10 ways to forgive yourself and move forward

Before we start, please read below, Please know that this blog is for informational purposes only, and it does not constitute medical or legal advice, medical services, clinical advice, or any type of professional help. In the event that you have a health concern, you should consult your physician or health care provider immediately.

Forgive yourself for not knowing what you didn’t know before you learned it.

— Maya Angelou

Everyone makes mistakes

Throughout your lifetime, no matter what you do, you will encounter problems, and you will make mistakes, and you will need to learn from them, and by these mistakes, they will make you stronger. It all depends on how you deal with these errors. There will always be something you will fail at. Something that will undermine your confidence and certain situations that will lead to you being wrong and things that will lead you to make stupid choices.

What is forgiveness?

Forgiveness is generally referred to as the process of letting go of negative feelings of anger, bitterness, and vengeance toward someone who has wronged you. This is great, and we should try to forgive others who have wronged us, but are you forgiving yourself? Today’s discussion is about you forgiving yourself for whatever you have done either to someone you love or yourself.

How do you forgive yourself?

To forgive yourself one must:

1. Identify the hurt.

Identify the source of the hurt. Why are you hurting?
What has caused you to hurt? Have others been hurt by you?
What did you do to cause another pain?

2. Accept Responsibility

When you have hurt others in the past; accept your responsibilities and acknowledge your mistakes and acknowledge the hurt you’ve caused to another, and even yourself. We can even hurt ourselves, we should acknowledge that while making things right with those we have hurt.

3. Is it Guilt or Shame?

It is fine to feel guilty, but one must understand the difference between guilt and shame.

The difference between guilt and shame

Guilt is an emotion of guilt or remorse associated with a feeling of moral or personal responsibility.

Shame can be defined as the bad feeling that sets in after one behaves in an unacceptable, inappropriate, or ridiculous manner, depending on the context.

Shame and guilt are often used interchangeably to describe the same feelings, but the two have a huge difference in meaning. Shame, on the other hand, is a more inward expression of how you feel about yourself and your actions, which differs from guilt in the way it can help you understand how you affect others.

One source suggests that shameful people seek to avoid and attack; guilty people repair and rebuild.

To start the healing process and to process the forgiveness within yourself, you must understand where the issue exists within, so you can pinpoint where to begin to heal and to accept forgiveness.

4. Apologize

At the beginning of your healing process, your first step should be to acknowledge your errors, apologize both to others and to yourself, and write yourself an apology. It does not matter if your loved one is alive or if they have passed. But, it can be the first step to healing.

5. Take care of yourself.

Take care of you by taking care of yourself.

  • It’s important to eat foods that provide nutrients.
  • Make sure to look after your personal hygiene.
  • Make plans to hang out with family, friends, or a friend.
  • Write down how you’re feeling that day on paper. Keep a journal of your feelings.
  • Do activities you enjoy doing daily, like reading or taking up a new hobby.
  • Make sure you have a regular sleep schedule.
  • If you’re working, try to get a sick leave. Sometimes our mental health needs a break too just as much as our physical health.
  • Thinking about things from a wider perspective can help you to gain a clearer picture. Sometimes listening to others rather than having to speak first or all the time.

6. Change your view

Think your perspective is the only way?
Get together with others who have an entirely different background to your own. This could open your mind and enable you to contemplate new ideas and concepts. You will be quite surprised when you realize how much your mindset can change once your perspective broadens.

7. Know your feelings

It is important that you are aware of your feelings. Knowing what you are feeling that you are experiencing. Try to identify the emotions as they happen. Being able to name them as you feel them. A journal provides a very helpful way to track your emotions. It is good to learn which words are used for each emotion, and remember to write about them in your journal.

8. What do you want?

It is important to understand with clarity what you want. Before anything else you must know what you want, you must examine the situation and the underlying reasons for your desires. Try to see yourself from others’ perspectives, reexamine the issue and try to understand. Also, you can make use of a mind map to help you in trying to figure out what it is that you want. Also, you may wish to consider rethinking other options; it’s always good to have a plan B prepared for almost anything.

9. Be realistic

Be realistic; Acknowledge unrealistic expectations and work to overcome them. Try to stop yourself by catching yourself when you start to have these expectations; call yourself out, in your mind and try to reflect on them. Expectations can influence our perspective greatly. So it’s important that we are aware of them. We also have to remember that not only do our own expectations matter, but expectations of others matter too. At the end of the day, we must practice compassion for those around us and for ourselves and allow ourselves to be more flexible in our expectations.

10. Put gratitude as a substitute for guilt

If you find yourself feeling guilty about something, switch that feeling to gratitude. Focus on what you’ve accomplished. Think about your accomplishments and how you overcame them, and experiment with adopting a more positive outlook.

Begin to move forward

After you have begun your journey into forgiveness, the next step is to let go. Do not dwell on the negatives and what if’s. Do not become enslaved to your past. The moment has come for you to rise above the chaos of your circumstances, and be the best, most confident version of yourself.

Have you had a situation where you overcame a barrier? What strategies did you use to get through the situation and move forward effectively?


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