It’s hard to keep regret out of your life. No matter where you find yourself today, there’s a chance that you’ll have certain things you wish you did differently. When you strive to look at your situation with a different perspective, you’ll gain a better understanding of life and you’ll learn to live without regret.
While you won’t be able to completely eliminate regret in your life, you can take steps to reduce it. Strive to keep your life organized, practice changing your mindset about certain things, and live your life your way.
Sure, there are many things I wish I could have changed (especially something more serious than Jeep hair) but spending time on the “woulda, shoulda, coulda’s” leaves me no room to think about the present and what I can set myself up for the future.
Start shifting your mindset by seeing “failure” = learning. If you view failure as a learning experience, you begin to understand that it’s something that can help you succeed and grow. Being stuck with “failure” mode causes other problems for you, such as feeling you’re not good enough or that you ARE a failure. From my own experience, the more fear of failing I had, the less likely I had of pursuing the things I wanted that was good for me.
Establish Your Priorities
One way to begin living without regret is to sort out your priorities. Ask yourself what ultimate goal you’re working towards. Are you happy with where you are and where you’re going? If you’re living your life according to plan and you’re happy, then you have nothing to regret. If changes need to be made, taking small steps may be of help to you.
There was a time I was burning out as a brand new clinician. I overworked myself, and I wasn’t focused on my own needs and wants. I needed to practice giving myself permission for self-care. Start your steps small. You don’t need to make a life-changing decision right away, like going back to college, if you don’t want to. You certainly can but even just thinking about what you can do towards working on yourself shouldn’t be too hard.
Once you’ve made decisions that you’re comfortable with, you may feel as if a weight has been lifted from your shoulders. This is regret leaving your life!
Live By the Golden Rule
Everyone can benefit from living his or her life with the golden rule in mind. The golden rule is known in all of the world’s religions. It’s special because it’s a concept that we can all agree on, despite our differences.
Simply stated, the golden rule is: “Treat people the way you’d like to be treated.” If you do
this, you’ll definitely keep your regrets to a minimum. You’ll be learning how to treat people with kindness no matter what. You’ll be learning how to treat people fairly and you’ll gain empathy. When you put yourself in someone else’s shoes before you act, you’ll be less likely to engage in an act that you’ll regret later.
Take Swift Action
The next step is to take swift action in your life. You only have one life and the time is
now. If your goals are clear and you know what you want, what are you waiting for? A
common regret is not doing the things that are truly important to them.
“I wish I stayed in touch with some of my friends…”
“I wish I had the courage to say what I wanted to say/express my feelings…”
“I wish I didn’t date that loser…”
Where I am today was NOT easy and NOT fun but it afforded me to live in Alaska, to meet the people who became family, to appreciate the food on my plate and the people who support me, etc. Have you always wanted to start your own business? Start one! Would you like to get back in touch with your father? Do it! Yes, it’s difficult, yet it’s also so simple once you’ve made the commitment to act. But, achieving great things doesn’t come easy. I was raised that you have to work hard for the things you want. You need to do these things instead of putting them off until tomorrow!
Spend Time with Loved Ones
You guys, this one hits home for me. One reason is that I grew up in North Carolina where my family still resides. That’s 3,561 miles away (I literally just inputted my parent’s address in the Maps app on my iPhone). Many of my friends and family are reaching milestones (having a baby, birthdays, etc) I wish I could have attended. Many of my loved ones are going through an incredibly difficult time in their lives where I wish I could just hug instead of calling.
Another reason is the population I grew up and work in – the military. I can’t tell you how many service members and veterans I’ve treated at the hospital who lost their brother or sister at war.
Spend all the time you can with your loved ones. If they live far away, visit when you can and call often. Make time for your immediate family, or friends, by scheduling dinners together or family nights out. Delve deep into the relationships you have with your family. A common regret is sticking to surface topics when it comes to your family. Find out the hopes, fears and even regrets of your family members. Sharing your regrets can be another way of coming to a resolution!
Ultimately, it always comes down to the fact that you can’t change the past no matter how hard you try, nor how often you think about it. Everyone makes mistakes. All you can do is take action now to change what happens in the future. Regret clouds our current thinking and stands in the way of a happy future. But you have the power to blast through regret and move forward with your life! That’s why our blog stands by the tagline: Go Where Regrets Can’t Follow.
Have the courage to live the life that’s true to you and with the belief you deserve happiness. If you enjoyed this post, comment your thoughts or share the love! Share with a friend you think could benefit from reading this, or by sharing to your social media. Thank you!