I have already written an article about the 14 things which you need to forgive yourself. Now you might ask me: ‘How to do it?’ Today I will give you the answer. Let’s start from forgiving yourself first.
To forgive, you need to follow the ten-step formula which I will describe below. Some steps may be easy, some difficult, but the order is important to succeed. Do not skip to the next step until you master the previous one.
Rad more about forgiveness:
10 Steps How To Forgive Yourself And Others
Below you will find the ten steps to self-forgiveness formula. Most of them can be also used for forgiving other people in the same way. Before you start reading take a diary as you will need to write to go through the process effectively.
1. Define Your Clear Morals And Values Which Are Valid Now
You feel guilt or shame for actions done in the past because those actions are not in line with your current morals and values. By identifying your morals and values, you start to get a clearer picture as to “why” you are hurting over what you have done, or what others did to you. So take a diary or notebook and define:
- what “good” means to you,
- what “wrong” means to you,
- when guilt or shame is justified and when not (and then needs forgiveness).
2. Realise That the Past Is Past
We all know that the past is done, those things happened, and nothing can be done about it… except learning the lesson and forgiving. Then you open yourself up to more acceptance which can lead to the emotional healing you are all looking for. So again, take a diary and write down.
THE PAST IS PAST, I’VE LEARNED THE LESSON AND NOW AM READY TO ACCEPT IT AND ABLE TO HEAL THE WOUNDS.
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3. Create a “Re-do”
Never underestimate the power of a “re-do”. Sit down and describe in writing how you would have done things differently if you could go back and do it again. In doing so, you affirm that you not only learned from our past mistake. You also learn that if you had the skills you have now, back then, you would have done things differently. Therefore, because you did not have the skills then, it is time to forgive yourself.
4. Realize You Did the Best You Could At the Time
The way you respond depends on three factors:
- the skills you have,
- the frame of mind you are in,
- how you perceive the situation at that moment.
Maybe you did not have as much objectivity or acted out of survival or protection mode. Maybe you had let stress build up, which put you at a higher risk of responding poorly. Whatever the factors, cut yourself a break. If you learn from it, it was never in vain.
5. Start Acting According To Your Morals And Values
In order to forgive, the best thing you can do for yourself is beginning to replace the negative behaviour and thoughts with more appropriate ones i.e. congruous with your morals and values. By so doing, you reaffirm to yourself that you can handle situations in the way you want to. This can make you proud of yourself, which is a huge part of building self-esteem.
6. Identify Your Biggest Regrets
It is very hard moving on from the past because you can be overwhelmed by so many regrets. Categorize these things because people often only hold on to a handful of big categories/patterns. Working on patterns of behavior is often more helpful than working on individual regrets. And having some categories instead of a long list also helps to deal with your regrets more efficiently. Take your diary and list your biggest regrets now. Then divide them into categories. For
7. Tackle the Pain And Other Negative Emotions
Some regrets require extra work. I call it “hard nuts to crack” because they are covered with the crust of negative emotions. Take a piece of paper and let the pain go as long as you stop feeling it. Do it by writing affirmations:
- I, (YOUR NEME) LET … (NEGATIVE EMOTION) GO.
- I (YOUR NAME) AM FREEING UP FROM … (NEGATIVE EMOTION)
Write these affirmations daily for e.g. fifteen minutes and shortly your mood will improve, the emotional wounds will soar less and you will be more willing to forgive yourself and others.
8. Turn the Page
After you have released all your negative emotions and pain, you need to accept that the past happened and you had done everything in your power to amend past mistakes then. Now the time has come to turn the page and accept those events as part of your story. Remember that they have all contributed to making you who you are. Be grateful for those experiences so that you will move on and truly forgive yourself.
9. Move Towards Self-Love
Think of yourself as your best friend and speak to yourself with love and kindness. Always remember to put yourself as a priority. It all reaffirms that we believe we are worth it. Choose the best technique for yourself. For example, some work with a psychologist or coach, self-therapy through writing affirmations and working with your inner child.
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10. Forgive And Let Go
Now you are ready to forgive yourself. Look at the list you have made in Step 7 while letting go negative emotions. If you can look at these items without feeling the negative emotion listed there, you have forgiven yourself. But the acid test of your forgiveness will happen when someone criticises you. If you are able to smile and feel unstung, congratulations, if you feel stung, come back to Step 7.
In a Nutshell
Summing up. In order to forgive