Everyone makes mistakes. The difference is in how you choose to deal with your mistakes. Unfortunately, most people have trouble getting over their faults, and instead, they wallow in guilt and blame themselves, hence they lack inner peace.
Not everything that happens is your fault. Even when whatever occurred is due to your actions, it does not change the fact that it already happened and cannot be changed now. In the worst-case scenario, self-blame can make you feel worthless to the point that you could even entertain suicidal thoughts.
To regain control over your life and find inner peace, you have to learn that sometimes things happen due to conditions that are out of your control. It is time to forgive yourself and look for a way to move on. Here are a few practices that will help you deal with self-blame and find inner peace;
- Take responsibility
Many people mistake self-blame with taking responsibility. However, the latter involves accepting and acknowledging your role in the bad thing or mistake that happened. For instance, in a divorce, you can acknowledge that you lied or cheated as a way of taking responsibility. However, you are not exclusively to blame for the divorce, and thus, you should not take sole responsibility. Focus on how to make amends. You find inner peace when you accept that you are accountable for your mistakes. In the words of the anxiety coach, Amanda Huggins, “… inner peace begins with our ability to see and appreciate ourselves holistically; flaws and all.”
Use mental loosening skills that dictate that you should come up with other possible causes for the event before taking all the blame on yourself. For instance, when a colleague gives you an unexpected negative response, think of other reasons that could have resulted in that reply instead of jumping to conclusions that something you did resulted in that reaction.
2. Practice self-love
Self-blame goes together with self-criticism. When you blame yourself for the things that happen, you start viewing yourself as ‘bad,’ or ‘flawed.’ You start to wallow in self-pity. The best thing you can do is to stop blaming yourself and be kind to yourself. To achieve self-compassion, you must first learn to love yourself. Stop being too hard on yourself by harboring negative thoughts all day; they become self-fulfilling prophecies. Instead, reframe your thoughts and focus on positive things about yourself, such as your hobbies and personal traits. When you have mastered the art of self-love, peace, self-esteem, and confidence will follow.
3. Forgive yourself
Taking responsibility is only half the journey in releasing yourself from self-blame. You have to learn to forgive yourself. Forgiveness is a powerful tool that you can utilize to get past the situation. Failure to practice it leads you on a self-blaming journey filled with negative energy and haunted with the memories of past mistakes. This holds you back and makes it hard to move on. Forgive yourself for judging and condemning yourself, for the faults, for wallowing in guilt, and causing so much pain to yourself. You will feel as though you have been relieved of a heavy burden. You can then love yourself more and live an authentic life that is fulfilling.
4. Learn, let go, and move on
You made a mistake! You took responsibility and forgave yourself. Now, life must go on. Mistakes happen, and you cannot do anything to change what you already did. Your next step is to stop blaming yourself, learn from the error, and move on. You will avoid repeating the mistakes and minimize your feelings of blame. You hurt yourself the most when you keep holding onto past mistakes. You cannot keep holding burning charcoal and expect it not to burn you. Let it go and find comfort in something that makes you feel good and alive, then keep moving forward.
No one is perfect, and everyone is bound to make mistakes from time to time. What matters is how you choose to live from that point onward. Blaming yourself for those mistakes is a waste of time. Self-blame prevents your growth as a person and deprives you of your happiness. Stop blaming yourself, find inner peace, and move on. If you cannot move past blaming yourself, seek help from a counselor who will help you develop positive thoughts and teach you how to practice self-love, forgiveness, and letting go.