Last night I went to bed early. I set my alarm for 5:30am. Wednesdays are my early morning run days. But this morning I was too comfortable in my bed so I snoozed through my alarm. I didn’t go for an early morning run. And I’ve regretted it all day.
To me, regret feels like a weight on my shoulders. Something I carry with me, but wish I could cast off. It’s doing something (or not doing something) and then wishing I could change it.
We all want a life with as few regrets as possible. So what does that mean? And how do we make it happen? How do we remove that weight from our shoulders?
Obviously the best way to reduce regret is to learn from your mistakes. Then you won’t make those same mistakes that lead to regret. But what do you do when the regret is present, sitting on your shoulders, whispering worries in your ear and slightly suffocating you? Here’s my recent realization on regret reduction: get it off your shoulder, set it right in front of you, look it in the eye and address the issue.
I’m learning that the best antidote to regret is vulnerability (more to come on that when I finish the awesome book I am reading, Daring Greatly). Regret can be a lonely companion. One that continually tears your down. Oftentimes overcoming regret means bringing others into your vulnerability – not the easiest thing to do! But simply opening up about what exactly you regret and why brings so much healing. And a much lighter load. Putting your mistakes in the light and confronting them is quite scary, but it removes the heavy darkness and shines a light on a better path. One that leads to fewer mistakes. And fewer regrets.
In many cases, whatever it is that you are regretting can still be resolved and overcome. Don’t let regret surround you. You have the ability to cast it off. It just takes a little strength.