Updated: Dec 2, 2020
Regret is a phenomena of feeling sorry for something you cannot change. It happens with everybody but living with it can prevent us from living a happy & joyful Life. We are stuck in the past & are unable to move forward. How can you overcome regret? If you are determined to move forward, following steps can help live a life regret free:
Whatever incident or situation happened, accept that it happened. Maybe the mistake was of the other person or yours, accept it. Maybe the situation wasn't in your favour, maybe things happened randomly. Maybe you tried your best, but still the result didn't turn out in your favour. Whatever the reason might be, accept it as it is. When we do not accept a situation for what it is or has been, we live in denial. This further confuses our mind & complicates things & hence we are unable to give it a closure. So take a deep breath & say, "shit happened but something good will come out of it".
If you are in a scenario where you were the one who made a mistake, then apologize to the person. It will set you free. But be sure your self worth & self love is high. Many times out of low self love , we tend to blame ourselves for everything. Do not operate from that mode. Your heart & souls knows deep inside whether you were wrong or not. Listen to it. Apologise sincerely & genuinely & set the person & yourself free.
3. Move On
In my previous article, I had mentioned about The Sphere of Concern/Choice. It talks about things you can & cannot control. Many incidents happen over which we have no control like nature's calamity, someone else's behaviour, thoughts, words etc. If you have regret for things beyond your control you will remain stuck. Accept it is an act of randomness that occurs in the Universe & move on. If it involved other people's actions, then forgive them. Everyone acts according to the level of the consciousness of their soul. They did their best as per the ability of their mind & soul. You don't become a prisoner of their actions.
4. Forgive Yourself
If your situation happened because of the things that were in your control, like your thoughts, actions, words & behavior, then do not beat yourself for it. Forgive yourself. You did the best you could as per that circumstance. Humans are fallible. That's what makes us Humans. If we were perfect, we would have been God! So say to yourself, "I make mistakes, but still I am lovable & deserve the best".
5. Transform the "What If"
Most regretful thoughts are accompanied by the thought, "What if I would have done that?, What if I hadn't done that, What if I would have changed my career earlier, What if I would have followed my Heart, What if I would have asked her out, What if I gave him another chance" and the list goes on. In the book, The Gift, Dr. Edeth Eger mentioned that the question 'What if?" should be replaced with "What Now?" If you regretted your career choice, What step now you could take to change it? If you regretted not asking out someone, What step now you could take hence-forth with a different person. If you regretted being in a wrong relationship, what now you could do to improve it or in worst case move out of it? What now you are looking for in your current relationship that you regret being in it? What now you could do to amend it? If you regretted not following your heart, what now you could do to listen to it. Turn your thoughts into action. It will not only bring you clarity but help you move forward.
Every experience, especially the regretful ones, teaches us lessons. It reveals what we truly desire & what we really don't want in our life. Say thank you to the regretful incident for revealing your heart's desire & aligning you close to your soul. The whole purpose of the bad experience is to connect to your inner self which we forget to when everything is hunky dory. So write about the lessons you have learnt in your journal & thank the experience.
I will close the article with a quote, "Freedom is not worth having if it does not include the freedom to make mistakes.” – Mahatma Gandhi. I hope the above points will help you live a regret free Life & use the lessons to live a joyful one! In shaping our personality, regretful experiences play a major role. The choice is in our hands whether we want to let it affect positively or negatively. Comment below & share your experience around regret.