Happiness is…in forgiving yourself

Happiness is…in forgiving yourself

Be as kind to yourself as you are to others and…imagine that! 

Imagine how much easier life would be and how much happier we would be if we treated ourselves the way we treated others? How often do you criticise yourself and/or say things to yourself that you'd NEVER say to a friend or colleague or loved one? If you're like most of us then it's way too often!

And this is exemplified better than almost anywhere when we make mistakes; often, when we do, we can be so, so hard on ourselves…blaming ourselves intensely, imagining it will ruin EVERYTHING and believeing the consequences will last FOREVER. 

In contrast, when one you love makes a mistake we're far more likely to say something like "don't worry; it wasn't all your fault. You didn't do it on purpose and anyway, you'll get over it." 

Not surprisingly, all of this can impact significantly on our happiness! 

But it doesn't have to be like this and if happiness is one of your goals, it shouldn't be like this. If only we could learn to treat ourselves the way we treat many others then many of us would be far happier and we'd experience far less distress.

This doesn't mean we let ourselves off the hook if we've done the wrong thing. Guilt and sadness and frustration and many other unpleasant emotions are normal and appropriate at times. But that being said, being TOO HARD on ourselves TOO OFTEN rarely achieves anything.

And in contrast, easing up on ourselves and practicing self-forgiveness can go a long way to minimising distress and allowing us to bouce back as quickly as possible which then allows us to remedy the situation more quickly and effectively. 

So how do you forgive yourself? 

Well, try saying or reassuring yourself about a few of the following…

  • we all make mistakes!

  • no one is perfect all the time

  • when we do make mistakes they're not always our fault (other factors may well have played a part)

  • when we do make mistakes they usually won't last forever

  • when we do make mistakes they're often not as bad as they seem

  • and when we do make mistakes it's best not to overgeneralise from that and tell yourself that EVERYTHING in your life is bad and wrong! 

Ultimately, the most effective way to get back on our feet as quickly as possible and if necessary, to remedy a bad situation is to accept that what we've done has been done and what has gone wrong has gone wrong; beating ourselves up tends to achieve little but cause distress which tends not to help us cope. So allow yourself some imperfections, put things in perspective and then as soon as you can, ask yourself…

…what can I do to rigth this wrong? What strengths to have possess that will help me overcome this obstacle? 

Do you think this might help? Do you have any other strategies or tips for self-forgiveness? If so, please share your thoughts and comments HERE on The Happiness Institute's Facebook Page