Notes on learning to forgive yourself
‘When I loved myself enough… I came to know my own goodness.’
– Kim McMillen.
Would we say the same to someone else as what we say to ourselves? Sometimes we can be our own worst critic and are the ones harshest on us of all if we make a mistake, omit to do something that we ought to have.
If you give yourself a hard time about things, start to reflect on how useful this is. Who is it serving? Is it helping you to do better? Quite probably not. When we make a mistake, if we use it as an opportunity for growth and learning, we can improve. By asking the question, ‘how can I do better the next time?’ we support ourselves to do better.
The mind on auto-loop: Some people give themselves a hard time over and over about something. This can be agonizing and eats away at their self-worth. Again, they wouldn’t dream of doing this to a good friend, but to themselves, they keep on and on, wagging the finger.
One strategy to overcome this is to have a ready rehearsed response that you teach yourself to say each time that judging, unforgiving thought pops in.
Judging thought: You are no good as a _____ because you ______
Pre-rehearsed response: You are learning ways of being a great _____ all the time, and each day you are getting better and better.
The mind can run on auto-pilot, so if you were to do this, a little thought and preparation need to go into it. The more you respond with the rehearsed response, the more the mind takes it into the subconscious. It becomes your new, more helpful belief.
- List any things you recognise you find hard to forgive about yourself and be open to spotting them over the next few days to catch any you didn’t remember today.
- Write these down and then underneath each one write down a more helpful statement, such as the one above called the ‘pre-rehearsed response.’
- Practice saying these out loud and in your mind, and keep the page in a safe place so you can refer back to it. The more you practise this, the better it works. You are re-training your brain, and persistence pays.
Guilt and Shame:
Guilt is where we regret something, whereas shame is quite deep-running and is more about what we think of ourselves as a person. Shame can be a very destructive emotion, and those who suffer from it might be best to work with somebody, such as a Wellness Coach or Modern Energy Tapping (or EFT) Master Practitioner.
In Energy EFT there are several approaches to overcoming unforgiveness. You can tap on a positive such as ‘forgiveness,’ or ‘compassion’ to invite these qualities for yourself. Another technique is to talk about the thing you feel bad about whilst tapping around the points. Remember though to de-stress first. Otherwise, you can end up taping on stress talk and not experience improvement.
The video below is a brief demonstration of using Energy EFT to overcome unforgiveness to self.
About the author:
Susan Browne helps people to feel great in their energy and achieve their goals through ENERGY EFT and WELLNESS COACHING. GET IN TOUCH for more info.