5 Steps To Forgiving Yourself

5 steps to forgiving yourself

5 steps to forgiving yourself

In this week’s Success Newsletter, I would like to explore the ways we judge ourselves and reveal the 5 steps to forgiving yourself.

First a quick update:

“Spoiling children damages them for life”
No boundaries, lack of discipline, lavish gifts and a lack of contribution to the household chores are examples the ways parents spoil their children. Watch the Emotional Mojo TV segment where I reveal the ways parents spoil their children and how parents fail to prepare children to be able to handle life or manage relationships. I also reveal what you can do to ensure you don’t spoil your children.

Now, let’s talk about the ways we judge ourselves and reveal the 5 steps to forgiving yourself.

Every single one of us has done something wrong and hurt someone along the way. Maybe it is something we did, or something we didn’t do.

And when we make mistakes, when we do wrong, we naturally begin to hate ourselves; we blame and judge ourselves.

Judging oneself is not automatically negative or damaging.

We need a conscience to alert us when we have wronged or hurt someone. A conscience also helps us to create boundaries and leads us to do the right thing. It can also act as compass to correct our behavior while guiding us to care and compassion.

While guilt can be the appropriate and automatic response, staying stuck in guilt & self-judgment destroys happiness, relationships and even lives.

If you choose to stay stuck in guilt, you will punish yourself and sabotage your life and relationships because you subconsciously feel and believe that you are bad and don’t deserve good in life.

But feeling guilty also punishes everyone else in your life – it changes the way you feel and interact with people in your world. Further, you are also robbing them of what you can give to them because you withhold love as well as all of your talent and gifts.

And if you hate yourself, then you are also spreading hate.

Thus, forgiveness of yourself is the key to freedom.

Here are the 5 steps:

1. Get the Facts: What happened
Write out the story – what actually happened. Write what you believe you did wrong. In this step, do not add any emotions or make any judgments. In other words, do not yet write how you feel or make any conclusions; simply write out the facts – what happened.

Also, write out how the action or lack of action affected other people. Are you jumping to conclusions or did someone let you know you did something wrong? Is there someone who is angry at you? Were there or are there any other consequences of your actions?

2. Understanding: Why
This step is about understanding – gaining insights about yourself – and why you did what you did. Paradoxically, to gain understanding and insights about yourself, you need to distance and almost disassociate yourself from the event. In other words, look back at the event/action and yourself; why did it happen? What was missing? Did you lack information, knowledge, wisdom or experience? What was your physical, mental and emotional state at the time? Were you undergoing extreme stress or extenuating circumstances?

This step is not about seeking excuses but it is about discovering reasons and explanations. Understanding leads to compassion – compassion for yourself.

3. Release the emotions
This is a critical step which helps to release you emotionally. Write out everything that you feel; list every emotion. By simply writing and going through the process of listing the emotions, you will identity emotions and feelings that you did not realize you had.

Also when you list and identify the emotions, you are also automatically validating them. Further validation occurs by accepting that you are allowed to feel whatever you feel. How you respond to those feelings determines your outcome.

4. Take action: make amends
This step is about assisting the other person to forgive you and focusing on how to rebuild the relationship.

Connect with the other person (if it is not harmful to them) and ask them what you can do to make amends. You will also relieve yourself of a lot of guilt when you make the effort to heal the relationship and letting the other person know that you care about him/her, the relationship and that you accept responsibility for what happened.

5. Learn and accept
We can learn by two ways – someone teaches us the right way to do things (we model positive behavior) or we learn from mistakes (our mistakes or the mistakes of other people.) Thus, making mistakes and even doing wrong things are unavoidable. All humans make mistakes because all humans are imperfect.

After making a mistake, you can choose to learn from the experience and apply it to future opportunities, events and situations: “Next time, I will…”

Remember this: If you can’t forgive yourself, then you can never truly forgive anyone else! When you can show patience, understanding and compassion for yourself, you will easily be able to do the same for others. And that will enrich all areas of your life including all of your relationships.

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I wish you the best and remind you “Believe in yourself -You deserve the best!”

Patrick Wanis Ph.D.
Celebrity Life Coach, Human Behavior & Relationship Expert & SRTT Therapist

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