Most people say that they want to live a life without regret even though very few of us can ever reach that goal. But maybe, that’s the wrong goal to have.
Regret is a complicated emotion. Sometimes it is the result of one specific situation where we have made a misstep, but often it is the result of recognizing that a series of actions or inactions have created a situation that we wish we could avoid. You can wallow in regret, or you can learn from it and become better. While learning from regret doesn’t necessarily eliminate the pain, it does allow us to move forward from the feeling of being stuck and often with the wisdom we need to be successful the next time around. If you’re finding yourself feeling stuck in a season of regret, look for these 3 lessons to help you move on.
Look for what you can control
Regrets can manifest from situations both within and outside of your control. When you focus on the things you can’t control however, you feel more helpless and hopeless. Instead look for something you can control. Maybe that’s your mindset within a difficult season at work or even choosing to be more compassionate with yourself outside of work since you can’t control the flow of your work day. Was there something you gave up control of that makes you feel regret now? Focus on what to do with that information in the present to feel more in control of your life today.
Assess Your Relationships
Relationships are ripe ground for regret. What you would’ve, could’ve or should’ve said or done can tie you up in knots for years. Since you can’t go back, what lesson do you want to take from your past and bring into your present? Is there someone you want to reach out to? Someone you need to let go? Maybe it’s even just a matter of taking time to be grateful for the relationships that have stood the test of time and life experiences. Use what you’ve learned to keep investing in relationships that matter to repair or keep them strong.
Open Your Mind
One of the worst parts about regrets is that it gives you tunnel vision. You fixate on the mistake or bad decision, and you miss the wealth of knowledge and information within the details. Become curious about this thing that you regret. Pretend that it’s not your life, what would you tell a friend if they had this regret? Chances are there are words of encouragement you would offer, maybe even some next steps you might suggest. Getting a little perspective on your regret can help you in more ways than one.
Could you use some support in looking for the lessons in those seasons of regret? Reach out via email to email@example.com for an opportunity to have a free consultation with our trauma-informed restorative life coach, Calvalyn Day.