How To Let Go Of Guilt And Free Yourself – 12 Ways

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how to let go of guilt

Letting go of guilt is like setting yourself free from a heavy burden. Guilt often lingers in our minds, making us feel weighed down, and stuck in the past, and can become a huge limitation to our mental and emotional stability.

Learning how to let go of guilt is a skill and a crucial step that allows you to live a life of abundance, inner peace and self-forgiveness.

Since guilt can be very tricky to outgrow, you must find applicable ways to untangle yourself from its knots, paving the way for a brighter and more liberated future.

This article will provide you with simple tips that you can use to release guilt’s grip, allowing room for your healing and personal growth.

How To Let Go Of Guilt- 12 Ways

Here are 12 ways you can learn how to learn how to let go of guilt.

1.  You need to Forgive Yourself

One of the many questions that plague the mind of the average person who feels guilty is, “How do you overcome excessive guilt?”

Forgiving yourself isn’t just a great answer to the above question but it is also one of the most important steps in learning how to let go of guilt.

In some way, Imagine your heart is a garden, and just like the way weeds hinder the growth and remove the beauty of the garden, guilt does the same to your heart and mind.

When you forgive, you pull out those weeds and create space for your development. It is important to understand that everyone makes mistakes and you aren’t excluded; it’s part of being human.

Instead of dwelling on the past, see it as a lesson. Reflect on what went wrong, learn from it, and plant seeds of wisdom for the future. Forgiving yourself doesn’t mean forgetting or denying responsibility.

It means acknowledging the mistake, taking ownership, and choosing to move forward. Just like a new day after a storm, forgiveness brings a fresh start. Holding onto guilt is like carrying a heavy backpack – it slows you down.

By forgiving, you’re unburdening yourself, allowing room for personal growth. Consider self-forgiveness as a gift to your own well-being. Picture it as giving your heart a warm hug.

Release the grip of guilt, and you’ll feel lighter, ready to embrace a brighter tomorrow. Remember, you’re not perfect, and that’s perfectly okay.

Be kind to yourself, cultivate self-forgiveness, and watch how it transforms your inner garden into a flourishing landscape of resilience and understanding.


2.  Acknowledge Your Mistakes

Recognizing and acknowledging your mistakes is one of the basic ways of learning how to let go of guilt. Picture it like finding your way out of a maze – admitting your missteps is like locating the right path.

Instead of hiding from errors, look them in the eye and say, “I see you.” It’s like turning on a light in a dark room; acknowledging your mistakes is the first step to illumination.

Think of your mistakes as road signs, pointing you in the direction of growth. We all take wrong turns sometimes; it’s a part of the adventure.

Acknowledging your mistakes is like reading those signs and understanding where to go next. It’s not about blame or shame; it’s about learning and evolving.

Imagine your mistakes as stepping stones. By acknowledging them, you’re stepping forward, using each one as a lesson to build a bridge to a better you.

Guilt often lurks in the shadows of denial, but acknowledging mistakes is like opening the curtains and letting the sunlight in – it dispels the darkness.

Be brave and honest with yourself. Acknowledge your mistakes, not to dwell on them, but to propel yourself forward. It’s a bit like cleaning a slate, giving yourself room to write a new and wiser story.

By embracing your mistakes, you’re opening the door to self-forgiveness and creating a path toward a brighter, guilt-free tomorrow.


3.  Learn From Your Errors

how to let go of guilt

One of the ways I learned how to let go of guilt and forgive myself was by changing how I saw my errors and mistakes. From personal experience, I realized that it is a lot easier to deal with your guilt when you look at your mistakes as lessons and as opportunities to grow.

Learning from your errors is like turning stumbling blocks into stepping stones on the path to letting go of guilt. Imagine your mistakes as teachers, offering lessons rather than condemnation.

Instead of carrying the weight of guilt, view your errors as guideposts pointing towards growth and understanding.  Picture your mind as a toolbox, and each mistake as a new tool for learning.

When you examine and understand your errors, it’s like adding valuable tools to help you navigate the twists and turns of life. Like a map, each mistake reveals a route to self-improvement.

Consider your errors as puzzles waiting to be solved. Learning from them is like finding the missing pieces and completing the picture. It’s not about dwelling on the problem but discovering the solution.

Every error is a chance to become wiser, stronger, and more resilient. In knowing how to let go of guilt, think of learning from your errors as refining a skill.

Just as a craftsman hones their craft, you refine your understanding of life through the lessons your mistakes teach you. It’s a bit like turning a rough stone into a polished gem.

Approach your errors with curiosity and openness. Learn from them, not to harbor guilt, but to cultivate growth. Leave behind the heavy burden of guilt and focus on what matters most; your future.


4.  Focus On Your Present Actions

Directing your attention to present actions is like steering a ship away from the storm of guilt and into the calm waters of self-forgiveness.

Imagine guilt as a shadow from the past, and focusing on present actions as stepping into the sunlight. Instead of dwelling on what went wrong, concentrate on what you can do right now.

When you shift your focus to present actions, it’s like adjusting your attention to capture the clarity of the now. Guilt often thrives in the echoes of yesterday, but present actions create a melody of positivity in the moment.

When you learn how to let go of guilt, you must begin to see your actions as building blocks for a better future. Focusing on what you can do today is like laying the foundation for a stronger, more resilient self.

It’s not about erasing the past, but about constructing a present that shapes a brighter tomorrow. Think of focusing on present actions as a key that unlocks the door to self-empowerment.

Just as a pilot guides a plane through the sky, your present actions navigate you away from the turbulence of guilt. It’s a bit like reclaiming control of the steering wheel and steering towards a destination of self-renewal.

By concentrating on the present, you liberate yourself from the chains of past mistakes and set sail toward a horizon filled with self-compassion and growth.


5.  Apologize When It Is Necessary

Apologizing when necessary is choosing to mend a bridge that leads to letting go of guilt. Imagine guilt as a gap between people, and apologizing as the sturdy planks that reconnect and rebuild.

Instead of letting the rift widen, say sorry when your actions have caused harm. Picture your relationships as delicate plants. Apologizing is like watering them when they’re thirsty, ensuring they grow strong and healthy.

Guilt can create a drought, but a sincere apology brings a rain of understanding and forgiveness. Consider apologizing as a healing balm for wounds caused by misunderstandings.

It’s not about admitting defeat but about nurturing the bonds that matter. Apologies are like the bandages that help wounds heal, allowing relationships to flourish once more.

Think of apologizing as turning the page in a book. It’s acknowledging a plot twist, learning from it, and moving on to the next chapter. Guilt may linger on an unfinished page, but an apology is the ink that completes the story with wisdom and growth.

If you want to understand how to let go of guilt, when necessary, extend a genuine apology. It’s a simple yet powerful act that begins the process of repairing an already damaged relationship.

By saying sorry, you release the weight of guilt, fostering an environment where understanding and compassion bloom. Apologizing is a bridge to redemption, mending the fractures and paving the way to a future marked by stronger, healthier relationships.


6.  You Need To Set Realistic Expectations

how to let go of guilt

Setting realistic expectations is another way of learning how to let go of guilt. Like creating a roadmap that leads away from the heavy clouds of guilt, setting realistic expectations allows you to avoid the mental and emotional demands from yourself and the people around you.

Imagine expectations as a backpack you carry; unrealistic ones make it burdensome. Instead of loading yourself with too much, set achievable goals and let go of the guilt baggage.

Picture your goals as stepping stones, not mountains. Setting realistic expectations is like making sure the stones are within reach, so you can step confidently toward success.

Guilt often sneaks in when you expect too much from yourself. Realistic expectations act as a shield against the arrows of disappointment. Consider expectations as the compass guiding your journey.

When you set them realistically, it’s like ensuring your compass points to achievable destinations. Guilt tends to whisper in the ear of unrealized dreams, but setting achievable goals keeps you on the path of progress.

Think of setting realistic expectations as planting seeds. Instead of expecting a full garden overnight, nurture small sprouts and celebrate their growth. It’s not about rushing but learning to enjoy the process.

By setting achievable goals, you not only learn how to let go of guilt but also pave a path to success grounded in reality and self-compassion.


7.  Practice Self-Compassion

In learning how to let go of guilt, practicing self-compassion is an entirely different way of making it easier to deal with your guilt, like wrapping yourself in a warm blanket when the cold winds of guilt blow.

Self-compassion just involves you showing a little more kindness and grace to yourself in the same way you’d do for others. Instead of being your harshest critic, be a comforting friend to yourself.

Picture your heart as a garden, and self-compassion as watering the flowers, not the weeds of guilt. When you treat yourself with kindness, it’s like nurturing the blossoms of understanding and forgiveness.

Guilt may try to overshadow it, but self-compassion is the sunlight that allows you to grow. Consider self-compassion as a soothing melody in the noise of self-judgment.

It’s not about perfection but about accepting imperfections with a gentle heart. Guilt often thrives in a harsh internal dialogue, but self-compassion changes the tune to one of self-love.

Think of practicing self-compassion as extending a caring hand to yourself. Just as you would comfort a friend in need, comfort yourself. It’s not about ignoring mistakes but about embracing them with kindness.


8.  Use Positive Affirmations

Positive affirmations are great for building confidence and a great personality. But what you don’t know is that it is very helpful in understanding how to let go of guilt.

Positive affirmations allow you to influence your mind and slowly change how you see and respond to life. By using words and thoughts that empower positive thinking and problem-solving, you create a system of self-belief.

Guilt may cast shadows, but positive affirmations are the rays of light that brighten your mental landscape. Consider affirmations as the cheerleaders in your internal stadium.

It’s not about denying mistakes but about boosting your spirits with affirming statements. Guilt may play a loud drum, but positive affirmations create a melody of self-encouragement.

Think of using positive affirmations as crafting a shield against the arrows of self-doubt. Just as a knight prepares for battle, arm yourself with affirmations that build resilience.

It’s not about ignoring reality but about facing it with a mindset fortified by positivity. By using positive affirmations, you drown out the noise of guilt and create an inner environment where self-love and confidence thrive.


9.  Talk To A Trusted Person

how to let go of guilt

Talking to a trusted person allows you to share the weight of guilt, turning it from a heavy burden into a manageable load. Your feelings are like a backpack, and confiding in someone you trust helps you get rid of the unnecessary weight.

Instead of carrying guilt alone, let a friend or family member help you carry the load. Picture your trusted person as a supportive pillar. When you talk to them, it’s like leaning on this pillar for strength.

Guilt often isolates, but sharing with someone you trust is an invitation for connection and understanding. To learn how to let go of guilt, practice talking to a trusted person.

Be vulnerable and share how you feel, and your struggles with them, and listen to their suggestions and advice too. Guilt can feel like a storm inside, but confiding in a trusted person is like seeking shelter in their calming presence.

By opening up about how you feel,  you let in the light of empathy and build a path for healing to begin.


10.  Reframe Your Negative Thoughts

Another way to learn how to stop feeling bad about something you did, is by reframing your negative thoughts when you experience them.

The truth is, your guilt is going to make you feel like a terrible person, and a lot of times, you are going to hate yourself and that’s normal.

However, it becomes a problem when for a prolonged period, you can’t seem to see yourself in a different light because of your guilt. Reframing negative thoughts will allow you to adjust the way you see things.

Instead of seeing only mistakes, shift your perspective to find lessons and growth. It’s almost like redecorating the walls of your mind. It’s not about ignoring the past but about hanging new paintings that inspire positivity.

Guilt may paint dark strokes, but reframing adds brighter hues of understanding. Think of reframing as tuning a radio to a different station. Guilt might be static, but by adjusting your thoughts, you find a clearer, more uplifting frequency.

By reframing negative thoughts, you replace the heavy tones of guilt with a melody of self-compassion, allowing you to let go and move towards a more positive mindset.


11.  Engage In Self-Care

how to let go of guilt

Engaging in self-care is like giving yourself a gentle hug when guilt tries to pull you down. Imagine self-care as a soothing balm, healing the wounds of self-blame.

Instead of neglecting your well-being, embrace simple acts that nurture your mind and body. This is a healthy way of learning how to let go of guilt. Picture your energy as a battery, and self-care as the recharge that prevents it from running low.

It’s like plugging in and replenishing your inner power. Guilt can be a very draining activity but engaging in self-care is the boost that keeps you resilient and strong. Think of engaging in self-care as a small vacation for your body, mind, and soul.

Just as a tired traveler rests, self-care is the pause that refreshes your spirit. By prioritizing your well-being, you create a sanctuary where guilt has less room to linger, replaced by a sense of self-love and rejuvenation.


12.  You Need To Let Go Of Perfectionism

If you want to learn how to let go of guilt and regret, you must stop being a perfectionist. Imagine perfectionism as a tightrope that’s impossible to balance on.

Instead of striving for flawlessness, embrace the beauty of imperfection. Allow yourself to make mistakes without harsh self-judgment. Picture your efforts as seeds in a garden, and perfectionism as expecting every seed to sprout perfectly.

Letting go of perfectionism is like recognizing that some seeds need time and care to grow. Guilt often lurks in the shadows of unrealized perfection, but embracing imperfection is the sunlight that nourishes your growth.

Consider letting go of perfectionism as permitting yourself to be a work in progress. It’s not about lowering standards but about understanding that mistakes are stepping stones, not stumbling blocks.

Guilt may whisper in the ear of perfection, but letting go invites the melody of self-acceptance. Learn to live with the fact that you aren’t and cannot be perfect. By doing this, release yourself from the toxicity of your guilt and regrets.


How Do You Release Guilty Feelings?

how to let go of guilt

Questions like “How do you release guilty feelings?” allow us to properly examine different ways to liberate ourselves from feelings of guilt and shame.

To release the feelings of guilt within you, you need to embrace the fact that your guilt cannot change anything. Whatever feelings of guilt you might be experiencing will only keep you in a perpetual state of sadness and mental torture.

The first step to truly overcoming guilt is to accept that all you can do is learn from your mistakes and resolve to be a better person. There is, after all, no point in crying over spilled milk.


How Do I Move On From Guilt And Regret?

Asking yourself questions like “How do I move on from guilt and regret?” is key to building a life without being haunted by your past mistakes.

If you want to move on from guilt and regret, you have to shift your attention from the past and focus on how your present actions can influence your future.

You must intentionally avoid thinking about the past because nothing you do changes it. As you do that, focus on the present. Prioritize being mindful of your current situation and do your best to make the right decisions for yourself and others.

This way, you won’t only learn how to let go of guilt but it will also prevent you from being consumed by the past!



Guilt, a strong emotion, can halt personal growth if left unaddressed. Knowing how to let go of guilt is the only way you can leave behind the frustration of feeling guilty.

Recognize mistakes, learn, and forgive yourself. The benefits are immense – peace, joy, and a renewed spirit. Embrace self-compassion. Speak about your guilt, and share it with someone you trust.

Break free from the chains of guilt; don’t stop until you’re liberated. Understand that imperfection is part of being human. Move forward with newfound wisdom, leaving guilt behind.

It’s a journey, but with persistence, you can untangle yourself and embrace a brighter, guilt-free future. Embrace the power of release, for your well-being and personal development, depend on it.

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Author: Afam Uche

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