If you’re feeling regret, guilt and shame about something you did, here are some practical ways to overcome past mistakes – even serious ones.
Making mistakes is part of human life.
Whether minor or terrible, mistakes can make you feel shame, guilt, humiliation, and self-condemnation, leading to anxiety disorders, stress, or depression.
While overcoming emotions of guilt or remorse can help you let go of past mistakes, accepting and forgiving yourself for past errors may pose a challenge and take some time.
No worries – I’m here to help.
I love sharing insights and strategies to help people to be happier and calmer – especially during challenging times.
So I put together this article with 5 practical ways to help you overcome past mistakes.
It’s not easy to ask for someone’s forgiveness, but it’s a necessary step to help you let go of your past mistakes.
If you’re willing to talk to someone you’ve wronged, it’s a sign that you’ve realized your mistake and you regret your actions.
While asking for forgiveness, avoid using terms like “I’m sorry but… or “I’m sorry if…” to minimize your responsibilities.
Fully accepting responsibility and apologizing to people you have wronged helps reduce emotional guilt and shame so that you can move forward with your life.
Even if it’s only for you, it’s never wrong to express your emotions and bring those buzzing, guilty sentiments out of your thoughts.
While some people scream or yell to express feelings, others prefer to journal about how they feel. Or write what they feel on a piece of paper then burn or throw it away to feel more satisfied.
If you choose to write what you feel down, avoid using words like, “If only…then.”
Understand that obsessing about the past can cause stress and mental health issues.
Don’t let your preoccupation with guilt give it greater power over you. You deserve to be kind to yourself and allow other people to be good to you.
It can be challenging to get over your past mistakes on your own, especially if they are serious.
Therefore, consulting a mental health professional may help if you are having trouble moving on from the things you did in the past and feel stuck in your thoughts. A professional can offer advice on how to deal with negative thoughts and forgive yourself so that you can move on.
If you have committed a serious mistake in the past, such as a sexual offense, you may have to register in the local sex offenders registry. The registry enables the public to view your personal details, making it hard for you to find a job or even a place to stay.
In states like the “Show-Me State,” where the registry has a Missouri’s sex offenders map, residents can find the specific locations of the convicted offenders in the neighborhood. As a result, your life as a past sex offender may become even more difficult.
However, getting on the sex offenders registry does not mean the impact must be permanent. For example, if you are a tier 1 sex offender, you can get your name removed from the registry after 15 years following a conviction.
If you avoid committing other crimes, fulfill all court requirements, and overall maintain a clean record, you may have your personal details removed from the registry earlier with the help of an attorney.
Even if you have made a terrible mistake, you can use its painful experience to become a better person in the future.
Therefore, never carry your past mistakes forward into the future with you.
Instead, you need to learn from your bad decisions and choices, so you do not run the risk of repeating them.
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