What will you regret?

I don’t believe in having regret in my life.

I definitely have things in my past that I look back on without any pleasure and would not want to live through again but I don’t regret them.

Regret is a very negative emotion that can contribute to a critical inner voice and too much time spent thinking about the past rather than the future. I accept my past and that I made decisions based on where I was and who I was at the time. If I made those decisions today I may well do it differently but that is ok. I have learned from my past and I don’t need to repeat it.

Following a lot of self-reflection, personal development and some brave actions in recent years, I am now living my best life. I am proud of myself and am following my heart for the first time ever. I know I still have changes I want to make but I am happy with where I am.

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Top Regrets of the Dying

Given how I feel, I was intrigued when I saw an article titled “Top regrets of the dying”. I was interested to see what the top things people regret were and whether I could learn anything from them to make my future even better.

The key themes all related to topics very close my heart:-

1 – I wish I had put myself first more. Giving ourselves permission to follow our dreams, recognise and honour their passions and give themselves time.

2 – I wish I hadn’t worked so hard. Working hard is absolutely fine when it is what you want and is part of you achieving your goals but it can become somewhere to hide and prevent you living your best life.

3 – I wish I didn’t hold back my feelings. Choosing to keep the peace and not express what you really want. This can lead to bottled up feelings that can even lead to mental and physical illness.

4 – I wish I had stayed in touch more. Friends and family can be an important support network in our lives but keeping in touch with them takes time and effort and we often deprioritise that in our busy lives.

5 – I wish I was happier. This is about being grateful and content with what we have rather than always striving for the next thing. We need to let ourselves be happy now.

6 – I wish I cared less about what others think. The fact is that we rarely actually know what people think. We make it up based on our own insecurities and then use that to stop us doing what we really want to do.

7 – I wish I didn’t worry so much. We often catastrophise the future and spent a lot of energy thinking about what might be about to happen rather than enjoying the present moment. Stay in the now and focus on the facts.

8 – I wish I took better care of myself. Prioritising our own health and fitness is often difficult as we think by putting others first it makes us a better person. You can’t pour from an empty cup!

Change your Future

There are a few regrets that really struck a chord with me and I am going to make some changes. Lockdown has made some of these more challenging but not impossible. We may need to be a bit more creative or disciplined but, if we are, we will feel the benefit.

If any of these resonated with you then take action now. Tweak your life so that you can live your best life. We may not be able to control a lot of what is going on in the world right now but we can control our thoughts and actions. Remember that the most successful change comes from small, repeatable steps. Start by identifying 2 or 3 small changes you can make and keep to them. You are worth it and your future self will thank you.

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