Forgiving Yourself

The previous post discussed how in forgiving others you choose to release the catabolic energy of hurt, anger and blame in favor of the anabolic energy of forgiveness in order to liberate yourself and move forward. If you read the post, you may have wondered why I didn’t mention the role and benefits of forgiving yourself for perceived errors and omissions as well.

Self-forgiveness is an infinitely more difficult, involved and potentially rewarding process, so it merits its own dedicated post.

So many of us repeatedly beat ourselves up over everything. I should have done this differently or better, I shouldn’t have done that at all, I shouldn’t have said what I did, I should have expressed what I really felt. If only I were a better person (mother, father, spouse, sibling, friend, coworker, boss), I’d have reacted differently. If only I had studied harder, if only I had cared more, if only I had cared less. Why didn’t I take a stand, why didn’t I reach out to a friend? Whatever your particular spin and phrasing, this form of endless self-castigation is fed by fear-fueled, destructive catabolic energy that keeps you stuck and holds you back.

Forgiving Yourself

As hard as it can be to demonstrate compassion and grace toward others, it can be even harder—seemingly impossible—to extend to ourselves.

Worn down by a relentless inner critic that finds fault with everything we think, say and do, it’s no wonder we get stuck. It’s tough to forgive yourself—let alone foster the mindfulness, imagination, discernment and discipline to make any desired changes in yourself and your life—if, at your core, you believe you’re never good enough and you don’t matter. Breaking free begins with self-forgiveness grounded in an understanding that you are good enough and you do matter.

You are a unique cocreative expression of the Divine. How could that ever not be enough?

In fact, according to Bruce D. Schneider, author of Energy Leadership and founder of the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (iPEC), YOU’RE ALREADY PERFECT. In his book, Relax, You’re Already Perfect, Bruce defines perfection as “unique unto itself.” Although you sometimes think, say or do things you wish you hadn’t, the endless assault of hypercritical head chatter isn’t helping you change for the better and grow, it’s keeping you stuck and holding you back.

The key is to let go of the judgmental catabolic energy of condemnation and embrace the expansive anabolic energy of self-forgiveness.

Recognize that your current approach to life isn’t aligning with your values, desires and priorities, figure out what’s not working and make the necessary adjustments. Demonstrate unconditional self-love, respect, curiosity, compassion and gratitude for the complexity of human experience, take responsibility, commit to showing up differently, make amends and move forward. Break the cycle of self-blame. When you notice aspects of yourself or your journey that feel less than optimal, CELEBRATE all the continued opportunities for growth.

Congratulations, you’re not done yet!

In the words of Saint Francis de Sales, Have patience with all things, but chiefly have patience with yourself. Do not lose courage in considering your own imperfections but instantly set about remedying them—every day begin the task anew.”

Ready to set yourself free through self-forgiveness?  Sign up below for a 60-minute complimentary coaching session.

Web copy used by permission. No reproduction or retransmission is permitted without expressed written consent of Bruce D Schneider and the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (iPEC). ©2006-2016 Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (iPEC)


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“I knew Deborah before she became a Professional Life Coach. I’ve been amazed at how she has changed her life. When I decided it was time to begin making decisions about the next phase of my life, I knew immediately that Deborah was the person I wanted to work with. Her personal and professional experiences help her guide clients through coaching in a way that is individualized and delightfully eye-opening. Her warmth and sensitivity are immediately apparent, even over the phone. With gentle encouragement and permission, she will guide you through an examination of your life, including difficult experiences. She will help you gain insight from your past choices and then explore possibilities for moving forward in less encumbered ways. When you work with Deborah, your life will take on new meaning and your potential will be limitless!” Chris

“The work I did with Deborah continues to change my life. While I have learned many valuable lessons from her, the greatest was the deep insight that is available to me when I listen to and learn from my own inner wisdom. Her intuition, discernment and encouragement have taught me to trust my own intuition—creating new paths and possibilities for my life. One of Deborah’s great gifts is helping others respect and connect with their inner guidance and through that connection, to form a deeper, more meaningful bond with the collective wisdom and energy of all.” Ryan

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“With the same energy and determination she applied in the professional world, Deborah has taken her considerable expertise in human potential and has now set her sights on the largest co-op in the world, humanity. ‘Choose Your Energy, Change Your Life!’ tackles what I believe are the most important questions we each must ask: who am I, where did I come from, why am I here, and what’s love got to do with it (cue Tina Turner)? These are not trivial or philosophical questions for the answers change what we do, why we do it, who and what we love. I am grateful for the opportunity to walk with Deborah on this critical journey.” JD Messenger, Award Winning Author of “11 Days in May: The Conversation That Will Change Your Life”

“To me the great thing about Deborah’s book is how ‘accessible’ she makes the ideas. The Oxygen Mask is probably the single best example. As with so many of the ideas in the book, she explains the principle in such a simple way that it’s got universal application to virtually any reader. I can imagine people having multiple moments of ‘Oh….I get it!’ throughout the book. The stories from her own life as well as stories of her clients’ experiences become stories about all of us—stories about which the reader will think, ‘I am living my own version of this.’ Well done—bravo!” Joe Calloway, Author of “Be The Best At What Matters Most”

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About djwlifecoach

As a retired board-certified coach, author and Reiki master teacher, I continue to share hope, possibilities and empowerment with the world. What's love got to do with minimizing stress and getting unstuck? Everything! My book, "Choose Your Energy: Change Your Life!" (Hay House/Balboa Press 2013) shares my story and the stories of 10 of my clients along with my signature Discovery Framework. During my 30 years as an organization transformation consultant, I served as a senior partner in four of the world's largest, most prestigious global professional services firms. In 2005, I took a five-year sabbatical to find healing and peace because non-stop work had taken its toll. My recovery from burnout, including a sustained 80-pound weight loss and freedom from 10 years of debilitating depression, led to finding my purpose sharing hope, possibilities and empowerment with the world. Through healing and self-exploration, I discovered that loving yourself unconditionally is the key to transforming your personal life, your work and the world. With attention and intention, I learned to live in alignment with love through a wealth of energy-shifting tools and techniques that help me reduce stress, anxiety and overwhelm by releasing limiting beliefs, emotions and habits. My books, blog and radio episodes help individuals and organizations harness the transformative energy of love to turn unexplored possibilities into fulfilling realities and step into their greatness. Learn more and access FREE resources at For fun, I love singing, reading, sewing, knitting, golfing and movies. I live in Williamsburg, Virginia with my husband, Wilson, and the coaching cats who manage my life—SiddhaLee and Maisy Jane.
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