Have you ever been told you are a perfectionist? If so, do you agree—do you think you are a perfectionist?
A perfectionist personality won’t accept any deviation from what they define as perfect—perfect behavior, perfect lifestyle, perfect … everything. He or she leaves no room for mistakes. In the perfectionist’s mind, any departure from their perfect plans is unacceptable and causes great regret and guilt.
Even if we're not a perfectionist, many times we drag guilt and regret around as an unnecessary burden. One way to prevent yesterday's guilt from using up too much of today is to forgive yourself. One way to do that is to say, “At the time, I thought I did the right thing. I was wrong and I forgive myself.” (Cecil Murphey, July 28, 2009)
We don’t feel guilt or regret from doing what is right. Guilt from doing something wrong according to our conscience is normal. The guilt feeling will not just go away. In order not to walk around with a heavy burden of regret, we can battle to overcome it. Forgiving self would be a good first step.
Sometimes, however, we allow ourselves to feel guilt or regret when we take responsibility for things we can’t control and fail to change the outcome. I doubt that living under such a cloud of false regret would be healthy.
We are not infallible; we do make mistakes. The best way to handle regret over mistakes is to realize we’ve made them and then leave them behind as soon as we can. Past mistakes cannot be changed no matter how much we think about them or fret over them. We may remember mistakes we made long ago—yes, we can learn from our mistakes, but to recall them over and over serves no good purpose.
That’s easier said than done, isn’t it? Do you have any tips to help forget past mistakes?
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Thanks for reading my blog! My next novel in the West Virginia Mountains Series is titled Promise Me. Look for it next spring.