To release shame, the most powerful choice we can make is to forgive ourselves. To release resentment, the most powerful choice we can make is to forgive others for how their choices affected us.
Finding the compassion to forgive yourself can often be more challenging than forgiving another.
As Amy showed up to our coaching call, after a many-month hiatus, she shared her embarrassment for not having taken action on tasks we’d spoken about months earlier. Like Amy, we’ve all set out to make a change yet found ourselves mired in the same place months later. We’ve been sedentary for many reasons that bore us to repeat — busy-ness, fear, uncertainty. What must we do to break out of our inertia, and just as importantly, not berate ourselves for having been stagnant?
Each morning, when we wake feeling stuck or unhappy, we can make a new choice to do what matters to us. This door of possibility is available to us every day. While it’s helpful, from a place of learning, to own why you didn’t do what you set out to do, it’s not helpful to approach it from a place of judgment.
What will it take to let go of shame and embarrassment, and forgive yourself for what you didn’t do, while also setting yourself up to learn from it? The answer is courageous awareness.
Consider examining why you didn’t take your desired actions, not from a place of self-judgment, but from a place of growth.
- What fears got in your way?
- What excuses did you create that prevented you from doing what mattered to you?
- What was in it for you as you made that choice?
- What can you learn as you apply what you did in the past to what you may do next?
When you examine your past choices with the goal of forgiveness, you’re free to recognize and honor the influence of others in your life.