I am committed to leaving you more empowered than when we met, so on this blog, I post information on topics, such as working with an attorney or distinguishing between arbitration and mediation, as well as tip sheets, conflict resolution exercises, and even an occasional poem. You will find that many of my non-legal (but not illegal) posts track my book, DIY Conflict Resolution: Seven Choices and Five Actions of a Master. This one is about Choice #1: Forgive Yourself for Having Conflicts. Have you ever considered that you will never fully give yourself permission for the happiness or success that you want if you don’t stop judging and punishing yourself for mistakes of the past? You might achieve high levels of success at work, in relationships, or with money, but you’ll probably sell yourself just a bit short of your maximum capability. Or you might look for the first opportunity to sabotage your success, out of guilt for getting what others don’t have when you “know” you’re not as good a person as they are.
Please stop comparing yourself to others. That will only send you down the rabbit hole that not only lacks a carrot but is filled with dirty and gross things that nip and bite at you constantly. You will feel miserable and trapped, and you aren’t.
We all experience conflict. In our relationships. With our bodies. With our finances. With our words. At home. At work. In our communities, and in our everyday activities. Punishing yourself for being human is a little crazy.
Forgive yourself for that, too. We’re all a little crazy.
I’ve had my share of conflicts, and I’ve made my share of mistakes. There will be more, despite my best efforts. Ideally, the consequences to me and others will be minimal, but they will probably arise—some from my own actions. I must accept this and prepare. One way is, of course, to forgive myself for past conflicts and errors. For the next three weeks, I will take actions to forgive myself for:
- Bad investments
- Hiring quickly and firing slowly
- My thoughts
I encourage you to choose three things to forgive yourself for and to follow along. You will see the Third Ear Conflict Resolution process in action and learn to incorporate it into your daily responses to life’s challenges. You will have opportunities to play with the wide range of possibilities for creating your future—as you want it.
Are you ready to stop accepting the downgraded versions of what you want or wondering if the life you have is all there is, at least for you? Make your list, talk it over with your most trusted advisor(s) or friend(s), and check back in about a week to see how I work through forgiveness for some bad investment decisions, in terms of time, money, and energy. Like many of you, I’ve invested in education, relationships, technology, and more in hope that they would “fix” my life. You’ll see how that has worked out and how you can learn from my mistakes, if you so choose.
Nance L. Schick, Esq. is a New York City attorney and mediator who focuses on keeping people out of court and building their conflict resolution skills, especially in business and employment disputes. Her holistic, integrative approach to conflict resolution draws from her experience as a crime victim, human resources supervisor, minor league sports agent, and United Nations representative. She is a 2001 graduate of the State University of New York Buffalo Law School trained in Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), and International Center for Ethno-Religious Mediation (ICERM). She is also creator of the Third Ear Conflict Resolution process, author of DIY Conflict Resolution: Seven Choices and Five Actions of a Master, and an award-winning entrepreneur, who has been acknowledged by Super Lawyers (ADR, 2018), the New York Economic Development Corporation/B-Labs (Finalist, Best for NYC 2015 & 2016), U.S. Chamber of Commerce (2015 Blue Ribbon Small Business), Enterprising Women Magazine (Honorable Mention, 2014 Woman of the Year awards), and Urban Rebound NY/Count Me In (Finalist, 2013 Pitch Competition).