"One important key to success is self-confidence. An important key to self-confidence is preparation."

- Arthur Ashe

"Your chances of success in any undertaking can always be measured by your belief in yourself."

- Robert Collier


Today I read something that I have often said to my coaching clients and students, and that is almost always met with an emotional response from them triggered by personal experiences:

“Muchas veces pensamos que el perdón es un regalo para el otro, y no nos damos cuenta de que los únicos beneficiados somos nosotros mismos. El perdón es una declaración que puedes y debes renovar a diario. Often the most important person you have to forgive is yourself, for all the things that did not turn out the way you thought they would and for all the times that you didn´t act or react the way you´d hoped you would.””

Apparently, nearly all of us have something that we are unwilling or unable to forgive. A deceit, some unkind words, not doing something for someone or failing to protect a loved one or someone who is weaker than us when we were needed… In many cases, that “weaker person” is actually ourselves.

It eats us up inside, we are troubled by it, and it makes us love ourselves a little less. Often we look at other people who are “guilty” of a similar “crime” and “punish” them, all in an effort to make ourselves feel better.

What I recommend my clients in these cases is a very simple and a highly effective exercise: make a deal. A deal with yourself. A promise. A reasonable “price” that you are willing to pay for this alleged “failure” to live up to your own (or someone else´s!) expectations.

If criminals are offered forgiveness, a second chance to rehabilitate, don’t you think you deserve one too? Whatever you did, now is the time to forgive yourself, free yourself from that horrible feeling, release the guilt, and start loving, appreciating and respecting yourself more!

Obviously, there are plenty of types of “sentences’ or “punishment” that you could decide on – you could do something for the person you had let down or for maybe for someone else. Or, perhaps you could do something that has nothing to do with that “mistake” – it could be a good deed of your choice or a personal challenge you set for yourself. Some people feel the need to make themselves “suffer” and do something that they really hate or are afraid of, in order to feel “redeemed” – volunteering during their holidays building huts in Africa or doing a charity parachute jump. As long as it´s reasonably safe and harmless, you decide. You will, after all, be your own judge and jury.

But once you serve your “sentence”, you really will have to fully FORGIVE YOURSELF! Deal?



  • May 2012
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