Life by Design

How Self-Forgiveness Can Be So Powerful

Inhale The Future

March 25, 2019

I'm Regina.
Psychologist, executive coach, and functional medicine health coach and my mission is to help you truly thrive. Let's get to work!
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When we think of forgiveness, we’re often thinking of forgiving someone else for wronging us. But we’re not thinking about forgiving ourselves for a mistake or an error. Everyone makes mistakes, but we often carry our own mistakes with us and remind ourselves of them internally. This behavior can be destructive, as the inner voice we all have is quite powerful in the way it shapes our thoughts and our behaviors. It is important to learn how to forgive yourself. That forgiveness can allow you to put your best foot forward and to move past your previous mistakes.

Most People Carry Their Mistakes Indefinitely

When you continue to carry your mistakes with you, you are holding on to a weight that is dragging you down and making it almost impossible to move forward. It is akin to wearing ankle weights and a weighted vest while trying to compete in a track meet. Holding on to your mistakes isn’t going to help you, all it is going to do is keep you living in the past, where you can’t navigate the challenges you need to address in the present. If you are someone who holds on to their mistakes, you aren’t alone. Most people have engaged in this behavior at some point or another.

Learning To Forgive Yourself Isn’t Always Easy

It is important to recognize that self-forgiveness is not easy. This is not something that happens overnight. This is a long process, where you are going to have your ups and downs. You must remain committed to improving your outlook over time.

Forgive But Learn The Right Lessons

Although it is critical that you learn how to forgive yourself, that is not the end of the journey. You also have to learn the right lessons. If you made a mistake, you want to make sure that you learn why and how it was made. Which factors led to the decision or outcome? Once you have a handle on the situation, you can determine how to avoid the mistake in the future. After you’ve figured that out, you can stop blaming yourself and move on with a clear conscious.


Self-forgiveness can be very powerful when it is applied correctly. You want to learn how to forgive yourself while not forgetting the lesson. That way, you can learn not avoid making the same mistake in the future. This isn’t an easy process, and it can take months or even years to learn how to properly forgive yourself for past mistakes and move on. But once you have the ability to forgive, it is like having a weight lifted off your shoulders. You can finally put your full effort into new tasks and projects without thinking back on your past mistakes. This sense of clarity and purpose can help you to focus on what is important, instead of living in the past.

* Inhale The Future image credit goes to: Toa Heftiba.

* Self-Forgiveness image credit goes to: Bryan Minear.

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