How to forgive oneself for past mistakes or feeling like they should have done things differently

I feel like I used to lower my standards so much and now it's hard to tell the difference between sticking to my standards and pushing people away. I don't want to be this nagging, pushy, egocentric person and at the same time I'm scared of letting them hurt me if I let things go. Am I being annoying when I text or call often? I have also been feeling isolated or alone and I don't want to depend on my partner for my happiness or entertainment all the time
Asked by Finn


Thank you for submitting the question and reaching out. First, I want to address the standards. You have to ask yourself what are those standards you have set for yourself. I would recommend going back and looking at those standards to see where you see them now and how they fit in your life.

Looking at how to forgive oneself.  Asking yourself what you need to forgive yourself for is the first step.  Different experiences from our past can potentially leave an impact on the way we perceive and behave today.  In response to things that we have experienced we then learn how to behave in ways that protect us from more pain.  However, you have to use the resources you have at hand. You have to make the most of them.

First, if you are feeling guilty, try to understand and remember that you have done the best you can with what is available to you.  You will know when the time is right, and it sounds like you are ready to forgive yourself.  Time and growth will allow you a perspective you didn't have when you may have made the mistake.  However, knowing that you want to forgive yourself means that you may have learned a lesson.  While you are allowed to feel guilty and afraid.  Those feelings actually allow you to make aware of past mistakes.

Moving forward you have to accept guilt as an emotion.  Every emotion means something to us.  The guilt can help you move forward and learn from what you may have made a mistake in.  Secondly,  you have to make sure you are healed from the mistake and allowing yourself to heal from that.  When you feel like you are able to forgive yourself, it is opening a wound up.  You have to allow this wound to heal. Also you have to be self compassionate towards yourself. You can do this by doing things for yourself.  Challenging negative thoughts, journaling about your emotions, past mistakes are also very healthy. Nurturing yourself through self care is important, doing things for yourself, giving yourself positive affirmations or words of encouragement.  You also have to remind yourself you are doing the best you can do. Asking for forgiveness may not be easy, but confronting the situation, working through it and taking care of yourself is extremely important to be successful in forgiving yourself fully.