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About Everything Wiki » Life » How to forgive yourself for mistakes and move on

How to forgive yourself for mistakes and move on

10 Jun 2023, 00:00, parser
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None of us can change the past, no matter how much we would like it. Therefore, we learn to live with obsessive thoughts "I wonder what would happen if ..." and try to get used to the constant regret that accompanies each of our mistakes.

The approach of psychologists Shelly Carson and Ellen Langer, who divide mistakes into "good" and "bad", will help to cope with such an influx of emotions. They differ only in our reaction — we learn lessons from the "good" ones, and we are desperately ashamed of the "bad" ones.

To identify your "bad" mistakes, do one simple task — continue the phrase "I regret that ...". So you will find out what regrets you need to work with. And to turn "bad" mistakes into "good" ones, use five basic strategies.

1. Accept joys and difficulties equally

To change the perception of events that occur in our lives, we will need to look into ourselves. To do this, the attention management technique is useful.

Focus on breathing or try any other meditation practice that you like. Listen to your thoughts and feelings, accept what is happening in your life and think about possible scenarios. Yes, you can't change the past, but you can choose the future.

2. Be kinder to yourself

Author of book "Self-compassion. About the power of empathy and kindness to oneself" Kristin Neff is sure that it is self-compassion that helps to accept oneself. She suggests trying a practice that combines inner strength and self-love.

To do this, ask yourself two important questions:

  1. How can I show self-compassion when parsing my mistakes?
  2. How to give yourself the opportunity to think about the current situation and learn the necessary lessons from it?

The answers will help you understand how to work through past mistakes without blaming yourself for them.

3. Study yourself

To do this, try to ask yourself leading questions:

  • What can this experience teach me?
  • If I were in this situation again, what would I do differently? How would have changed himself?
  • What do I need to learn to make the right decision next time?
  • What advice would I give to a person in the same situation?
  • What thoughts, habits or character traits do I need to work on in order not to repeat this mistake again?

4. Determine what you can change and what you can't

Not all errors can be corrected. Sometimes the worst has already happened, and the only thing you can do is accept it. Ask yourself if you can make a difference. Just be honest with yourself: is what happened just one annoying mistake or a whole chain of reckless decisions?

"We can't choose the cards we got, but we can choose how we will play them," notes Carnegie Mellon University professor Randy Pausch.

If your mistake has hurt another person, try not just to apologize, but to listen to him. After that, you can share your thoughts and tell what this situation has taught you and what you plan to do next.

Randy Pausch has identified three important parts that any apology should consist of:

  1. Mentioning what you did wrong.
  2. Apologies for the pain you caused.
  3. The question is what can be done to fix the situation.

5. Motivate yourself

Find an inspiring phrase that will help you move on in difficult times. You can repeat it to yourself or make it a screensaver on your phone — the main thing is that it makes you feel better.

The prayer of the German theologian Karl Etinger is suitable for believers, and perhaps not only for them: "Lord, give me the peace of mind to accept what I cannot change, give me the courage to change what I can change, and give me the wisdom to distinguish one from the other."

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