No regret is a motto we would all be well served by adopting. Regret is one of the biggest wastes of energy, and is extremely disempowering. To regret an action, event, or inaction is wishing to recreate history. It is impossible to change the past. The only thing that we can change is our perception of the past, and what we learn from our experiences.
Having regret means being unable to accept the basic fact that we did the best we could in any given situation. To be able to move forward with our lives, we need to let go, and stop wishing for a ‘better past,’ and learn what it means to live with no regret.
No regret means accepting that you made a choice. Either it was the choice that felt right to you at the time, or you were not ready, willing, or able to make the choice that did feel right but took more courage than you could muster.
If you followed your heart, then whatever the outcome, you acted bravely, and deserve to feel pride not regret. Try to understand and accept that it is impossible to foresee every potential outcome in any scenario. It is also impossible to know what results the alternative choice may have brought. You trusted your intuition, and even though you may not like the results that this action brought, undoubtedly you can learn and grow from the situation.
You have also taken positive action in creating your own path, and this is a wonderful thing. Every time you make a choice that truly feels right to you, you are developing your trust in yourself. Don’t let that trust be diminished because the outcome is not what you might have hoped. Bear in mind that it is also beyond our human abilities to predict what positive effects a seemingly negative turn of events can have on our future.
I love the Taoist parable of the farmer who responds to every seeming disaster or triumph with, ‘Good news? Maybe. Bad news? Maybe. Who knows?’ Have you heard stories of disaster being averted by a last minute change of plans? If your intuition or the universe is telling you something, listen! Who knows, but the fact that your alarm fails to go off one morning may in fact prevent a bigger misfortune from befalling you. Rather than blaming yourself, accept that maybe it is a ‘bad’ thing, or maybe it is not. It is just a thing that happened, and whether through mechanical failure, or human error, it did happen. No amount of wishing will make it un-happen.
If you feel regret because you didn’t take a stand, then try to forgive yourself, and understand that you did the best you could at that time. Rather than beating yourself up about not being more proactive, assertive, or whatever, accept that you didn’t act the way that would have made you feel powerful. Decide that you would like to try and become more empowered in your future choices. You realize that taking the ‘easy’ way out didn’t result in feeling good about yourself, so work on developing the strength and courage to make tougher, but more uplifting decisions in the future.
When you actually do manage to take the path your soul is urging you to take, make sure you validate your actions. Tell yourself that you are strong and courageous, and that whatever the outcome of your actions may be, you have taken a bold and positive step. Even if things don’t work out exactly as you envisaged, and they rarely do, decide that you will focus on the fact that you took a stand.
By choosing to live life with no regret, we can free ourselves from the pain of second-guessing our past actions. Not only will regret fail to change anything about the past, but it will also prevent you from living fully in the present. By remaining trapped by ‘what if,’ and ‘if only,’ you are not able to enjoy every new moment that you experience. You are also unlikely to make clear and conscious decisions that will create the present and future you want, because your mind is so clouded with worrying about what you perceive is wrong with the past.
If we develop a philosophy of no regret, we can focus on living our present lives in a positive and proactive way. The more courage and clarity we bring to our lives and choices, the less and less likely it will be that we create situations that might prompt feelings of regret in the future.
Aim to live courageously, follow your heart, and trust your intuition. Also accept that there is no right or wrong choice in most cases. To live with no regret becomes the only way to live.
Amanda Harvey – About the Author:
A native of Australia, Amanda Harvey is currently based in Taiwan. Working as a teacher, trainer, speaker, and writer, she has spent the last decade living in various countries throughout Europe and Asia. Through her work and life experiences, Amanda has developed a strong passion for encouraging others to embrace their differences and become empowered to choose their own paths. In all her work, the key message that Amanda endeavors to share is that there is always a choice, and that the only right way to choose life is your way. Amanda is the author of two books.One is a self-help book entitled Freedom from Shame,Overcoming the Stigma of Depression. Amanda’s other title is Not My Flesh and Blood, But My Heart and Soul. To read more, please visit http://www.choosing-life-my-way.com/index.html