As humans, we’re all imperfect. We make mistakes, and no matter how experienced in life we are, there will be other mistakes that will make. This is how we gain wisdom and experience in life, mistakes that we learn from. The question is how heavily do you carry the weight of your past mistakes? How likely are you willing to let go of the past and not be so hard on yourself?
When it comes to the ones we love, we try to find all the possible excuses and give them the benefit of the doubt when they do us wrong. The question is, don’t we owe ourselves too; to be more compassionate, empathetic, and forgiving when it comes to the wrong we do to ourselves? Just as forgiving others is an important part of your healing journey, forgiving yourself is even of greater importance and is definitely just as rewarding. Here’s how to start on the journey of forgiving yourself.
Acknowledge your feelings of guilt. This voice repeating itself in your head over and over to remind you your mistake is what is known as guilt. Feeling guilty after making a mistake is part of the learning process, but letting this feeling of guilt haunt you will actually do you more harm than good. Process your feelings, then move to the next step of understanding your mistake to know whether this mistake is repeated as a behavioral pattern or just a one-off.
Change the way you think about your mistakes. When we make a mistake, especially a big one, we tend to pause the time at that very moment when it happened, as if the world around us has crashed with just one thing we did wrong. But if you really think about it, a mistake is not the end of the world. It is in fact an eye-opener and a way we can work on ourselves and change our behavior.
Reflect on it to learn your lesson. Every mistake we make is here to teach us a certain lesson, not so that we dwell on it and keep on blaming ourselves for what we’ve done. After you’ve acknowledged your feelings of guilt and taken accountability, spend time to analyze your behavior. Ask yourself what pushed you to make such a mistake, how you can correct it, and how you can avoid it next time.
Treat yourself with some love and silence your inner critic. Don’t be too harsh on yourself and allow yourself the same level of forgiveness you allow others. Be kind to yourself, accepting, and patient. Give yourself time to understand yourself better and heal your past traumas. Stop the negative self-talk and believe in your abilities to change and become a better version of yourself.