Regret: Time to Re-Frame My Thoughts

re·gret: verb – To feel sad, repentant, or disappointed over (something that has happened or been done, especially a loss or missed opportunity)
Today, I woke up with a lot of regrets.  In fact, my sleep has been shit these last few weeks as I am clearly holding onto some things that I should just let go.
And maybe the worst thing about all of this is the simple fact that I know it is “water under the bridge”  or “things happen for a reason” or “you can’t change the past”  – yet it still takes ups space in my mind and my emotions.
I know better than to dwell on these things.  I know that at the time it seemed like the right thing to do.  But there are times when I can’t help but waste my time thinking about the “what ifs”.
What if I had not changed that trip?
What if I had gone to that event (or not gone to that event)?
What if I had taken the time to call that person or visit them?
What if I had quit that job sooner?
What if…
What if…
They are endless numbers of “what ifs”, if I allow myself the time to think about them.
But what does it accomplish?  All these regrets just take up space.  Space that could be put to better use.
So instead I am going to focus on the following:
  • Use a regretful outcome as a data point to my ongoing self-improvement project
  • Consider the worse outcome that was avoided, rather than the better fate I missed out on
  • Cut myself some slack.  Context matters and I have to recall the context that led to my decision or choice at the time – instead of looking back with rose-colored glasses

My hope is that I am learning from my past mistakes and viewing them as a growth opportunity.

So today, I am going to write a letter to “Dear Regret” and I am going to tell him just where he can go….

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