It is so easy to blame ourselves for past failures. We think if only we had tried harder or been more careful, we could have avoided the outcome we are now facing. We may even beat ourselves up for not being able to accomplish something we really wanted. While it is important to learn from our mistakes, it is also important to forgive ourselves.
3 ways to forgive yourself and create a clean start:
- Acknowledge your feelings but don’t let them define you. Feeling disappointed, discouraged, and even embarrassed when you fail is normal. Allow yourself to experience these emotions, but don’t dwell on them. Dwelling on them will only keep you in the emotional storm surrounding you. Instead, give yourself permission to seek shelter.
- Let go of the idea that you could have done things differently. We cannot change the past; dwelling on what might have been will only prevent us from moving forward. Life is difficult, and we don’t always get it right 100% of the time. Who does? Acknowledge, take responsibility, and don’t linger. Take the next step to move forward.
- Have faith in yourself. Believe in your ability to overcome obstacles and achieve your goals. Having confidence in yourself will give you the strength to keep going even when things are tough.
We are all trying our best, and sometimes it doesn’t work out, or we say the wrong thing or don’t say the right thing. We teach children that everybody makes mistakes, but then we hold ourselves to a different standard. It’s time to give yourself some grace.
Forgiving yourself for past failures is not easy, but it is essential if you want to move on and achieve your goals. So look around, find the things in life you are grateful for, and start there.
If you need support and would like to speak to a professional counselor about topics such as the one featured in this blog and are in the Chicago area, please contact Olive Branch Counseling Associates, Inc. at 708-633-8000. We are at 6819 West 167th Street in Tinley Park, Illinois 60477.
Written By: Christine B., Masters Level Intern
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