Sometimes forgiving oneself for a wrong especially one that had grave consequences may seem difficult but it is not impossible. These burdens only deter us from living better and making better decisions. Mistakes happen and we learn from them. The fastest way to move on is when we allow forgiveness set in. Constantly punishing ourselves for the mistake, hamper our growth and progress in life. 

Here are a few tips on how to learn to forgive yourself and start afresh on a new page: 

  • Enough with the self-punishment. Anger and disappointment are two of the most effective ways to keep punishing yourself. Enough already. The mistake has already happened and though forgiving yourself doesn’t erase that reality instead, it helps to just let go and move on. See forgiveness as an avenue to live a better life and make better decisions.
  • Identify your anger source. Agreed, you made a mistake and there were consequences but what exactly is that particular thing you are most disappointed about? Have you ever taken the time to understand this? Sometimes the fear of dealing with the past prevents us from trying to identify this source. You can’t forgive yourself if you are repressing the truth. Dig deep, understand your mistake and the exact action you took that led to your disappointment and anger. Once you’ve got this figured out, the healing process can begin.
  • Your past doesn’t define you. You may have made a terrible mistake or series of mistakes but all that is in the past now and in no way defines who you are now as a person. Your past mistakes are exactly where they are -in the past and they should stay there. If you define yourself by them, you would never grow to become better personally, in your career or even in your relationships with others. 
  • Mistakes happen. No one is perfect or above errors. It’s important you realise the fact that mistakes happen and we are meant to LEARN from them. Life is like learning to ride a bike; you get to fall a couple of times before you become very good at it. While life may put us in different situations that may not be as easy as learning to ride a bike, the lesson to learn here is we should get up each time we fall. 
  • Be humble. Stop playing the defensive. Humbly accept your mistakes and ask forgiveness from whomever you have wronged, including yourself. You deserve to be forgiven. Unforgiveness stems from a place of pride.

It is important to remember that improvement is a gradual process. You won’t correct all your mistakes in one day but taking that first step is the most important thing. Gradually, you would get to become the best version of you and life would always be beautiful. Focus on your set new goals and be determined to move on to a better place, never to be pulled down again by the demons of your past. 

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