Making mistakes is nothing unnatural and all of us err at some point or the other. While we may often forgive others, we are usually pretty hard on ourselves. You may find it difficult to forgive yourself.
Psychologists and mental health experts opine that forgiving yourself is very important for ensuring your well-being — physically, emotionally, and mentally. Drowning away in remorse is not considered a productive way to cope with the situation. Rather it is important that you learn to forgive yourself and let go of the guilt or the shame. Self-compassion is necessary in order to move forward in life.
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Many people have a notion that forgiving yourself is a sign of weakness. But the fact is that forgiving anyone, including yourself, requires courage. Mentioned below are some tried and tested ways to forgive yourself.
Consider every mistake a learning experience and forgive yourself
Ask any psychologist and he will opine that each and every mistake that you make in life comes with a learning experience. And this learning helps you in moving ahead in life consistently. It is important that you keep on reminding yourself that you did your best with the available resources at that point in time. This will help in building confidence and it will be possible to forgive yourself.
Accept your actions
Forgiving yourself is about accepting the responsibility of the act for which you are sorry and showing some self-compassion. Be ready to face the situation and this is probably the first step in forgiving yourself. It is also the most difficult step. Instead of giving unnecessary justifications and excuses for your actions, have the guts to stand up and accept responsibility for your actions. You will be able to avoid emotions like guilt and regret.
Restore trust and repair the damage
When it comes to forgiveness — even self-forgiveness — making amends is crucial. Generally, you tend to forgive people when they ask for forgiveness or make up for their mistakes in some way or the other. The same thing is applicable to yourself as well. Your forgiveness will become valid when you actually earn it for yourself. Try rectifying your mistakes and apologize to people you have hurt intentionally or unknowingly. Fix your mistakes and restore the broken trust. You will feel much better.
Patience is essential
This is probably the most difficult part of forgiving yourself. Whenever you feel guilty about any action that you have done, you want things to get back to normal as soon as possible. Unfortunately, neither can your feelings rush nor will the emotions of others move fast. Therefore, the best thing to do is to maintain patience. Instead of pondering over and over again on the mistake that you made, stop thinking about the matter completely. Give yourself some time. You will see that things will start falling in place slowly and gradually.
Show kindness and compassion to yourself
What is your first response when a negative situation crops up? Do you criticize yourself? If you do so, stop doing that immediately. Even you deserve some compassion and kindness. You might not know, but one of the best ways of commencing your forgiveness journey is to be immensely kind and compassionate with yourself. You might not be able to do this instantly as this will take patience and time. This is just a reminder to yourself that even you are worthy and eligible for forgiveness.
It might happen that in spite of taking various steps, you are not able to forgive yourself. The guilt and embarrassment keep on piling up inside you. Instead of suffering, it is better to seek professional assistance. Visit a counselor or a psychiatrist and talk to them about the problem. They will help you in overcoming such feelings and guide you with new and healthy ways of coping with your errors and mistakes.
For the complete healing process, forgiveness and self-compassion are very important. Once you get rid of your anger, shame, and guilt, you can move forward in life.