The Single Most Transformative Thing You Can Do for Yourself

As I am getting ready for my next speaking engagement, I’ve been asked to tailor the whole talk to focus on Forgiveness.  It’s at Stanford University for 30 thought leaders throughout the world.  They want the whole 3 days to be transformative.  Good thing they want to include Forgiveness, specifically Self-Forgiveness, as that’s the single most transformative action someone can engage in.

Think about it…what greater act of compassion is there?  How much more could you LOVE YOURSELF than to FORGIVE YOURSELF!  Yes!  Let yourself off the hook.  Guess what – I hate to be the one who tells you this – you aren’t perfect!  You will make mistakes!  In fact, if you aren’t making mistakes, you aren’t putting yourself out there, you are playing it safe.  If you are going to be a leader, if you are a go for it type, you will push yourself.  Try to go places you haven’t been before.  And sometimes you will win and sometimes you will lose.

“Failure is the condiment that gives success its flavor.”  – Truman Capote

When you don’t make it to where you set out to go, as with everything, you have a choice.  You can choose to beat yourself up, or…you can tell yourself great job taking the risk, learn from the journey, and see what other benefits came out of the situation.

Personally, I have found the latter to work much better.

“The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing.”  – Henry Ford

Right now, take a few minutes.  Pull out your notebook.  Write down the last time you got angry at yourself.  Now change that behavior.  Remember what you were thinking at that time.  I bet you had great intentions, and probably not all of the story.  You did what you thought was right at that time.  Then figure out what did you learn from that whole episode?

Now Forgive Yourself for judging yourself.  Let go of the thought that you are supposed to know the exact right thing at any time.  Then laugh at how absurd that assumption even is.  Now praise yourself for working this short process and putting yourself in a happier, more joyful state, and think about all the great things you have acheived.

Pretty cool eh?