The Steps to Forgiving Yourself

Seeking forgiveness from others for our actions is irresponsible: the challenge is to accept our mistakes and forgive ourselves.

How many times have we heard the phrase “before forgiving others, we must forgive ourselves”? Probably a lot. But it is also a fact that has solved little or nothing in life for us. The key is that we do not have to forgive anyone: forgiving ourselves is the only way.

We often don’t realize that when we ask for forgiveness from others, it is usually an irresponsible act, since we want to offload the responsibility for our actions onto the people we have offended.

In today’s article we explain that when we are in a conflict situation, we tend to look outside ourselves for the solution. “If only I could forgive him…” “If only this person would forgive me”. But neither is really effective.

Self-forgiveness helps us identify whether or not we are responsible for the situations for which we typically lash out. These lashes occur in two ways. When we make a mistake, we tend to blame ourselves. When someone makes a mistake against us, we tend to victimize ourselves.

Practicing self-forgiveness is about being understanding with yourself. It is not about not judging ourselves, but about measuring our actions.

Step 1: Analyze Yourself to Get Out of Self-Pity

If you are reading this article, you are probably trying to forgive someone who has hurt you, or to get someone else to forgive you for what you have done to them.

Remember that no one is more important than yourself. So, from now on, put yourself before everyone else.

As a first step, we recommend recognizing your need to forgive yourself or to forgive yourself. We mean, why do you want to forgive yourself? The question is awkward and weird, but it takes us out of the comfort zone of “what you did to the other person/what the other person did to you.”

Then try to answer these questions: Are you really a bad person? We don’t think so. Was it your intention to do harm? We don’t think so. Is it possible that you are just a human being and at the time you felt overwhelmed by life circumstances that made you lose control? Yes. Does that define you as a person? No. _

Seeing ourselves through the lens of self-pity allows us to find answers that we don’t usually see because we are caught up in guilt and resentment.

But be careful, it’s not about deceiving ourselves and distorting the facts, but about practicing self-pity: being kind to ourselves, recognizing the good we have so we can be fair in analyzing our bad actions.

If we can analyze ourselves to get out of self-pity-recognizing that we are human beings who make mistakes and that, therefore, others have also made mistakes for us-it will be easier to re-establish the relationship with ourselves.

A Guide to the Challenge of Forgiving Oneself

Dr. Jorge Domínguez, a member of the Association of Psychotherapists of Quebec, recommends the following steps to forgive oneself:

  • Give up the self-representation, that anger against oneself, in front of the mistake that one has made.
  • Practice self-compassion in the positive sense of the word (not pity), living in love with yourself.
  • Recognize that you have weaknesses, but also strengths; that life has nuances and that not everything is good or bad.
  • Assume that failure and mistakes do not make you a bad person.
  • Don’t be afraid to start over and repair the damage, which was surely damage to you, to yourself.
  • Learn from your mistakes and be aware that it is worthwhile to rectify after the mistake you made.
  • Reconcile yourself by accepting yourself as you are, by claiming your self-esteem.
  • This is the time to let go and forget the past. Avoid turning your thoughts to the moment of the mistake.
  • Look to the future.

Sometimes we are afraid to start over, but this may be the first step to take once you have forgiven yourself. Think of forgiving yourself as learning, rectifying and realizing where you failed.

Now that you know how to forgive yourself, enjoy and live your life.


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