7 Tips for Forgiving Yourself

by | November 20, 2018

7 Tips for Forgiving Yourself

Sometimes forgiving yourself can be tough.  We all have things that we regret in life and wish we had done things differently. We’re only human, after all! It’s often a lot easier to forgive other people for fairly major things while hanging onto strong resentment towards yourself for even minor slip ups.

If you find it hard to forgive yourself for things that have happened in the past, it can have a big effect on how you treat yourself. And according to studies, it can also make you more likely to have health problems, including autoimmune conditions, heart disease and even cancer.

Learning how to forgive yourself and give yourself permission to move on from mistakes is so important for self love. Your ultimate goal is for specific situations to no longer cause you negative emotions such as pain, anger and resentment. Here are some tips for forgiving yourself so that you can move on with your life and start to love yourself in the way you deserve.

1. Release negative emotions

When you’re holding onto strong negative emotions, it’s almost impossible to truly forgive yourself unless you’re able to release them. Whether you’re feeling guilt, shame or just generally hate yourself, you won’t be able to move forwards until you’ve dealt with the underlying emotions that you’re feeling.

It’s often the case that your reactions to even the mere thought of what you did are what is making you feel so bad and by releasing them, they won’t hold the same power. This makes it a whole lot easier to start the process of forgiving yourself!

2. Accept that you’re not perfect

None of us are perfect and we all make mistakes. When you didn’t intentionally set out to hurt someone through your actions, holding onto shame and letting it affect how you see yourself can be hugely damaging for your self esteem.

Your mistakes aren’t ‘proof’ of your failings and they don’t make you a bad person. If you can see mistakes as an opportunity to learn and grow, it opens up a whole different mindset.

3. It’s okay to let the memory go

Are you still holding onto what happened in your mind and not able to put it aside? This could be one of the big reasons why you’re struggling to forgive yourself. It is actually a perfectly natural response given that our brains are hardwired to use past experiences to try to protect us.

That doesn’t make it helpful though! Reliving the situation in your mind fools your brain into believing that it is happening again and that sets off the stress response. It can also mean that you define yourself through the situation, rather than accepting that it happened and trying to learn from it.

It’s not about forgetting what happened. Instead, you want to acknowledge that your actions may have had repercussions but that this doesn't need to extend to self destructive emotions.

4. Flip the situation around

If you were told about the situation you can’t forgive yourself for, what would you tell the other person? Chances are, you’d encourage them to forgive themselves and point out some of the reasons why. And there’s no reason why that shouldn’t apply to you too! This is a great habit to get into whenever things don’t quite go to plan.

5. Get a different perspective

Talking about the situation with a trusted friend can give you a different take on things. Because they’re not living in your head and aren’t affected by the same thoughts and emotions as you, they have enough distance to see things that you probably can’t, especially around why you should forgive yourself.

6. Learn from what happened

Spending some time thinking about what you could have done differently can be very powerful for opening your eyes to the fact that you may not have been in the best position to do the ‘right’ thing then. For most people, there is a really good chance that you have gained new skills or insights since it happened and you can use those to learn from the situation so it doesn’t happen again.

7. Work on self love

Love is often a strong factor in our ability to forgive. The opposite can be true too - if you don’t love yourself all that much, you’re probably going to have a much tougher time forgiving yourself. You’re probably a lot harsher on yourself than you are with other people, right?

This is a sign that it’s time to work on accepting yourself more and learning to love who you are. Once you’ve started to have success with this, it’s a lot easier to avoid beating yourself up for every mistake.


If you found this post useful - join our Facebook Group - Thrive.

Recent Posts

Cardio or Resistance Training: Do You REALLY Need To Do Both?

Cardio or Resistance Training: Do You REALLY Need To Do Both?

When starting at Real Girls, my clients often ask me what type of exercise (i.e. cardio or resistance training) should they be doing outside of their sessions with me. The uncertainty and confusion of where to start when it comes to exercise, is because there has long...

The True Health Benefits of Exercise

The True Health Benefits of Exercise

Do you exercise? Is it something you enjoy? Is exercise part of your daily routine? Do you do enough? Are you aware of WHY you should exercise and the benefits it provides (and no – I don’t mean for a ‘bikini body’ 🙂 ? Some people LOVE exercise...

Recipe: Kale Chips

Recipe: Kale Chips

I know you’ve probably seen numerous recipes for kale chips – but have you actually tried them? They’re incredibly easy to make and even yummier to inhale all in one sitting 😉 Ingredients 1 large bunch kale, washed and thoroughly dried (I prefer Tuscan Kale) 1...

What is a ‘Health Halo’ (and are my foods wearing one?)

What is a ‘Health Halo’ (and are my foods wearing one?)

Eating healthy shouldn’t be complicated – but thanks to slick marketing & the rise of health halos – it certainly can be!  If you’re trying to eat healthier, you already know you should be including lots of fruit, vegetables, lean protein, and...

Privacy Policy | Terms & Conditions | © 2019 Real Girls

Designed by Karine Marie

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This