Would you like to know how to forgive yourself for past mistakes? Maybe you have had trouble trying to get there. It is important to remember that everyone has things in their past that they aren’t particularly proud of as well as the bad choices they have made. Sometimes it is just too difficult to forgive yourself for those decisions.
Maybe you did something you think is unforgivable to a friend or family member. Perhaps you committed a crime. Perhaps you made a poor decision and someone got hurt because of it.
It doesn’t matter what you did and what you are holding onto. What is important is to take the steps towards forgiving yourself so that you can move on with your life.
Feeling guilty can wreak havoc with your life if you let it without actually addressing the situation and moving on.
Listed here are some of the steps you can take to help you forgive yourself for past mistakes. When you forgive yourself, you just may have a better quality of life.
6 Steps to Forgive Yourself for Past Mistakes
- Consider what is bothering you. What did you do? What was your role in what happened? What about the situation bothers you the most? You may want to write this out, but it’s perfectly fine to just think about it.
- Picture a different outcome. If you could go back in time, what other choices could you have made? Is there anything you would have said differently? If you could how would you correct the mistake? Try to visualize, concentrating on the details, how you would fix the mistake.
- The past is the past and you can’t go back. The exercise above is the nearest you can get to going back to your past. In order to move on, you are going to have to accept that no matter how much you would like to, you can’t change the past. That does not mean you are powerless. In fact, this is just a truth that you will need to accept before you can move on.
- This is an important step: try to make amends if there is anyway. You don’t have to confess your mistake, especially if it will hurt someone, it just means trying to right the wrong if possible. If you wronged a friend, take a step by reaching out to them and apologizing.
If it is possible to make things better for the person you wronged, try to do something for them you think they would appreciate. This probably won’t apply to every situation, but if you can do something, do it. If you need help making a decision about this, seek advice from friends, family, or a therapist.
Some times things are better left alone. This is a decision you will have to make. If your situation prevents you from making amends directly to the person, you might consider choosing a way to serve your community instead.
If you are religious, praying and asking forgiveness may be something you want to do.
- Begin again by creating a new starting point for yourself. You have made some mistakes as everyone else has, and now it is time to move on. Make the commitment to being a better person.
You may want to do something special to make the occasion like start a new journal or buy yourself a special piece of jewelry to remember your new commitment to yourself.
- Remind yourself regularly of your commitment. If you hit a low point, you may be tempted to dwell on the past mistake. Remind yourself of your commitment to starting over, and then try to move past it.
In truth forgiving others is often easier than forgiving ourselves. People normally hold themselves to a higher standard than they do for others.
The guilt and pain can last longer when a serious mistake is made. Guilt eats away at happiness and it makes it difficult to enjoy life. Learning to forgive yourself is a must if you want to have an enjoyable life.
If you take the steps above, you will be closer to forgiving yourself and moving on from your past mistakes.