A friend of mine asked me if I had any regrets. Upon seriously and carefully thinking about this question, I said no. I do not have any regrets. How could I think this way? This is possible based on the way I have trained myself to think, and it comes down to having eliminated the regret category as an option in my life.
When I think back to when I made the conscious decision to do this, I can tell you with almost one hundred percent certainty when this was. Without going into personal details, I can tell you it was at a point in time when I was at a critical decision crossroad. Would I have evolved my thinking about eliminating regrets had I not been in this situation? Possibly, but the point is I’m sharing this with you, because you do not need to be in this exact situation to have the same benefits I gained from eliminating regrets in my life.
Freeing yourself from pondering and carrying a load of regret is truly liberating. It also allows you to have a new lens on the opportunities around you. Your energy level increases, your outlook on possibilities skyrockets, and life can be so much more enjoyable.
Sure, many people will easily succumb to taking the easy road and continue to harbor and carry their regrets around. Some may even consider these regrets to in a morbid way be a badge of honor. I feel sorry for you if you do, and can only encourage you to give some of my tips a try. If you are serious about moving past your regrets, chances are in your favor you these tips will direct you towards a far better place emotionally.
Where do you start to change your mentality with casting your regrets aside? Here are some tips to consider.
- You know I love lists. So, I’m asking you to first make a list of all of your regrets. Don’t leave any off this list, no matter how trivial you may think they are.
- Put your list away for a few days.
- When you come back to your list, cross off the ones you can mentally come to terms with dropping. Starting immediately.
- The regrets that remain on your list, are there for a reason. However, you need to give yourself permission to forgive and forget them. The key to do this, is to allow yourself to go through the process of mourning these regrets. Now, put a timeline on how long to do this, and then literally tear up, burn or throw away the list and say goodbye to them.
- If you think analytically about regrets, but remember, we talked about them not actually serving any constructive purpose. We can be our own worst enemy with allowing ourselves to build up our regret inventory, and we have the same and greater power of eliminating them from our mind.
- If some of your regrets are associated with offering an apology, then go ahead and make the apology. In person apologies are best, but a written one will do too. Perhaps both.
- Most regrets are based on decisions, inaction or actions we chose to take. Stop thinking about the decisions you made which are regret based, and allow yourself to come to terms with owning them. You may not be happy or proud of these decisions, but they are part of your past. Emphasis is on the past, and they do not have to define who you are going forward.
- Write down the date you will begin your journey of not having any regrets. Consider it to be similar to a birthday or holiday, and worthy of a celebration. Look forward to celebrating on this day annually, and do not dwell on what the regrets were. Instead focus on all of the amazing things you have done since the day you released yourself from all of your regrets.
What can you do now that you have a new set of tools to eliminate the regrets in your life? Help someone else to get to the place you have arrived at, and give them the gift of not having any regrets. In other words, pay it forward, as I have done so for you with this advice.
Kathleen E. R. Murphy is the Founder, Chief Performance Strategist and CEO of MarketMe Too. She is a Gallup Certified Strengths Coach, author of Wisdom Whisperer, and is a well-respected motivational and social influencer who has a global following from her numerous speaking, print, radio and television media appearances.
Our expertise is in uniting and bridging teams (sports & business). What does this do for our clients? It provides them with an acceleration boost to reach their goals sooner, and interact with a renewed efficiency, focus and energy level.
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