Photo by Mark Oberlin
Have you ever been in a situation where you did something and then realized you did too much? Then you start replaying the moment and wishing you had done things differently. You dwell on it, mentally kicking yourself for not knowing better and regret consumes you. You wish you could do it all over again but that moment is gone. You cannot turn back the hand of time so regret will do you no good.
Such is life my friends. We are imperfect by nature and we all will make our fair share of faux pas. We will say or do the wrong thing sooner than later, or delay doing things we know we should. Our life today is a reflection of many of these choices we have made. In moments of reflection, it is very difficult not to wish you had done things a little differently, and that is okay but only dwell on those things for a moment and then get back to business. It is not too late to get yourself on track. Stewing in regret is a complete waste of your time. It’s done. Let it go.
5 ways to deal with regret
- Forgive Yourself: Reflect on the situation you regret for a brief minute, own it and then forgive yourself. It is done, you cannot take back the past, you can only start now to make the future better so stop dwelling on what you cannot control.
- Ask for Forgiveness: If your actions hurt others, apologize and ask for their forgiveness, then turn the page and move forward.
- Do not overcompensate: Don’t let guilt take you down the dangerous alley of overcompensating. You will do more damage this way.
- Trust your instinct: Accept that you cannot predict or control every outcome. You will have missteps along the way. Learn to listen to your instinct.
- Commit to doing better: Yesterday is gone so there is no point in dwelling on it. You however can control your next minute, next hour, next day, next year. So commit to living your next moment with less regret.
- Embrace the lesson: So you said too much, or drank too much, or whatever it is that you wish you could hit the ‘un-do’ button and make it go away; yesterday’s gone and regret will do you no good. It is our experiences that shapes us, both good and bad so let it go and learn from the experience.
- Move On: Identify actions that will improve your outcomes and focus on them. What is done is done. What you do now is all that matters.