4 Steps To Forgiving Yourself

We have all met one person who had all the ingredients to lead a successful life: wealth, great background, stable family and quality education, but yet they ended up as bitter, unsuccessful persons. We have also heard of those that came from humble or bad backgrounds and yet rose to greatness even if they had all the variables working against them. How is it possible that the latter was able to lead successful lives and become wealthy or at least successful in their trade even if they had everything working against them?

There are several variables that influenced your current personality and life situation. Family, environment, emotions, and local community can all trigger different reactions to each person depending on their personality and genetic disposition.

It’s a normal and healthy habit to regret past actions. Reviewing our past is alright as long as we do it to plan ahead. However, the problem lies when people stay stuck lamenting about a previous event in their lives; that they no longer yield the power to change it.

1. Living in the past robs you of the opportunity to enjoy the present

“Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,” Philippians 3:13

I had to learn this the hard way. Every now and then I still snap back to my old negative ways of living in the past, regardless if those are fond or bad memories.

Decisions and paths we take are usually a consequence of our personalities, which are constantly maturing as time goes on. Mistakes made by us play a big role in our process of maturing.  You can’t change the past, so get over it. Otherwise you will keep limping along in the present and future, thus missing out current opportunities.

Being stuck lamenting your past can cloud you from seeing good things happening right now. Make an effort to leave your past behind and forgive yourself for your mistakes. To live in the past is to lead a toxic way of life.

2. Wear your battle scars with pride

3 And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;

4 And patience, experience; and experience, hope:

5 And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. Romans 5:3-5

It sucks that we don’t always get our way and bad things happen to us every now and then, but let’s think about the positive outcomes of misfortunes occurring in our daily lives. Both of those things bring endurance and character to us. If those things didn’t happen to any of us we wouldn’t be as strong and experienced as we are today.

I’m not asking you to be grateful or enjoy misfortunes. What I’m asking you is to make an effort to see the positive side of it. Create the habit of thinking that every bad event is an opportunity to become stronger and wiser, which will help you to avoid making the same mistakes in your future. To have past experience is to have a strong ally for your decision making skills.

3. It takes time and several attempts to succeed at something

“Nature works for centuries to perfect a rose or a fruit, but an American youth is ready to try a difficult case in court after a few months’ desultory law reading, or to undertake a critical operation upon which a precious life depends after listening to two or three courses of medical lectures.” -Orison Swett Marden

People nowadays have the naive idea that its possible to go viral in their first attempt at doing something even if they don’t have years of practice in that skill. Life is hard to those naive enough to believe in fables of instant success. When they find out things don’t work that way they end up upset like a spoiled brat who wants a new toy. To live with delusions of grandeur is to ask to be beaten by the school of hard knocks.

I’m not going to promise you that effort and time doing something equals success. But what I can promise you is that in some way or another you are going to get some experience out of it that might come in handy for your future challenges.

4. Write a diary daily

The human brain is flawed. It can easily forget and twist past memories according to its current state. Mr. Freud knew that and thus he kept paper-based records of his dreams and thoughts. That is how he developed the Oedipus-Complex concept in psychoanalysis. Unless you want to have a twisted version of what happened several years or decades ago  you should start writing daily about your thoughts, dreams, life events and feelings.

Diaries are a great way to store and accurately relive our past memories for self analysis purposes. To trust in the memories of your human brain is to trust in deception. The human brain is a flawed piece of hardware especially when it comes to the memory department.

Nonetheless, I strongly recommend you to keep your writings in paper-based records to assure your privacy. Having a personal diary in a computer is never safe, even if stored inside a PC disconnected from the internet. The safest way to keep your “records” from being exposed is to write it in a notebook and stash it in a very safe place.


If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9

To sum it up, we all have our sad stories to tell. But the key difference between individuals that end up as bitter, unsuccessful persons and those that are able to move on and still build successful lives is that the latter chooses to use his past mistakes as his strength and main motivator for winning in life. Remember, the clock is ticking and every minute you let it go to waste is not going to come back. Use the most of the time you have left in here.

Read More: 5 Steps To Achieving Happiness Through Being Alone

47 thoughts on “4 Steps To Forgiving Yourself”

    1. “but yet they ended up as bitter, unsuccessful persons.”
      One would first need to define ‘success’ and ‘bitter’.

      1. JOHN
        Comparatively we are.
        Try to imagine what hell it is for most of this bunch-living at home at 29, wanking to porn, working out 3 hours a day in the gym so that you can go to the same club on Thursday night and watch the same slags dancing to the same thumping black music, avoiding blacks or Hispanics on the streets (Or Muslims in the UK), not wanting to marry because of divorce-rape anyhow.
        They have nothing to do after an 80 hour week except go home and watch some garbage that was written by off-their-heads-on-coke screenwriters in LA.
        Me, I’ll be traveling to a new beach. A new mountain. My wife cooks and cleans for me. If I need to start the day with sex from a new woman I get it.
        I don’t even care about television. I watch the news. That is all. Have not followed a series in 20 years because you are living your own exciting movie when you live overseas.
        So we are successful. We screw when we want, do what we want, go where we want.
        That is the way to live.
        That is success.

        1. l would define success as follows.
          1. Being your own boss.
          2. Being financially free.
          3. Being physically fit and healthy.
          Of course winning the genetic lottery like I did doesn’t hurt eithet.

        2. I didn’t say only money, read again, I talked about health and fitness as well as mentioning good genetics. I didn’t mention women because that kinda goes without saying, being if you have everything else I mentioned you will get women. However, it isn’t just getting laid but the quality of women you’re fucking. Any ghetto thug can fick a bunch of fat swanky bitches. As well as have a bunch of bastards running around that he spawned. I wouldn’t call that “success.”

        3. Natural,
          And yet you haven’t managed to bang any ‘swanky bitches’ or produced a ‘bunch of bastards’.

      2. @john dodds
        Are you happy as the man that you are right now? It’s as simple as that. It doesn’t matter what others think of us. We don’t owe nothing to no one.

        1. HOWARD
          When you move overseas you feel much happier.
          Gone is the fear of the black or the Mestizo. They are not around.
          Sex is plentiful.
          You can call anyone what you like.
          You don’t pay taxes.

        2. Howard,
          Sometimes I am happy, sometimes I’m not happy. Only an idiot is happy all the time. I count my personal success by the number of children I have fathered, my existing five are not enough, I would have liked to have had more. Genghis Khan is my personal hero ……….

    2. Men dont call them diaries. They call them journals. But its not a bad idea to reflect on your day.

    3. The Benedict monks do it another way:
      What you have to say in half an hour of the day in the evening, may be worth to remember.
      All the other not.

    4. captain’s log star date ……
      call it a log book or a journal, i think it’s a good idea… my main issue with it, is the time it takes at the end of a tired day to start recording it all…. but hey ! Kirk managed didn’t he !

  1. When one foot placed is in the past and the other is placed in the future, you’re pissing on the present.

    1. That’s how r-selected groups think: “muh dick” as mad man would put it. Focus on the present, never think about the future, never learn from the past. Yeah, yeah, I’m being harsh and anyone smart enough to write or copy that pithy quote of yours is smart enough NOT to live exclusively in the present. As with so many great questions, the correct answer to the question of how to balance past, present and future is hedged by all sorts of qualifications, shades of grey rather than crisp black and white, long winded and demanding of thought rather than short and easy to understand.

  2. Howard,
    Great topic. Great points. We all need these reminders sometimes. This is your best one yet.

  3. I thought ROK was men’s site not some stronk independent wahmen motivational site givin grilz advice on how to be a successfull female writer… oh well

    1. @Trollstein – the bitterness (and shame) is strong in you. Both hugely unmanly traits.
      @Howard – thanks for this reminder

  4. Good post,
    I started taking up meditation listening to white noise so I’m alone with my thoughts and questions for myself. Figuring out how to deal with the demons and past troubles that haunt our day to day thoughts and actions will help your overall being. We focus so much on our physical appearance by going to the gym but rarely do we consider our mental health.

    1. Id strongly advise against using white noise when meditating. It is widely used in pyschological torture as it has an adverse effect on your thinking patterns.

  5. “Christian values mixed with Objectivism.” Get out of town. What garbage. You cannot mix food with poison. Only death can win.
    Ayn Rand was explicit in rejecting ANY religion, ANY mysticism, ANY irrational garbage at all.
    So, this fool is not in ANY WAY “doing Objectivism.” The best thing he deserves is to be pointed at and mocked.

  6. 1,2 and 3 are solid pathways. But the notion of #4 (grown men keeping secret diaries) — I banish that thought; sounds like the quiet torture of navel-gazing tedium to me. Superfluous and unnecessary waste of precious time. Just be blatantly honest about what happened throughout your day, man-up to all your pressures and own your problems, learn how to process your experiences as you go, and your brain and deep REM sleep will sort out the rest in due time. Save the writing for something outwardly meaningful.

    Author says: “Unless you want to have a twisted version of what happened several years or decades ago” — that’s probably going to happen in a diary entry anyway (embellishment, flawed perspectives, altering the story to fit your bias, lying to yourself about your feelings, etc.)…nah, I don’t think the effort makes sense or solves anything.

  7. Very recently in my early 30’s I had another ‘crisis of faith’ where I tried to look for answers in religion; I started studying and gained many credits in christian youth work. The youth work part made sense to me, the christianity ultimately did not. There are some nice sentimental passages in the Bible and also incredible primitive insanity that theologians have tried hard to explain away. I believe that if God wanted us to understand the book, he would have made it timeless and understandable without having a self-important theology Ph.D lord over us (no pun intended) with his smug ad hoc explanations for barbarism and nonsense in the Bible.
    With that said, I emerged with a slightly altered world view where I also doubt the theory of evolution and materialism as well. The most sobering thought that I keep returning to is that we don’t know why we are here and if God exists, we don’t know why that entity exists either, what created it and what’s the point of everything; every day I think of such things; even today when I went out clubbing I just sat there and stared into the sea outdoors. On some level that makes me wonder if our dreams and morals are nonsense at all; artificial social glue to keep the status quo from falling apart. But it’s the best I know even though I don’t intend on having children and in that sense pure hedonism or sloth would make sense.

    1. For example God says in Exodus 31:14-15. If you work on the Sabbath you should be put to death. He says it twice so there’s no ambiguity !

    2. I think that ( http://www.jesusneverexisted.com/ ) does an excellent job of historically demolishing the supports under most/all religion, including:
      Judaic (based on polytheism, mythological plagiarism, significant revisionist/predatory-fake-victim fake-history),
      Christianity * (mythological plagiarism, dark ages regression **, polytheistic trinity, significant Judaic/own fiction) and
      Islam (clumsily adapted Jewish/Christian mythology with embedded Arab polytheism).
      * Roman Emperor Constantine’s Christianity was his folly; it destroyed the Roman Empire and caused the regressive Dark Ages.
      ** It is humiliating that Northern Europe had to wait many hundreds of years to regain Greek knowledge, which Christians had previously hysterically burned before and during the Dark Ages, via translated Islamic texts, previously translated from the Greek originals, and expanded upon by Arabs and other client cultures of the since stagnated and collapsed Islamic Empire.
      The only (limited) value in organised religion is as a means of mass mind control, of people of limited intelligence/education/rationality, often by selfish sociopaths, but it wastes and stifles the minds of intelligent people, and eventually cases civilisation collapse due to stagnation.
      We do need some allegorical myths, like “Iron John” ones, to psychologically mature, and cultural norms, but organised religion, not so much.

  8. I agree with all of this advice – including keeping the diary – if you wish to do so. It can lead to some remarkable insights – including, you catch yourself writing the same thing again and again – I am through with that person, or I will not let that mistake recur. But then – guess what. A diary can lead swiftly and neatly to a clear view. One can also build up one’s will and intentions, through writing them down, and focusing.

    1. Writing your thoughts at different times can help you focus and overcome obstacles in your life (that are often placed there by yourself…) it’s definitely saved me from fighting the same battles over and over again…
      If anyone who thinks writing their thoughts down is ‘gay’, well, your thoughts probably aren’t worth writing down much anyway.

  9. I hate that word, forgive. The only ones a man may forgive are his own children, not an enemy, a woman, himself or even family.
    Do not forgive yourself of previous mistakes- learn from them. Learn to recognise when an enemy posing as a friend is seeking to betray you and never fall for the same trick twice. Spot where men are making moves and would have much to gain by your downfall, anticipate, outplay… and then destroy them, for even after one attempt of betrayal they are forever stained.
    Many men can’t bear being alone and so will never ditch their loser mates, my approach generates many replaceable associates (with whom you know where you stand), and a few loyal, trustworthy friends

    1. You should forgive yourself but not forgot your past mistakes. That’s the key. Learn from the previous mistakes or failure & avoid doing those same mistakes in the future. Being guilt tripped is not good for mental health.

  10. Pathetic that some men think that writing a journal is gay. Some famous men from the era when men were men wrote journals/diaries. Teddy Roosevelt being one. He would use it to reflect on his life and set goals for himself. If your heterosexuality is do fragile you will turn gay by writing a journal, you might want to see about improving your masculinity.

    1. MY Comment,
      As previously stated, men who write diaries are gay, men who write journals are hetero.
      Words are important, If you cannot say what you mean, you will never mean what you say and a gentleman should always mean what he says.

      1. Nonsense. Silly semantics. Roosevelt called his a diary. Diary. Journal. Same thing. The name is unimportant. It is what you do with it that counts. Real men should know that.

        1. My Comment,
          I’m not keen on being represented by a cripple, but I also suspect he wasn’t a ‘real man’.

  11. Good one, Howard. Even the diary suggestion. To those rejecting it, would you take a college course, or work assignment, without keeping notes? How about the fact, most successful people keep diaries, or journals too?
    It reminds me of the time I learned, wildly successful cartoonist Matt Groening kept a diary, since childhood. In his “School Is Hell” collection, he reproduced part of his 5th grade diary. Saying, “Most of us have forgotten what it was like to be in school. I took notes.” As a child once struck by the cartoonist dream, I could only go, “DOH!”

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