We all make mistakes, have struggles, and even regret things in our past. But you are not your mistakes, your are not your struggles, and you are here now with the power to shape your day and future.Steve Maraboli
Hey guys, hope you all have been doing well. With everything that has been going on lately, I know people’s hearts have been very heavy and have been consumed with a lot of emotions. Going back to my post on moving forward and not back, there was something else I wanted to include, but I thought it would make more sense to make it its own topic. What I’m referring to is regrets. I have things that I regretted doing and not doing. Your not the only person who has regrets in this world. Everyone has one thing they have regretted doing or not doing in their life.
What Regrets Do to Us
As humans, we are not perfect. We all make mistakes at some point in our lives. We can forget to do something important, we say something we wish we could take back, and we forget to say something important to someone we care about. We do things that seem right at the time and later regret doing them. A mistake can turn into a regret depending on how you react to it and if there are other people involved, their reactions can have an impact on it. Regrets also come about when we are disappointed over something and feel sad. According to Psychology Today (2017), “Regret is the second-most common emotion people mention in daily life, some studies show. And it’s the most common negative emotion” (Grierson, para 2). Regrets can eat away at you and bring down your mood. You can begin to neglect your overall health and become weak and fatigued. You may begin to think your not worth a dime to anyone and that all the good things you have in your life, your not worthy of them. You replay what happened over and over hoping for a different outcome and what you did wrong or what went wrong in general. You look for a hidden meaning which may not be there. People can get lost in the sadness and guilt that can come with having regrets.
Common Regrets People Have
There some regrets almost everyone experiences at some point in their life. One of them is not having the courage to live a life that is true to who they are. They live their life of what is expected by other people and they don’t find true happiness and peace of mind.
A second common regret is wishing that they worked smart and not hard. It’s one thing to work hard, but working smarter (while still working hard) to where your not burning yourself out, not sacrificing your happiness, being able to spend time with others, and maintaining your overall health is what you should aim for.
A third common regret is being able to stay in touch with good friends. We can so easily get caught up in our lives and whatever problems we are dealing with that we forget to see how others are doing. We forget to spend time with our friends which can be helpful in recharging ourselves and breathing a sigh of relief. We can also forget to ask them for help and forget to help them out.
A fourth common regret is being able to have the courage to express their feelings. Sometimes we bite our tongue to maintain the peace between friends, co-workers, acquaintances, and family. Yet in doing so we may also suppress our feelings. This can cause us to not reach out more to friends and family, build or rebuild bonds and connections with other people in our lives, and not be able to be vulnerable to them.
A fifth one is just not letting yourself be more happy with your overall life. So many times we let good things get away from us because were either scared of something or someone or not feel like we’ll be good at something. We also can be blind to good things that are right in front of us because we’re so consumed with our problems, wishing for things we don’t have, and wanting the next day or weekend to come so that we can enjoy something while ignoring the other days.
A sixth one can be how someone approaches their education. Some regret not doing well in school, some regret not finishing school, and some regret their major in college. There are those who regret the way they handled student loans. According to PayScale (2019), “the years of commitment and the repercussions that academic choices can have on earnings potential leave many regretting their educational choices. Our research shows that the vast majority – nearly two thirds – of those with at least a bachelor’s degree regret something about their education” (Gruver, para 2-3).
Here are some ways that you can avoid making mistakes that can lead to regrets:
- Don’t follow someone else’s dreams
- Don’t take your loved ones for granted
- Live in the moment and the present
- Stop pretending to be someone else
- Take care of yourself
- Don’t fear failure
- Experience and listen more
- Stand up for yourself
- Seize the moment
- Think before you act
Here is a list of tips on how you can better cope with regrets you have made:
- Acknowledge what you’re feeling
- Catch yourself doing negative self-talk
- Find the triggers that make you feel down and avoid them until you feel no pain from them
- Focus on what your grateful for because others have less than you
- Genuinely apologize and forgive yourself
- Focus on and embrace your positive qualities (you have them)
Life can be too uncertain to have any regrets. Yet they happen still happen even to the best of us. Seizing the moment is one thing, but there are scenarios and situations where you should think before you act and what to say, as it could hurt someone’s feelings or hurt them physically. As I mentioned, there is probably one thing that you regret in your life. I hope that by reading this that you find a way to cope with it so that it doesn’t rule your life and the decisions you make in the future and that you can better avoid making new ones. I’ll leave you all with this, one thing I recently learned is to work on solving your inner conflicts first and then whatever is going on in the world, it won’t be as overwhelming to you.
Grierson, B. (2017). The Meaning of Regret. Retrived from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-carpe-diem-project/201710/the-meaning-regret
Gruver, J. (2019). Biggest College Regrets. Retrieved from https://www.payscale.com/data/biggest-college-regrets