Learn the Lesson
The most important part of self-forgiveness is acknowledging your mistakes and accepting full responsibility for them. We all make mistakes. In fact, research shows that we all have moments of weakness — those instances when we choose to act out rather than use our power for good.
That being said, there are things you can do to prepare for those moments so that they don’t end up hurting anyone else or taking over your life.
Don’t keep harming others or yourself. You were given the power to choose whether or not to use your power to harm others or yourself. If you choose not to use it, nobody has to get hurt. There are plenty of other ways to positively impact the world!
Shift your focus to what you can control. This is the essence of self-forgiveness. It is not about looking back and placing blame on other people or things — it’s about choosing to put the blame where it belongs: on you. When you understand that you are solely responsible for your actions, it’s much easier to forgive yourself.
We all have moments when we’re not at our best. It’s a part of life. We all age. We all struggle. We all make mistakes. Forgiving yourself means letting go of the past and looking towards the future. It’s about choosing to move forward and build a better life for yourself.
Accept that you’re human. We all have flaws. We all do things we’re not proud of. It doesn’t make you a bad person. It just makes you human.
Own your mistakes. There is no good way to kick a habit or an addiction. You were in control when you chose to act out. Own your part in it and take responsibility for your actions. This is the first step towards self-forgiveness.
Focus on what you can change. The past cannot be changed. The future is yet to come. So, instead of beating yourself up for what has already happened, focus on the here and now. What can you do to make things better? How can you make amends where possible?
Let Go of the Pain
The hardest part about self-forgiveness is accepting that you’re going to feel bad. You’re probably going to feel like a failure. You’re probably going to feel like somebody — or a lot of somebodies — have let you down. You’re probably going to feel like a burden to others. You’re probably going to feel like a disappointment.
Get all of that out of your system before you can move on.
Realize that nobody is perfect. Nobody has all of the answers. Nobody is always going to be there for you. Nobody is perfect. So, if somebody let you down, don’t shame them for it. Shame yourself for being so weak that you didn’t say or do anything to change that dynamic.
Give yourself permission to feel all of those things. You have a right to feel every single one of them. After all, you’re human. You’re allowed to feel those things.
Be Proactive Instead of Reactive
As humans, we are constantly searching for ways to improve ourselves. We all have moments when we’re reactive — when we respond to things based on the past rather than the present. We all have moments when we’re defensive — when we lash out instead of listening.
Those are all perfectly understandable reactions.
However, proactive behaviour is not only a better way to respond to life’s challenges, it’s a better way to live. It’s about choosing to respond to situations based on what you want rather than what you’ve been told you “should” do.
Choose your battles wisely. Fight the ones you really want to win. Fight the ones that matter. Avoid pointless arguments and don’t let anybody “ Drain you of your energy.
Speak Up for Yourself
As women, we are taught to be caring. We are taught to put others before ourselves. We are taught to be patient and kind. We are taught not to speak too much because we are supposed to be nurturing and gentile.
That all being said, nobody is going to feel your pain for you. Nobody is going to give you a “free pass” when you mess up. You have to be willing to say that you are sorry when you are wrong. You have to be willing to let go of the past and move forward.
Nobody is perfect. Nobody is always going to be there for you. You have to be willing to let go of the past and move forward.
Take Your Power Back
If there’s one thing that unites people, it’s a desire to feel powerful. There is a reason people turn to drugs and alcohol, gamble, and have affairs — they want to feel powerful. We all want to feel like we have control over our lives.
The problem is that most of us have been taught that the only way to feel powerful is to control other people.
That isn’t true power. That is a false illusion of power. Real power is found in the ability to control yourself. Self-forgiveness is found in the ability to let go of the past and move forward. Power is found in the ability to be proactive rather than reactive.
We all make mistakes. There are plenty of times in life when we are not at our best. We all have weaknesses. We all have things we want to change.
Forgiveness is not a decision to be taken lightly. It is a process that demands self-reflection and a deep understanding of your motivations. If you are able to self-forgive, it is because you have come to terms with the past and are ready to move forward.