How to Deal With Regret
From grade school, we learn that mistakes, (and enough of them), equal failure. Mistakes carry a weight that’s heavy on our shoulders, keeping us reluctant to step outside our comfort zones. Many of us deal with regret in self-destructive ways (causing a pileup of regrets). Some mistakes surprise us, just when we think we have a grip. Some mistakes warn us well ahead of time, yet we often hit the gas, full speed ahead. Missteps of all sorts often linger, taking on the form of regret. These regrets hold us hostage to what could have been, had we one something differently. So if you want to know how to deal with regret, keep reading.
Dealing with regret takes time, patience, and forgiveness. The best strategy for taking your power back from regret is switching your mindset, so you can replace your regrets with gratitude.
A person once told me that regret is stronger than gratitude, and I had to call bullshit immediately. The reason is that mindset is more significant than them both. Most of us are conscious, (no matter how often we slip up), in our attempts to eat healthily. We tend to skip this conscious pursuit of health when it comes to our mind and spirit. Making a conscious decision to feed our gratitude contributes to the health of our mindset. It puts us in a growth mindset, where even the most profound regret can have a silver lining, or be rectified. Dealing with regret in a fixed mindset is impossible. It leaves the door to any degree of resolution forever locked. Dealing with regret in a growth mindset offers the ability to find gratitude, the lesson, or a degree of rectification within the situation.
When it comes to mistakes, evaluate the level of doom and gloom it created with clarity. Did your error open a black hole, sucking all of existence into it? Clearly not!
The best way to deal with regret is to quit drowning in the helplessness or shame you may feel. Grab your regret by the balls, dissect it, and come out with valuable lessons. This allows you to define whether the situation is fixable, improvable, or one that leaves you with lessons. Often, regret feels permanent because we enable the weight to crush us. Stepping away from regret allows for clarity, and the ability to reflect on it from a different perception, (giving way to forming a new perspective). This distance allows us to quickly identify where we can inject gratitude into a regret, (rather than become swallowed alive, dealing with unresolved sadness).
That said, mistakes, along with regrets, are the most underrated teachers, and are often prerequisites to success. Look for the lessons, the positive, the opportunity, rather than lingering in a “victim” mindset. Even within the depths of mistakes and regret, you still have options, such as your mindset in dealing with it.
Luckily, life doesn’t have to stop with regret. (That’s the first thing you can be grateful for). Regret doesn’t have to keep feeling trapped and powerless. There’s always a degree of control over the oldest, most burdensome regrets. Your self-awareness and mindset are the keys to unlocking the shackles your regrets may have you in. They allow you to deal with regret in a constructive, rather than destructive way.
Finding or creating the opportunity for your story to kick ass, (even after an unwelcome plot twist), is in your control. Focusing on the abundance staring you in the face right now, rather than a perceived loss, is a powerful mental shift. With self-awareness and conscious practice, replacing regret with gratitude becomes natural.
For more on how self-awareness allows you to have a growth mindset, (making coping with failure and regret easier), check out this core article.
Are you feeding your regret or gratitude?