Self-Forgiveness: Steps to Take to Forgive Yourself, Forgiveness is frequently characterised as a conscious decision to let go of sentiments of rage, wrath, and vengeance toward someone who has harmed you. However, while you may be a kind forgiver of others, you may be a harsh critic of yourself.
Everyone makes mistakes, but it is critical for mental health and well-being to learn from them, let go, move on, and forgive yourself. Learn why self-forgiveness is helpful and what actions you can take to improve your ability to forgive your own errors.
Steps to Take to Forgive Yourself
Take ownership of your actions
It’s not only about putting the past behind you and moving on when it comes to forgiving yourself. It all boils down to accepting what has happened and treating yourself with care.
The first step toward self-forgiveness is to face what you have done or what has occurred.
It’s also the most difficult. If you’ve been making excuses, rationalising, or explaining your behaviour to make them appear acceptable, now is the moment to own up to your mistakes.
You may prevent unpleasant emotions like excessive remorse and guilt by accepting responsibility and acknowledging that you have done things that have damaged others.
You may experience a number of negative emotions as a result of accepting responsibility, including guilt and humiliation. It’s quite acceptable, even good, to feel guilty after you’ve done something wrong. Guilt and remorse can be used as a springboard for constructive behaviour modification.
While guilt indicates that you are a decent person who has done something wrong, shame leads you to believe that you are a horrible person. This can trigger emotions of worthlessness, which can lead to addiction, despair, and violence if left unaddressed. Recognize that committing errors for which you feel terrible does not make you a horrible person or diminish your inherent worth.
Restore Trust and Repair the Damage
Even if the person you’re forgiving is oneself, making apologies is a vital aspect of forgiveness. Forgiving yourself is more likely to stick when you feel like you’ve earned it, just as you might not forgive someone else until they’ve made amends in some manner.
Taking action to correct your faults is one approach to get past your guilt.
If necessary, apologise and consider how you may make up to those you have wronged.
This part of the procedure may appear to benefit solely the person you’ve wronged, but there’s something in it for you as well. You’ll never have to wonder whether you could have done more if you fix your error.
Renewal is the focus.
Everybody makes errors and has things for which they are remorseful or sad. Rumination, self-hatred, or even pity can be harmful, making it difficult to sustain self-esteem and motivation.
Finding a method to learn from your mistakes and evolve as a person is frequently part of forgiving yourself.
To do so, you must first comprehend why you acted in the way you did and why you feel bad. What actions can you take to avoid repeating the same mistakes in the future? Yes, you made a mistake, but it was a valuable lesson that will help you make better decisions in the future.
While self-forgiveness is a valuable tool, it’s crucial to note that this approach isn’t meant for those who wrongly blame themselves for things they aren’t to fault for.
People who have experienced abuse, trauma, or bereavement, for example, may feel shame and guilt while having no influence over the situation. This is especially true when individuals believe they should have been able to anticipate a negative event and so avert it (an example of what is known as the hindsight bias).
Read also: Forgiveness in the Workplace