How does one get over the mistakes made in the past?

05 Jul

We all make mistakes. That has been accepted as a part of being human. We are often told that we should forgive people and forget what they did. Moving on is the best option. But what if we can't forgive ourselves for the mistakes that we made? Decisions that could have changed our whole life? How does one stop being so hard on oneself and move on? Does it ever get any better?

Responses 8

  • Rimi Sharma
    Rimi Sharma   Jul 24, 2017 08:06 PM

    Thank you for the post!

    In order to accept one’s mistakes, one needs to understand that there was a reason why one took a step in the first place. We do not make choices knowing that it will lead us to suffer later on in life. Had it been so, do you think we would go in that direction at all?

    You need to understand that when you made a choice, it felt right to you. There was enough thinking that you had done back then, and after considering all the other options, you chose that path. You did not know that it would be a mistake then, did you? So, forgive yourself for the choices you made.

    Truth is, we all make mistakes. Some take charge and change what still can be changed, while others choose to live with the consequences of their actions. You decide what you want to do. And maybe, if you still have not been able to forgive yourself, changing the direction of the future by changing the present scenario will definitely lead you to better understand yourself.

    If there is still a chance to re-do or change the present, I think it is a way to forgiving oneself. You are not being able to forgive yourself because you are suffering now. If you were happy, you would not think about this decision. If you can delete this error completely by taking another chance at it, don’t you think you’ll be able to forgive yourself? This was only an example.

    Of course, there are other and much better coping strategies out there. Read for yourself, and I am sure you will find something more.

  • Shanmugi B.P
    Shanmugi B.P   Jul 08, 2017 05:31 PM


       Hope you are doing well.I truely agree with your opinions and statement.People mistakes are always not taken as a move on process.Sometimes it may hurt us more and can make us to feel depressed and stress.Mistakes made by us should be replaced by apologize and later with the affection and care.During anger we should not take any decisions,which will only suffer as alot.If someone does any mistakes,we should be calm and should move on without any words.Because during anger our mouth works fast rather than our mind.Spitting our words in anger can never be retaken else replaced with love.

       If someone does any mistakes be calm.And after sometimes talk with them about their mistakes and its effect in your life.Also make sure of not repeating them again.Asking forgiveness for his mistakes is a human,but forgiving for their mistakes are legends.So,being legend and human is in our hands.we should be correct in our behaviour and if mistakes happen don't hesitate to apologize.

    Hope it helps you

    Take care  :)

  • Priya Ratti
    Priya Ratti   Jul 06, 2017 05:51 PM


    Your answer lies in your question! We all make mistakes. That has been accepted as a part of being human; so why fear something that makes us, us?

    Life puts us in situations, and we make decisions to get out of those situations. Sometimes, these decisions have more negative consequences than positive, and we end up calling them mistakes. Well, I just want you to know that its okay to make mistakes. We all know it and we've all been through it.

    After you've taken a decision that appears to you more like a mistake, there's no reason to regret it or lament it. What is done is done, and we have to accept our circumstance. Only when you accept the situation that you are in will you be able to voluntarily do something to improve it. So, accept. Know that you can't live in the past forever, mulling over a bad decision. Look ahead. See what you can do NOW to improve the situation.

    Don't be hard on yourself. Things always get better just like the day comes after the night. Look for ways you can do something to make things better rather than ruminating over past mistakes. I'm sure it'll do you more good than bad.

    Hope this helped!

  • Shruti Gupta Delhi
    Shruti Gupta Delhi   Jul 05, 2017 04:29 PM

    Hi Sakshi,

    Your being able to accept your mistake is the first step, and you have already taken it, so congratulations on that!
    Acceptance precedes forgiveness. Once you know that you have committed an error, you also know what went wrong and where it went wrong. People who are lucky get to rectify their errors and everything goes back to normal at the same time. However, there are some mistakes that we think are not forgivable. Now, here is exactly where we make another error. We carry an extra baggage of the things we did wrong, no matter how much time has passed since. We often tend to scrutinize ourselves so much and make a list of all the things that we did wrong or the things that we feel are bad, that in the end, all we are left with are regrets. 

    We must leave these regrets behind. Who doesn't make mistakes? As you yourself said, it's only more human. But a smart human is the one who learns from the mistakes made in the past. Remember how when we made a spelling error, our English teacher used to correct it, and maybe scold us a little? It's just the same. The only difference is that we are our own teachers in life. We need to make mistakes, and maybe scold ourselves a bit if necessary, but in the end, we must learn to forgive ourselves, because if we don't, then what's the point?

    So, once you've got the lesson, once you have learned what your mistake was supposed to teach you, remove that extra baggage. Being hard on yourself will not be as fruitful as forgiveness.


    I hope I could help. :)



  • Manaswini Venkateswaran
    Manaswini Venkateswaran   Jul 05, 2017 03:21 PM

    We often forget, while getting caught up in the mistakes and wrongdoings of others that we too have our share of errors. No matter how smart or cautious we think we are, we will mess up eventually. It could be the silliest, most avoidable thing but it happens and that's just the way life is. 

    Somehow, our mistakes seem to haunt us more than they do anyone else. Just like you forget about others' mistakes eventually, they will forget yours too. We need to remember that in a world like this, no one has the time to dwell on people other than themselves for a long period of time. People are never as bothered as we think them to be.

    Apart from this consoling thought, the only thing that helps is time. It won't be the first mistake you make, nor will it be the last.The more mistakes you make, the more you will normalize it and you'll start seeing yourself as more human, less machine in the process. 

    If we never made mistakes, we would never learn anything. If we were all perfect and functioned that way, there would be nothing to live for, nothing to work towards, no scope for growth. Hence, it's important to learn from every error and work towards avoiding the same ones in the future.

  • Shubhanshi Singh
    Shubhanshi Singh   Jul 05, 2017 01:22 PM

    Hello there! 

    We all make mistakes and that is acceptable at times but not always. 

    For few people it is easy to forgive and forget while for others, including me, it is not that easy. We get stuck at this and it takes longer than usual to move on. This situation becomes worse when it is our own self that we have to forget. We judge ourselves too harshly and view everything critically. We need to handle our own mistakes and wrong decisions in a calm way. 

    Think of your mistakes as a lesson learnt. It will help you grow and flourish. Had you not made the mistake, you would not have learnt it. The first step to forgiveness is knowing that you have made a mistake and you are sorry about it. Half your problem is solved right here. Think of the alternative decisions you would have made and think of consequences that would have followed those decisions, I am sure those decisions wouldn't have been completely right either. One way or the other a lesson had to be learnt. 

    Don't dwell on the past and think about how you can resolve such situations in the future. 

    All the best. 

  • Nihalika Verma
    Nihalika Verma   Jul 05, 2017 12:53 PM

    Hello Sakshi,

    As you rightly said, we all make mistakes. As humans, we do realise that we have made mistakes. We try to learn from them and do not repeat it in future. This makes us great human beings. Mistakes can be big or small, can be life saving or life taking, can be life making and life breaking.

    "To err is human, to forgive is god", which means if we make mistakes, we are human and if we forgive, we are equal to god. 

    Forgiving is definitely difficult, rather it seems impossible at one go. Now, forgiving self is all the more difficult. We need to understand that forgiving in any way, will make our lives better. Not forgiving someone or self will only lead to grudges and burden for the rest of the life. This will create internal tensions to us and deteorate our bodies.

    I came across an article, which emphasies on the art of forgiving. In case, it is somebody else that we want to forgive then we should write good things about the person. Write how you are blessed to have that person in your life. You might feel this is nonsense. But, when we start thinking of good things about that person then we release happy hormones and it also soothes our relationship. In case, we want to forgive urselves, then imagine the situation/wrong decision that we have taken. Imagine yourself hugging you and forgiving yourself. Say to yourself, "It is ok, I still love you for what you are. I love you inspite of this happening."

    Hope this will help.

    Forgive and forget. This is for your own good. Let's take care of ourselves and love ourselves unconditionally.


  • Reshma Venugopal
    Reshma Venugopal   Jul 05, 2017 12:33 PM

    Hi, Sakshi. 

    Thank you for your question. I think the big clue here is that we will be more inclined to forgive our friends rather than ourselves. As you rightly said, we are all human and we all make mistakes, but forgiving others always becomes easier than forgiving yourself. You may think that they made a mistake because they didn't make the right decision, but how could I make that mistake? I was in my senses and I chose the wrong option.

    I think to best make sense of this, we could use the attribution theory by Fritz Heider. The attribution theory basically explains how the average person judges his/her decisions based on either the environment or their knowledge. 

    What is more interesting is that these attributions can be situational or dispositional. Situational attributions are the external factors that cause an event or decision to be made. While dispositional are more internal based. While situational attributions rely on the environmental factors, dispositional factors rely on the individual. 

    With this theory, some people are more prone to base their attributions on the environment, and this is very culturally specific. Studies have shown that people from the western culture are more prone to situational (external) attributions, whereas more traditional cultures are more prone to dispositional factors. For example; You are late for a date with your friend. People who are prone to situational factors will blame the traffic while dispositional attributes will blame themselves for it (.i.e. I should have left earlier.) 

    In the same light, people make decisions on forgiveness based on their attribution styles. People are prone to be hard on themselves when they are dispositional attributes. This cultural difference plays a huge role on how hard people get on themselves. And for a solution, I would like to say, that some things happen for a reason and will have an effect. Any decision you make is for you, but it is not to be considered a bad or good decision. If yesterday I did this, then maybe today would have been different, is a common line. But the truth is that you can't go back to the past and mistakes are meant to teach you lessons. So you will feel like you make lesser mistakes in the long run when you just learn from them. Mistakes are inevitable in everyone's life. So to blame yourself is totally up to you, but letting go of the past is the right way forward. Move on and learn from your previous mistake. 

    Hope this helps :)