You see it written everywhere. Personal development blogs and motivational quotes often push the live life with no regrets mantra.
Here’s my take on that. It’s bull. Rubbish. Crapola.
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I haven’t met a person who doesn’t have a regret (or two). At 18 perhaps you may not have regrets (though I doubt it) but at 53 (yes that’s my current age) I think it’s downright impossible.
Trying to implement a life with “no regrets” could be seen just as harmful as trying to have a “perfect life” since neither of them exists.
It’s time to debunk the myth of no regrets and get to the core of the matter.
It’s the attitude you have about your regrets that matters.
It’s how you deal with them, process them, grow from them and move forward that’s important.
It’s about whether you allow your regrets to have a positive or negative effect on your life.
If your regrets are holding you back or stopping you from living a full happy life, clearly your regrets are a problem and you are going to have to do a bit of soul-searching on how to remedy the situation.
Just to be clear soul-searching is not wallowing.
Wallowing in your regrets won’t help you one bit – it will just make them look like bigger, scarier, uglier beasts that you will be even more reluctant to deal with.
Ignoring regrets won’t work either.
To be honest ignoring regrets might seem to work for a while considering all the distractions we have in modern life but eventually, with time, they will resurface.
Regrets teach us valuable lessons.
I know you might have rolled your eyes at that one, lessons can be another overdone personal development cliché but they are important and we need to start learning from them.
The idea of lessons is to teach us to stop making the same mistakes over and over again, yet so many of us (including me) don’t always pick up on this concept. We keep making the same mistakes (all the while telling ourselves that this was different because of ‘submit your excuse here’).
Hindsight can be a wonderful thing, it can help us turn our regrets from negative to positive. It can sometimes put things into perspective for us.
Regrets can be positive. Our regrets can guide and motivate us onto bigger and better things.
Regrets can challenge us to seek out adventure and possibilities.
Regrets can help us recognize an opportunity.
For a great book on regret, read Bronnie Ware’s – The Top Five Regrets of the Dying: A Life Transformed by the Dearly Departing.
Do you think it’s possible to have a life with no regrets? Or do you agree it’s how we handle the regrets we do have that makes all the difference?
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Thanks for the great reminder this morning Thea. There will always be regrets. It’s dealing and living with them that keeps us going.