Do you ever beat yourself up? Have you noticed that you sometimes fall into a loop of self-criticism and judgement that can spiral into a state of depression? Is it hard for you to break out of that cycle?
If you said yes, this post will provide you with the most crucial step to let go of that fear-based self-doubt and return to self-love.
Socially Primed for Self-Criticism
With how pervasive social media is today, it’s easy to look around at what everyone else is doing and feel that you’re not successful enough, working hard enough, or good enough. This is harsh self-judgment, it’s exaggerated and blown out of proportion.
In this mental state, you are stuck. It’s a misuse of energy. These activities serve no benefit, they distract you from moving forward and building your dreams. The simple truth is that if you are caught up judging and criticizing yourself, you can’t take the action to grow and better yourself.
How to Break the Cycle
To break out of self-criticism, you need to fully accept who and what you are. If you are judging and criticizing yourself, it means that you are at conflict with who you are and therefore at conflict with reality. You want to grow and move forward, right? In order to do that you need to flow with reality, not against it.
The most profound way to make peace with yourself is through forgiveness.
Forgive yourself for everything. Forgive the self-doubt. Forgive the fear. Forgive all the judgement. Forgive everything that you’ve done, regardless of whether you’ve defined it as good or bad. It’s all part of you.
How to Forgive Fully
Some people, perhaps most, have an incomplete idea of forgiveness. It’s not so simple to just say “I forgive you” – or in this case “I forgive myself.” It’s much deeper than that.
To forgive someone fully is to love them for what they did, so to forgive yourself fully you must love yourself for everything you’ve done and everything that you are.
This deep forgiveness is built from a foundation of gratitude. What you’ve done and who you are has brought you to this moment, right now. If any one piece of your life was different, who knows where you’d be instead. The seemingly bad events of life provide the greatest opportunities for growth and development, they are life’s greatest tools of education. From this perspective, you should be grateful for everything bad in your life – grateful for such profound opportunities to learn.
It is from that type of reflection that you can forgive so deeply as to love that it happened to you, whether caused by you or someone else. Take time to really reflect on this idea of being grateful for perceived wrong doings. If you want a deeper look at how I find gratitude and forgiveness for painful experiences, check out this post that I wrote on the subject.
Embody this, don’t just read the words: “I forgive myself for everything that I’ve done, and everything that I am. I love myself for everything that I’ve done, and everything that I am.”
Returning to Self-Love
It truly is a return, love is the natural state of being. Love is all around us, but when we look at life through the lens of fear, we can’t see it.
Allow your love to permeate every cell in your body – visualize your cells literally bursting with the energy of love. Love every piece of yourself, no matter what you think.
If you do this fully, you will wash away emotional baggage from years of self-judgment and criticism in an instant.
The experience is so powerful it brings me to tears. Every time I embody those words of forgiveness and self-love an immense feeling of joy wells up inside. Words can’t fully express the feeling of loving yourself fully, of loving every part of yourself. It’s as if your entire physiology aligns to that energy.
You deserve to feel this for yourself, it’s a subtle but profound shift of perspective: from blaming yourself to loving yourself.
Are you still having trouble forgiving yourself? Does it seem that the shame and guilt are just impossible to shake?
To help you, I’ve created a journal prompt that will guide you in reflecting and letting go. If you have any questions or feedback at all, I want to hear from you. Please comment or email me.
Integrity Health is a franchise company residing in New Hampshire. We specialize in health coaching centers combining fitness with weight loss to optimize and promote optimal health. We are also the national purveyors of the EZCOACH Fitness Prescription System licensed by fitness professionals.