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Pursuing Self-Improvement

By Barb Brathwaite, RN MSN CS

Sometimes we get tired of striving to be better and thinking there are endless areas of improvement needed.

When life gets you down, it’s important to think about how far you’ve progressed and how much worse things could be. The notion that we can always make ourselves better is a novel idea. We are taught that we can accomplish anything. But, we take that to mean we have to try to do everything. So, when does it become too much?

Many of us have negative, demeaning, defeating thoughts and messages that play in our minds throughout the day. These criticisms in turn, can create sadness, insecurity, depression and hopelessness. It is important to listen to these thoughts, recognize them, understand them and replace them with healthy alternatives.

Remember: You are in control. You have the power. You are in charge.

Many obese people often endure a great deal of abuse or neglect from others and even themselves.  It doesn’t matter how, why or where these negative messages come from. You can choose to respond to these criticisms or focus on positive, constructive, validating, motivating and complimentary thoughts. Changing yourself requires making consistent efforts to adopt a new, reasonable, rational view of yourself.

Some examples of positive thinking:

“This is the new me. I am eating for my health now.”

“I will ask for what I need emotionally instead of fulfilling my needs with food.”

“I used to nurture myself with food, now I’m nurturing myself with love and validation.”

“Okay, I gave into that excuse this time, but it is alright. Now I am aware.”

“I am entitled to feel good and be happy.”

“What is bothering me that is causing me to want to overeat or snack?”

Remember: Positive thoughts produce positive self-talk, positive feelings and positive behaviors. Negative thoughts produce negative self-talk, negative feelings and negative behaviors.


Changing your negative thoughts in a compassionate, non judgmental way will create self love and self acceptance. Then you will be able to look yourself in the mirror with love, kindness and respect.  Before long you will be on your way to self-improvement. Start today!