Self forgiveness is a very loving, freeing act. You need to forgive yourself for past mistakes and failures in order to thrive and prosper now and in the future. It's difficult to move forward in your personal growth without it. This is true whether or not the anger you're holding onto is justified or due to something imagined.
One reason the lack of forgiveness holds you back is that holding onto anger is an energy drain - the energy it takes replaces positive with negative. So it's a constant battle to try and maintain positive, healthy, and prosperous thoughts in your mind. Also, when your grudge is directed inward toward yourself, it results in feeling unworthy and undeserving of good.
How can you tell if you need to forgive yourself for something? One thing that I have found to be true is when I find myself being moody and generally angry for no specific reason, that's an indication to me that I'm disappointed in myself about something. Maybe I feel that I've failed at something or that I made a dumb mistake or blunder. When I identify that, I can inwardly acknowledge the fact that I wanted to do better than that, but yet I forgive myself for the way things turned out.
Another indication of the need to forgive yourself is if you have guilt over something you did or didn't say or do. If your guilt is over something that genuinely hurt another person, then you have a great opportunity to make amends and reparations if possible, and then forgive yourself with a resolve not to repeat the offense. But sometimes we can have guilt over something that isn't a genuine offense, such as feeling guilty that you haven't measured up to the expectations of others. You may need to simply forgive yourself for not being who you have been trying to be in life, and at the same time forgive those who have the expectations of you that you aren't fulfilling.
to lighten up on yourself and let yourself be human and make mistakes.
Let yourself "start over" having gotten only wiser from mistakes, "wrong
turns" or unfulfilled goals in your past. It doesn't hurt to literally
give yourself a hug! Any kind of self-care you can do for yourself can be like a self-hug, such as a relaxing bath, a nature walk, or something very nurturing like that.
One saying I've always used in my life and in my family is, "Let's start with a clean slate." Make amends and apologize if there was actual wrongdoing, or don't if you're just beating up on yourself for imagined or exaggerated reasons, and then if you're able, let yourself truly start over, holding no grudges. Forgive yourself and others and move on.
What if your subconscious mind just won't let you really forgive yourself, even though you know intellectually that you should? So often people suffer from low self-esteem, and this gives them a subconscious tendency to be overly critical, negative, and unforgiving to themselves.
This has been the case for me in the past; I tried using my determination to mentally will myself to be self-forgiving, but deep down I could feel that I was still beating myself up inside over everything and anything. After searching for help, I thankfully found some resources that helped me turn the negativity around and free myself with complete self-forgiveness.
Of course it's something that needs "maintenance sessions"—it's not as though once you forgive yourself, that's it, and you never have to do it again. Being human means we need to continually have forgiveness in our hearts for ourselves and for others.