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How Can I Forgive Myself?

man meets with therapy group about self-forgiveness

“For many of us, forgiving others comes a lot easier than forgiving ourselves, but learning to let go is essential to our wellbeing,” says Claire Munnings, author of “Take it easy on yourself” for In The Moment magazine. “We are all used to harboring feelings of self-condemnation or self-blame.” Whatever the situation is, we all have trouble forgiving ourselves every once in a while. Some of us struggle with it more often than others, though. For people in recovery, forgiveness with yourself is essential to staying sober, healthy, and happy. Let’s take a look at some simple ways to change our internal monologue.

It’s natural

“‘Our inbuilt survival instinct, as humans, wants us to do well and have others see us doing well, so our tendency to give ourselves a hard time when we get things wrong is natural,’ explains positive psychologist Cheryl Rickman.” Rickman explains that we are often kinder to those around us than to ourselves. It’s natural to be hard on ourselves and expect that we do things to the best of our abilities. However, “being perfect is not being human,” says Munnings. 


“‘One of the most common causes of struggle in the human condition is the belief that we are not enough,’ says transformational life coach Nicky Clinch. “‘To forgive ourselves, we have to be loving, patient and compassionate with ourselves, and therefore believe we are worthy of receiving these things.'” This can be a struggle for those of us who have dealt with depression. We may not believe that we are worthy of forgiveness or happiness. It’s time to remind ourselves that we are, in fact, worthy of forgiveness and sobriety. 

Don’t ruminate

It can be damaging to hold onto things that do not serve you. “‘Dwelling on things can leave us stewing with resentment, blame, and anger and this can cause real struggle and suffering,” says Clinch. “The mind will find it impossible to feel at peace, and if we hold on to these emotions for too long, it can lead to many destructive habits, behaviors, and health issues.” Anxiety can creep up on us if we wallow in unworthiness and unhappiness. 

Follow these steps to self-forgiveness

  • Be honest
  • Identify what you could have changed
  • Recognize that you have more knowledge
  • See what you have learned
  • Let yourself forgive

Arbor Behavioral Healthcare is here to help you learn to forgive yourself and move on from your past transgressions. Call us today at 844-413-2690. We can’t wait to speak with you and help change your life today!