11.16.2017

Self-Care & Forgiveness

Self-care comes in many forms. It’s the time you take to do something you enjoy; the arguments you back out of as you can’t see an end goal in sight; the way that you handle the stresses and strains of life.

Self-care is also a mindset. It’s the way you treat yourself, the way you talk to yourself. For the vast majority of people, our fiercest critic is the voice inside our own mind. Negative self-talk is one of the most damaging habits that people fall into, so combating this becomes an aspect of self-care in and of itself.

One of the worst ways we’re prone to talk to ourselves is in regard to bad decisions. When we realize a decision we have made was probably not the best one we could have chosen, our inner voice becomes destructive. “What did you do that for?” it demands, even though you know you felt your choice was justified at the time.

In an effort to combat the negative self talk that arises in the event of a bad decision, here are a few questions to ask yourself.

“Is There Anything I Can Do To Rectify This Decision?”

Often, bad decisions can at least be mitigated-- you can do something to ensure that the damage is not as bad as you may fear. You also have the option of making repairs; this could be anything from issuing a sincere apology to a friend you annoyed, or visiting a tattoo removal clinic to get rid of a bad decision that’s inked onto your skin.

Look for the ways you can repair the issue you feel you have caused. There is always something -- however minor it may be -- you can do to try and improve the consequences of your decision.

“Did I Realistically Know This Could Happen?”

There are two types of bad decisions:

  • One that you knew may have consequences. For example, calling your ex and then realising doing so has opened a can of worms for you emotionally. This is a decision you knew may have bad consequences, and you did it anyway.
  • You made the decision in good faith, where there was no realistic way of anticipating harm arising as a result of it.

If you didn’t know what might have come of your decision, then you have to forgive yourself. You’re not psychic; all you can do is make the best choices possible and hope they pan out as you intend.

If you could have anticipated the consequences, then move on and ask yourself…

“What Have I Learned From This?”

In the aftermath of a bad decision, sometimes, the most you can do is try and ensure it does not happen again. It helps to write down what happened, the consequences, and how it made you feel-- especially if you have a habit of repeating the same mistakes over and over again.

If you can transform a bad choice into a teachable moment, then you’re at least gaining something, making steps towards preventing yourself from experiencing the same discomfort in the future.

Forgiving yourself isn’t easy, but hopefully, these questions will help bring some clarity to the situation-- and allow you to move on.

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