“Forgiveness is the greatest gift you can give yourself.” -Maya Angelou

By forgiving someone, you are expressing your willingness to let go of the past and go on with your life without dwelling on things that have already happened and cannot be altered.

Self-forgiveness is neither a way to absolve oneself of responsibility nor a show of frailty. Whether you forgive someone who has harmed you or yourself, doing so does not imply that you are endorsing the behavior. Instead, it indicates that you favor peace over the problem. Below are some steps to consider in forgiving yourself.

  • Take Ownership of Your Actions

It takes more than just putting the past in the past and moving on to forgive oneself. It involves acknowledging what has occurred and exhibiting self-compassion. To forgive yourself, you must first face what has happened. It is also the most difficult yet most advantageous phase.

  • Express Regret For Your Mistakes

You could feel a variety of unfavorable emotions after accepting responsibility, such as guilt and regret. It is very normal to feel guilty after doing something wrong. These sentiments of regret and guilt might serve as motivation for healthy behavior modification. Recognize that making mistakes you feel horrible about neither makes you a bad person nor diminishes your inherent worth.

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  • Apologize And Reconcile

Even when it is you who needs to be forgiven, reconciliation is a crucial component of forgiveness. Forgiving yourself is more likely to persist when you feel like you have earned it, similar to how you might not forgive someone else until they have made it up to you in some way. Making the necessary corrections for your mistakes is one method to get over your guilt. If an apology is necessary, give one and seek out ways to make up for the person you have offended.

  • Consider the Lessons Learned

Each person has done things they regret and made mistakes. It can be harmful and difficult to retain your motivation if you fall into the self-hatred or even pity trap. Finding a means to grow as a person and learn from the experience is frequently required to forgive yourself. You must comprehend the reasons behind your actions and your feelings of shame to accomplish this. 

  • Make an Effort to Improve

Making a conscious effort to improve going forward is another aspect of forgiving yourself. Think back on how you felt about earlier mistakes as you approach comparable circumstances. Remind yourself of what you learned and how you may utilize that information and experience to guide your behavior moving ahead rather than feeling bad about the mistakes you made in the past.

While it might be tough to forgive others for hurting you, it can also be difficult to forgive yourself. Being able to forgive yourself is a process that is unique to each person.  Even though practicing self-forgiveness might have a lot of positive health effects, it is never straightforward or easy. Self-forgiveness can be beneficial for your relationships as well as your physical health in addition to lowering stress, despair, and anxiety.

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