We are all familiar with the saying “to err is human and with error comes a need for forgiveness”, but how often do you forgive yourself?
We can learn and mature through our mistakes. Unfortunately, we’ve been taught that if we don’t criticize ourselves for our failures, then we won’t take responsibility for ourselves or cultivate discipline.
I pride myself in being a forgiving person. I see it as a strength… until it’s time to forgive myself.
Anger, guilt, regret, and resentment are the major factors that hold us back from forgiving ourselves. Empathy, compassion, kindness, and understanding help us move forward.
Here are a few simple and practical ways you can help you on the journey to forgiving yourself:
Pay Attention To Your Pain
Your pain could be in the form of guilt, resentment or anger, but it’s important to note that these feelings are inevitable. Allow yourself to feel remorse. Guilt is not always a bad thing. It allows you to think about consequences, feel empathy for others, and to look for ways to improve yourself. The key is to allow yourself to experience remorse without dwelling on unhealthy guilt.
Pay attention to your thoughts
Journaling can help you understand your inner critic and develop self-compassion. One thing you can do is write out a ‘conversation’ between you and your inner critic. This can help you identify thought patterns that are sabotaging your ability to forgive yourself.
You can also have a journal where you write a list of the qualities you like about yourself, including your strengths and skills. This can help boost your self-confidence when you’re feeling down about a mistake you made.
This is super helpful, I promise!
Find positive actions that will help you move forward and become better. Ask yourself, how can I become a better person from this experience? What steps can I take to prevent the same mistake again in the future? Forgiving yourself often requires finding a way to learn from the experience and grow as a person.
Personal growth is neither easy nor comfortable, but it’s one of the most powerful things we can do for ourselves. It ultimately brings us peace of mind and the loving energy we deserve in our lives.
Self-forgiveness is about self-kindness. Your flaws are just as big a part of your individuality – like your talents, strengths, or sense of humour. You need to learn to embrace every part of yourself, both the good and the shady, understand that mistakes are an unavoidable part of life and it’s okay to make them.
Now, I’m not encouraging you to intentionally cross certain boundaries or… you know, do things that are way beyond ‘mistakes’. Instead, I’m encouraging you to live with more care and fewer regrets.
Living your best life is less about perfection and more about developing healthy personal relationships.