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  • Writer's pictureGary Lougher

Reinvention, Not Resolutions, Day 12: Self-Forgiveness as a Tool for Keeping Commitments




Self-forgiveness is vital to growth, particularly when reflecting on our past failures to keep commitments to ourselves. It's a common human experience to set goals or make promises to ourselves, only to find them unmet or abandoned. This can range from simple things like not sticking to a fitness routine, to more significant commitments like changing unhealthy habits or pursuing personal aspirations. Acknowledging these shortcomings, however, should not be a source of endless self-critique or a reason to cease striving for improvement.


The essence of self-forgiveness lies in understanding and accepting our fallibility. It's about recognizing that, despite our best intentions, we are bound to stumble and veer off the path we set for ourselves. This doesn't mean we are failures; we are human. When we fail to keep commitments to ourselves, it's often not due to a lack of desire or effort, but rather a complex interplay of circumstances, emotions, and sometimes, sheer bad luck. It's essential to approach these situations with kindness and understanding towards ourselves, rather than harsh judgment.


Moreover, holding onto past failures can create an emotional burden that hinders our ability to move forward. It's like carrying a backpack filled with stones of guilt and regret – it only weighs us down. Self-forgiveness allows us to set down this backpack and proceed with a lighter step. By forgiving ourselves, we acknowledge our past mistakes and recognize that they don't define us. This realization opens up space for growth and the renewal of commitment.


Self-forgiveness, however, doesn't mean complacency or making excuses for not meeting our goals. It's about striking a balance between accountability and compassion. We should learn from our past use it to inform our future actions, but not let it anchor us in a state of inaction or self-doubt. Each day offers a new opportunity to recommit to our goals, and each step forward is progress, no matter how small.


In conclusion, self-forgiveness is a powerful tool in our journey toward hitting goals, growing, and flourishing. It's about understanding our human nature, learning from our experiences, and striving for our goals with renewed vigor and hope. By forgiving ourselves for past unkept commitments, we don't give up on ourselves; instead, we give ourselves the chance to try again, armed with greater wisdom and resilience.


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