Regret Part 1: Regret and Opportunity
“If only. Those must be the two saddest words in the world.”
You would not notice a missed opportunity if you did not experience some form or degree of regret. Even thought the purpose of this site, blog and book is to prevent regret it can and probably has already happened. So it is important for us to understand how to identify, understand and cope with regret in order to move past it.A missed opportunity can be a tragic event for many people. It may carry a similar feeling of losing a loved one or being let go from a job. Losing a significant opportunity is essentially like having your dreams ripped away from you.People who dwell on their regrets are doing themselves no justice, because dwelling on regret is like repeatedly smashing yourself in the head with a rock. Giving yourself added pain and misery will not make you feel better. Negatives stacked on top of negatives will only produce more negatives.
There is no advantage dwell on regret and it doesn’t benefit anybody, so we have to shift our focus and energy away from those regrets to more positive feelings, interpretations, and actions that will generate useful knowledge and powerful motivation. Don’t pretend you don’t have regrets or just sweep your past under the rug. Acknowledge your own mistakes and accept your personal history. Learn how it feels to have regret and use that as a marker from your past and a warning about the future. Then choose actions, ideas, and thoughts about the situation that get you moving forward again as a wiser, more experienced person.
Let go of the regrets of the past or you’ll live your life always running backwards trying to escape your own self, and that is an impossible task bound up in worthless self-inflicted torment.
People who fear regret tend to make more cautious decisions. But playing it safe does not always mean you won’t have future regrets, because you may wind up regretting the fact that you did not take a calculated risk that would have resulted in you reaching your goals or reaping rewards. Regret can come in many forms, but the most common kind follows a missed opportunity. Regret implies that a person would go back and change a decision they made if it were possible, and even those who are ultra successful have a number of things they wish they could go back and do differently. You cannot change the past, but you can use past mistakes or missteps as an opportunity for a new beginning. Start looking at regret as a learning tool that helps you, instead of viewing it as a force that weakens your resolve to succeed. After all, if you have never tasted the sting of regret how can you know the feeling of true success?Looking at regret in a positive light will help you see new opportunities in a more inspiring, uplifting way, just as people recovering from serious illnesses enjoy a new lease on life. People who survive a close brush with death don’t take life for granted, and if you acknowledge your regrets in a healthy way you won’t take opportunities for granted. You’ll begin to appreciate them as priceless moments or openings that you cannot let slip away or close before you capitalize on them.
Only when we no longer bear the burden of unnecessary regret and are consciously aware of the ever-changing present moment can we make real positive changes in our lives.