Here is a short exercise on how to forgive oneself. Use the following information to make a handout. Distribute to the students and have them work individually to complete the items. Tell them you will check to see that they did the work, but that you will not read the note they write to themselves. You may wish to do a general follow-up classroom discussion on the topic. Ask:

  • What do you find difficult about forgiving yourself?
  • Why is it important to forgive yourself?
  • How does forgiving yourself coincide with forgiving others?


Handout Items

  1. Place a check by any area where you have been negative or critical of yourself:


Relationships with friends ____

Relationships with family____



Physical appearance____

Something I did____

Something I did not do____


  1. Focus on one of the areas you checked. Write the first five words or phrases that come to mind in relation to that area.


  1. Place a plus (+) sign by any of the words or phrases that are positive memories. Place a minus sign (-) by any of the words of phrases that are negative memories.



  1. Choose any one of the negative memories. Write a note forgiving yourself for this memory. (If you don’t have a negative memory to be forgiven of, write a prayer of thankfulness in this space expressing your appreciation for your positive outlook.)