If you can answer these three questions, then you can free yourself from feeling bad.
We all have moments in our lives we wish we could do over. These might be things we did or said or behavior we look back on with shame. Do you dwell on these regrets and punish yourself for being so stupid? Or do you forgive yourself and move on? And is it possible to forgive yourself too easily?
What are Regrets?
The dictionary defines regret as an expression of sorrow and distress. Spending energy on what has already happened – going over and over it in your head and then feeling bad all over again – can certainly add stress to your life. That is no way to live. On the flip side, moving on too quickly and showing no remorse can be disrespectful to others and, more importantly, denies you the opportunity for real growth. There is a healthier way.
Homework for Life School
If you subscribe to the idea that Life School is where there are no mistakes only lessons to learn, then regrets are simply the lessons we haven’t learned yet. By design, your homework assignment for any regret is to look for the lesson before you move on. Don’t spend energy on going backwards, on assigning blame or looking for why. Instead, take your regret, hold it up to the inner screen of your mind, and ask yourself: what went wrong, what did I learn and what’s my plan?
Your 3 Questions
- What went wrong?
Identify where things went astray. In most cases, this will be a specific moment when you went left instead of right, jigged instead of jagged, pushed instead of walked away.
- What did I learn?
The key to this question is to remember that it’s about responsibility. If your answer to the question sounds even remotely like blame – for example, I learned never to trust So-and-So again! – then I’m afraid you’re off track. The lesson is about you. Not them. You can’t change them, you can only change you. What did you learn about you? Examples might be, I learned that I need to ask questions more succinctly, I need to leave ten minutes earlier, I need to not say what I feel like saying when I’m really angry.
- What’s my new plan?
Before you release the regret and move on, it’s vital to your growth as a human being and for the achievement of your RichLife to identify what you will do differently next time. For those with a heavy conscience, you will only feel at peace when you come up with a new plan. For example, I will write my questions down, leave for work at seven-thirty, or go for a walk whenever I’m upset and angry.
We live in a school called life. There are no mistakes, only valuable lessons.
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