Regret happens when we concentrate on mistakes we feel we have made from which we cannot recover or which we cannot undo. Life shouldn’t be this way, we are not supposed to live life with regrets because, as we’re often told, everything teaches us a lesson. Stressing over past mistakes is futile, because there is nothing you can do to change it. We don’t know how much time we have on this planet so why waste time regretting past mistakes when we could be living life to the fullest.
Although regret is such a painful experience, there are choices you can systematically make to avoid it. Instead of dwelling on regret, we should learn to concentrate on ways to lead a more authentic life. Here are seven life choices you can make starting today to avoid that bitter taste of regret:
1/ Being yourself.
The most common regret of the dying patients is that they wish they had had the courage to live a more authentic life. So always be yourself, never wear a mask to blend in or fit in with other people. You need to focus more on your own perception rather than that of other people. If you continually use a ‘front’ or a ‘mask’, you miss the opportunity to allow your true self to grow and strengthen. You’re not striving for perfection but for authenticity.
2/ Staying true to your goals and dreams.
Never allow others to dictate your direction and dreams in life. If people disagree with your path in life then, by all means listen to their point of view, then review your reasons for doing what you’re doing and continue. You’ll be learning to stand your own ground, walk your own path and becoming stronger in doing so.
3/ Spending time with positive people.
There is nothing worse in life than spending time with other people’s negativity. Remember that no one can make you feel bad without your permission and you always have the choice to choose with whom you spend your precious time. Positivity is contagious so seek out other people who love life and you’ll never regret the time you spend with them.
4/ Focusing on being loving and doing good deeds for others.
No one ever lay on their deathbed and regretted being loving and supportive to the loved ones in their lives. No one ever regretted the charitable work they did, the good deeds and the support they gave to worthy causes. It is well known that people experience enormous happiness and well-being by doing selfless deeds. Altruism is a path to true happiness – embrace it.
5/ Never giving up, even when things get tough.
Persistence pays off in the end. Of course there are challenges that cannot be met, battles that cannot be won, but if you choose your path carefully and concentrate on achievable goals then slow and steady will win the race. When the going gets tough, the tough get going, and persistence will win out.
6/ Embracing change and personal growth.
Change is inevitable and part of the human condition – we change and adapt with each experience, with each day that we live. Let go of the old you, relinquish those old thought patterns that no longer serve you, and embrace a new and brighter present and future, free of old emotional baggage.
7/ Letting go of the small stuff.
It’s easy to get into the habit of trying to micro-manage every tiny thing in your life. You try to make it all perfect and end up stressed because you never seem to succeed. Take a deep breath and step back from the minute detail of everyday life. Imagine yourself in ten years’ time – what will you remember about this day, this time in your life? Learn to sort out what is important and when to let go. You don’t have to win or be in control all the time and you won’t regret taking things less seriously and simply enjoying the ride that is life.