Monday, 13 October 2008

Achieving Life Success with the Power of Forgiveness

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Achieving Life Success with the Power of Forgiveness

Yesterday I listened to a presentation by life coach and motivational speaker Pete Cohen. During his talk he told the story of a woman, whom I'll called Martha, which highlighted the power of forgiveness in achieving life success.

When Martha attended her first confession she discovered that she had no 'wrong-doing' to confess. So she decided to make something up. On the next occasion she confessed to having lied the previous time and then started a vicious pattern.

You see, Martha was spending a lot of time thinking about what to confess. In other words, she was focusing much of her energy on what was perceived to be negative in her life rather than on what was positive. On a weekly basis she would then go to confession to ask for forgiveness.

Now, there are a lot of individuals who are just like Martha. They may not attend a formal confession on a regular basis but they too focus on the things in their life which they consider to be negative. They spend a disproportionate amount of their time focusing on their mistakes.

They needlessly beat themselves up about their failures. They may find ways to consciously or unconsciously punish themselves but it doesn't stop them from doing the things they perceive to be wrong. So they persist in their wrong-doing. They persist in punishing themselves and they feel absolutely wretched about their lives.

The thing is that it doesn't matter if someone else forgives you or not for something you have done. The important thing is to forgive yourself. Unless you practice self-forgiveness you cannot experience self-healing and self-love.

I believe that while it is important to evaluate our mistakes and learn from them, it is far more empowering to focus on your successes. Focusing on your failures is paralysing. Focusing on your successes is liberating.

For instance, you think about how a project unfolded in the past that didn't achieve your desired results. You think that if you attempt a similar project that the end result will be the same. So you don't even attempt to do the new project. Or, if you do pluck up the courage to start the project you'll find a way to self-sabotage your success.

I'm not suggesting that you become blasé about how you conduct your life. However, here's the thing. If you find yourself in a position where you feel unable to forgive yourself you are not taking full responsibility for your life. When you hold resentment against yourself it prevents you from fully engaging with life. It stops you from moving on.

"To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you."
Lewis B. Smedes

It is through the power of forgiveness that you heal, feel more whole and positive energy can flow freely to and through you. You can then show up more fully in the world and you are then in a better position to share the gifts that you have been bestowed with.

So unleash the power of forgiveness in your life today if you truly wish to achieve life success.

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