I’ve made a lot of mistakes in my life. Because I’m a trusting person who gives people the benefit of the doubt, I ended up getting swindled by con artists, slick salesmen, and other assorted marketers.
I’ll never forget the day I calculated that I’d given more than $150,000.00 to people who’d taken my money and given me nothing in return. I felt sick to my stomach.
That’s when I realized I had to forgive myself for all those past mistakes.
The question is, how to forgive yourself?
What It Means to Forgive Yourself
Forgiving yourself means 3 things:
- Admitting your past mistakes.
- Realizing you did the best you could do at the time.
- Taking action to make sure you don’t repeat those mistakes.
For example, when I realized to my horror all the money I’d given to those clever con artists, I realized that I had in fact been an easy mark.
I’d been one of those gullible people who didn’t do my homework and simply bought what people told me, without doing research or even finding out if what they were saying was true.
So yes, for those con artists, taking my money was like taking candy from a baby.
Why It’s So Important to Forgive Yourself
Have you ever noticed that it’s often easier to forgive others than to forgive yourself?
Perhaps that’s because it’s harder to imagine staying angry at someone else for a long period of time… while we can beat ourselves up for years and years over the same past mistakes.
Imagine not beating yourself up any more…
Being free from the past…
Realizing that you did the best you could with the information you had.
Those are some of the good feelings that happen when you forgive yourself.
How to Forgive Yourself
- List the mistakes you made that you need to forgive yourself for.
- List what they cost you in terms of time, energy, relationships, and money.
- Determine the incorrect, invalid, or faulty thought process that caused you to make those mistakes in judgment.
- Decide what you’re going to do differently in the future to ensure you don’t make those same mistakes again.
For example, when I did this exercise, I realized that the incorrect thought process I used was believing what those clever marketers told me, without doing my research.
That caused me to pay them huge sums of money without doing my due diligence, which caused them to take my money without giving me anything in return.
Then I decided that in the future, I would not give anyone any money without researching them fully. That in turn, has saved me tens of thousands of dollars that I might have otherwise wasted.
Use these simple steps as a guide on how to forgive yourself and let go of the past.
Noah’s Note: We all make mistakes. When you forgive yourself, you’ll learn from your mistakes so you won’t repeat them.