Sometimes, it’s really difficult to forgive your own missteps. You feel really awful when you’ve let yourself or someone else down. But one day, you have to develop a little amnesia and allow the sun to shine again. Have you had trouble doing that? I have an excellent memory and sometimes I drive myself crazy re-living past mistakes. Ugh! I just want to have a big mental eraser to delete that old story. I definitely don’t want to become my own #1 hater, so I work daily on forgiving myself for my self-talk and then for all the other things I have done.
The Steps to Forgiving Yourself:
1. Confront Your Mistake
In every circumstance, take responsibility for your error and only your error. (There is no need to take responsibility for the mistakes of others.) Come face to face with it and acknowledge where you stumbled. As painful as it might be, this is the first step to forgiving yourself. It’s sometimes helpful to look in the mirror and say aloud what you did because it connects you with the action. It also helps you realize that it’s okay to make mistakes. Therapy can help if the mistake was a big enough deal to you that it still haunts you. Talking to someone else may help you release feelings that are buried deep inside.
2. Analyze The Impact
Take a moment to reflect on the real outcome of your actions. This is not the time to brush up on your fiction skills, take a look at what the actual impact was. Who was affected? How badly were you or others hurt? Take it all at face value, and avoid embellishing it with undeserved emotion. Take the time to consider the impact outside of what you initially remember. It’s sometimes easy to overlook the smaller impact when the greater one is overwhelming.
3. Accept Your Imperfect Self
Above all, be kind to yourself. Remind yourself that you’re human. There’s nobody walking the face of the earth who goes through life without making mistakes. However, it’s important to remember that this doesn’t excuse what happened. While being completely accepting of your imperfections, don’t gloss over specific, correctable shortcomings. Use the opportunity to work on aspects of yourself that you might want to improve. When apologizing to yourself, remember that everybody makes mistakes, but you’ve learned from yours and have every intention of not repeating them.
4. Challenge Yourself
The crucial final step to forgiving yourself is challenging yourself to do better. In the previous step, you accepted your imperfections. Now it’s time to work at fixing the things you can. Do you need to learn to be more patient with others? You can work on that through consistent, intentional effort and get feedback. Do not give yourself permission to keep repeating the same mistake. That’s one of the easiest ways to break your own heart and end up at square one again. Ask your supportive friends and family to help you on your journey. Remember that no woman is an island.
Making things right won’t happen overnight. I hope it was ok to be that honest with you. What’s important is that you commit to forgiving yourself and behaving differently in the future. Blaming yourself and holding onto past mistakes creates powerful negative energy. That negative energy blocks blessings, ideas, and future happiness.
You’re wasting time and putting off giving your unique contributions to the world while you consume yourself with living in the past. Stop that! Come to terms with the fact that you have so much more to give to the world. Chip away at the negativity until all that’s left is your renewed spirit.