I found myself stalling to write this post. Regret. Something that can linger in our minds. Something that can either motivate us or tear us apart. It’s all in the balance of how long we hold on to it. We can tell ourselves that we are going to live a life without regret but it’s one of those things that we can’t always avoid. Regret is a thought, almost an emotion.
Regret used to be something that could easily eat me alive. I tend to lean (very heavily) on the super self-critical side. As a result, this makes me an easy victim to evil regret. So I put these steps into practice.
How do we stop regret from tearing us apart?
First, we have to acknowledge it. If we try fighting that it’s there it just becomes a downward spiral. Sometimes we just have it. Sometimes we wish we had made a different decision or reacted a different way. Maybe it was a bad break up. Maybe it was the three cookies you ate while on your diet. It can be a small regret or a big regret but it’s still a regret, point blank.
The result of acknowledging gives you some control. It is placing the regret in a place where you can move forward from it. Think of it in a simple way. If you acknowledge that there is spilled milk on the floor then you start the thought process of how you are going to clean it up. Regret is similar. It’s an emotion that needs to pass. In order for it to pass it needs to be recognized.
So regret still sucks, right? It is an uncomfortable feeling. I can’t tell you how to make it feel better. You just have to sit with the discomfort a bit. Journal it out. This is a great way to get those yucky feelings out.
But find the lesson in it. Why are you feeling regretful? Are you hurt? Do you feel sad because you hurt someone else? What can you learn from the experience that has brought you regret? How will this change how you will move forward? Use regret as a tool instead of a weight.
These steps help me stay in control of regret instead of it controlling me. Next time you are feeling overwhelmed with regret write it out and then put these steps into action.