If you’ve ever made a mistake or embarrassed yourself in some way, you’ve had to learn how to forgive yourself, and if you haven’t yet, honey, it’s time! We all make mistakes, but you can’t carry the gilt or embarrassment with you forever… here are the 8 best ways how to forgive yourself.
Mistakes may be embarrassing or costly or difficult, but they can also be fantastic learning opportunities. Okay, so forwarding that snarky message to your entire department at work, rather than your bestie, was careless and foolish… but you’ll be a hundred times more careful how you use email in the future, right? Every mistake presents a chance to learn, and if you’re smart, you’ll take that chance, remember it always, and try not to make the same mistake twice.
no matter how logical or intelligent you are, or how perfect you strive to be, you’re human. We make mistakes. In fact, some of the mistakes we make can actually make us more human, and approachable, to others. As long as your mistakes haven’t hurt anyone, laugh them off and enjoy the rush of emotions, then move on.
If your mistake has hurt someone else, one of the best ways to feel better is to make up for it. Did you wreck your bestie’s favorite black boots? Get her a new pair. Did you accidentally upstage someone? Give her back the spotlight as gracefully as possible. There are so many appropriate, dignified ways to make amends, and as soon as you start, you’ll feel better.
Another great way to forgive yourself is to ask the person you’ve hurt to forgive you, too. Once they’ve forgiven you, you’ll stop dwelling so much on the mistake, focus more on learning from it, and begin to forgive yourself.
If you’re seeking forgiveness from yourself or from someone you’ve hurt, it’s good to be in the practice of forgiveness… by making it a habit to forgive others. Practice (by forgiving others) makes perfect, right?
If you’re still having difficulty forgiving yourself, try writing yourself, or the person you’ve hurt, a letter. Detail your feelings, and why you’re still struggling. Then tuck the note away, unless you think sending it to the other person will help. Chances are, you won’t want or need to send the letter — writing it down will have helped enough.
Your life is in front of you, not behind you, so stop looking back and dwelling on the past. You can’t work on forgiving yourself and moving forward if you keep reliving what happened yesterday, or last week, or last month… I love the saying that goes, «you can’t drive forward if you’re looking in the rearview mirror.» So true!
If you find you’re spending a lot of time trying to learn how to forgive yourself, with little success, you might want to schedule time with a professional counselor. He or she can guide you and help you find the comfort and relief that come from forgiving yourself.
Forgiving yourself may not be easy, but it’s worth the effort, and will make you happier in the long run. Have you ever made a mistake and needed to forgive yourself? How did you do it? Which of these ideas did you find the most helpful? Please share!
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