How to Stop Living With Regret

Ever wish you could go back in time and change a decision? Live in another home, city or country? Drive a different car or make an out-of-the-ordinary purchase? Study something else or pursue an alternative career? Do you wish you married your first love, or put more effort into a friendship that ended?

Do you spend your time on a daily basis thinking about what you could have said or done to comfort a loved one but didn’t? How you overreacted by yelling or saying something you didn’t mean?

Regrets in your life can keep you stuck. The more weighed down you are, the more difficult it becomes to move forward. So what qualms still plague your mind? What decisions or lack thereof still haunt you? The keys to taking the load off and starting fresh are to relinquish your past mistakes and disappointments, to let go of guilt and sadness, and to forgive yourself. Change your perspective so you can create a new way of seeing to make room for a new definition of happiness. And, when necessary, have a do-over.

Do-overs can take the form of changing a specific aspect of your life, or even going back to someone to make a simple apology. Lost time can never be recovered, and your words or actions can never be completely taken back once they have been delivered. You might unintentionally hurt someone’s feelings, not show your appreciation or inadvertently disappoint another; but you can make amends and change current behaviors into more loving connections.

You might want a do-over when:

  • It allows you to learn more about who you are and what is important to you.
  • Your own dreams and desires become crystal clear, and you now need to take a different path.
  • You need to apologize or make an amends to another person.
  • Forgiveness and compassion are more important than being right.
  • It allows you to face a recurring fear so you can be more powerful.
  • You change your mind or decide to go a different direction and it impacts others.
  • It teaches you to be open, honest and vulnerable to create intimacy.
  • You need to set boundaries for future healthier interactions.
  • You learn new information that changes a current perspective or viewpoint.
  • It allows you to practice speaking your truth and therefore build more self-confidence.
  • You’re ready for a new beginning or fresh start.

Do-overs provide learning opportunities to create more inner peace and harmony in your relationships and design the experiences in life you will truly treasure. A do-over can enhance your confidence, and perhaps even open the door to receive something you may not have been truly ready for in the past. A life full of conscious, proactive choices can turn our biggest regrets into our greatest adventures.

Here’s how to follow through on your do-overs.

Make a list of your deepest, biggest regrets. Using that list, probe deeper by asking yourself how you feel today. Are there items on the list that you still desire and want to pursue? Is it time to let go of past disappointments or unfulfilled wants? Ask yourself the following questions.

What is the learning opportunity? Is there another way to create the desired experience NOW? Do you need to apologize or make an amends to put something to rest? Do you need to focus on the positives instead of the “what ifs?”

Create a new vision of what you NOW want. Ask yourself, will these items create a sustainable “essence” of what you want long-term (i.e. greater intimacy with a partner, a more fulfilling career, creative inspiration for a passionate pursuit, or greater compassion for others)?

Now, what actionable steps are you willing to take to clear things up and move you toward your new dreams? Choose the one action that speaks to your soul and do that one first.

writer – Jennifer M. Blair is a Life Coach, Inspirational Speaker and Author based in Louisville, Kentucky. Founder of Excavive™ Coaching and Consulting in 2003, she has spent more than a decade coaching clients all over the country, calling on her training, experience and intuition. Her work focuses on excavating and activating the true spirit in women, enabling them to pursue their passions, increase their self-confidence, communicate powerfully and build the kind of lives they truly want. Her first book, The True You: Tools to Excavate, Explore and Evolve, was published in 2011.

Learn more about Jennifer and her work by visiting her website, www.excavive.com and sign up for her FREE interactive guide, “Be Who You Are: Six Ways to Excavate Yourself.”

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