If you were to give yourself advice, how different would it be to the advice you’d give a friend in a similar situation? We often tend to be harsher on ourselves, less forgiving and sympathetic, with higher expectations and levels of criticism. We don’t always give ourselves advice, but give ourselves lectures. But we deserve some compassion, love and understanding from ourselves. We’re not perfect. We make mistakes. And that’s ok. If we learn and grow, there’s no unwritten rule saying we should punish ourselves. We have to take care of ourselves. Don’t be so hard on yourself.
Even though we often tend to relive it, we ultimately cannot change the past. And whilst punishing ourselves seems to fit what we think we deserve, we need to learn to forgive ourselves. Because without forgiveness, there’s no moving forward and then there’s no future. We should always forgive ourselves for our mistakes, but here are a few times when we definitely should:
- When we let other people down – sometimes we have to do what’s best for us. And sometimes that’s borne out of things beyond our control. We cannot always please everyone and satisfy our own passions and dreams at the same time. At the end of the day, we have one life and we have to live it.
- When we trust the wrong person – we cannot see the inner workings of another person. So we cannot expect ourselves to know another’s intentions or predict another’s actions. Trust might be hard to hand out again next time, but don’t give up on it, because relationships are beautiful. They mean you’re living and not hiding.
- When we think we should be perfect – we set high expectations of ourselves, even if they’ve been created by somebody else. We all have limitations that we either need to accept or overcome. Don’t be so harsh on yourself. It’s ok to mess up. That’s how we get better.
- When we gave up on something – we all have times when we give up on something for a particular reason, whether temporary or permanent. And later on, we might come to regret that. But it’s never too late to start on an old or a new ambition. Learn a lesson from the last experience and push past that hurdle this time.
There is no sense in punishing your future for the mistakes of your past. Forgive yourself, grow from it, and then let it go.
What do you need to get better at forgiving yourself for?