The fear of regret stops so many people I know from taking action towards something they want in their life. This shows up in many forms. And the are all just thoughts. What if I choose A and things get worse than they are now? Regret.
What if I choose B and then I’m stuck with something that wasn’t what I wanted or expected?
Yep, taking steps towards making a change can be really scary. It’s scary because we have an end goal and result in mind. If the change doesn’t bring about the exact end goal and result we were envisioning, we tend to think we either made a bad choice, or the wrong choice. And we see it as failure. Then regret kicks in.
I see two options here. You either stay where you are and nothing changes. Think about the rest of your life with you not making any changes. How does that feel?
Or you move in a new direction and something will change in some way. How does that feel?
Would you rather stay feeling the way you do know or take the chance that something awesome could be around the corner?
Here’s the thing. I don’t care how much you think something through, plan it out, plot it out, and do everything you can to control the outcome so it is everything you hope and imagine, it will rarely come out that way. It could, but chances are it won’t. Because you can’t plan for the unforeseeable. You just can’t.
This doesn’t have to be a problem though. Because what your brain doesn’t account for are all the possibilities that could happen because you went a different direction or shifted something up. Because you decided to go to that concert by yourself, you met a really cool person who became a great friend. Because you decided to change jobs to find a better fit, you ended up doing what you love every day.
As one of my favorite coach mentors. Brooke Castillo says, Take committed action towards something you want. Because even if you get something you don’t want, you will have learned the skill of committing to something and working towards it all out. And that you can apply to anything else in your life. She is SO right.
Regret is the wish that something hadn’t turned out the way it did. What a waste of energy. Yes, it’s important to honor our feelings about what happened and feel sad, angry, disappointed, or whatever it is you need to feel. Definitely.
But then you’ve got to move forward. And make new decisions in new directions.
You can either stay where you are or move in a different direction. You get to decide if you’d rather regret doing nothing, or take the chance to bring about something amazing.
What can you do to eliminate regret? If you choose what is important to you, what truly matters, in all of your decisions for your life, then regret doesn’t stand a chance.
And that, is totally your choice.
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