Everybody makes mistakes. It’s a cliche that you may or may not believe, but it’s true. You might look at a success story and say, “Well what about him? He does everything right.” That’s definitely not true. The difference is, successful people have stopped blaming themselves for mistakes. They move past their mistakes in order to move forward in life. Dwelling on a bad decision will only serve to exacerbate the negative feelings you have toward yourself. It may be tough, but in order to get where you want to be, you have to start forgiving yourself.
1. Take responsibility, don’t place blame
When you take responsibility for your actions, you accept that you made a mistake. Don’t try to shift the blame onto others. It takes a strong-willed person to admit they made a mistake, and it needs to be done in order to clear your conscious. If you don’t accept responsibility, you run the risk of having others blame you relentlessly throughout your life. By accepting responsibility, you make it clear that you were wrong and now want to work toward bettering yourself.
2. Love yourself
When you blame yourself, you cast yourself in a negative light. When you accept responsibility for your actions, you are able to focus on your positive traits (responsibility being one of them). Be kind to yourself. Be realistic about your shortcomings, but also about your strengths as well. By doing so, you can focus on strengthening your weaknesses, while also supplementing the positive aspects of your personality.
3. Seek out help
There’s a misconception that seeking mental help is a sign of weakness. This is definitely untrue. In fact, deciding to see a therapist is a sign that you want to get better. Don’t let the social stigma of seeing a mental health professional dissuade you from getting the help you need. For example, think about this parallel of going to the gym. There’s no stigma behind going to the gym, which is a way to keep your physical self in shape. Going to a therapist is simply a way of keeping your mental and spiritual health finely tuned.
4. Help others
You undoubtedly have many talents, but if you spend your days wallowing in self-pity, you’ll never end up using them. Use your expertise to help others and give back to your community. You will feel yourself floating farther and farther away from the mistakes you have made. Start defining yourself by the charitable actions you undertake. Volunteering is also a great way to gain perspective about the world around you. It could also be a way to find your true calling in life.
5. Don’t be critical
If you’re critical of yourself, chances are you are critical of others too, perhaps without even realizing it. Judging others is a waste of your own time, which could have been spent bettering yourself in some way. Instead of judging others, look for the good in everyone you meet. Try to see things from their point of view. Furthermore, those who judge others tend to be paranoid and think that others are judging them. Let go of the idea that everyone else is out to get you, and you’ll be free to live your life to the fullest.
6. Forgive freely
Like I said: Everyone makes mistakes. The first step toward forgiving yourself for making a mistake is to be more forgiving of others. Once you fully understand that everyone makes mistakes, you’ll be more apt to forgive yourself. You don’t have to be perfect — because nobody is. You just need to be the best you that you can be. This all starts with forgiving yourself and moving on with your life.
7. Learn and move on
A mistake that’s made more than once is not a mistake. If you didn’t learn the first time, don’t expect sympathy from anyone the second time you mess up. Own up to your actions, and use the experience as a stepping stone. Don’t become stagnant. Also, don’t let yourself fall into old habits. If nobody ever made mistakes, nobody would ever improve themselves. A mistake you’ve made doesn’t have to spell the end of times for you. Keep pressing forward, carrying with you the knowledge you learned throughout your toughest moments.
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