How To Forgive Yourself: 7 Techniques For Self Forgiveness
Do you ever find yourself feeling guilty, even when you may not actually be all that guilty? Maybe you blame yourself for something, cannot let it go and wish to learn how to forgive yourself? As well as feeling guilt, you may also find it hard to actually move on from your past mistakes and accept whatever happened, thus forgiving yourself.
We can all find it hard to forgive ourselves sometimes as we tend to always see the bad in what we do, not the positives. We also tend to blame ourselves a lot, which is not a good way to live. I am going to talk about ways of forgiving yourself. Firstly, let’s take a look at why we need to be forgiving ourselves.
Why Is Self Forgiveness Important?
When we don’t forgive ourselves and hold on to our guilt, we are not able to be the best version of ourselves as we have a constant worry and fear.
It’s important to forgive yourself, otherwise, you will be:
- Stopping yourself from moving on from a situation and staying in the past.
- Keeping yourself from doing what you want to do, meaning you won’t be able to achieve your goals.
- Not caring for yourself; you will be putting blame and fear on yourself, which is likely to stop you from living a positive and fulfilling life.
- Stopping yourself from learning and improving from your mistakes.
How To Forgive Yourself
I am going to be talking about how we can forgive yourself and why it will help you. I will share some techniques to help you and once you have learned how you can forgive yourself, you can then start working on being the best person you can be.
You should also begin to treat yourself with self-care, which in turn will help you to create your best life. Being stuck with guilt will only hold you back, which is why it is good to forgive yourself and try and move on from the situation.
Let’s take a look at how you can do this.
Steps To Self Forgiveness
1. Realize That The Past Is In The Past
You need to accept that what’s done is done and that there is nothing you can do about that.
Whatever has happened to cause you guilt or sadness is now in the past, and you cannot change anything. Dwelling on the past will not help you in any way and will most likely make things worse for you.
Being able to accept and forgive what has happened will help you to move on, be in a better headspace and improve on yourself.
Leave everything in the past, and focus on your future as it’s the only thing you can work towards and change.
2. Recognize Unrealistic Expectations
Being able to stop creating unrealistic expectations or rules will help you to feel happier and find it easier to forgive yourself. If you have set an unrealistic set of rules for yourself, they will most likely get broken which can then lead to failure.
Failure can make you feel guilty yet again and you will not be able to learn to forgive yourself. You have to accept that not everything can be done as you think it should be done and that’s OK, if you stop setting unrealistic rules, you will not feel guilty if things do not go the way you want to and will find it easier to forgive yourself for the little things.
3. Identify The Hurt
You need to acknowledge the stress and hurt that is being caused by your guilt. If you can recognize that it is not what you did or the situation you were in that is causing your guilt, it is the feeling you experience after.
This could be any negative thoughts or feelings of guilt and stress, which will just make you feel worse. These feelings are the factors that stop you from forgiving yourself or at least make it a lot harder for you.
If you can recognize this, you will start to see that once you can move on and let go of these feelings you can start forgiving yourself.
4. Embrace Self-Acceptance
I have touched on this slightly, but a prominent part of self-forgiveness is self-acceptance. You need to accept what you have done and the actions you took and move on from it. Once you have forgiven yourself you may need to work on actually accepting it, which can be harder.
You can get stuck in the past sometimes, and you need to be aware that you cannot change anything from the past, so you must accept it to move on and to move forward with your life. Once you accept the past, and yourself you can face changing and improving your outlook for the better.
5. Put Things Into Perspective
Putting things into perspective should really help you with forgiving yourself as it is based around thinking about all of the positive things that you do.
If you can sit down and write a list of all of the positive things you have done throughout the day or week, you can then reflect on them and recognize the positive impact you have. This could be something simple like doing more chores so that your partner can relax, or buying a friend a coffee etc. Whatever it may be, write it down and acknowledge all of the positive and good things you have done, not the negatives.
You will start to see the good that you bring to yourself and others, and that you can keep doing this in the future.
6. Do Not Be Afraid To Start Anew
You can sometimes get stuck in the past, even when you think that you have forgiven yourself, try and learn from your past mistake if you can. Use the mistake as a stepping stone to start again.
You can then try and become a better version of yourself, using your mistakes as a guide to creating your new start.
Also, you can start from scratch and make better decisions than you did before, it’s OK to start again after you have forgiven yourself. If you can use your ‘mistakes’ as a step towards a better life that is great, and knowing that you can do this will help you realize that you are allowed to forgive yourself.
7. Look After Yourself
In the end, you need to look after yourself. If you do not try and take care of yourself, you will not be in a positive place and will find it harder to forgive yourself.
For some ideas, take a look at our article on self care.
Don’t be too hard on yourself, everyone makes mistakes and you need to make mistakes to help you grow as a person.
Take care of yourself by not taking all of the guilt and blame on yourself, but by treating yourself as you would a friend.
Tell yourself that it is OK and that you can use any mistakes you make to improve from.