Understanding Is The First Step
Regrets are almost constant in one’s life. We always look back to those chances we didn’t take, to that investment we didn’t make, and the leap of faith we never took. The beauty of life is that it isn’t linear; life in itself is unpredictable, and as such, regrets will come in different shapes and sizes on a daily, monthly, or yearly basis.
Looking at it from a bird’ s-eye view, regret isn’t a negative thing. Actually, it is a call to action. It is meant to give you a second wind to getting something right. Take a parent who has spent all of his/her time working with little or no time for the kids. Such a parent might come across a jingle on TV about a parent playing with the kids in the garden. This parent might feel an ounce of regret for not spending time with his/her kids, and in a way, be propelled to do better and devote more time to the kids all because of that feeling regret. That’s how regret ought to work.
But most people use regret as an excuse to feel bad about themselves. People end up questioning their ability, feel terrible about certain things that have happened in their lives, and continuously look back on what could have been. Rather than use regret as a call to action to become better, they utilize it as a rear-view mirror to see what is in the past. The past is the past, leave it behind, you can’t change it. What you can change is the present, and the future and your actions will determine the kind of present life and future you will have.
Using The Good Side Of Regrets
The following steps help you to channel your focus on your present while working on your future.
- Own it. What happened before it has already happened, you can’t change it. You have to own it if you are ever going to let it go. Let the emotions out, and make peace with yourself.
- Learn from it. Experience is the best teacher. Learn what went wrong in the past, and try as much as you can not to repeat the same mistakes. Don’t leave any stone unturned. It will make you do things differently when you are faced with the same situation.
- Write what you desire to have. Rather than regretting over a lost item, or a failed relationship, write out what you want for yourself in the present and future. This will help you maintain focus on the essentials and not in the past.
- Live your life in the now. Enjoy what is in front of you, and live your life that way. Be in tune with your world, and commit your senses to the world around you. Don’t look back, it has already happened, you can’t change it, and it doesn’t have control over you.
Don’t spend your entire life in regret; it will only consume you. Instead, let the regret spur you on to be a better version of yourself.