After major failures, we are afraid to make a mistake again and endlessly replay the unpleasant situation in our heads, losing confidence in our abilities. But a misstep is not a crime. To believe in yourself again, you need to learn to forgive yourself.

As we lose faith in ourselves, we begin to doubt our ability to cope with situations where we used to excel. After major setbacks and failures, self-esteem can decrease, and then the desire to achieve results disappears. It can also happen in another way: a person is tormented by insecurity all his life and believes that he is not worthy of success.

Because of insecurity, we are afraid of making mistakes and turn down opportunities. It happens to everyone. To believe in your own strength is to take action. Not all attempts will be successful, but you have to learn to forgive yourself.

Understand the difference between guilt and shame

If our actions hurt someone, guilt can be helpful. We can evaluate our actions from the outside and say, “I don’t want to be like that.” You can apologise, make amends and behave differently in the future.

When we are ashamed, the inner dialogue sounds different. Whereas guilt is accompanied by the development of consciousness (“I did badly, but I can be better”), shame is an emotional manifestation of stagnation. It says, “This is my real face.”

Accept that you will feel terrible for a while

Guilt always feels hard, but usually along with it comes acceptance. We realise we’ve made a mistake, admit it and try to make it right. Shame, on the other hand, often causes resistance. It causes us to cheat, dodge, shift responsibility to others, get angry, or avoid explanations. Shame links our actions to our self-esteem. We are afraid that someone will notice how ashamed we are and recognise that we are weak, incompetent, bad.

Shame happens to everyone

The reproachful voice in our heads is an echo of phrases we were shamed with as children. We don’t realise that no one hears them. It is time to interrupt the internal dialogue and understand: we act irrationally, get into embarrassing situations, cause trouble to someone because we are human beings. Flaws in appearance, parental mistakes, failures in work, and so on do not make us unworthy of love.

Learn to forgive yourself

Forgiving for mistakes is not a one-time action. We will have to do it again because we make mistakes throughout our lives. Even when carefully planned, the world can create an obstacle. It’s okay to allow for blunders. We often think we have everything under control, that’s not always the case. A change in the weather, a mood swing, someone’s comment can ruin plans.

Recognise your responsibility

Recognising the right to make mistakes doesn’t mean absolving yourself of responsibility. It is necessary to banish obsessive thoughts and move on to meaningful actions. If you caused someone to get hurt, you need to apologise and make amends. If that’s not the case, you need to figure out why something went wrong and figure out what to do to make things better next time. The sooner we stop replaying missteps in our heads, the more likely we are to find a successful solution. Most importantly, there will be peace of mind.