Missed your favorite site on your trip? Didn’t take the photo you wanted to take? Wish you had made more friends on tour? Like the song in the Broadway musical “Rent” says, you need to “forget regret, or life is yours to miss.” Some people say that we are our own worst critics and we replay the things that we’ve done (or haven’t done) in our past and wish we hadn’t done them in the first, you just need to know that you did the best you could.
This week’s “Thoughtful Thursday” has us thinking about why hanging out with regret is unhealthy, and how its time to let go!
As much as you are aware that regret is a miserable place to hang out in, you cannot seem to be free of it. But I have good news: liberation from regret is 100% possible!! And it is essential to your well-being that you commit to letting go of regret. Why? Well, because it feels awful and feeling awful does not support the co-creation of an awesome life. Regret keeps you in the past and when you are consistently looking behind you, you do not notice what is right in front of you. And, when you are hanging out in regret, you may be feeling depressed and beating yourself up – and that’s not useful in any way!
So how do you get out of regret? First, understand that when you are experiencing regret, you are evaluating a situation that happened in the past with the awareness you have in the present.
Let me break it down: Something happens. You react, you make a choice, you take an action. Then time passes. And you think about what happened. You analyze it, obsess over it, and talk ad nauseam about it with your friends. You continue to gather more information and knowledge. Then you take all this awareness and information that you have NOW, and beat yourself up because you did not know it THEN. It is totally unfair and unreasonable to take what you know now and use it to beat yourself up for what you didn’t know then.
Please take this in: You really truly did the best you could at the time! Trust me. And until you really take in this truth, you will stay stuck in regret.
The wonderful thing about regret is that it gets your attention and offers you a tremendous opportunity for learning and transformation. But in order to do that, you have to let go of the shoulda/coulda/woulda’s!
You do not have to suffer from regret. You can stop beating yourself up; it is not serving you. Learn, take action, forgive and stop looking behind you. TURN AROUND. See what is right in front of you…and, better yet, what lies ahead.
About the Author:
Christine Hassler left her successful job as a Hollywood agent at 25 to pursue a life she could be passionate about…but it did not come easily. After being inspired by her own unexpected challenges and experiences, she realized her journey was indeed her destination. In 2005, she wrote the first guide book written exclusively for young women, entitled 20 Something 20 Everything. Christine’s second book, The 20 Something Manifesto written for men and women stems from her experience coaching twenty-something’s.
Today, she supports individuals as a Life Coach helping clients discover the answers to the questions: “Who Am I, What do I want, and How do I get it?” As a professional speaker, Christine leads seminars and workshops to audiences around the country. She has spoken to over 10,000 college students as well as to conferences and corporations about generational diversity. Christine has appeared as an expert on The Today Show, CNN, ABC, CBS, FOX, E!, Style and PBS, as well as various local television and radio shows, speaking about life issues and “Expectation Hangovers®” – a phenomenon she identified and trademarked.
Christine is the spokesperson for Zync from American Express and the key resource for their Quarterlife Program which empowers young people to take control of their finances. She also created a life balance curriculum for the Leadership Institute and is a member of Northwestern University’s Council of 100. www.christinehassler.com