I don’t believe in having regrets.
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 I accept that I made decisions based on where I was and who I was at the time. I may well do it differently today but that is ok. I have learned from my past and I don’t need to repeat it.
Following a lot of self-reflection and development and some brave actions in recent years, I am 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.
Having said all this however, I was intrigued when I saw an article titled “Top regrets of the dying”. I was interested to see what the top regrets 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 – following their dreams, recognising and honouring their passions and giving 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 often it becomes somewhere to hide, or our comfort zone and it stops us living our 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 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.
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.
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!
Did any of those resonate with you?
There are a couple that struck a chord with me and I am going to make a few changes improve things. I have a better social life than I ever have but this year I have focused on my business to the detriment of my social life so I am going to change that balance a bit so that I stay in touch with more people.
The other area is that I realise I am not good at is saying how I feel to people. In my new career I am often the listener and I have realised that means I need to focus more on finding places I can be more open and honest.
If any of them resonated with you then take action now and tweak your life so that you don’t run the risk of having these regrets. Remember that the most successful change comes from small, repeatable steps so identify 2 or 3 small changes you can make and keep to them.