Recently, I realized that I had been through periods where I was beating myself down after some ill-informed decision that I made several years ago. I was living with regrets. For me, these decisions are not even things I can ignore and pretend never happened. The things I regret literally stare me in the face every day! Every day I wake up, I have to face these decisions and it does suck. Granted I don’t have much control over many of these things, I was still beating myself over it.
As I thought about this, I realized that I had been beating myself down way more than is acceptable. My regrets were turning into self-loathe. I had been literally torturing myself. This was particularly weird; If I don’t appreciate other people hurting me then why am I doing it to myself?
With that in mind, I had to put in place realistic strategies on how to deal with regret and guilt. I will share them below and hope that this helps someone else.
Acknowledge your weakness & come to terms with those regrets
This would be raw for many people but it needs to be done. You may want to look in the mirror or spend time alone in deep thought. Thin about what you did wrong? What made it so bad? Write them down if you must. What I learned from this is that it eases off the expectation that we should never make mistakes. When I consciously identified my weakness, I realized that some of them are things that many other people make. It reminded me that I am human and humans are imperfect; we make mistakes! You are human and humans make mistakes.
Let your mistakes be a learning and teaching template
I know we hear this “learn from your mistakes” phrase a lot but it is so important when it comes to dealing with your regrets. Think of your regrets and imagine what you could’ve done better? Using your mistakes as a learning tool will reveal an interesting facet to you. Moreover, you’ll learn that should certain situations present themselves again, you’ll do better. Eventually, you’ll get to a point where you can use your experience to teach others and prevent them from going the same route. This one I find very valuable in this journey to dealing with regrets.
Focus on things you can control
For most of my life, I focused on thins I had no control of. In reality, many of the mistakes I made happened in response to situations that were beyond my control. You have to realize that You can’t go back to control what happened in the past but you can somewhat control how you respond to what happens now and going forward. This territory also comes with knowing when to let things be. Stop trying to control everything; it’s too much!
Also, Learn your triggers. Does seeing certain lifestyles on social media remind you of the life you “should” be living? Does Instagram affect it? Unfollow people. When my ex and I first broke up, I had to unfollow wedding and couple accounts when it made me miss my ex at some point. Things like that, you can control.
Enjoy NOW & be grateful
Embrace impermanence. It’s okay for relationships to end, it’s okay for good times to come to an end. The journey through life is not a smooth one. For me, learning that I didn’t have to be friends with people forever is liberating. I used to be one to hold onto friendships and never wanting to let them go. Not anymore.
Choose today. Consciously choose to live and enjoy each moment. Stop rehearsing the past that you have no power to change. Stop the “I should’ve” and “I would’ve”. Be grateful and practice gratitude. For me, I thank God every moment I can for each moment. I thank Him for the gift of life, for hope and for my faith. Trust in God and thanking Him is the main step that has carried me through my valleys. (If you want to discuss this, or talk about faith and God privately, do not hesitate to email me.)
Give yourself some credit!
No matter how bad some mistakes are, you sure have done some good. Give yourself credit. Appreciate yourself for the good things and good influences you’ve been a part of. The fact that you are still here says a lot about you. You adapted when things are bad and that is something worth celebrating. It may not seem like it but you made it through those treacherous times because you adapted. Adaptation is a positive thing and you should celebrate it. Your adaptability should be your reminder that when you fall into valleys, you will make it back up to the top of that mountain again somehow.
Celebrate yourself! You are smart, funny, happy, calm, reliable, fabulous! You are all these good things. Stop neat picking the negatives. Focus on the positives sis and LIVE!
Be aware & live consciously
I have found so much happiness in living consciously and I plan to share all of those in this blog. With living consciously, you are aware of your surroundings, your actions, and your thoughts. This means you are able to catch it when you start to beat yourself down. Listen, You are not stupid, you are not dumb and you are not an idiot. Yes, you made some silly mistakes but you are not your mistakes. Living consciously has been so liberating.
Sorry, this ended up longer than I initially planned. I was just typing away. But I hope this helped someone. It has helped me tremendously. Though my journey is not perfect I have made some incredible progress.
Let’s help each other out; How do you deal with regrets? Share below.
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