Studies show that one of the top regrets people have at the end of their lives is not having followed their passion, taken risks and listened to their yearnings for something more. They often wish they hadn’t settled for the status quo in their career.
As our lives unfold and we recognize we’re in a stifling situation or job that we no longer love, it’s so common for feelings of regret to start creeping in. We start looking back on our decisions and why we made them in the first place.
Regret can cause a sense of defeat, self-doubt and feelings that you’ve been wasting your time.
That moment when regret creeps in, is the moment that has you want to question things.
You start asking yourself “what am I really doing? Is it in line with my core values? What am I really contributing? Am I really using my gifts and talents optimally or just a fraction of them? Am I settling for the minimum? What exactly have I been chasing and why?
What I want to offer is that ‘regret’ can either take hold of you and eat you up OR it can be the catalyst for propelling you toward this kind of honest self-reflection.
I’m not saying this kind of reflection is easy, but if it goes unaddressed, the alternative could lead you to being one of those people in the studies who at the end of life say “I wish I had”.
So, here’s the flipside of regret.
Regret means that you have come to that point where it hurts enough for you to consider making change.
It means that you’ve realized something about what you WANT, that’s different than what you have created to this point.
In order to become ready to make change – you have to experience regret for not having YET created what you really want.
The deep contrast is what’s needed to propel you to say ‘NO MORE’.
What if regret was the ONE THING that had you stop and take stock of your life so far.
What if based on what you discover when you take stock, you realize what you no longer want, which leads you to clarity about what you do?
What if through this reflection your realizations about the things that you wish hadn’t transpired, the things you hadn’t done, the choices you hadn’t made, the things you hadn’t spent time on – is actually what brought you HERE?
What if the insertion of gratitude about these realizations actually builds a new platform from which to start anew?
Yes, this requires the Inner Core work of self-compassion, self -forgiveness, self -acceptance, but isn’t it worth it for you to do the work and set yourself free from regret, so that you can move forward toward what you REALLY want?
It’s entirely possible for you to flip regret around by using it to ignite something inside you that’s been waiting to come alive.