Saturday, October 29, 2011

"Sigh No More": How to Eliminate Regret

I have a question for you.

What is the reason for your regret?

Your regret is holding you back from success, and you know it. Why is it so hard for you to move on? Not only do you regret your past mistakes, but you expect to regret your mistakes in the future as well. You feel like your on a path of constant failures and mistakes that it doesn't matter anymore, and consequently, you regret even more and more.

Aren't you fed up with the bull?

Isn't it time to move on?

You may find yourself reading this post thinking the guy who wrote it is just another sympathizer with no solution; you may think I'm just saying what everyone else says.

You may be right.

But realize this: the guy who wrote this post on the other side of the internet world has learned how to never regret anything.

Have you ever found yourself in a gloomy mood, sitting in a car, staring out the window into the distance, thinking about your past, regretting just because you feel the need to? Have you ever found yourself staring blankly out of space, regretting every move you ever made in the game of life?

Have you ever considered that the only thing you should regret is your regression?

Psychologically, our brains are designed so that we revert back to an earlier and less mature pattern of feelings or behavior. Retrospection, in its essence, could be viewed as a disease. However, it cannot be viewed as an excuse to regret.

In some cases, regret is the only way to eventually moving on. In most cases, the concept of regret becomes a game of Jenga. Every time you regret something, you pull out a block, putting yourself in risk for a mental breakdown. Sure, you can set all the blocks back up, but you'll be setting yourself up for failure once again.

So what's the solution? How can you stop regretting everything you do?

I did a very similar post to this one last February called "3 Steps to No Regrets". In the post, I generalized three key steps on how to eliminate regression. The following steps are much more specific, though I do still recommend you read my previous post as well for further help.

Step One - Regret is Voluntary:
Realize that regret is 100% voluntary. You CHOOSE to regret, it isn't something that happens "just because". There IS a cure to the disease. In analogy, as disease may often be a good thing for the human body, regret may often be good too. Being exposed to a disease, your body programs itself to defend against it. Similarly, by exposing yourself to all the nooks and corners of regret, and realizing the potential it has to ruin your aim for success, your body and mind will eventually expect it and prevent it before it can even happen.

Step Two - Learn How to Learn: 
This is the most important and arguably the hardest step: learning how to learn. Making mistakes is crucial in order to reach success. Accept the fact that you will make mistakes, its natural. You shouldn't regret your mistake. For example, if you make a mistake by cheating on your boyfriend or girlfriend - your first step shouldn't be regret. It should be step one, up at the top - realization. Realize that regret is voluntary, and its your job to choose not to do it. Step two tells us that we must learn how to learn. By this, you must comprehend the value of making mistakes. Although it sounds cliche, it is the truth - mistakes are a learning opportunity. Learn that you are the one who made the mistake of cheating, and learn not to do it again. Learning from your mistakes shouldn't make you regret you made them, rather it should make you happy that you now know not to make it again. By recognizing the value of learning, you will be more accepting of the fact that regret is voluntary and it is not an excuse. It can be prevented.

Step Three - Do You:
Enjoy optimism. Often, people feel that being too optimistic blinds you from the truth. This depends on how you define optimism. You can be optimistic and still be realistic. Don't let optimism blind you from the truth. Reach self-esteem. Do you. Realize that you have worth, and that regretting is only creating obstacles instead of moving past them. And last but certainly not least, realize that the past is your friend. It isn't meant to be forgotten, it isn't meant to be repeated either. Just like a best friend, it is mean to help you. Regretting your past won't help you capitalize on the future ahead of you. 

Unfortunately, the word "step" has a connotation that makes it seem like it is quick and easily achieved. 

In the case of eliminating your regrets, this is definitely false.

It will take a while to realize what you're worth. It will take a while to realize that mistakes are beneficial in order for you to learn. It will take a while to realize that it is your choice to move on or stay back.

But once you do, and you will - you'll be free.



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