4 Ways To Achieve True Freedom By FINALLY Forgiving Yourself

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how to forgive yourself

"The only man who never makes a mistake is the man who never does anything," said Theodore Roosevelt. 

Good news stories are the once that cover how tolerant, selfless, and heroic we can be towards others.

Which is great, but how often are we the hero of our own life? How often do we look in the mirror and are at peace with what we see? How about that one mistake or failure we can't shake and that we drag with us everywhere we go? That one secret that is so shameful that we don't want to think about let alone talk about?

We ALL have those, even when we don't want to acknowledge them. All those secrets wear us down and limit us from enjoying life. What we need to realize is that:

  • In any given moment, we make decisions based on the knowledge we have and we do the best we know how.
  • When we make an unfavorable choice, it doesn't make us a "bad" person. It makes us human.
  • Overcoming mistakes and failures are designed to make us grow as a person.
  • It gives us the opportunity to practice forgiveness towards others and ourselves and gaining courage, strength, and stamina in the process.  

Yes, there will be moments in our lives we're not proud of. We did or said something that hurt others and ultimate they hurt us. But, to set ourselves free, we need to how to forgive ourselves and treat that mistake as a learning tool.

We are inclined to forgive others quicker then we forgive ourselves, we are our own worst critic and we have a hard time in letting go of the foolish things we said or done.

In holding on, we limit ourselves in moving on, learning and growing as a human being. It makes us bitter, resentful, and self-righteous. It even can become self-destructive.

Take your secret, failure, or mistake and ask yourself: If my friend had made this mistake would I be able to forgive them? Often, the answer is "yes", so why do you give somebody else a free card and not yourself?  

Forgiveness is letting go of the negative attached emotions that are coming up when we remember a challenged episode in our lives. Luckily, we can choose to forgive anybody, including our self by doing the following steps:

1. Be honest with yourself.

You can't fix what you don't acknowledge. Often, our skeletons in the closet appear bigger in the dark, so when we gain courage a really look at them and bring them in the light, we discover that they are smaller than we thought.

Therefore, they are easier to face and deal with until our negative attachments are gone.

2. Re-evaluate your values and morals and start acting accordingly.

Only acknowledging our values and morals is not enough. We need to act on them every single day. This takes practice. Humans are prone to take the road of the least resistance. My advice is: Fake it, til' you make it.

3. Make personal challenges and hold yourself accountable for them.

This brings us from thinking about it to doing it. Collaborate with somebody, like a coach or a therapist, who is able to keep us on our toes without a personal agenda. This can be as short or long term relationship as you need to get back on track.     

4. Do one of these two exercises.

Take 15 minutes a day, pen and paper and write all your shame and guilt. After that destroy the letter by burning or shredding, for as long as the negative feelings are present. Or, write down your shame and guilt feelings on a note, put that in a balloon, and send it up to the air.

Forgiving ourselves is not something we should take lightly. It affects everybody and everything we say and do in a day if we do this or not. Be the hero of your own life. Acknowledge that you are human and therefore, you make mistakes.

Need help to claim your freedom Contact Ellen Nyland for a free 30-minute session.

This article was originally published at Ellen Nyland. Reprinted with permission from the author.