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To regret or not to regret? That is the question.

There is a weight bearing down on so many of my clients and when I delve deeper into this problem, it appears to me that he or she is feeling regret. The word regret means “pain or distress in the mind at something done or left undone”. Some allow this pain to become the master/mistress of their destiny and others let this distress hold them back disempowering them from achieving their full potential. This article is about asking yourself if regret is holding you back and if it is, is it time to abandon this regret and move on or to not to regret at all?

Every action has consequences and if you have done something immoral or dare I say illegal, then regret certainly is there as a reminder hopefully, never to do it again. Yet the majority of people have not pursued things worthy of punishment but have allowed regret to hold them back. The process of letting go of regret can be long and intense but it is liberating when eventually it happens. If you have done to the best of your ability, allowing regret to hold you back is exhausting and time consuming. It is important to take away the “learnings” from the things you regret and either never do it again and equally importantly, use it to propel you forward once you’ve understood the cause. Regret can be toxic especially if we are blaming others. It can hinder relationships or cause strife in the working environment. When we are consumed with regret we beat ourselves up and use it as an excuse not to allow others in. It is also so important to be aware of this and examine and understand these regrets. This doesn’t mean we won’t again slip up but it will give us permission to move on and realise why we have done certain things.When we run away and fail to confront our regrets, we allow them to own us.

We are constantly evolving and growing and it seems therapeutic and perhaps helpful to allow the regret to become your teacher. There are two regrets I often hear from people: the first is having allowed someone into their lives, loving them and when the relationship ends, regretting ever letting that person in. In this situation I don’t believe regret is warranted and of course it is better to have loved than never loved before. Do remember that if someone wasn’t able to love you, this doesn’t mean you are unlovable and further, unloved. Perhaps that person was not right for you. This is the hardest thing to accept as we are hardwired for connection as this is what gives most of us purpose in life. Each person we let into our lives is there for a reason. The other regret is not telling someone how you truly feel and allowing the moment pass you by. This inability to tell someone of your true feelings possibly may lead to unnecessary suffering, loss of trust, suspicion, and worst of all, the loss of a loved one. It takes a brave and strong person to be honest with your feelings.

Now is the time to ask yourself what regrets have you allowed to hold you back and are you going to give yourself permission to let them go? Is there someone you need to tell they mean the world to you, and before it is too late? Is there a passion or dream you want to pursue and haven’t? Is it time to eat that piece of cake without regretting it? Do not let your regrets define you. Instead, use them to push you forward as life is too short and always remember to "Know Your Worth".

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