If you are on a path of purposeful personal growth, you will have to learn how to forgive yourself to see progress.
Now, before you start balking at the idea, let me give you an example.
Remember when you learned to ride a bicycle? I’m pretty sure you didn’t just hop on and ride away into the sunset. Instead, you fell off, probably several times until you learned how to balance and push the pedals at the same time. Once you mastered balance, you may have had to perfect your steering so you could turn corners or turn around without crashing.
Granted, most people would not consider forgiveness a requirement for learning how to ride a bicycle, but it is there, nonetheless. What would have happened if the first time you fell of the bicycle, you labeled yourself “an uncoordinated loser” and never tried again? Ridiculous, I know. But, you didn’t do that, and the reason is you forgave yourself the mistake and got back up and tried again.
It seems to be more of a given when learning a new skill that we’re not going to get it right the first time. We know we will make mistakes. So, why are we so much more willing to forgive our mistakes in learning new skills like bike riding, than in learning a new skill in creating and living a happy life?
Most of us are much harder on ourselves than we are on others, and we tend to hold grudges with ourselves for much longer, as well. But how are you supposed to learn if you don’t allow yourself the room to make mistakes along the way? If you forgive yourself for not being perfect from the start, for not getting it right the first time, you allow yourself to try again and make progress. If you don’t forgive yourself the mistakes you make along the way, you stunt your growth and remain stuck where you are.
Everyone makes mistakes. We’re human. It happens. Holding yourself and your growth hostage by not forgiving yourself your mistakes serves no useful purpose. You certainly don’t benefit, and neither does anyone else. So if you want growth, learn to forgive yourself.
Psalm 103:10-11 ESV
He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him.