6 Tips: How to Deal With Regret And Guilt

Hi, lovelies!

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.

Identify 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.

Use your mistakes a template for learning and teaching

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- Today & 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.

Check out my most recent posts:

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  • Enjoy now and be grateful.This is a huge deal to me and this helps a lot in dealing with regret and guilt. Somehow focusing on the now helps me deal with things from the past that I regret.

  • Such an insightful post with a lot to reflect on. Would you also say that time plays a key role in dealing with regret and guilt? Do things actually get better with time? Maybe if you apply the last point (by being aware and living consciously) they might.. Just thinking out loud…

    • I think so! I think. Even with loss and dealing with grief, time plays a huge part in healing and moving on/letting go. I know that time was a major factor for me when I dealt with a lot of the mess I dealt with.

  • This is such an important post, because it is so easy – especially as women – to relive and relive our mistakes through our guilt and shame. I think having a community to remind you of who God created you to be and who you are in Him definitely helps as well. I listened to a great sermon by Melissa Helser called “Rooted in Delight” yesterday. It was a great reminder that we have to approach life knowing what God thinks about us!

  • I opened a door that God closed for a reason. Now that that door has been opened, I am struggling more than ever and trying to figure out how to close it again. I was not sure if it was God telling me not to contact this individual, so instead of airing on the side of caution and being still, I contacted them anyway. In all honesty, that relationship was over but by reaching out I opened something that was done and over with. This situation coincides with one of your points about it being okay for relationships to end. Definitely for you mental health is okay for relationships to come to end. Sometimes people are only placed in your life for that season.

  • This was lovely to read! It is so easy to drawn in negative thoughts, regrets and things that happened that you just cannot change. It is great to be reminded to be mindful of the moment you are living and how to get the most of it.

  • Great tips! Lately I’ve been practicing most of these and feel so much better. I’m also learning to stop blaming and complaining about events in my life and just take responsibility and move on. It’s been very empowering!

  • Wow, almost as if you’re in my head and we went through similar phases of guilt and regret. I know how it feels to keep beating myself over the same mistake but I love how beautiful and encouraging this post was.I was the kind of girl who finds it hard to part with friendships and I love your advise about unfollowing people or things that keep reminding you of things you don’t want to remember. I took the bold step to do this recently and it’s been really healthy for me!

    We are humans like you’ve said, and it makes me appreciate God more. The fact that He sees me despite my flaws and chooses to chase me still. I love that you also expressed how we can pick one or two lessons from our mistakes, as it makes us wiser. Like a song that sings, ‘Shame on you if you fool me once, shame on me if you fool me twice’ All the same, we never stop learning, and our experience can be used to tutor others.

    Really loved reading this. Keep writing girl! Xx

  • Beautifully written girl! It’s so easy to fall into that downward spiral of “would’ve should’ve could’ve” and begin to regret/worry about things that are completely out of your control.
    I think I deal with regrets similar to you. I just accept that there was nothing I could do and make peace with the fact that I’m human and I’m allowed to make mistakes! That’s how I’ve dealt with regrets!

    Lovely post and I wanna see more posts on the conscious living! It sounds really interesting xx

    Pearl || http://thepearlylife.com