Author's Note: The following is an excerpt from the book (click on title): “How to Let Go of Negative Thoughts & Emotions – A Practical Guide."

All of us make mistakes in life. When you look back at your past deeds, perhaps there were decisions and actions you regret. There may have been unfortunate errors in judgment. You may have caused harm to yourself and/or others.

As you recall these past events, there may be an accompanying sense of self-blame at the blunders made, damage done, or opportunities missed. You might think of yourself as a “bad” or “flawed” person and wallow in guilt. During these moments, it’s extremely important to be compassionate with yourself, knowing that now that you’re more aware, you have a chance to avoid repeating past mistakes, and to make a positive difference with yourself and others.

Here’s an exercise that may help you let go and move on:

1. Think about a regrettable past event for which you still blame yourself.

2. Consider the sentence completions below. In writing, relate the past event in question to any number of these sentences that may apply, and complete the statements.

“I did the best I could when I…”

“I made an honest mistake when I…”

“I had much to learn yet when I…”

“I didn’t know any better when I…”

“I learned some important lessons when I…”

“It wasn’t easy for me when I…”

“I am sorry about when…”

Acknowledge past regrets. Allow yourself time to grieve if needed. Right any wrongs if possible. Process your experience further with a counselor or therapist if necessary. Learn from the experience for the future. Do what it takes to help yourself move on.

Forgive yourself. Everyone makes mistakes — and mistakes aren't permanent reflections on you as a person. They're isolated moments in time. Tell yourself, "I made a mistake, but that doesn't make me a bad person."

—   Mayo Clinic

For more in-depth information on reducing or eliminating over fifteen types of negative attitudes and feelings, see my book (click on title): "How to Let Go of Negative Thoughts and Emotions.”

Also available (click on title): "The 7 Keys to Life Success".

Follow me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn!

Preston Ni, M.S.B.A. is available as a presenter, workshop facilitator, and private coach. For more information, write to commsuccess@nipreston.com, or visit www.nipreston.com.

© 2014 by Preston C. Ni. All rights reserved worldwide. Copyright violation may subject the violator to legal prosecution.

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