re feeling inclined to. Even if you’re having one of those days when you look in the mirror and want to smash your face off with a chisel for looking so haggard, hang in there because you can parallel park and cook in a wok without burning the shit out of it. Find out your good things, your best things, your skills, your talents, the things which bring you joys both large and small. Remind yourself how awesome you are capable of being, because it is a rich seam running through you like a red thread, and all you need to do it find it.

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