Everyone has made some mistakes in their life. Maybe you took a risk on something you thought would pay off and it didn’t. Maybe you trusted someone who you shouldn’t have. Maybe you did something that didn’t align with one of your most important values and you feel like you’ve let down yourself, your family or a friend.
We’ve all done it. None of us get through life without that feeling of shame, guilt or regret about something big or small.
Some of us hold on to our mistakes for a months, years or a lifetime. As if by making one mistake we are marked us as unlovable, flawed and a freak.
We carry these feelings as resistance. Resistance to something better. Better circumstances. Better finances. Better relationships.
You can’t change the past by staying stuck in it. Reliving it in your mind through regret and worry, guilt and repeated patterns of behaviour.
When I coach my clients through these negative emotions, I open them up to the opportunity of looking at their mistakes through different lenses. From a perspective that each mistake is an opportunity to learn something. That through every negative outcome is a positive lesson and that there is a way to honour even your negative choices, by doing things differently in the future.
The thing with mistakes is that they can only be re-written in to a better ending from exactly where you are right now.
Here are 3 exercises to complete to begin the process of forgiveness.
1. Get clear on your values.
Whether perceived or real, our mistakes feel so uncomfortable because they most likely conflict with our own moral code and self imposed values.
Undesirable results give us an opportunity to reflect on our own morals and values, thereby allowing us to make better choices in the future.
Get clear on your values and write them down somewhere you can reflect on them as a daily anchor to your ‘Why’.
2. Create a do-over.
So what if things had been different? How would you like for them to have occurred?
In your mind through visualisation or in a journal physically rewrite your story. This time write it the way you would choose to do over the choices you made. Imagine the situation if you had made a different choice.
Not for the point of more self blame or regret. But as confirmation, that you have indeed learned from your situation and you truly can make better choices in the future. So that through your undesirable choices, you can be a role model for something better in the future.
3. Write yourself a forgiveness letter.
When reflecting on a lifetime of mistakes, most of us should be able to see the opportunity we create for improvement through our troubles.
Every mistake has an opportunity to redirect to better circumstances and better choices.
Write the letter in the way that for every regret you have, you can see that you now have the opportunity to choose something better because you know better now.
You don’t have to keep the letter. In fact it may even be a wonderful symbol of letting go, to burn, tear up up or delete it.
4. Build your self esteem and self confidence.
It’s possible that you’ve been so focused on your troubles and mistakes that you are failing to see your worth and give honour to your current circumstances with gratitude.
Write a list of the wonderful achievements you have made, the good deeds you have done and the ways in which you can make a difference to people’s lives right now and in the future.
This time keep it! You may even like to type it up on some nice paper and put it up on your pin board or fridge so you can reflect on it daily.
You are worthy of a wonderful life. Now.
Coaching just like training is a commitment to your health and happiness. I am now taking on Coaching clients for a 4 week intensive in June/July. If you would like to find out more about how you can be a part of it, >contact me< with your name, email address, phone number and a brief message.