Striving to be better

I just listened to the podcast from the study guide for this month called The Contrast of Thoughts, and one of the negative example thoughts that Brooke gave was the thought, “I should be better.” This is a thought that has driven me my entire life to work on self-improvement. Month after month, year after year, I’ve spent so much time reading self help, nutrition, parenting, (etc.) books and trying, trying, trying to improve myself, but never making as much progress as I’d like. I think it’s possibly the main thought that has been driving my life. I do think it might be an unhelpful thought because it implies that I’m not good enough right now, but it’s how I was raised by my parents and in my church–to always be setting goals and striving to improve. I’m having trouble reconciling how I will ever create change in my life if I let go of this thought. What is there instead to motivate me to change? I’ve been trying to focus on the thought that I’m trying to be the kind of person I want to be, but that feels basically the same to me as trying to improve. So what’s the difference? What are we all doing here in scholars if not trying to be better? I really want to understand this because I think it’s such a deeply held belief that might possibly be causing more harm than good.