For some individuals, forgetting the past and moving on from mistakes can be extremely difficult. Some of us can dwell on (and feel guilty) about things for long after they matter. If this is you, these three tips could help you forgive yourself and stop feeling guilty about the past.
1. Learn From Mistakes
If you truly want to move beyond these mistakes of your past, you need to learn from them. If you can take something positive out of a past negative, it will allow you to move forward knowing you are better off due to the bad experience. If you don’t take anything from the reason behind your guilt, the chances it takes you much longer to forgive yourself are high. Focus on the positive changes you have made in your life since the mistake.
2. Stop Magnifying
This one is real bad as oftentimes we remember the past as being much worse than it actually was. We are often irrational with how we see the past and this can lead us to not be able to forgive ourselves and cease that guilty feeling. If you are able to stop magnifying these past experiences as being worse than they were, you can help to forgive yourself even sooner. In order to see if you are magnifying the severity, ask yourself if the punishment you are imposing on yourself actually fits the crime.
3. Have Compassion for Yourself
Perhaps the biggest key here is actually that you ultimately know that just because you had done something questionable in the past, that isn’t who you are. While you are responsible for your actions and should make things right, your actions themselves don’t define you as a person. To be able to forgive yourself, you need to be able to understand that this won’t define you.