Making peace with oneself and moving forward in life is not so easy task for us. Forgiveness is a choice. Being able to forgive yourself requires empathy, compassion, kindness, and understanding.

When you have done a mistake and you still carry it in your mind, the hurtful thoughts/feeling towards yourself, impacts all areas of your life. All of us make mistakes at times. As humans, we’re imperfect. We need to learn to move on from the blunders we made. Otherwise it might be painful and uncomfortable to move on.

These are few ways which will help you forgive yourself. Make use of the time during this lockdown to work on it.

o   Recognize and accept the feelings that have been triggered in you, because of your mistake. For eg: guilt, anger, shame, sadness so on.
o   If the mistake you made hurt another person, say sorry to the person you've hurt and try to fix the mistake you've made. (if there is a possibility).
o   You can give voice to the thoughts in your head, by maintaining a journal. You can express the emotions (eg: grief) in different forms by writing/drawing/painting/shading. This way you may free yourself from the burden.
o   Use visualization techniques. Visualize your thoughts/feelings about your mistake, spread across a sheet of paper, then later tear the sheet little by little and throw it in a bin. Then, tell yourself you, are putting your thoughts/feelings into the bin as and it will not benefit you.
o   Write a “conversation” between your ‘past-self’ and your ‘present-self’. This can help you identify thought patterns that are damaging your ability to forgive yourself.
o   In your journal you can also maintain a table, on one column of the paper, write down ‘negative thoughts’ (self-critical and irrational). In another column of the table, write counter ‘positive thoughts’ (self-compassionate and rational) response for each thing you wrote in the other column of the table.
o   Stop spending time and energy replaying your mistakes. It won’t allow you forgive yourself. Interrupt the thought pattern and help yourself move away from the negative experience.
o   Ask yourself what advice you would give your best friend, if s/he had done the same mistake made by you, and then you take your own advice.
o   You can also save in your mind what you learned from your actions and its consequences. Think of your mistake as a learning experience.
o   Make a list of the qualities you like about yourself, including your strengths and skills. This can help you to boost your self-confidence when you’re feeling down about a mistake you made.
Don’t be judgmental on yourself. Show yourself some kindness and compassion. This is the primary way to begin the journey to forgiveness.
If you are unable to help yourself with the above stated tips/suggestions please consult a Psychologist/Counsellor. S/he will help you heal and cope with better strategies. This takes time, patience, and a reminder to yourself that you’re worthy of forgiveness.
Have the courage to be imperfect.
Swathi Priya. P
Counselling Psychologist


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