There are plenty of things I regret… in fact, more than I would like to admit. These things often cause me a great deal of anxiety because I feel like I have missed out on an opportunity or wish things could have gone differently. For example, not telling my mother how much I cared for her as often as I should have. Or not living in the moment more often. Or taking things for granted. This is why I think it is important to talk about how we can deal with regret in a positive way.
I have gone through life not knowing how to deal with regrets and this has made me fear them which leads to being overly careful in decision making. It doesn’t have to be that way.
I have had a bad habit of telling myself (and others) that I have no regrets. This would be great… if it were true. I now know that putting up a charade and not dealing with my regrets and accepting them is counter productive.
By acknowledging your emotions, including regret, you take control of them. When you do not acknowledge regret, you are letting it run rampant with no way to address it.
Even though addressing your regrets, both big and small, is only the first step to dealing with them, it is often harder than it sounds. Sometimes these regrets are psychologically damaging or hard to face. Although easier said than done, nothing can be accomplished without actions.
It is important to accept that nothing you can do now will change the past, but if you confront the past you can use it to build your future.
A good way for me to accept my regrets as fruitless desires is to think that at the time of making the past decision, I wasn’t exactly the same as I am now. At the moment in the past, I made the decision that I would have made, more often than not. Not only that, but this has helped to shape who I am now and that mistake likely helped me become the reasonable person who realizes that it is a mistake in the present.
Because of this, we have already grown and can use that to avoid mistakes we have made in the past. In fact, not only can we use it to avoid mistakes, but we can use it as a roadmap for further growth and better decisions.
“I’ve got a long list of real good reasons, for what I’ve said and what I’ve done. I’ve got a picture in the back of my mind, of what I’ve lost and what I’ve won. I’ve survived every situation, knowing when to freeze and when to run. And regret is just a memory, written on my brow, and there’s nothing I can do about it now.”
Please let me know any ways that you deal with your own regrets in the comment section below!