It is a fact of life: sooner or later someone will wrong you. They may say something unkind. They may personally injure you or a loved one. Or they may damage your property. Whatever the case, eventually someone will wrong you.
While it is a given that eventually someone will wrong you, what is not is how you manifest this wrong in your mind. Whether the damage is irreparable or not, you have a choice. You can choose to hang onto that offense in your mind or you can choose to move on.
The F-Word holds tremendous benefits
Forgiveness is a powerful thing and provides tremendous benefits in both how you see the world and in how the world sees you. Forgiveness is the mental process of ceasing to feel resentment or anger toward another for a perceived offense. It empowers you to move on and it allows you to be seen as strong and courageous.
It takes incredible energy to hold on to the pent-up resentment and anger of a grudge, as these feelings toward another consumes valuable thought and creativity and yet offering no value in return. Forgiving others allows you to divert this energy to more productive endeavors.
Additionally, studies show that people who forgive are happier and healthier than those who hold resentments. Researchers theorize that this is because the bitterness of a grudge is like a mental poison – one that hurts no one but the person harboring the resentment. This mental poison serves to deplete strength and impair the immune system.
The F-Word attracts others
Forgiveness, however, also has the benefit of bolstering your personal brand. Consider the person who declares, “I will never forgive them for what they did!” Whatever the underlying transgression, how do you react around someone like this?
You likely tense up, instantly becoming uneasy interacting with them. While you might not be the target of their disdain, you cannot help but question to yourself, “What do I need to do to avoid being subject to this eternal contempt?” In the end, you tend to simply avoid such an individual.
The F-Word builds your brand
Knowing this, you should make the “F-word” an important part of growing your network and building your brand. Develop the attitudes and habits that allow you to let go of those times when others offend you. Forgive their transgressions. Whatever they did, the damage is done. You cannot change that by holding on to anger and resentment.
This is not to say that you need to forget. For example, if someone in business fails to pay you, the concept of forgiveness does not suggest that you must continue to do business with them.
Frank Agin is the founder and president of AmSpirit Business Connections. In addition, Frank is the author of Foundational Networking: Building Know, Like and Trust To Create A Lifetime of Extraordinary Success and the co-author of LinkedWorking: Generating Success on the World’s Largest Professional Networking Website and The Champion: Finding the Most Valuable Person in Your Network.