self forgiveness tool for personal development

How self-forgiveness can be used as significant tool for better mental health?

To err is human.

The adage is widely known.

Being human, we frequently make mistakes. Nobody is perfect in daily life. Everyone makes mistakes.

Of course, it causes remorse and shame.

You can learn and develop by dealing with your guilt and using those mistakes as lessons.

Do you believe that improving mental health is also beneficial?

It does, of course.

A number of health advantages have been linked to the act of forgiving. According to 2016 research, forgiving others can lower stress levels and enhance mental health. According to the findings of a study published in 2017 , forgiving someone can strengthen your sense of empowerment, foster better connections, spiritual growth, and pleasant emotions. It can also help you find your life’s purpose.

self forgiveness is tool for self development

“You’re allowed to feel afraid and guilty,”

If you pay attention to the words of clinical psychologist Wayne Pernell from San Francisco, imagine the wonderful effect they could have on you. The current “you” is actually able to recognise how prior errors could have been handled differently thanks to those feelings. Now that you have the advantage, you may utilise it as a significant tool in scenarios that may arise in the future, which will undoubtedly assist to enhance your mental health.

You might now have a viewpoint on things that you didn’t have before because of your growth and experience. Knowing this indicates that you have already absorbed a lesson.

However, we are all human. Highly emotional.

Is practising self forgiveness always possible?

Really not.

You may find it difficult or unwilling to forgive for a variety of reasons.

For instance, having low self-esteem, having a critical nature, and growing up in a negative or abusive environment can all make it more difficult to forgive past transgressions. You could be more inclined to feel guilty and find it difficult to forgive yourself if you have certain disorders.

For instance:

• Imitation disorder

• Obsessive-compulsive condition (OCD)

• depression

Research suggests that unresolved guilt can swiftly develop into other harmful attitudes or behaviours like:

self-shaming

• self-sabotaging

• Abuse of drugs

• impulsivity

As you are well aware, feeling guilty is normal. However, if it is not addressed, it could lead to:

Social isolation

• has a detrimental effect on your relationships

• keeps you from fulfilling commitments like those at work or school

• makes depression or anxiety symptoms worse.

• impedes routine daily activities

The more you’re conscious of the long-term effects it might have, the more you’ll use this self-forgiveness as a vital tool to improve your mental health. Your physical health cannot be in good condition if you do not take care of your mental health. According to Fred Luskin, Director of the Stanford University Forgiveness Projects, a senior consultant in health promotion at Stanford University, and a professor at the Institute for Transpersonal Psychology, as well as an affiliate faculty member of the Greater Good Science, narrated the act of self forgiveness in his book Forgive for Good: A Proven Prescription for Health and Happiness  and also in “Stress Free for Good: Ten Proven Life Skills for Health and Happiness that holding onto anger and being unforgiving raises our stress levels and has a negative impact on our wellbeing.

Forgive for Good by Dr. Fred Luskin                                                                               Stress free for good

This is a Proven Prescription for Health and Happiness.

The good news is that we can develop the abilities to accept and correct our mistakes in a more constructive and effective manner, and in the process, develop as people. Once you understand the advantages of self-forgiveness, no one can stop you from using it as a powerful tool. From Dr. Fred Luskin,s book, you will find multiple advantages of self forgiveness.

Self-criticism evolves through time and is temperament-dependent.

It’s possible that our inclination to judge ourselves comes from our DNA.

In order for early humans to thrive, they needed one another’s contributions. If someone committed a mistake, it may cause difficulty for the entire tribe, and that person would be punished—perhaps by exile or perhaps by death—for the oversight or error. Despite the fact that we live in modern times, we still have a natural tendency to watch out for faults. The key lesson here is that when we are overly critical of our conduct or performance, it is neither personal nor indicative of anything being “wrong with us.”

Our health and productivity are both enhanced by self-forgiveness.

According to studies, those who practise self-forgiveness are happier, more emotionally stable, and more optimistic. Self-compassion is associated with improved achievement, output, concentration, and focus, according to a related outcome. “Self-forgiving persons are aware that pain results from a lack of self-forgiveness. They treat themselves with kindness, which lessens their worry and any resulting despair.

Understand the distinction between shame and guilt.

Making mistakes can make us feel guilty and ashamed, but these emotions are distinct from one another. When we act in a way that we later regret, we feel guilty. This can help us make a positive course correction and help us be more deliberate with our ideas, words, and actions. When we feel that our very being is being attacked, we experience shame, which makes us feel inferior, undeserving, and inadequate. “Shame is frequently hidden, buried deep, and makes us feel incredibly alone and alienated from other people. Because we believe at our core that we are unworthy, weak, hopeless, and alone in our suffering, self-correction becomes exceedingly challenging. Shame can make us feel unworthy of being at our jobs in a professional context, which might make us competitive with coworkers or socially isolated. In our private life, we could characterise ourselves negatively and think of others as more socially successful, endearing, and interesting.

Fulfillment comes from achieving goals, but perfectionism is harmful.

It takes time to pick up a new skill or reach a worthwhile objective, and we could become disheartened when we run into difficulties. Being strong and overcoming those difficulties We become more capable and live up to our standards of ourselves through being resilient and conquering those obstacles. However, issues come when we aim for perfection in achieving our objectives. Because “being flawless” is  impossible. Even Amir Khan, Bollywood icon known as “Mr. Perfectionist,” frequently affirms that he does not believe in perfection.

Is Amir perfectionist Khan?

Striving for the impossible is a formula for extreme stress, ongoing disappointment, and health issues like despair and anxiety.

Set reasonable expectations.

In order to set realistic expectations, we may consider this way:

• What is my personal definition of success in this situation?

• What advantages will I receive? What level of expectations do I chose to set? Am I trying to perform at a five-star level? Why? Is “good enough” appropriate in this specific situation?

• Do I actually have the time, space, and money necessary to work on something without causing myself or others unnecessary worry or anxiety?

You should be prepared to develop a range of reasonable expectations for your conflicting priorities based on your responses, some of which will be high and others merely “good enough.”

The big question right now is: How can we utilise forgiveness as a tool to improve our mental health? As explained in the book, by Dr. Fred Luskin, there are four steps we might follow to forgive ourselves. Self forgiveness is powerful tool for self development.

Steps for self forgiveness

I. Develop your awareness.

Accepting your suffering without passing judgement is the first step. Ask yourself, “Am I accurately analysing the impact of my error, or am I blowing it out of proportion?” as you get ready to conduct some soul-searching.

II. Keep in mind that we are all human.

The same way that infants learn to walk by falling and getting back up, people who are self-forgiving approach their errors. They accept, learn from, and develop from their weakness, shortcomings, and embarrassments rather than blaming themselves.

III. Show yourself some love.

Spend some time taking care of your needs and of yourself. Each time you are self-forgiving, your attitude of love toward yourself will increase. What do I need right now, ask yourself? What am I doing? How can I relieve my suffering and be compassionate to myself? How can I start moving in the direction of forgiving myself?

IV. Do something.

Think about what you can do to right the wrong in an honourable and self-respecting way, and then do it. Rectifying a mistake will relieve your load and assist you in getting past a past wrong that is still having an impact on your present life.

Bottom Line:

Sometimes mistakes cannot be corrected. When that occurs, remember that you are human, that life is imperfect, and that regrets can be terrible. Then, change the way you’re thinking so that it says, “Something in me profoundly regrets that I can’t remedy this mistake,” rather than “I’m to blame.” Finally, be humble, acknowledge the error, consider what you’ve learnt, Make a plan to perform better the following time.

Developing self-forgiveness is a skill that takes time to master once you could consider it as powerful tool for personal growth. You’ll start to feel more at ease, honest, and joyful with time. You’ll be able to see and understand how much joy can be found in a straightforward moment, how much there is to be thankful for in every day life, and how much the world needs you and your unique skills and abilities. Your mental health will improve as a result of this realisation, making you a better person.

-End-

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