12 Top Tips for your Self-Forgiveness Journey

1. Focus on your emotions.  One of the first steps in learning how to forgive yourself is to focus on your emotions. Give yourself permission to recognize and accept the feelings that have been triggered inside of you.

2. Acknowledge the mistake out loud.  If you make a mistake and continue to struggle with letting it go, acknowledge it out loud.  When you give a voice to the thoughts in your head, and the emotions in your heart, you may free yourself from some of the burdens. You also imprint in your mind what you learned from your actions and consequences.

3. Think of each mistake as a learning experience.  Think of each ‘mistake’ as a learning experience that holds the key to moving forward faster and more consistently in the future. Reminding ourselves, that we did the best we could, with the tools and knowledge we had at the time. This will help us forgive ourselves and move forward.

4. Give yourself permission to put this process on hold.  If you make a mistake but have a hard time putting it out of your mind, visualize your thoughts and feelings about going into a container, such as a jar or box. Then, tell yourself you are putting this aside for now – and will return to it if or when it will benefit you.

5. Have a conversation with your inner critic. Journaling can help you understand your inner self and develop self-compassion. One strategy you can do is write out a ‘conversation’ between you and your inner critic. This can help you identify thought patterns that are sabotaging your ability to forgive yourself. You can also use journaling to make a list of the qualities you like about yourself, including your strengths, skills and qualities. This can help boost your self-confidence by reading this list daily.

7. Quiet the negative messages of your inner critic. Sometimes it can be difficult to recognize the thoughts that are getting in the way of forgiveness. If you are struggling to sort out your inner critic, this is a great exercise:

  • on one side of a piece of paper, write down what your inner critic says (which tends to be irrational)
  • on the other side of the paper, write a self-compassionate and rational response for each thing you wrote on the other side of the paper.

8. Get clear about what you want. If the mistake you made hurt

another person, you need to determine the best course of action. Do you 

want to talk to this person and apologize? Is it important to reconcile with 

them and make amends?

If you are on the fence about what to do, you might want to consider 

making amends. This sometimes goes beyond saying sorry to a person 

you have hurt. Instead, try to fix the mistake you’ve made. 

One study found that forgiving ourselves for hurting another is easier if 

we first make amends.

9. Take your own advice. Often in life it is easier to tell someone else what to do – than to take our own advice. Ask yourself what you would tell your best friend in a similar situation and then take your own advice.

10. Change the pattern. It is human nature to spend time and energy replaying our mistakes. While some processing is important, going over what happened again and again WILL NEVER allow you to take the proper steps to forgive yourself and move on completely.

When you catch yourself playing the ‘I’m such a terrible person’ role, 

stop yourself and focus on one of your positive qualities.

Interrupting the thought pattern can help you move away from the 

negative experience and reduce stress and anxiety. 

11. Show kindness and compassion. If your first response to a negative situation is to criticize yourself, it is time is to show yourself some compassion. The only way to begin the journey to forgiveness is to be kind to yourself.This can take time and patience.

12. Seek professional help. If you are struggling to forgive yourself, you may benefit from talking to a professional who can help you learn how to break these unhealthy patterns. A therapist (or hypnotherapist) can teach new, healthier ways for you to cope with previous mistakes.


Self-forgiveness is important to the healing process. It allows you to let go of the anger, guilt, shame, sadness – or any other feeling you may be experiencing. Once you identify what you are feeling, give a voice to it and accept that mistakes in life are inevitable. You will now begin to see how freeing self-forgiveness can be.

Solution Focused Hypnotherapy can help you to forgive yourself and move forwards in your life. Please get in touch today and see how I can help you.