As human beings, we are inherently flawed by our very nature. We are destined to make some choices along the way that end up being the wrong ones; these include significant hiccups and the minuscule parts of day-to-day life. Some of us tend to dwell on these mistakes after they occur, to the point that they interfere with our progress and growth moving forward. Fortunately, another part of our nature is the ability to use mistakes and wrong choices to our benefit when similar situations present themselves in the future.
Mistakes are unavoidable, and it is essential to remember that they are OKAY. Although it may seem like making it a mission to avoid messing up at all costs is an effective way to maintain efficiency and fulfilment, this practice is a surefire way to leave you exhausted and drained.
With all of this in mind, the remainder of this article will briefly discuss how you can forgive yourself for past mistakes and use them for betterment on the road ahead.
Acknowledge Your Mistakes
The worst thing one can do after making a mistake is to refuse to accept accountability for it. The most common culprits for this tactic are ego and shame (Garden of Eden story, anyone?). Human beings have a plethora of self-preservation tactics hardwired into our DNA, one of these being our pride. While it can be challenging to own up to your mistake, you absolutely must do so that you can forgive yourself and not be hindered any further. Instead of using all of your energy, forcing it to the back of your mind, telling yourself, it wasn’t your fault, and hiding your actions from those affected by it, acknowledge the error of your ways. Instead, use this energy to self-evaluate what you should have done in the situation and how you will avoid the same mistake in the future.
Avoid Negative Self-Talk
For most individuals, the most prominent critic does not come in the form of an employer, spouse, or family member. This role is usually played by none other than you. When we mess up or don’t live up to a predetermined expectation in mind, we are often entirely too harsh on ourselves, mentally bringing up the mistake mentally long after anyone else does. If you are going to forgive yourself and move forward positively, speaking to your inner self in a patient, loving way is necessary.
The Personal Golden Rule
“Treat others as you would want to be treated” is a tried and true method when dealing with others. Ironically, this practice is usually far more challenging to adhere to when dealing with yourself. When you have made a mistake, take a second to think of it in terms of “treat yourself as you would want to treat others” instead. Assuming you are making an effort to be a decent human being, chances are you are more than capable of forgiving someone else for a mistake they have made. Imagine what you would tell another person if you were trying to let them know that you forgive their error, that it is not the end of the world. Notice how easy it becomes to forgive yourself when you place your situation in this context.
Life is far too short to let past choices hold you back from the person you want to become. You are GOING to make mistakes in this life. Forgive yourself, and when you fall, fall forward!