The first ten days of Tishrei -- two days of Rosh Hashana, the seven days following, and Yom Kippur -- are an auspicious time in which to rectify our shortcomings and draw closer to G-d. They are therefore known as the "Ten days of Teshuvah."
Teshuvah -- frequently translated as repentance -- actually means returning. Judaism emphasizes that our essential nature -- the divine spark of the soul -- is good.
True repentance is best achieved not through harsh self-condemnation, but through the realization that our deepest desire is to do good, in accordance with the will of G-d.