We all make mistakes from time to time, that’s human. Some mistakes are small, others have a bigger impact on your life and/or that of others. For the vast majority of people, making mistakes is still hard to get over. Getting stuck in a feeling of guilt is something that many people can imagine. Yet you can learn to be more forgiving, for yourself and for others. Forgiving yourself requires a healthy dose of empathy, compassion, gentleness, and understanding. In addition, it is also nice to know that forgiving yourself gives you so much freedom. Here are 7 tips that can help you in this healing process.
Forgiveness is a gift you give yourself. – Maya Angelou
Forgiving yourself – 7 tips that can help with this
1. Everyone makes a mistake once in a while
Nobody is perfect. In most cases, we make a mistake unknowingly or unintentionally. This means that you did not do it intentionally or against your better judgment. In addition, there are many additional factors that can cause you to make this mistake or blunder. From a misplaced comment, or performing a task incorrectly, to a math or language error, it happens to everyone.
Nice to know: Einstein and Darwin both made mistakes that later turned out to be brilliant blunders.
2. Learning from mistakes
If you make a mistake and acknowledge it, you can learn a lot from it. After all, you will focus more on what caused this mistake to be made and you will be more alert as a result. By making a mistake, you help yourself to be able to perform your tasks with attention.
Other mistakes (think of reactions) teach us that a certain approach does not work constructively. It then gives us the opportunity to apply a different method.
3. Give yourself permission to park your guilt
When you’re too deep in guilt, you don’t always have the resilience to deal with it in a healthy way. You consciously choose to work with this when you feel powerful enough to process this.
4. Observe the dialogue with your inner voice
Write down all of these judgments, and with each of these statements, ask yourself: Is this really so? Or is this about someone else’s opinion that I consider to be the truth?
5. Tackling the limiting belief
Some beliefs are stubborn. Another way to address these limiting beliefs is to get input from another person. You, therefore, do not have to address them personally about this situation, but simply by asking yourself this question: How would this person react to this? What would he or she do if they were in my situation?
Another option could be: how would the 5-year-old version of myself deal with this?
6. Not everything is within your control
Did you make a mistake that hurt someone else? Many people feel the need to correct this mistake or ask for forgiveness. But what if neither is possible?
Realize that there is a chance that the other person is not open to a conversation with you. Also, give the other the right to say no and see how you can pick up the thread of your life – with or without help.
7. Living in the here and now
It is normal to relive certain mistakes in detail again and again in your mind. You will then notice how much energy this requires from you and, moreover, it creates a lot of stress. Result; it leaves you with a very bad feeling, often at the expense of your health.
Yes, you can always analyze the situation from an observer’s perspective. Purely on facts: what happened, what led to this, how can this be avoided in the future.
What does forgiveness teach us?
As Maya Angelou so beautifully says in her quote, forgiveness is a gift to yourself. Learn to forgive yourself as well as forgive others. It gives you a lot of freedom: free to be free from the past, to be able and allowed to continue with your life. Moreover, it is a nice way to transition from anger, guilt, shame, sadness or another emotion, to a more serene feeling. Once you find that you can forgive yourself, forgiving others becomes easier.
Can’t get through it on your own?
Do you find it difficult to forgive yourself? Then consider getting professional help. Friends and/or family can give you advice, but their intention is good, it’s not always the best advice you get. This is because they approach the situation from their personal experience, not yours. A coach or therapist can guide you in this. In addition to teaching you to look at the situation in a different way, it can also teach you how to become more gentle and compassionate with yourself. Give yourself the gift of forgiveness!