How To Forgive Yourself?: 21 Effective Ways

Moving forward after having made peace with yourself is much easier said than done. You must remember that forgiveness is solely a choice and not something with which you have to comply with, but if you do decide to forgive yourself.

It will require compassion, empathy, kindness, affection, and understanding. There are certain things worth enduring the pain for, and forgiveness is surely amongst them.

How To Forgive Yourself For Your Mistakes

Focus on the emotions that you are feeling

One of the most important steps and the foundation to learn to forgive yourself is focusing on your emotions and understanding them.

To move forward in your life after having attained mental peace and sanity, you must learn to recognize and understand your emotions. You must know how to process and acknowledge your emotions. 

Allow yourself to feel what you are feeling. Be open to every kind of emotion, even if that triggers something in you, and welcome it.

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Consider each mistake as an opportunity to learn something new

Considering every mistake as a lesson to learn something new so that you don’t repeat the same mistake or mistakes is a great way to curb confidence loss and experience what proper moving forward in life feels like and too more consistently. 

When you remind yourself that you did the best you could with the resources that were available to you at that time and the knowledge that you have inculcated, it is a great way to forgive yourself and move ahead in your life.

Acknowledge the mistake and appreciate yourself

Mistakes are a part of your life; rather, it is a part of everyone’s life. As human beings, everyone out there makes errors, and that is how they learn to grow and improve themselves.

Making mistakes doesn’t make you someone who must be punished or has sinned, so acknowledge yourself because you made a mistake while trying to do something.

You attempted to do something at least, and that is when you might have failed or made an error. You can always learn from your mistakes.

Don’t let go of your optimistic attitude.

There will be moments when things will seem very hard on you, and you will have to face a lot of hurdles and obstacles.

There will be moments in which you might falter and make mistakes. Don’t let such moments or instances pull your morale down. Never let go of your optimism, no matter how difficult it gets.

When you want to forgive yourself, you must stay optimistic. Only then can you learn to let go of the burden and forgive yourself.

How to acknowledge yourself better

Talk more with your inner critic.

When you are journaling, you get to understand yourself better. It can enable you to understand your inner critic better and lead to the development of self-compassion.

These allow you to recognize the inner thoughts that you have that may be sucking your ability to forgive yourself.

Journaling also helps you in making a list of hobbies, qualities, achievements that you have, and this, in turn, will help to boost your self-confidence and enable you to forget what makes you feel you must forgive yourself.

Try quitting the negative messages of your inner critic

Sometimes your inner critic presents certain negative and wayward thoughts which get in the way of your learning to forgive yourself. Not every time will your inner critic be a positive source of motivation for you. 

Every time your inner critic brings about something negative, try writing the irrational and wayward thoughts on a piece of paper and write the exact rational and pragmatic version of that in another piece of paper as a response to those irrational thoughts. This is how you can get rid of inner negativity.

Put this entire process on hold. 

You must permit yourself to put your thoughts regarding the mistakes that you have made, on hold, for some time.

You should tell yourself that those thoughts are of no use to you at that very moment and that you will come back to it when you feel it will benefit you.

Try visualizing all those negative thoughts have slowly projecting inside a jar or a box. Try imagining them inside a caged place and that they won’t interfere in your life again. 

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Acknowledge your mistake out aloud

Everyone makes mistakes in their lives; what is important is that too learn from those mistakes and try to never repeat them. This is how human beings learn. If they don’t make errors, how will they know what is right and what is wrong? 

The greatest philosophers say that one must acknowledge his/her mistake out aloud if he/she is struggling to let go of that mistake. Acknowledging the mistake will send a voice to your head which will help you in calming yourself down and lessening the burden. 

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Be clear about what you want.

There can be numerous types of mistakes that people can make. If it’s something that is going to hamper your future, then, in that case, you must determine the next course of action and decide how you are going to make amends so that your future is not destroyed.

If it is something that has hurt someone else, then your course of action must be different. Do you want me to ask for forgiveness? Be clear about what you must do to forgive yourself and lessen the burden.

Be kind and compassionate towards yourself.

Every time you make a mistake, your first reaction is always to criticize yourself for the mistake that you have made.

You forget that you, too, are a human being, and everyone out there makes mistakes. You become unnecessarily hard on yourself, and you bring yourself down even more.

It’s high time you start being more compassionate towards yourself and show kindness. Your journey towards forgiveness can only commence when you are compassionate, empathetic, and kind towards yourself.

Take your advice

Most of the time, people tend to advise others rather than take their advice. One of the best things you can do to decrease the mental burden is take your advice because you are the one going through it, so you are the best one to help yourself figure the way out.

You can always visualize advising your best friend as to what they should do if they are going through the same problem as you, and then take that piece of advice.

Quit rethinking the same things again and again

It is human nature to go on thinking of the same mistakes again and again. You will observe that once you make an error that has quite a big impact on your life at that moment, you will go on replaying that in your mind and once again let it impact the other spheres of your life.

When you do catch yourself replaying the same mistakes in your mind again, stop it there, and focus on some positive action that you have done or will be doing soon.

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Don’t resist taking professional help.

No matter how large or small the problem you have in your life, no matter how badly a mistake has impacted you, you can always seek the help of a professional and allow yourself to forgive yourself for your mistakes.

Seeking professional help will not make you appear a loser, or a failure, or anything of that sort. A professional can help you to break free from such disturbing patterns in your life and live a healthier life away from such kinds of stress.

Talk it out with your parents or advisors.

Issues with mental health are not something that you should ignore. It can have a grave impact on your overall health and your life in general. You should always be addressing such issues. 

If you feel you have made a mistake and you are having a hard time getting rid of that from your mind and forgiving yourself, bring that matter in front of your parents, or someone who you feel can advise you well. Talk it out with them and let them help you out.

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Try taking forgiveness from the universe.

Firstly, take a step back and then, look around you, look at the bigger picture. There is a lot more to life than just that mistake you made a few days back that has been eating you up from inside.

Always make yourself remember that everyone in this world makes mistakes, and that is how they learn the right way to do things. Everyone deserves to be forgiven for what they have done at some point in their lives, so why not you?

Learn to embrace self-acceptance

Suppose you did forgive yourself for whatever mistake you had made, what after that? Can you still come to proper terms with your past mistakes? No, right?

Even if you do forgive yourself, coming to terms with your errors is not very easy so what you must learn is to embrace self-acceptance. 

Accept the fact that you cannot change everything you have done at some point in your life. It is great that you could finally forgive yourself, but don’t stress out because you cannot mend everything that was damaged.

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Decrease rumination

Your past mistakes, errors in doing something, all those failures, yes, they are a part of who you are, but they don’t need to remember now and then.

Giving less time and attention to your past failures is a great and probably the most efficient way to get around them and diminish the burden you are carrying every day.

If you can forgive someone very easily for what they have done to you, why should you set the bar higher up for yourself?

Take a vow to live with more care now.

Everyone makes mistakes, and it is just human nature. It is nothing unnatural or anything of that sort.

What you must keep in mind is that you should not be too hard on yourself. You must portray affection and compassion towards yourself when you are at the hardest phases of your life.

When you also vow to not repeat your mistakes and learn from them what should be done and what should not be done, you help yourself to forgive yourself faster.

Don’t take opinions from everyone.

Yes, you should seek help when you feel stuck with problems in your mind and you feel your mental health deteriorating. But this does not mean that you go telling everyone you know about your mental health issues. 

One thing you must understand is that not everyone wants your good. There will always be someone who will envy you and try to pull you down.

Only share your fears, your failures, your problems with the closest ones you trust, and their advice might help you to forgive yourself.

Understand unrealistic expectations

Yes, you had made a few mistakes in the past, you might have failed in the past, and now you are trying to forgive yourself for those and be less harsh on yourself.

With these come unrealistic expectations, which bring you down even more rather than helping you in your motive.

If you feel that you can please everyone in your life, that is unrealistic; in the same way, there are other unrealistic thoughts that you should not allow to be in your system.

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Learn a new thing every single day

When you decide to learn something new every day, whether it is in the form of a hobby you want to take up or a career that you want to pursue, you let your mind wander around those things rather than around a mistake that you had made years ago and still haven’t been able to forgive yourself for that.

You must push yourself so that you grow every day, and in this way, all the failures and negative thoughts, which are being a burden on you, will die down.


From the above points, it can be concluded that mistakes are a part of everybody’s life. It is not something that makes someone a sinner or a bad person.

You don’t learn until you fail, and you don’t grow until you learn. So, mistakes are serious, but it is more important to learn from them and try to never repeat them in your life.

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