Why does guilt feel so bad
Letting go of guilt - forgiving yourself
TIP 1:Take note of your mistakes and take responsibility for them.
For example: "I have received a dunning notice because I mislaid the invoice". "I have a dent in the car because I ignored the lamppost".
TIP 2:However, only evaluate this mistake as negative, not yourself, and think about how you can correct this mistake and avoid it in the future.
"I did not act in my best interests, but it just happened. I am a person who makes mistakes. I misjudged the situation. In the future I will pay attention by ... doing". It is pointless to accuse yourself of "I should have acted differently. How could I act like that".
You acted this way because you are a person who makes mistakes. As humans, we are "limited" in our assessment. If you put rice and water in the saucepan, you get rice. It is then of no use to you to say, "How could I have put rice in the pot. I should have put potatoes in it because I prefer to eat potatoes".
You gave yourself reasons to put rice in the pot, not potatoes, before you started cooking. Instead of self-condemnation, it is sufficient to state: "I cooked rice and now rice on my plate. What a shame, I would have preferred to eat potatoes now"
TIP 3:If you find yourself reproaching yourself later in the day, remind yourself, "I am ready to accept the situation as it is. I did my best."
At any moment, you can only act on what you think is right at the moment - even if it later turns out to be wrong. Perhaps you will now object: "That is all well and good for such small things, but no mistake should be allowed to happen in the really big decisions".
For example, I have patients in my practice who accuse themselves of having married a certain partner, of having become pregnant or addicted to pills, or of dropping out of school.
But the same principle applies here as well. It is important to admit to a mistake. If we deny it or blame others, we cannot correct it. However, it is unhealthy to keep reproaching yourself for the mistake. You did what you thought was right and what you were physically and mentally capable of at the time. If you see it differently today, you can act differently today. You weren't ready then.
TIP 4:Accept your weaknesses and mistakes. We all learn by the time we die and yet we will never be perfect.
We can only learn from our mistakes and strive not to make the same mistake twice.
Feelings of guilt and self-blame don't make us a better person. Forgive yourself for your mistakes.
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