…from my next book, Yes Changes Everything! Coming in May 2020!
Regret is a kind of guilt—something that definitely doesn’t belong in our happy, healthy, sane lives! Regrets are things we’re sorry for. Mistakes we think we’ve made. Chances we didn’t take. Opportunities we jumped on that didn’t go so well. Things we blurted out at the wrong moment. Things we didn’t say. People we trusted that we shouldn’t have. Good job choices we let slip by.
Regrets are a huge form of clutter that stands in the way of yes. The heavy guilt of regret keeps us from opening the door to good in our lives. It makes us think we don’t deserve good things — so new opportunities, people, experiences? “Um, no. Because well I regret some mistakes I made in the past…”
It’s like we’ve drawn a sad frame around these situations that fills with matching images, i.e., if we call these mistakes, regrets will fill the frame.
So, let’s reframe them
Every situation that can be called a mistake is also one we learned from. Thinking of them as lessons not only takes the sting out of them, it lets us look ahead with hope, and not back with regret. If we learned something from them, we’re already thinking about the future: what we should/shouldn’t do next time.
From mistake to lesson. One small wording change, and boom baby! We go from clutter that’s holding us back and crowding out the yes that changes everything, to good information that jets us forward—smarter than we were before. And no regrets!
What we learned
Take a look back over the last five years. Whether things have changed a little or a lot, we’ve come a long way. People have come and gone—friends, romances, bosses. Maybe jobs too. Roommates, apartments, houses, schools.
It’s because of these changes that we know more: what works and what doesn’t in our lives. What we like, and what we don’t. Who we’re attracted to…and not.
Here’s a (very partial) list of “stuff I’ve learned” in the last five years:
- Helping people is in my soul.
- I can be too trusting too early in a relationship.
- I have the heart and soul of a writer—writing is how I think about and process my world and everything that happens in it.
- I get intellectually depressed if my brain isn’t being challenged.
- Fear is not a good motivator for me (except maybe fear of mediocrity 😊).
Think about the last five years…what’s on your list of “stuff I’ve learned”?
Now, every time we say, “I wish that had gone better,” we can just add something to our list of stuff we’ve learned to use next time.
We’ve handed ourselves another chance to tackle a situation, but to reinvent it this time. To return from the next battle, a little worn and weary, but definitely smarter. To do this thing better, with more kindness and empathy. And to grow.
We’re proud of where we’ve been, and excited about where we’re headed.
It’s a new beginning, a new yes.