Forgive yourself for not being the richest, the thinnest, the tallest, the one with the best hair.
Forgive yourself for not being the most successful, the cutest or the one with the fastest time.
Forgive yourself for not winning every round.
Forgive yourself for being afraid.
But don’t let yourself off the hook, never forgive yourself, for not caring or not trying.
— Seth Godin
Just about everyone we know is pretty ruthless when it comes to judging themselves. And those judgments can derail projects and the creative process in general, stopping us from pushing through to doing what we need to or even falling in love.
Apply compassion to yourself for all the things you think are so terrible, all the while continuing to try to do what is important and meaningful to you and others close to you.
We are not perfect beings, we tend to always be hard on ourselves when we don’t achieve our goals, and when we let others down.
“Be gentle first with yourself if you wish to be gentle with others.” — Lama Yeshe
- Accept yourself and your flaws. Know that despite your flaws, you are okay as you are.
- Remember that you are not a bad person. You can do something wrong while still being a good person.
- Talk to someone. Sometimes you just need to get it off your chest. Talking to someone else about what is bothering you can have serious benefits.
- Talk to your internal voice.
- Do the best friend test. Imagine your best friend had done exactly what you did and then came to you for advice. What would you tell them? You would reassure them and tell them not to be so hard on themselves. You would tell them that everyone makes mistakes. You would tell them that they deserve to be forgiven. Why can’t you say this to yourself?
Forgiving yourself is far more challenging than forgiving someone else because you must live with yourself and your thoughts 24/7.
Despite the challenge, build the capacity to forgive yourself when they have made a mistake.
When you forgive yourself, you are not pretending as though it never happened. On the contrary, you are acknowledging that your actions have consequences. But the consequences need not include self-inflicted negative feelings.
It is okay to forgive yourself but it is not okay to stop trying to achieve the best in ourselves and in others.
Forgive yourself and stay the course. Never stop caring and trying your best.