Regret can be something that eats away at you if you don’t rectify it quickly and gain some perspective. Many of you may agree with this statement as I have come to reflect on regret a lot in my life and I think many of us do at times. To put this in perspective, recently I started a new job which also includes new incredible people. These new colleagues are so incredible it caused me to reflect on my own regrets in my life especially since graduating Uni.
My new colleagues in many different age groups from mid-twenties to fifties and older have opened my eyes to how little I have lived in life. One of the common themes I soon realized is how little I have really traveled in my life, something I have yearned to do since college but never did. Many of my co-workers have been all over the United States and abroad listing many great places they have been.
In a way I am envious of their life although I know we should not feel envy for others because we all live our lives differently. One thing is for sure from age of twenty I have truly been asleep to seeing the world and what it has to offer. I would have loved to travel abroad when younger, live in different states and take control of my independence at an earlier age.
Even it seems many who are young such as right out of college appear to have more eye opening experience then I have. It could be they had a different upbringing of those who encourage them to travel, live life different and experience life before settling down. Not to say you can not do those things later in life with a family but its just more difficult.
For example there has always been one place I yearn to live in Oregon, a place although I don’t have a lot of connections to loved from the moment I traveled there. The trees, the smell of pine, the calmness of the state and just everything there and I truly hope one day I get to experience living there. I also have other dreams I look forward to experience definitely traveling more to places like London, Japan, parts of Europe and within the United States.
Learn what regret is
Regret is considered a critical way of thinking or feeling in which you blame yourself for things that have happened. These feelings can be over things you have done and not done such as not taking a job offered, not saving money or it can even it something really simple in our day to day lives.
Identify your feelings of regret
This will all be different from person to person, but feelings of regret include: sadness, loss, remorse, anger, shame and anxiety. Coupled with someone like myself who has suffered with depression and anxiety most of my life this has made it even harder on my psyche at times. These feelings can leave you feeling defeated and hopeless, thinking about what you did or said constantly thinking you are in the wrong all the time.
Consider where the regret comes from
I know many of us are not psychologist but feelings of regret can from many different areas in our life such as :
All of these areas have very impactful parts in our life especially family, where many can feel regret for having a family or not having one, getting married and not getting married and even having children. Some of you reading may feel you have lived your life exactly how you have wanted although life is never perfect you have not allowed regret to stop your life plan. For others who live in constant regret here are some ways to over come those feelings.
Talking to someone, a professional may be the answer to really dig deep into your mind on where and why these feelings affect you so much.
Write down your regrets
I am definitely someone who encourages everyone to write out there thoughts, get them on paper or in a blog somewhere where you can release those feelings. That is truly one of reasons I write on this blog so that others can see what I go through and attempt to help each other. With regret, people often wonder “Why” they acted or didn’t act, and this is often where people become stuck. List your regrets and any questions you keep asking yourself.
Learn your lesson
Once you deal with regret and write down or talk to someone about your regrets, maybe now would be the time to correct those regrets if possible. Try to look for lessons learned and recognize the life lessons and go from there. We all have the ability to restart so if there are regrets and you can accomplish them now, go out and do it.
Apply what you have learned
Once you have learned your lesson go out and change those behaviors and never look back. Know you have the ability to change, making sure to apply the wisdom you’ve gained.
Control how regrets influence your future and life
While you can not change what has happened in the past, you can choose how past effects your present and future. All too often we continue to live in the past, could of , should of , would of. Taking control and know tomorrow is another day to make a new goal, a new accomplishment and move on from regret.
Your Journey is your own, don’t live it in regret
Once we get past understanding regret, living with it and moving on from it then maybe we can start to breath again and no we will not let regret determine our future. Give yourself a break, cut yourself some slack in beating yourself up over past regrets and practice a new mindset. Continue to write out your thoughts and feelings releasing any future regrets and practice self-forgiveness which I feel makes all the difference. Know that we all make mistakes in life, errors in judgment but some of us have an easier time moving on others do not , but we can all change that.
Lastly I think it so important we are around the right people, many times we are around those who affirm our regrets making us feel worse, but in reality we need to have empathy and understanding. Continue to learn and grow from how we think so we can all learn to be healthier minded people, it will make our world and the world a better place.