Productivity Tip #16 – Learn To Practice Forgiveness

Here is another unconventional, but really important, productivity tip. Practice forgiveness and do it often. It’s a great way to make yourself more productive in many different ways.

quote by valerie harper on forgiveness

You Can’t Be Fully Productive Without Forgiveness

Shit happens.

People do stupid things.

You do stupid things!

It’s never going to change.

That’s why forgiveness is so important.


Self-forgiveness is really important to productivity. If you can’t forgive yourself for messing up and doing things wrong, then you can’t move forward and start doing things right! The punishment you put on yourself will hold you back from making the right choices and doing the right things.

For instance, a long time ago, a friend of mine and his wife had to claim bankruptcy. He beat himself up for so long about the debt and bankruptcy, that his self-confidence and self-worth took a big hit. He couldn’t forgive himself for what happened. He didn’t believe he was capable of being financially smart. And he is still proving that to himself today. He is unwilling to do what he needs to do to make money and save it because he hasn’t forgiven himself for his financial mistakes 20 years ago. He still lives in a state – both in mindset and physically – of financial ruin. In fact, he just claimed bankruptcy again with his new wife.

Forgiving Others And Past Experiences

Forgiving others and circumstances beyond your control is also important. If you can’t do that, then you are going to bring your anger and bitterness into everything you do and affect your productivity greatly.

A lot of people think they are strong because they hold onto past things and maintain certain beliefs around those things. But a strong person is actually able to forgive and develop new, more positive beliefs from things that they learn as they grow and develop.

It’s easy to stay mad and angry. Everyone can do that. It’s hard to let go and move forward.

If you can’t move on from something, you can’t sustain anything good. You can’t be continuously productive in the area you want to be productive in, because you are still living with the thoughts, feelings, and beliefs you were living with when something bad happened.

You may be able to pretend for a while that everything is good. For instance, you may be able to make a new relationship work for a few years after a relationship that devastates you. But if you haven’t moved past that previous relationship and forgiven what you need to forgive, then eventually you are going to bring up old thoughts, habits, and beliefs that will affect your new relationship poorly. And since you can’t move past them, you won’t be able to create a stronger, better relationship.

I’ve seen this over and over again in all areas of life. If you can’t forgive your past, you get stuck there and you can’t move forward and be productive.

Faith Requires Forgiveness

We talked about how important faith is for productivity, but you can’t sustain faith without forgiveness.

You can’t have trust in something if you are dealing with mistrust from the past.

For instance, you can’t have faith in your financial future, if you can’t forgive yourself for your financial past.

I’ve found that working on faith can help you forgive, and working on forgiveness can help you have faith. They go together beautifully.

Making Forgiveness A Part Of Your Life

Following are a few important insights to help you make forgiveness a part of your life.

Your Past Was A Teacher, Not An Enemy

As we talked about in the faith article, your past was a teacher. Remembering this is a great way to forgive!

Everything in your past taught you something. It may have taught you what you don’t want out of life. Or, it may have taught you how to be stronger, more compassionate, smarter, or more capable. All the ups and downs taught you something, even that thing that you haven’t forgiven yet.

Focus on something you haven’t forgiven and try to find the lesson from it. This is a great way to start forgiving and moving forward.

Keep Yourself Open

If enough bad things happen to you, it can be hard to keep yourself open. You can start to believe that things are going to go bad or hurt before anything even happens, so you close up and keep everything out.

When you can’t open yourself up, you can’t let go of the way things have been, so you assume that things are going to continue on that way. But that’s not the case.

Things change. With action and productivity, things progress! Things get better!

Yes, you may run into some obstacles that you need to run into. The obstacles teach you things you need to be taught in order to grow and become better. But, that doesn’t mean you will always face the same obstacles.

Put The Effort In And You Can Open Up

You can’t open yourself up automatically. You need to put in the effort to do so. Things that help you open up include:

  • Decide you are going to open up – The act of deciding that you are going to open up will help you do things and make decisions that cause you to open up. You need to declare it to yourself and someone close in your life to make it something real that you want to take action on.
  • Staying present – Keep your focus on what’s happening, not on what’s happened.
  • Positive affirmations – Start affirming positive things to yourself instead of negative things and get yourself into an optimistic positive state of being. Positive affirmations are great for changing your beliefs and getting you on a better track.
  • Learn from an expert – A long time ago, I read Forgiveness: 21 Days To Forgive Everyone or Everything by Iyanla Vanzant. It’s a great book to help you practice the art of forgiveness. You will experience a payoff for your effort if you go through all 21 days.
  • PrayPrayer has a lot of benefits. It can give you faith, it can help you to stop worrying, and it can help you get rid of anger and forgive. In short, it can help you open up.
  • Meditate – Meditation can help you calm your thoughts and open yourself up to new ideas and beliefs.

If you keep yourself open and believe that new and better things are coming, then you can start to let go of the notion that things will always be the same. You can let go of and forgive your past and get excited for what’s to come.

Maintain An Attitude Of Gratitude

Lastly, gratitude is important for forgiveness. It helps you to maintain a blessed attitude – one where you see your past, present, and future in a positive light.

Finding out whether you have this attitude or not is easy – ask someone who deals with you if they think you have it. You will find out real quick whether or not you are grateful. It’s obvious to others when you don’t feel grateful or the things you have, but it may not be so obvious to yourself.

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